As a Christian, we have heard of God, the Trinity and we talked mostly about God the Father and God the Son – Jesus, yet, not many knew about God the Holy Spirit.
In this book, “The God I Never Knew” Ps. Robert Morris (the Author, and the senior pastor of my church, Gateway) introduce us – The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is:
- the GOOD gift from God.
- is a person, NOT an it.
I would like to share on of my favorite stories from the the book.
A story is told of a poor man in Eastern Europe in the early nineteen hundreds. The man longed to move himself and his family to the United States in hopes of building a better life. After several years of scrimping and saving, he finally accumulated enough money to purchase a third-class ticket on a large steamship to New York City.
He only had enough money for one ticket. So he and his wife decided he would go ahead of his family, find a job, and as quickly as possible save enough money to bring them all to America to join him.
He spent virtually all his savings on the ticket, leaving him very little for purchasing food on board the ship. Plus, he would need what little money he had left in order to get established once he got to the promised land of America. So he bought a wheel of hard cheese and box of crackers to keep him sustained on the twelve-day voyage to the New World.
As his ocean journey began, he carefully rationed his cheese and crackers, making sure he would have enough to carry him through the whole trip. Sometimes during meal times, he would look longingly through the windows of the dining rooms where simple but hearty and abundant meals were being served to other passengers. The food looked wonderful, but he comforted himself in the knowledge that on some future day he would be earning enough money to eat well and feed his family. Then he would slip back to his little stateroom for his ration of cheese.
On the final day of the journey, there was great excitement on board because soon the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island entry point for new immigrants would be in sight. It was a good thing, too, because the man had eaten his final portion of molding cheese and stale crackers at noon the previous day. He was hungry.
The man eventually found himself at the railing of the ship, standing beside one of the ship’s stewards. They conversed a bit about the excitement of the arrival. Then the steward asked a question. “I don’t mean to pry, sir. But I noticed that you didn’t take any of your meals with your fellow passengers in the dining hall. I trust that we didn’t do anything to offend you.”
“Oh my goodness, no,” the man said. “Everyone has been gracious. It’s just that I am saving what little money I have left for my expenses getting established in America. I didn’t want to spend money on food.”
The steward’s expression of confusion became one of shock and dismay when the meaning of the man’s words sank in. “Oh, my dear friend!” the steward said. “did you not know that three meals each day were included in the price of your ticket? We set a place for you every meal, but you never came!”
Of course, the man didn’t know, until it was too late – and the opportunity for blessing and provision on his journey had been forever missed.
A Place Set for Us.
Every day I encounter Christians who are just like this man. They live without the blessing and provision available to them as born-again children of God on the journey of life. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as a wonderful gift – a gift better than having Jesus Himself with us – and the price for His presence in our lives was fully purchased by Jesus on the cross. The Holy Spirit came with all the other amazing blessings of salvation. But some believers never receive and unwrap the gift.
Instead, they live lives of cheese-and-crackers Christianity. They muddle through this world powerless and deprived of the richness of God’s presence, consoling themselves with the knowledge that heaven awaits by and by.
Some look longingly at the power and usefulness in God’s kingdom that others seems to enjoy. Their noses pressed against the window, they see certain believers who obviously hear the voice of God clearly and seem to always be blessing others with timely messages of encouragement and spiritual refreshing. These are the same Christians who consistently seem to make wise choices and avoid pitfalls, almost as if they know in advance what lies around the corner. They pray with a higher dimension of power and effectiveness. Miracles and amazing “coincidences” are a part of these believers’ daily lives.
Those on the outside assume such privileges are for a special class of Christian, not them. But they are wrong. God has set a place for them at the bountiful banquet table of His Holy Spirit. But they never come.
The Holy Spirit is definitely not for “certain people” but for all who asked.