Boy am I glad I didn't. It wasn't that I noticed a verse I hadn't seen before. Instead, it was the same old truth that I've heard since I was a kid and believed for the past thirteen or so years. It was the same old thing that hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't know if I'll be able to duplicate the eureka moment I had, but I'll try.
"And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." - Genesis 1:3
That right there is pretty much the way each day goes. God speaks and whatever He says comes into existence. I've known that for a long time. You probably have too. But have you ever sat down to think about that?
Day 1: In the midst of infinite darkness God says "Let there be light" and light is born into existence. By the command of His words, light which was never there before suddenly exists now. Bright and glorious light. All of the colors of light. White, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and everything in between. The whole visible spectrum leaps into existence at the power of God's word.
Day 2: God creates the sky and the sea. By His word 326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water (that's 326 million trillion) are created and guided into a constant process of evaporation, cloud formation, and rain. Big clouds, small clouds, fluffly clouds, feathery clouds, white clouds, dark clouds... all of them formed by His words.
I could go on and on for each day but let me sum it up. Everything that exists today was brought into existence by the power of God's word alone. From the vast stretches of the universe to the tiny quarks of particle physics. From the frigid cold of arctic glaciers to the searing heat of lava that melts stone! From beautiful and tiny butterflies in your backyard to the fierce and huge great white sharks you saw on Shark Week earlier this month. All of it created by His word and His power.
That's breathtaking. But that's not what blew me away last week.
It was all of that when combined with this thought: All of that power lives inside of me.
Say what? The new testament is full of verses that tell us that the Holy Spirit Himself lives in and dwells within us.
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. - 2 Timothy1:14
That's just one example. By the way, the Holy Spirit is God Himself. He is a full blown member of the Trinity. He isn't part God, wannabe God, or God's little step-brother. He is God with all of the perks of being God meaning He is all-knowing and all-powerful. So take a moment to think about that because that blew my mind last week.
The same power that spoke the universe, volcanoes, stars, glaciers, lions, DNA, and all of that stuff into existence, that very same power, lives in me. And it lives in you too if you've been redeemed through faith in Christ.
That same power is there to comfort me in sad times, guide me in confusing times, empower me in difficult times, and enable me to live rightly for God all the time. It's there. Rather, He's there. All the time. Within me. I just need to reach out for help instead of doing it all on my own. So often though, we don't. We just try to do it all ourselves and miss out on the power of God available to us.
I read a book over the summer that really helped me remember to constantly lean on the Holy Spirit for help. The book is Not a Fan and it was written by Kyle Idleman who quotes a guy named Bill Bright who came up with an illustration called "Spiritual Breathing." That sentence is almost as convoluted as this scene from Spaceballs, but I'm trying to give credit where credit is due. Before I describe it, let me clarify that this is not some magic formula to God's power. It's a tool that may help you rely on the Holy Spirit more.
In the book, he says that we need to have a moment by moment awareness of the Holy Spirit and His presence and work in our lives. The moment we become aware of sin or some need in our lives, we exhale. As we exhale, we confess our sin or explain our struggle and need to God. In doing so, we are emptying ourselves of our pride, ego, and do-it-myselfness. Then we inhale. As we inhale, we pray that the Holy Spirit would fill us, empower us, guide us, and we surrender control over to Him.
I hope you've found this as encouraging as I did. Remember, the power of God Himself is available to those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation. Whatever your method, find a way to daily walk in step with the Holy Spirit. And don't ignore Bible passages just because you've read it before or you really know this one like the back of your hand. You may be surprised what new ways God can use the same old verse in your life.