From Pauses for Pentecost
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
Popular Christian vocabulary often uses the phrase, “Invite Jesus into your heart.” The danger of language like this is that it easily can encourage a private and sentimental understanding of our faith. However, there is also something beautiful and important about this image. You and I can become his dwelling place in the here and now. Our faith teaches that Jesus once lived long ago, taught and did miracles, died and rose again. More importantly, faith means that he lives in us and works through us today to bless the lives of others.
All this happens through the power of God’s Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we come to know Jesus personally. Rather than giving us theoretical knowledge about Christ, the Holy Spirit takes what we have heard and read about Jesus and makes these things real for us. Doctrines about Jesus Christ are important, but more importantly we need to experience that he is alive and that he can work in the world through our lives. The Holy Spirit makes this firsthand knowledge of Christ possible for us. Through the indwelling Spirit, Jesus makes his home in us. Quite literally, we must become the place where Christ dwells in the present.
Perhaps today you can ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear Jesus saying these words to you: I want to come and dwell in your life. Through you I want to touch the lives of those around you. Be willing to let go of your own agendas and plans that so often keep you from living and acting in and through me. Let yourself be led, strengthened, and renewed by my own Spirit living in your inner being. As you do, you “may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God,” (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Find a quiet space where you can spend some time alone. In the silence, ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear Jesus’s words above addressed to you. Place your hand on your heart and know that Christ dwells in you.