O Love That Will Not Let Me Go’
A year ago I wrote about how I was struggling with my faith. I’d no idea who God was, where he was, if he existed at all even. I was seeing the problems going on all over the world, the displacement of peoples and the persecution of his followers, his disciples even.
A funny thing happened after I wrote that letter. Not long after, I was encouraged, by whom I don’t know, to re-read the Gospels and the New Testament. It was a strange thing to happen but I did as I was told, for once!
As I read the New Testament I saw things in a completely different light. It was as if the words that I needed to see and understand were written in red ink and CAPITALS. But I’d read these words many times before. I even held house groups for many years, and I was convinced at the time that I understood. I was so wrong, but what changed me?
Three words: ‘GOD IS SPIRIT’. Then I understood. I was looking for a person somewhere who was controlling what happens, like he appeared in the Old Testament. But things had moved on. Jesus was the difference. Jesus came to show us the way and show us God in all his fullness. Jesus came to show us what God was like. He was filled with the Holy Spirit at his baptism and, in the three years before his death, he filled his followers with that same spirit. And at his ascension he left the Holy Spirit for US!
That’s what I needed to understand. God’s spirit is in me, if I want to take it. God’s spirit is there for each one of us. It is that which guides us, that which inspires people to do great things. The only way the world can be changed is through this spirit, not just this spirit in us but in every person regardless of race, nation, colour, creed, religion, sexuality, whatever.
God can only do great things through us, through you and me! It’s a big responsibility and I might not be up to it, but I do understand it better now. I’ve heard the words many times, but sometimes it doesn’t go in and something or someone has to guide you to look.
Read the Gospels, ‘God is Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth’.
The thread that binds – O love that will not let me go! Strange!
Michael Slack worships at St John’s, Wakefield