“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
~Luke 24:32 (NIV).
Jesus is always discovered in this sort of way of hindsight. We’ve all had our own ‘road to Emmaus’ experiences to tell about in being saved into the kingdom of God. This is not the limit to our revelations, however. We continue to be sparked along—hearts aflame—when we’re plugged into God.
The Spirit of God is alive in us. We know this, of course, many of us do.
And still, there are many who will scratch their heads and not connect with this Spiritual ‘feeling,’ thinking they’re missing out on something other believers might be getting.
I recognise this feeling; whenever someone qualifies speaking in tongues as the only manifestation of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, for instance, I start to feel apart from the exclusive club some Christians are set on designing themselves for. Tongues and the Spirit’s Baptism are just one example of a false and legalistic belief that with one comes directly the other; these people often don’t realise how far the things of God are beyond our rationale.
There is hardly a more contentious issue in the faith than that of the manifestation of the ‘gifts,’ and the Apostle Paul spoke directly to this issue in 1 Corinthians 12–14. Love, of course, transcends all arguments—love is more important than gifting; it’s the critical platform of gifting.
God’s Spirit – There Whether We ‘Feel’ It or Not
One of the beauties of this serendipitous find of the followers of Jesus above is they didn’t realise until long afterward that God’s very Presence was with them!
It’s no different for us.
Most of the time—to a vast percentage of time—we’ll not feel the Presence or the ‘anointing’ of God. And we might only feel somehow inferior, then, when discussing same with those so-called ‘blessed’ persons who feel God’s Presence all the time—well, there’s not the love of humility to brandish this before other believers in a separatist way.
They’re actually abusing the Lord’s blessing in this way if they use it in a superior way over us, as if to say, “The Lord favours me over you”. God does not ‘favour’ one over the other in these ways, and certainly not for any of us to spruik about it.
Gifts these may be, but they’re never to be exploited to the detriment of other believers, or anyone else for that matter.
Jesus ‘Burns’ Within Us (All of Us) All the Time
We may not feel it right now, like the two men on the road to Emmaus, but we do have God’s Spirit burning within us right now, if we believe Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected so that we too could be.
Let us never forget the Person of Jesus; he was never a separatist of those truly needy souls. He is the master of humility and directs us to have an inclusive fellowship with all humanity. And he wants us to know that he is with us (personally); he is for us, and never against us.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.