"Having God in Our Hearts"
September 21, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
"If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." John 14:23
A favorite frequently used word, in the secular world and in the church, is “enthusiasm.” A salesperson needs to have enthusiasm for the product he or she sells. In the church we need enthusiasm for missions such as Christ’s apostles had. Interestingly enough, the word is derived from the Greek “entheos,” which means to have God in oneself and thus to be inspired by Him.
To say that we sinners have God in us in a pagan sense, or to go so far as to say, as some religions do, that we are a part of God and that He is a part of us, is blasphemy. It erases the distinction between creator and creature.
Yet Christians do have God in them. Jesus promised the believer that He and the Father “will come to him and make Our home in him” (John 14:23). Saint Paul told the Romans that “the Spirit of God lives in you” (Romans 8:9). He explained to the Corinthians that they, in body and in soul, are the temple of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Biblical scholars call this indwelling of God “the mystical union.”
How does God’s indwelling in Christians come about? He is in them because they have faith in God’s Word. Through the Word the Holy Spirit enters human hearts, creating and confirming the saving faith in them. Christians rely altogether on the atoning death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. They have God not only in their hearts but also in their minds. He enters into their thinking. It can therefore be a proper prayer to say with the song writer in the title of his anthem, “God, Be in My Head.”
God is in us when we keep His Word in good and honest hearts and bring forth the fruits of faith. God is in us when we love Him who first loved us and when we love one another, as our Savior bids us. Thus understood, we can put right meaning into the word “enthusiasm” and express it as we joyfully and hopefully fulfill God’s Word and work.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thanks to the Holy Spirit active in me, I am able to receive You when You stand before my door and knock. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)