How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but only if the light bulb wants to change. How many plumbers does it take to change a light bulb? One, but that’s just my estimate. How many Marxists does it take to change a light bulb? The light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution. How many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb? One. He holds the bulb while the world revolves around him.
How many persons does it take to change YOU?
The New Testament answer to that is four: The first three persons are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Here is where the biblical spotlight shines on prepositions. We pray to the Father through Jesus, by the Spirit. The Father is before us, Christ is beside us and the Spirit is within us. Our transformation is thus an inside-outside-alongside job. The three persons of the Trinity are always at work as a team.
It’s impossible to overstate the significance of the indwelling of the Spirit. Ancient people knew they seriously thought that a God could or would even want actual addresses of the Gods and Goddesses they worshiped. Myriads of temples dotted the landscape of the Mediterranean world. Deities regularly visited earth through portals of those edifices, which were thought to be sacred spaces where the invisible world intersected the visible.
No one seriously thought that a God could or would even want to take up permanent residence inside a human being–no one except those upstart followers of Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth (a hotbed of Greek religious devotion), “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own.” (I Corinthians 6:19)
You and I are temples of the Holy Spirit. Look in the mirror. You have become a place where heaven intersects earth. When God calls us to follow him, he is actually sounding out that call from within our own hearts where the Spirit dwells.
If Father, Son, and the Spirit are the first three persons necessary to change our lives, who is the fourth?
May God bless you with a changed heart today–so you can light the way for others.
Ron Naylor, Chaplain