Under the Influence

A bit overwhelmed this morning. Awestruck, as a truth I’ve known for most of my Christian life hits home with a renewed clarity. I am under the influence.

Paul’s pretty clear in my Romans 8 reading this morning: if I belong to Jesus then the Spirit of God dwells in me.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. . . . If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

(Romans 8:9, 11 ESV)

Reading that one word three times in those two verses was like hearing a great tower bell clang resoundingly over and over and over. The Spirit of God dwells in you. The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. “Yes,” a still small voice says, “in case you didn’t hear it the first two times, I dwell in you.”

So guess what? I’m under the influence. Literally!!!!

I’m sitting here and chewing on the idea of God dwelling in me. That by His Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, He has taken up residence. He has moved in. And more than being that unbreakable seal guaranteeing my future inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14), more than being the One who will give life to this mortal body after mortality has passed, He is the One who, right now, is ready, willing, and able to lead me (8:14) . . . and that, from within.

No cloud of smoke hovering over me by day.  No pillar of fire going before me at night.  Rather, the 24/7 presence of God within me, . . . by His Spirit. Can anyone say, “Unreal!!!”

I did a bit of Greek lexicon work and notice that it’s not exactly the same original word used for each of the “dwells.” The first two “dwells” are the same word and are pretty straight forward. They carry the idea of occupying a house, or residing in a residence. The implication being that my spirit cohabits this body with the Creator of this body through His Spirit. That’s pretty amazing!

But then the third use of the word looks like a Greek compound word. Beyond just having moved in, it carries the idea of cohabiting with the intent to direct . . . or influence. And that’s even more amazing!

Not only is He the Regenerator, the One who gives new life, but He is also the Illuminator, the One who brings new light. Not only is He the Attester, Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16), but He is also desires to be the Influencer through the dynamics of His active agency as Helper, Intercessor, and Sanctifier. Ultimately, He wants to be the Transformer, conforming me more and more into the likeness of the Son.

Noodle on it for a bit. Look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I’m looking in the face of someone within whom the Spirit of God dwells!” How awesome is that!?!

He is ever present, mine is to never forget it.

He is longing to lead, mine is to seek to follow.

He is ready to influence, mine is to long to be under the influence.

By His grace. For His glory.

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One Response to Under the Influence

  1. Carol Birkey says:

    Yes, it is what I needed to hear today!
    Ardy and I are going to Dallas, Oregon this afternoon and will be back Monday morning. We need the Lord to take care of us, not just in traveling (by the train, thanks to Gordy and Lynda,) but in company with the special family of God!

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