Jesus met with Nicodemus in the night, a relationally broken woman at a Samaritan well, and Matthew at a party thrown for tax collectors. He befriended prostitutes, recruited zealots, and pronounced forgiveness for known adulterers. God, in Christ, has definitely demonstrated his willingness to go to the gutters of society to change the lives of sinners by his truth and grace.
So know this. The Holy Spirit will pursue you to the darkest, deepest, dirtiest corners of life. He’ll meet you right where you are, no matter your story or situation. No place is off limits.
However, once he finds you there, you need to be prepared for his invitation to leave the gutter and follow him. He loves you, just like you are, but he loves you too much to leave you that way. He always has a better plan for your life than what you or your culture has had for your life.
My favorite unofficial title for the Holy Spirit is The Difference Maker. He changes the game. When the Holy Spirit gets involved, dead people come back to life, scared people find courage, and wanderers come home. Just listen to this…
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
– 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NLT
The big truth of the Apostle Paul’s words is this: God meets you right where you are, but he doesn’t leave you there. He will radically change you, from the inside out, to look like Jesus.
- He unveils our eyes so that we can see spiritual realities beyond the physical world.
- He grants us the freedom to pursue him passionately and live differently than we lived before.
- He uses the mirror of God’s Word to shape us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Change may be something that’s hard for you, but that might be because you’ve tried to adapt to external changes without an internal power like the presence of the Holy Spirit. The good news is that the Creator, the Architect, the Artisan who hand-crafted you in his own image wants to move into the broken you and fix, over your lifetime, all the ways in which his image is marred.
God wants to change your life. But he doesn’t force or coerce us. He invites. He draws. He burdens. He even warns. But he leaves the choice to you and to me. Will we say to him, with unreserved abandon, have your way, Lord?