Please read the following scriptural references as a backdrop to this posting.
14 His birth will make you very happy, and many people will be glad.15 Your son will be a great servant of the Lord. He must never drink wine or beer, and the power of the Holy Spirit will be with him from the time he is born. 16 John will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God. Luke 1:14-16, 16 with a covering that is removed only for those who turn to the Lord.17 The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord’s Spirit sets us free. 18 So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord. 2 Cor. 3:16-18, 14 You have been trusted with a wonderful treasure. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you. 2 Tim. 1:14
Spitting in someone’s face is a vulgar concept, isn’t it? You know what is just as vulgar to me? The artificial circumstances that have separated church folks to the point that each church in America can more often than not be better defined by their racial and economic demographics than their outward commitment to the call of Christ. It’s theologically disgusting and needs to be dealt with firmly and directly. In the 32nd and 33rd chapter of Job it says:
“There is a SPIRIT in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. The SPIRIT OF GOD has made, and has given me life.”
Each person comes into Christ’s church with the need to be validated as a sacred vessel that is carrying the actual image of God. Christian souls need to be sincerely appreciated not only for their current value but also for their future worth in the kingdom of God. Validating any and every person – the inner person, or, if you will, the essence of who they are in their innate connection to God – is absolutely essential if an honest view of Christianity is to be vibrantly experienced. In contrast, without a real and profound sense of personal validation there can only be a cheap and inadequate version of Christianity that is shared. It would be similar to someone who has tasted the best, most succulent and divinely tender steak prepared especially for you by the finest chef in all of the world – and a warmed over hamburger with a single pickle on a stale bun cooked at Murray’s Magical House of Beef. Even though both the hamburger and the steak are beef, they hardly resemble each other. Just because you have somehow managed to join a church has little relationship to whether you are receiving an honest view of “Biblical” Christianity.
Every Christian deserves to experience their faith walk in the fullness of God’s love, and God’s mercy, and God’s power, and God’s joy and God’s abundance. Anything less is an adulterated, ugly, cheap and deceptively destructive version of the real thing. Calling something “Christianity” and actually experiencing it are two totally different things. If we indeed accept the Bible’s version of the Deity’s intention regarding one very important aspect of that creating process, we’re then called to remember that according to our Bibles, God has invested His Spirit in each one of us. The Creator has purposefully taken something of real and discernible worth and placed it into a vehicle that is expected to yield measurable gains over and above the initial amount deposited. If God has actually invested His Spirit into each one of us, then by honoring and cherishing that same Spirit of God that is within each person, we will then cherish and honor the God who created them. In other words, if we as a church DO NOT sincerely, profoundly, joyously and openly honor and cherish each soul that God’s Spirit has been invested in, we quite literally ‘spit in the face of God’.
I want you to think about those unfortunate instances of degrading and disgusting racial or sexual circumstances were an aggressor attempts to humiliate or express their hatred for another person by “spitting in their face”. This blatant act of disrespect is based upon the ignorant and vile decision that the targeted person is worthless – wretched – or demonstratively evil. When we go about invalidating another’s real spiritual worth, we might as well call God out of His heavenly home and while He is standing on His front porch we collectively spit right in His face. Those foolish fakes who mistakenly have called themselves “Christians,” who have found it a more important priority to judge the outside of a person rather than connecting to the God on the inside of them, should STOP LYING to themselves regarding their own salvation. The truth is these walking heretics no more represent “Biblical” Christianity than the aforementioned hamburger accurately represents the steak. Finding “the God” in each other – finding the commonality of God’s spiritual connection – finding that divinely inspired spiritual thread that ties God’s creation together into a singular force – perfectly reflects our Bible’s call to “unity in the Spirit.”
It is God’s unifying spirit that is able to close the divide that arbitrarily separates us from one another. It is the Spirit of God that gives cause to fly and soar far above that which we could have thought possible. It is the Spirit of God that gives hope beyond hopelessness, freedom beyond oppression, joy beyond sorrow, strength beyond weakness, courageous action beyond cowardly display, and majesty beyond the mundane. It is the Spirit of God that gives the connection to the Divine that cannot be denied, deluded or delayed. It is the same Spirit of God that allowed Jesus to heal the blind, the maimed, and the brokenhearted. It is the same Spirit of God that allowed Jesus to walk on water and still the stormy seas. It is the same Spirit of God that allowed Jesus to travel the streets of Jerusalem toward the hill of Golgotha so that he could get on that sacrificial cross and forgive the sinner next to Him. It is the same divinely empowering Spirit of God that will allow you to move beyond the lies of the devil. It is the same Spirit of God that will empower all of us to move beyond are distrust, beyond our suspicion, and beyond our human traits of hate, hurt or harm.
Thank the Lord I know a God who has invested His Spirit in me, and I praise the Lord for the same Spirit in you. What kind of Spirit? It is the Spirit of love; the Spirit of dignity; the Spirit of sacrifice, joy and power. The power to move mountains; the joy to uplift; the sacrifice to save; the dignity to include; and the love to heal. Now that’s the Christianity I want to share with another.