by Michele McCarthy
However you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:9 NASB
A cloud of smoke came out from under the closed doors of the sanctuary. It rose all the way to the ceiling, filling the complete back of the room. Floor to ceiling, the smoke drifted forward toward the church altar, filling the church from the back doors forward. Then the smoke suddenly stopped about sixty feet short of the pulpit. It never made it to the altar.
This was a vision the Lord gave me of the Holy Spirit. It left me with unanswered questions. Why did He stop before reaching the altar? Was He stopped by the church because He was not welcome there?
It also made me wonder if I am personally guilty of stopping the Holy Spirit. Did He have full reign over my heart? Have I failed to yield to Him in any way? Have I told Him in uncertain terms: “Not one more step!”
Scripture tells me I can quench (lack of power) and grieve (lack of character) the Holy Spirit. I never want the vision the Lord gave me that day to be a picture of my relationship with Him. I pray that I will always be open to a new thing God may be showing me.
Isaiah wrote, “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?” (43:19 NASB) May I never close myself off to His leading. Just because it may be something I have never before experienced, it doesn’t mean it can’t be God prompting me.
Our faithful God relentlessly pursues us. He comes after us in very creative ways. He not only pursues us for redemption, He seeks to put His desires in our heart as we walk with Him. He is at the door knocking and He wants us to open that door to close, personal fellowship with Him. He wants to fill us with His love and power.
I can be assured that His offering is always good. I will gladly be His student forever. I want to step out in obedience, even when it pushes me way out of my comfort zone. It’s in those difficult moments I especially want to open my arms ready to receive all my Father has for me. Come Holy Spirit, come!
About the author: A wife to her devoted husband and a mom of two fine young men, two fabulous daughters-in-law and five beautiful grandchildren, Michele McCarthy has served her family faithfully for years. She is now enjoying attending Lifestyle Christianity University and exploring long hidden talents of writing and watercolor. She has written a children’s book, Daddy and Me, that is currently at the publisher. She loves reading, scrapbooking, deep conversations and talking about Jesus.
Join the conversation: How has the Holy Spirit inspired you lately?