We need more social closeness to heal the world

THIS POST is not a political statement about social distancing and lockdowns. In many ways, our hearts were quarantined a long time ago.

So let’s dig deeper…

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

That’s what Paul asked the Corinthians back in the 1st century (1 Cor 3:16). How do we respond to Paul today?

There is a powerful, life giving mystery to be found here. Can you see it? Do you live it?

When there is a need, many people fall into two camps. The ones that do too much and the ones that don’t do enough. Both of those extremes forget completely about what Paul said. I’ve forgotten so many times.

There are times I want to do everything. In fact, I want to do so much that I leave no room for God to work. I busybody him out and end up doing all the talking and activity. Maybe I want to take the credit, or maybe I’m not trusting God enough. In the end, my ego gets in the way.

Other times, I don’t do enough. I think, “Well, I’m too limited. Their problem is too big for me.” The worst is my false humility that says, “Who? Little old me? I’m too weak, meek, and humble to help.”

So I either want to fix everything or sit comfortably on my hands. And in all this, I forget about what Paul said.

THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU

By far, that is one of the most tremendous statements of all Scripture. It’s not that God will help you. It’s not that he makes you stronger, wiser, or more capable. It is his Spirit IN YOU.

What does that mean to us? The Spirit that created the universe out of nothing is in you. The Spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead… IS IN YOU.

We should be floored by that. What awesome news! It’s so incredibly powerful. It’s life changing news.

When Mary was pregnant with the baby Jesus, she visited her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby John leaped for joy in the womb. John knew the Messiah was close. Mary carried Jesus and the Spirit of God within her and brought them closer to Elizabeth and the baby John (Luke 1:39-44).

Sometimes, all you have to do to help someone is move closer. And as you close the gap, you bring the Spirit that dwells in you closer too.

Never underestimate this.

Let the Spirit do his good work. Don’t hold him back. Just get closer. No elaborate plan. No big projects. Just get closer. A simple cup of coffee might be enough to trigger a miracle.

And if it can’t be in person, a phone call, a friendly message, or send a letter even. Imagine receiving a handwritten letter these days. What a wonderful surprise that would be.

Your presence makes a difference. Even if you don’t do or say much, it matters.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take action, but if you listen closely, the Holy Spirit guides you. You follow his lead. You let him call the shots. And sometimes it’s as simple as listening to the other person’s heart.

I believe the secret to true humility rests on 2 principles:

First, let the Spirit of Christ into your heart to free you and heal you.

Second, let the Spirit out to work through you.

Inaction in action

Consider these episodes:

– A woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, and she was healed of 12 years of hemorrhage (Matthew 9:20-22).

– The apostle Peter’s shadow had the ability to heal and to cast out impure spirits (Acts 5:12-16).

– The handkerchiefs and aprons touched by the apostle Paul had the ability to heal and expel demons (Acts 19:11-12).

Jesus, Peter, and Paul were not visibly acting in these cases. They didn’t stop to pray for or lay their hands on anyone. But the Spirit of God dwelling in them was hard at work.

Bring Him closer

The world today hurts and bleeds. People cry out for freedom, healing, and love. Some express this by acting out with violence and hate. Confusion runs rampant in the streets. And many hide in their homes, afraid, without hope.

So get closer. Find a way. Physically or any other way. Send out your letters, your handkerchiefs, your aprons, and your prayers.

Send out the Spirit that dwells in you.

Do not hold him back.

Do not hold back the Spirit’s healing mercy and love.

All you have to do is get closer.

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