This morning I was looking out the kitchen window after washing a few dishes. The springtime wind was blowing from the south in energetic gusts and animating the light, flexible, willow branches, making them look like fairy tale dancers in a wild, leaping ballet.
As the huge, flexible broom swept back and forth in front of me, I noticed something intriguing. The wind was moving the dead, brown, gangly branches almost exactly like the slender, green, flexible ones. I had to look very carefully to distinguish between the dead and the living. They are all hanging on the same tree in a seemingly unified assembly.
I know for a fact that if I were to go outside and try to bend one of those dead, brown, twiggy branches, it would snap suddenly in my hands. But the green ones are so flexible that I can tie them in a loose knot, and they will not break easily.
The thought came to me that the Holy Spirit comes and breathes into the church as it is assembled and stirs up and generates life and a reason to rejoice in our midst.
Some of us, those who are walking in the Spirit, respond gladly to His presence with worshipful, grateful, joyful hearts. We bend at His will and are driven to usefulness in His hands like a broom in the hands of a Master Sweeper.
Others among us are on our way to being dead, walking in some sin or another, but continuing to gather with the other saints out of habit or because we don’t want anyone to know we are struggling. We have a cancer in our soul that will take us out of commission if we do not bring it humbly before the feet of Him who died for us that He might heal and forgive us. We need to repent and be made whole again.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Still others gather with the saints without ever having given their lives to Christ. They have learned the Christian lingo, they know a lot about God and the Bible, they sing with us and serve on committees. But they don’t know God. They have never been born again and are still dead in their trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)
Would to God that they would be saved!
Would to God that we would all be living, pliable branches, blowing under the direction of the Spirit Wind, a beautiful, living, graceful, useful tool in the hands of the Master, both as we gather together and as we launch forth into our individual lives.
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