God, help me to be tame in the ways I’m prone to be wild. And help me to be wild in the ways I’m prone to be too tame.
That’s the prayer I’ve been repeating since Sunday. I started into a new sermon series called The Ghost. We’ll spend eight weeks diving into the depths of knowing God, the Holy Spirit, more intimately. Then on Sunday evening, our small group was over and we asked a powerful and provocative question.
What is the one thing you need most from the Holy Spirit right now?
If the Counselor and Advocate has come to intertwine himself intrinsically with your soul to draw you to Christ and form you into his image, to comfort you when you hurt and confirm you when you doubt, what is the biggest need with which you cry out to him for help?
Mine is two-fold.
I need to stop rebelling.
And I need to start rebelling.
I believe that wildness is a trait placed into the hearts of men by the Creator. Or desire to explore, to conquer, and to survive is both a matter of nature and of nurture. We are wild by divine design, and we’re wild because we’ve been conditioned so by the harsh environment of a fallen world.
But our wildness burns out of control because of the sin nature lurking within each of us. Since Adam, we’ve revolted against the authority of God in an effort to solidify our self-sufficiency and autonomy. We can make it without him, we presume. We’re better off, in fact. And so we run, wildly, to every expression of our innate wildness.
The end of every pursuit of fulfillment apart from the pursuit of the Holy One will leave us in misery and isolation. Our reckless chase of power, pleasure, and prestige leads us to demise and destruction and death.
When we trust in Christ, we proclaim him Lord. We declare him the owner, with full and sovereign rights, of everything about our lives. But inside us, in the shadows and the darkened corners of our hearts, the wildness remains within.
God, Holy Spirit, I need you to tame me in the ways I’m prone to wander!
And then there are the ways in which God would have me to be bold – in prayer, in preaching, in proclaiming the goodness of God, in pursuing the Kingdom, in casting a vision to the flock.
Because of my fear and insecurity, I often calculate these moments in an attempt to gauge the support I’ll receive if I go ahead. And that is the essence of approval addiction.
Enough with frivolous praying – God calls men to storm his throneroom to take hold of him for mercy. He wants us to wildly pursue him, to wildly live on mission, to wildly chase holiness, and to wildly love unlovable people like ourselves in his name.
It’s time to stop rebelling against the Lordship of Christ and start rebelling against oppression in our world. It’s time to overthrow the status quo and follow Jesus with a cross on our shoulders.
It’s time to be tame in all the right ways, and wild in all the right ways, as so many heroes of our faith have been – especially the Author and Finisher of our faith, King Jesus!
This stirring doesn’t happen in our own power. It happens in his. I desperately need the Holy Spirit to ignite in me a holy fire. What about you? What is the one thing you need most from the Holy Spirit right now?