Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
I was reminded recently that as I gather years I have had a tendency to reflect nostalgically on how things used to be and unconsciously expect that’s how it always was (before me) and how it always will be (after me). A kind of “people like me are the same yesterday, today and forever”.
But a few weeks ago that hypothesis was dismantled during a Sunday gathering at Hillview.
With a personality that is rational logical 90% of the time, emotionally charged 5% of the time and not sure about the other 5%, I am very rarely aware of my feelings.
In all my 40+ years of Christian faith as part of various church communities, and service, I have very seldom felt emotionally energised by a movement of the Holy Spirit. I can recall two occasions when I was lifted to a place where my emotions took over my rational personality. Once when serving as a leader at a CYC camp – the Holy Spirit descended on the camp and we all were affected. Once when a hymn captivated my heart, a combination of words, music and community.
But on the 5th of November, 2017 at Hillview, the emotional part of my personality was lifted in a unique way.
I was acutely aware of something of the wonder and glory of God. Somehow, the various elements of the service added more of God and I felt I was transported to a place where my emotions were released in a powerful way. The euphoria I experienced took a few days to recede.
The joy of the Lord
So, I am suggesting that no matter what age and stage, we should be careful of falling into the trap of consumer Christianity. Only seeing God through an imperfect personal partial lens. Rather, if we allow our spirit to seek God and His glory in everything we say and do, the Joy of the Lord will be our strength (Neh. 8:10). Whether or not accompanied by an emotional “kick”.
I have no desire to strive to replicate the feeling of euphoria. That would be the work of the Holy Spirit’s direction and I suspect coincident with a mind that is “stayed” on the glory of God.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
May we all recognise that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14).