Why would I need the Comforter..if I’m completely comfortable?

Comfort

Financial security

Peace

Social acceptance

Success

Happiness

Affirmation

Safety

Family protection

Contentment

I have lived a life that is focused on finding the items on the list above. And for whatever reason, I’ve bought into the myth that God wants those things for me, too.

I’m beginning to question whether God wants those things for me at all. As a matter of fact..comfort, and my pursuit of comfort, may be the number one “Spirit quencher” in my life.

I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that I am desperate for Him to come through. That if He doesn’t come through, I am screwed.

  • I want to live a life filled with holy risk..not  earthly security.
  • I want to live a life where I’m concerned with grieving the Holy Spirit..not concerned with my personal grief.
  • I want to be in places and situations where I’m forced to live out my beliefs and others are encouraged by it..not closed up safely within the four walls of my church, never to set foot in the sin-land-mine-riddled world just outside the doors.
  • I want to be white-hot..not lukewarm.
  • I want to live a life filled with passionate pursuits for the gospel..not comfortable daily grinds.

“..why would we need the Comforter if we are already comfortable?” – Francis Chan referencing the Holy Spirit as the Comforter.

But it is nearly impossible to live this way when filled with insecurity, fear and a desire to do the socially acceptable, reasonable, smart, comfortable things.

Serving God and living faithfully can become a constant guilt trip of “trying harder” and “doing better next time.” Maybe you can relate. I have spent much of my Christian life battling insecurity, never quite feeling sure of my salvation, living out of fear and a desperate determination to earn acceptance.

Remember the prodigal son? After squandering his early inheritance..he felt remorse, he experienced guilt and shame, and the physical pains of hunger. The bible says, “when he came to his senses” he longed for home and his father’s blessings and providence, however he didn’t feel worthy to be called a son anymore..he was resigned to take the name and position of a slave in his dad’s home, just to have that security again. He thought he had lost his father’s favor..and his love.

You know the rest of the story. Heck, just like me, you’ve probably lived it, too.

Luke writes, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (15:20) Then the father proceeds to throw a party to celebrate the return of his son. An intimate father/son love is still present and stronger than ever. Security is offered. Encouragement is given. And the father even goes as far as to explain to others, “But we HAD to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (15:32)

It is the Holy Spirit who keeps us from this path and gives us confidence so we can enjoy intimacy with our Creator. Though I do not believe God gives us His Spirit solely for our personal benefit, it is undeniable that one of the greatest aspects of being in relationship with the Holy Spirit is the intimacy, security, and encouragement He brings us. It is then we can serve God as a beloved child rather than a stressed-out, guilt-ridden slave.

If you have not known and experienced God in ways you cannot deny, I would suggest that you are not living in a needy and dependent way.

As for me, I am tired of talking about what we are going to do. I am sick of talking about helping people, of brainstorming and conferencing about ways we can be radical and make sacrifices. I don’t want to merely talk anymore. Life is too short. I don’t want to speak about Jesus; I want to know Jesus. I want to be Jesus to people. I don’t want just to write about the Holy Spirit; I want to experience His presence in my life in a profound way.

I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I want the manifestation to be evident. I want to look, act, talk, and BE different. Not to be noticed for my fame, but to give honor and praise to the Famous One. For others to see and recognize the Forgotten God, the Holy Spirit, and receive Him and His power, security, boldness and intimacy in their lives, too.

(all block quotes are from Francis Chan’s Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect Of The Holy Spirit which I encourage all to read)

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  • Mandy

    We discussed this yesterday in small group after reading Crazy Love – whew – God isn’t so much interested in our safety, security or happines – He’s interested in our lives pointing to His fame. . . whatever it takes! My prayers have definitely changed this week from “Lord, keep my baby safe at schoool, to – Lord, have your will – whatever it takes to bring you Glory” – that’s a tough prayer but one that I think He desires.

    • Crazy Love by Francis Chan is on my top 5 list of books that changed my life. Seriously..if you haven\’t read that yet..you must. But I must forewarn readers..if you let it..the Holy Spirit will change you with the words on those pages.

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