Christian Transformation

The Pursuit of God/God's Pursuit of Man, A.W. Tozer

Excerpt from: The Holy Spirit Blessed Triune God

"How shall we think of the Spirit? The Bible and Christian theology agree to teach that He is a Person, endowed with every quality of personality, such as emotion, intellect and will. He knows, He wills, He loves, He feels affection, antipathy (from Marilyn, that means a deep-seeded feeling of dislike) and compassion. He thinks, sees, hears and speaks and performs any act of which personality is capable. One quality belonging to the Holy Spirit, of great interest and importance to every seeking heart, is penetrability. He can penetrate mind; He can penetrate another spirit, such as the human spirit. He can achieve complete penetration of and actual intermingling with the human spirit. He can invade the human heart and make room for Himself without expelling anything essentially human. The integrity of the human personality remains unimpaired. Only moral evil is forced to withdraw. The metaphysical problem involved here can no more be avoided than it can be solved. How can one personality enter another? The candid reply would be simply that we do not know, but a near approach to an understanding may be made by a simple analogy borrowed from the old devotional writers of several hundred years ago. We place a piece of iron in a fire and blow up the coals. At first we have two distinct substances, iron and fire. When we insert the iron in the fire we achieve the penetration of the iron and we have not only the iron in the fire but the fire in the iron as well. They have two distinct substances, but they have commingled and interpenetrated to a point where the two have become one. In some such manner does the Holy Spirit penetrate our spirits. In the whole experience we remain our very selves. There is no destruction of substance. Each remains a separate being as before; the difference is that now the Spirit penetrates and fills our personalities as we are experientially one with God."

I thought this devotional would coincide with this past weekend's awesome message about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and how if we get God wrong...we get everything wrong and so it goes with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. When we get them wrong, we get everything wrong...as Pastor John so eloquently put it this past weekend. So in our sermon teaching, we came to the understanding that the Holy Spirit was introduced clear back in Genesis 1 and that His presence and personality has been from the beginning and that the Spirit is not the lesser of the Trinity, but an equal part. Often we think of the Spirit as an essence that allows the flow of the gifts and we leave it at that; not understanding that "He can invade the human heart and make room for Himself without expelling anything essentially human." I like to think of the Spirit transforming and enhancing the personality that God put in me from the womb...to achieve the most amazing things, if I just allow that transformation and if I obey the work He is trying to accomplish. That might not be the most theologically correct concept, but this example of the iron and fire is a great application for me personally to understand a bit of the workings within my spirit. I can be that hard piece of steel/iron and think that I am stuck and frozen in time in the same position always, but when I choose to allow the Spirit to convict, teach, rebuke and work in my life, though I am still that hard piece of metal, the Holy Spirit can mold me to perform the most amazing tasks! He enhances in me what HE made from the beginning! The "baptism" of the Holy Spirit started from the beginning of time and is evidenced in and through the Holy Spirit. Pastor John quote from this weekend, "if you start your theology of the Holy Spirit in Acts and I Corinthians...you've got it wrong." The foundation of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is: Salvation, Life, Teaching and Guiding and Worship (4 areas that John picked out to share this past weekend, you should listen to this sermon for sure!).

I really felt the need this Monday to lend a confirmation to these thoughts and ask that each of us, this week and in the weeks to come be a part of this last statement from Tozer:

"Each remains a separate being as before; the difference is that now the Spirit penetrates and fills our personalities as we are experientially one with God." Becoming ONE with God...wouldn't that be a goal for each believer?