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Pastor Glenn McDonald: The Spirit Indwells


How many psychiatrists does it take a change a light bulb? One, but only if the light bulb really wants to change.


How many plumbers does it take to change a light bulb? One, but that's just my first estimate.


How many search engines does it take to change a light bulb? I’m sorry, that page is unavailable.


How many conspiracy theorists does it take to change a light bulb? We will probably never know, but there's no way Lee Harvey Oswald did it all by himself.


How many mothers-in-law does it take to change a light bulb? None. It’s fine, I’ll just sit here in the dark. Alone. Like always.


How many dyslexics does it light to take a change bulb? Eno.


How many Marxists does it take to change a light bulb? The light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.


How many software engineers does it take a change a light bulb? Two. One always leaves in the middle of the project.


How many narcissists does it take a change a light bulb? One. He holds the bulb while the world revolves around him.


How many Zen masters does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to change it, and one not to change it.


How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb? What’s a light bulb?


So how many persons does it take to change you?


The New Testament’s answer to that question is four. The first three persons are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


Here is where the biblical spotlight shines on prepositions. We pray to the Father, through Jesus, by the Spirit. The Father is before us, Christ is beside us, and the Spirit is within us.


Our transformation is thus an inside-outside-alongside job. The three persons of the Trinity are always at work, and always work as a team.


It's impossible to overstate the significance of the indwelling of the Spirit. Ancient people knew the actual addresses of the gods and goddesses they worshiped. Myriads of temples dotted the landscape of the Mediterranean world. Deities regularly visited earth through the portals of those edifices, which were thought to be sacred spaces where the invisible world intersected the visible.


No one seriously thought that a god could, or would even want to, take up permanent residence inside a human being – no one except those upstart followers of Jesus.


The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth (a hotbed of Greek religious devotion), “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19)


You and I are temples of the Holy Spirit. Look in the mirror. You have become a place where heaven intersects earth.


This was the great dream of Israel, the hope they had first heard centuries earlier through the prophets: “I will put My Spirit within you, and move you to follow my decrees” (Ezekiel 36:27).


This has extraordinary consequences for spiritual growth – something that we will explore in upcoming reflections. When God calls us to follow him, he is actually sounding out that call from within our own hearts, where the Spirit dwells.


If Father, Son, and Spirit are the first three persons necessary to change our lives, who is the fourth?


You are.


That’s why the Bible so often speaks to us in the form of an urgent invitation: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:1, 2, 6)


May God bless you with a changed heart today – so you can light the way for others.

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