The future is guaranteed to no one, not even the young. Scientists at Kings College in London have identified 150 genes that contribute to what they call an "ageing signature" in your body's cells. Their tests show that some of us age much more rapidly than others. So even when you assume you have many years to live, you might be wrong.
Here's the good news: we can live fully today, no matter what tomorrow brings.
Henri Nouwen notes: "Far more important than the quantity of years is the quality of our lives. Jesus died young. St. Francis died young. St. Therese of Lisieux died young, Martin Luther King, Jr., died young. We do not know how long we will live, but this not knowing calls us to live every day, every week, every year of our lives to its fullest potential." How?
When Samuel anointed David as the future king of Israel, "the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward" (1 Samuel 16:13). As a result, others recognized that "the Lord is with him" (v. 18).
Wicked King Saul "was afraid of David because the Lord was with him" (1 Sam. 18:12). After he became king of Israel, "David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him" (2 Samuel 5:10). The prophet Nathan said to David, "the Lord is with you" (7:3). God said to him, "I have been with you wherever you went" (7:9). When the Spirit came "upon" David, others could sense God's presence in his life.
The same Spirit who came upon people in the Old Testament came into believers at Pentecost, so that they were "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). Now our bodies are his temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) as he indwells us "forever" (John 14:16).
But while the Spirit is present in every believer, he may not be powerful in every believer. We can "quench" his power (1 Thessalonians 5:19) through disobedience and pride. We can "grieve" him through unconfessed sin (Ephesians 4:30). We must submit to his control every day (Ephesians 5:18), or he cannot lead and use us effectively.
When the Spirit is working in and through your life, others will see that "the Lord is with you." (Tweet this) You will demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). An unbelieving world will know that you have "been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). And God will fulfill his culture-changing purpose with your life.
If Jesus is your Lord, you have all of the Spirit there is. Can the Spirit say the same of you?
Publication date: September 10, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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