When I was a kid growing up in farm country, summer nights included chasing lightning bugs and putting them in jars. They were plentiful. My siblings and I would even smear them on us and play ball tag in the pitch dark, glowing for a brief while with the glow of the bug innards. That’s kind of gross, but it was a lot of fun. I was fascinated with lightning bugs and I still am. Isn’t God creative that He would put lights inside of bugs and have them fly around to light the sky like little stars?
Now here’s another thought: The life of Jesus in me should make me like a lightning bug. I should glow with His life. In 2 Corinthians 4:10 Paul wrote: “…Always carrying about in my body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made known in my body.” Hmmm. Having the life of Jesus show through me. To know God and to show God.
In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul talks about the ministry of the Spirit and compares us with Moses. He had a ministry of the law, of death and his face glowed when he went up on Mt. Sinai. The people were afraid of Him, because God’s presence was awesome–it brought fear because of God’s holiness and the idea that no one can look on God and live because of our sinfulness. Verse 12 writes “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face.” In 3:18 it says, “We all, with unveiled face, are beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. Now this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
The idea is that Moses glowed from God’s glory, and so should we. We glow from the inside because the Spirit of the living God lives inside of us. To those who are friends of God, this glow should be an attractive thing that draws them to God because they see Jesus in us. It should also transform us and make us more like Jesus the more time we spend with Him and allow His transforming life to take root in us.
This life of Jesus should be like the fountain that gushes from our inmost being, like Jesus cried out in John 7. How does He do that? THROUGH HIS SPIRIT.
Jesus is alive in me through His Spirit. Now that’s something that most evangelicals tend to stay away from. Some believe that the Spirit went dormant after the Apostolic age. Well meaning preachers and teachers stay away from teaching and thinking about the Spirit because they don’t want to be heretics. But yet Scripture would be the heretic, if we just stick to what it says. Check out some of the verses about what life in the Spirit does for us:
- Romans 8:1-17. The Spirit of life has set us free from sin and death. If I keep living apart from the Spirit, walking instead in the flesh, I am hostile to God and cannot please Him. In Galatians 3:3 Paul called them foolish and bewitched for beginning in the Spirit and then going back to living the Christian life by the flesh.
- Ephesians 1:19; 3:20; Acts 1:8. The Spirit empowers us, with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. We can’t mobilize the church of God without the Spirit of God. If we try to accomplish the Great Commission without the Holy Spirit, we resort to natural means, like appealing to emotions, guilt, and eye appealing programs and we’re no different than the world. Zechariah 4:4 pleads “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts.”
- Matthew 3:16; 4:1. The Spirit at work in us is what enables us to overcome temptation. Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. When He went head with Satan, He quoted Scripture, which is where we usually place the victory secret. But get this–Satan quoted Scripture too! It’s the Spirit that gives us the power to walk away even when we know what the right thing is.
We are told to walk in the Spirit, be filled with the Spirit and to be empowered by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Ephesians 3:20) If we don’t rely on the Spirit, explaining Him away and ignoring this glorious member of the Trinity, then we are relying on the flesh. In 2 Timothy 3:5 Paul describes people as “having the appearance of godliness but denying its power.” That’s us without the Holy Spirit. We’re like lightning bugs that stop glowing. We are flesh driven then and Galatians 5 tells that the works of the flesh include jealousy, outbursts of anger, competition. Ephesians 5:30 admonishes us to not grieve the Holy Spirit and 1 Thessalonians 5:19 not to quench the Spirit.
Oh may we glow with the life of the Spirit, giving us the power to overcome temptation, to fulfill the Great Commission and to be transformed to be more like Jesus. May we be a fountain that gushes from deep inside that overflows and shows forth the life of Jesus to others who desperately need Him.