"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?
You are not your own."
I Corinthians 6:19
Before the famous California gold rush, a young boy in North Carolina found a large yellow rock on his family's property. He and his parents must have found it interesting because they decided to keep it and use it as a doorstop. It wasn't until years later that a jeweler stayed with the family and quickly pointed out that their doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget! Just think, for years that family had something of great value hiding away in their house, doing nothing more important than holding open a door!
We would never make that mistake, would we? Surely we would never take something so valuable and treat it as something so common, would we? Yet as Christians, we do, every single day.
1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own."
Think about that for a minute. As followers of Christ, we house within us the Holy Spirit. That's a difficult concept for some to grasp. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is the part of God that takes residence within us when we choose to follow Christ.
Jesus Himself said to His disciples in John 16:7, "It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate (another name for the Holy Spirit) won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you."
The Holy Spirit has many jobs. He is our supporter. He helps us to understand truth. He is our teacher. He convicts us of our sins but comforts us with His love. He is our counselor, prayer partner and intercessor. He is literally God within us. (See John 14 and John 16)
Galatians 5:22-23 says that the Holy Spirit produces within us "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
Yet, how often do we treat this priceless gift of God like a doorstop in our hearts, a common thing that we occasionally pull out for Sunday morning worship? A prize hidden away, unclaimed and devalued.
Just like the little boy from North Carolina, we aren't always intentional about this. It may be that we truly don't understand what we have. But, just like that little boy and his family, our ignorance costs us dearly.
As humans, we are often powerless to many of the circumstances of our lives. We know God is powerful. We know God offers peace. We know God has what we need, but we forget that He has already given us the greatest gift of all--Himself! We just aren't cashing in on the gift.
In order to benefit from the rock that he found, the little boy needed to do a couple of things. First, he needed to recognize the value of what he had. Second, he needed to cash it in.
The same holds true for us as believers. First, we have to understand the power of the Holy Spirit in us, what He has to offer us. Then we need to put it to work for us. How do we do that?
1 Corinthians 19 AND 20 says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
This is the part that many Christians don't want to hear. This is the part where we sometimes make a conscious decision to keep that gift sitting in the corner collecting dust. You see, if we want to really claim the power of the Holy Spirit then we have to take action.
Romans 8:1-17 tells us a lot about life in the Spirit. In part it says, "those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit." And "You have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live." And (most Christians' least favorite verse), "if we are to share His (Christ's) glory, we must also share his suffering."
WHAT? Suffering? We aren't supposed to suffer, are we? After all, God wants us to be happy, right? Well, that's a whole other blog. The case in point here is that if we want to claim the power of the Holy Spirit who is living in us, then we have to DO the things that God wants us to Do. We have to ACT the way God wants us to act, and we even have to THINK the way God wants us to think.
That's a challenge to be sure, but remember, we aren't doing it alone. Being used as a door stop didn't make the gold nugget any less valuable. It just brought no value to the boy and his family. So, let's remember, as believers we ALREADY have the treasure of the Holy Spirit. Let's not hide Him away. Claim the prize that God has given you today!
This blog was originally posted on July 30, 2017