Intro: During this Lenten season, every devotional will begin with a quote from C.S. Lewis (author and theologian), followed by two readings: 1) A passage from the Psalter and 2) a writing from one of the Old Testament prophets or New Testament authors. We will look at both passages as a whole through the fulfilling work and wisdom of Christ—Truth.
Father God has moved beyond all human understanding to love us, in Christ, and to make a dwelling place in the restoring work of the Spirit, so we can enjoy his divine presence and promises forever.
“For those who love God will desire not only to enjoy Him but ‘to enjoy Him forever,’ and will fear to lose Him.” (C.S. Lewis; Reflections in the Psalms)
In our passage today from the Old Testament Psalter, David sings praises to God who knows everything about him—even those things David tries to hide from others—and God still chooses to love him, anyway. In every season of life, whether David is walking through the darkest valley of death/failure or climbing the mountain of godly living/success, the Holy Spirit is there to be the Helper who comes along side him. Even though the kind of love and devotion God extends is hard for David to comprehend, the little understanding he has causes David to press on in hope and cling to God more intently. David begs for God to cleanse his sinful heart, so he can remain in God’s presence and not take his Spirit away (Ps 51:11).
Psalm 139:7-12 NLT
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
Let’s take this lesson further into the New Testament Gospel of John. Living in God’s presence—his house—should be the goal for every human being. In God, human lives are made whole. In Christ, human beings connect to the godly life of the Father and the promises of heaven. In the Spirit, humans enjoy divine fellowship and eternal life. In our passage today, as Jesus is planning to ascend to heaven, he seeks to comfort his disciples. Jesus assures his followers he will be making room in his presence (a place of indwelling) for them through the parakletos (Spirit). Eternity with God has been prepared for believing hearts. When we invite Jesus to dwell in our hearts and forgive our sins, he sends the Spirit to be our Helper. So, let’s open our hearts up to God’s beautiful indwelling presence and allow the Spirit to grow a greater depth of the divine life in us.
John 14:1-7 NLT Jesus, the Way to the Father
1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
Prayer: Lord, when you descended from heaven to save your creation, humanity prepared no room for your birth. Yet, in love, you still offered your sinless life in exchange for our sinful lives so we could enjoy the room in eternity you were preparing for us. As believers, we offer you room in our hearts; this is what we long to give. We welcome and praise you for the indwelling of your Spirit and the new birth of our salvation. Now, we can enjoy your beautiful presence today, tomorrow, and forever. We are holding onto you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.