By: Staci Stallings
I’ve said before that God is inundating me with His love and wisdom these days. Well, let me tell you, this last week I’ve been awash in WOW!
The particular one I want to touch on today has to do with a CD series I got called “My Best Friend the Holy Spirit.” Let me tell you, it is awesome! It’s from Gateway Church–no clue where that is, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the series. In the first CD, the speaker is talking about how his wife bought a new comforter. He was all excited because their old comforter had been worn to a thread-bare rag. It had holes in it. It was old. And if it ever got very cold outside, it just didn’t keep him warm any longer.
So his wife goes out and buys this new comforter, and he was all excited about how warm it was going to be. However, when he got ready for bed, the new comforter was GONE! He didn’t understand that until his wife came in and explained that she had put the old comforter back on the bed because the new comforter was “only for looks, not for use.”
Of course, I immediately saw where he was going with THIS one.
Our Comforter is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is many things. He’s passion. He’s inspiration. He’s help. He’s also supposed to be your (and my) Comforter.
Now two things on this point. First, it’s important to know what “comforter” means. It means “one who gives comfort.” That’s easy enough. But what is “comfort.” It may surprise you to learn that comfort is made of two Latin root words: com, which means “with” and fort which means “strength” (like a fort or fortress or fortitude). I had always thought it meant like “Aww, I’m so sorry that happened to you. Here, let’s cry together.” Which it does, except too many people get stuck there and never move to what real comfort means. They don’t move from “Aw, that’s too bad” to helping the person find a position of strength.
The Holy Spirit DOES help us find a position of strength, but here’s where we have to be cautious because the Holy Spirit does not give us strength of ourselves. In other words, He doesn’t comfort us until we can stand on our own again. To do so would be to pile the new comforter in the corner and put the old comforter back on the bed!
The old comforter is our own effort, our own knowledge, our own strength, our own ability. It is worn. It has holes (that we try desperately to patch or cover up!). It is old and does very little against the cold. In fact, that old comforter of our own ability gets mighty cold any time the wind blows even a tiny bit. We feel every hole. We feel every thread-bare part of our own effort.
But here’s the GREAT news. We don’t have to settle for that old, threadbare, our-own-ability comforter that is pathetic and pointless. We have a NEW Comforter just waiting for us to use Him. He wants to keep us warm. He wants to bring us strength and peace and hope–not ours but HIS!
So if you’re spiritually cold, may I gently suggest that you may be bundled up in the old comforter, wondering why that’s not keeping you warm. It might be time to stop using the real Comforter for looks and start really using Him by breathing and releasing our lives into His care.
Just a thought.