Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Enigmatic Spirit of God

Zachery was a our first grandchild. He was one amazing blessing. When he was beginning to walk and talk my son and his wife arrived in town for a surprize visit. They decided to send Zachery to the door. He rang the bell and when I opened the door he said "PA PA!" It was the first time I had ever heard it. Grandchildren! You will not experience this until one arrives but when he or she does arrive you will feel it. I have told a number of people who are waiting for their first grandchild that they are about to experience a feeling that they have never had for anyone else. There is SOMETHING about a granddaughter or grandson which is wholly enigmatic, puzzling and inscrutable. It is a feeling that goes beyond the feeling for a spouse or children or parents. It is not better or more ...just different. It remains inexplicable. A mystery of the emotions. It is "enigmatic"...look it up.
Like this mysterious grandchild feeling consider the work of the Spirit as Jesus is about to come into the world. Consider the mystery: Jesus is both with God and is God (John 1:1). HE leaves the heavenlies where he has always been (but not as "Jesus"), empties himself and becomes human (Philippians 2:6-8)and experiences the world as we experience it (Hebrews 4:15-16). As the entrance of Jesus takes place the Holy Spirit is hard at work and as we read about his work we find out it remains enigmatic, puzzling and inscrutable.
Take a ride through Luke 1:1-4:18, Mark 1:1-3:9;Matthew 1:1-4:1 and watch for the Spirit's involvement in the arrival of Jesus. Look for the mystery, the unexplainable. The Spirit FILLS John the baptist in the womb (Luke 1:15), Jesus' mother Elizabeth (1:41) and John the Baptist's father Zechariah (1:67). The Spirit "came upon,""moved" and "revealed" things to Simon (2:25-27). Later when the ministry of Jesus was about to begin the Spirit "led" and "returned" Jesus from the wilderness where he was tempted (4:1,14). So how do you explain HOW the Spirit fills or leads or reveals or moves anyone? Is there a shadow or a cloud or a voice from beyond? Is there a physical sensation or some event in nature which lets you know it is happening?
Now consider the most awesome Spiritual activity of all...the Spirit "OVERSHADOWED" Mary and she became pregrant with the one who would be called Jesus (Luke 1:35; MAtthew 1:21). So Jesus who is God and was with God from eternity enters the world when the Spirit OVERSHADOWED Mary...AND she remains a virgin. Quite a mystery? Enigmatic enough? Just how does HE, the Spirit accomplish these activities? God doesn't say.
There is no chapter in the bible where God lays out the Spirit's moves and tells us HOW it is done. The work of the Spirit is and will remain inexplicable. It must then be a matter of faith. Even with you when you were baptized you recieved the "gift" (Acts 2:38). Now just HOW did that happen? Tell me if you know? Explain the mechanics of Spiritual activity. It cannot be done.
So it begins. The Holy Spirit is introduced with mystery. A grandchild says "PA PA" for the first time and you feel it but can't explain it. So it is with the Spirit. We just know but it will remain ENIGMATIC. Foree