“I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 28:20. At first glance this might sound like a warm and fuzzy sentiment of goodbye, but when Jesus says these words, he is proclaiming a promise. If you have ever lost anyone dear to your heart, you will keep memories of them close to your heart, perhaps their belongings, or traditions in their honor and memory. You never stop loving and missing that person. In that sense they never feel very far away. But the promise that Jesus is proclaiming to his disciples (and to us) is not that Jesus remains close to our heart in love and thought, but that the Spirit of God literally dwells within our heart. I love how author and radio host, Rene Swope describes this process in her devotional book, A Confident Heart. She explains, “When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, God’s presence indwells our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit.” I would further note that this word “accept” isn’t referring to agreeing with someone, but rather claiming and wholeheartedly surrendering to Jesus as Lord and Savior of our life. We accept (receive) the gift of grace and salvation that Jesus wants to give us, and we become a child of God (no longer just his creation, but his child). Paul spoke of this in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” When does that take place? The moment invite Jesus into our heart. Romans 10:9-10 tells us “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” It is at this moment of salvation that the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. We bear God’s seal and deposit.
I find myself asking today, “do I fully understand this gift of God’s Holy Spirit?” Maybe you are like me and have walked many days of life, consumed with life, busyness, and the weight of the world. It pains me to think of days I maybe even forgot he was there. In Ephesians 1:16-20 Paul spoke to the recipients of his letter and that includes you and me today.
“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1:16-20.
I pray today friend that we can walk each day fully realizing the hope and power that indwells us through the Holy Spirit of God. What a life changing way to live out life, but our awareness of the Holy Spirit is constantly at battle with sneaky attacks by the enemy to keep us distracted and forgetful of the power and peace and guidance that is available to us. Join me in surrendering this day and its troubles to God. Let his Holy Spirit encourage, reveal, teach, correct, guide, and bring you freedom as the Spirit of God works in us and through us. For many of us, that would change the way we approach every area of life. What peace and what hope that would bring every day! Be sure of this my sister or brother in Christ, Jesus is with us always, even this very day, even to the end of the age.