Holy Spirit, You are welcome here

“Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere”

Where is “here”?

The room we are in?
The community?
The city?

Could we think bigger and bolder?

Is here our state?
Perhaps even our country?
Can we invite the spirit to fill the world?

I do not believe the Spirit needs nor wants our permission to fill a room. This gives us power we do not compel. Worse, it puts the Spirit in a box. The Spirit… one of the attributes and parts of the Trinity of God. I think this is important to define to help us understand what we are singing about. Even if the Spirit were waiting on instructions from our limited understanding, what would we tell it? I fear, based on our often selfish ambitions and lack of omniscience, we would ask for things that do not serve at the feet of God. I’m thinking of farmers that pray for rain while just one town over people are devastated by floods. While possibly well intentioned, they are oblivious of the larger picture surrounding them.

So where is ‘here’? Close your fingers into a fist and pound your chest just once. Here! We may not be able to command the Spirit, but we can BE the Spirit. We can invite the Spirit into our church on Sunday mornings to enhance our singing or possibly boost our courage before we go back into the world… or we can invite the Spirit into us. Where we take it with us. Where we can yield to it and be the hands and feet of God in the world. What are the words after, “you are welcome here”?

After we welcome God into our hearts? “Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere”. Flood our bodies. Fill our souls. And when we walk into the Sizzler after the church service, it is not us that enters the buffet line, but it is God exuding beyond our skin. We don’t tell God where to go, we kneel and obey and follow him from within.

We can’t force God in. But we can force Him out. This isn’t taking power away from God. It’s the free will that He gives us. We can fill our soul with unpleasantries that God simply won’t treat with. If our lives are filled with garbage and we invite the Spirit in, you may just leave church empty and alone. When you invite someone into your home, what do you do? You sweep. You mop. You clean. If it’s your boss, you hide all of the company stationary. Some may light candles for an inviting mood and a pleasing smell. In short, we create an environment where someone else might feel comfortable and welcome. We don’t say, “welcome to my filthy trash heap!” No! We welcome them to our home. Our HOME. Our dwelling. We are welcoming God to stay within us. He won’t stay long if He is competing with the flies around overflowing garbage cans.

While it may seem like semantics to some, I’ve witnessed too many people asking God to come down and visit for a bit before allowing Him to retreat back to Heaven where He belongs. And it breaks my heart. Mostly because I’m extremely guilty of this and I can’t stand it when I disappoint my Savior. Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. Here. HERE! Bang that chest one more time.

Before asking, I’ve cleared out all of the offensive and wasted space to allow room for You, Holy Spirit, to truly dwell. I don’t want a visit. This isn’t temporary. It’s not a sleepover nor am I requesting You take the room over the garage for an extended stay. I’m inviting You to take over my life. It’s clear that without You leading my body, I’m a complete wreck. I’m inviting You to the only place that I have any control over… the temple that You created for Yourself. While You had the power to occupy this person, You have patiently waited for me to choose You. Not just choose You, but to sacrifice for You. To toss out and run away from things that have kept us apart. And now that I have learned what Your love is for me. And how desperately I need You, I’m inviting You to come back. To come back and to take control. Where You lead me, I’ll be there overflowing the atmosphere of every place my feet are able to step… with You.

Holy Spirit, You are welcome HERE! Come flood THIS place and fill the atmosphere…

I have a theory as to why so many don’t ask God to come into their own personal lives…. They are scared. Terrified. It’s not a prayer that typically goes unanswered. Heal the sick, keep those traveling safe, bless the homeless. We can take them or leave them. But… asking God to step into our lives and turn everything upside down. Shaking the foundation of who we are, rattling the walls we built for our own safety, and when the dust settles… changing our outlook, turning away from earthly priorities, and walking out a new, changed, reborn person of God. Yeah, that isn’t for the weak or faint of heart.

I’d like to ask you to ask God into your life, but most everyone thinks they already have. So instead, I’ll dare you to sing this song and mean it. Ask God to tear down all the wrong in your life and rebuild you in His rebirth. Maybe the better question… is God even welcome in your life? Only you and He can answer that.

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