To Bring Change, Choose to Linger

“LORD, send a revival!” I have heard and participated in that rally cry my entire life. But where is the revival we’re waiting for? With all the pain, anger, and despair our society is experiencing, a couple of questions tug at my soul. What if, as we await a heavenly awakening in our communities, the Spirit of God is actually waiting on us? What if God is working to open our eyes before He opens the eyes of those around us? 

One of the ways God works in us is through His Spirit. Hours before soldiers would assault and crucify Him, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever “(John 14: 15-16 CSB). The answer to His petition would be the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the lives of every true believer. Think about it, this is the same Holy Spirit who had resurrection power is now abiding in us (Romans 8: 11). 

So why His resurrection power not always evident in our lives? 

In scripture, God often used smoke to symbolize His presence. Smoke is tangible, it saturates the air and affects all our senses. What a perfect illustration for what God wants to do in the life of a believer! He wants to saturate us and then become visible through us, affecting the senses of the world. 

Have you ever approached a campfire? Long before you reach the site, you smell the smoke. The odor intensifies with each step, your eyes begin to burn, and you may even feel the need to cough or sneeze. That’s because the smoke is affecting all of your senses – getting on you and even in you. Once there, you hear the crackling and feel the heat as the flames illuminate the darkness. 

If you stay near the fire, you’re going to smell like smoke and will eventually need to change clothes. Yet something amazing happens when you choose to linger. Before long, your senses adapt and the presence of the smoke becomes normal, not affecting you anymore; however, when you leave, it will affect those you get around. You can always tell when someone has been around a fire because they smell like the smoke. 

With all the trouble in our world today, many wonder, “Where is God?” The answer is, He is here, but the world is having difficulty seeing Him in the lives of His followers. Jesus said, “He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). 

When we submit to His Spirit, like a holy smoke, His presence will make us uncomfortable as He transforms our character into His image. Our natural tendency may be to retreat, go back and change clothes into something familiar and comfortable. But as Christ-followers called to love one another, we cannot watch our world languish in the effects of leaving His presence before He finishes His work. 

The world needs to smell the smoke of God’s transforming Spirit in us as we impact it with the fruit of the Spirit. “. . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, 

faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). We all want to see transformation in our world. But for the awakening we desire in our communities, transformation must first happen in us. We must choose to linger in the smoke of His presence until He not only gets on us, but in us. 

The world will see God when they see Him in us.

Watch the Sermon Here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s