Sunday, June 08, 2008
The spirit of God
By Ramone - June 6, 2008
Recently I did a picture called "Let Him Who Has Ears..." in which I showed the Spirit of God as the fire that we gather around in our meeting. One beloved friend felt what I'd inked and written was dangerously close to "neo-pentecostalism" that marginalized the cross, etc. I didn't mean to picture glorification of the Spirit for the Spirit's sake, as my friend feared, but I didn't explain how "Spirit of God" means much more to me than "charismatic ministry", and how I know the Lord's point is to point us to His Son, and how we are nothing without His atonement. So I added the big addendum to that picture's post explaining that.
Thinking of these things, sometimes it's very helpful to me to de-capitalize the word "spirit" when speaking of God's Spirit. When we capitalize "Spirit", we tend to think of the gifts, the function, the ministry of the Spirit, the persona of the Spirit, etc. This is good, but can also tend to lose the essence of the meaning of "spirit", which is in short, the essence! When we write "spirit" in non-capitalized lower-case, we focus on the "spirit" of the thing we're talking about, like how we say "the spirit of Christmas". We're not talking about a spirit, per say, but about the heart of something, the nature of something, the essence and character of something.
I think this understanding of "the spirit" is especially needed when we think of the Holy Spirit, because that is exactly what He is -- He is the essence, character, nature and heart of God. He is the Spirit of Agape. The spirit of agape. The spirit of God. Think about that --- isn't it cool? Isn't He cool?
So it helps when we start to think of the "ministry" of the Holy Spirit, the "Spiritual" gifts, etc. What we're talking about is the spirit of God, "in the spirit of God", "in the spirit of Christ". We're talking about agape. We are talking about the spirit of His holiness. The spirit of His love. The spirit of His jealousy. The spirit of His humility. His spirit.
I don't know if I'm explaining this well, but de-capitalizing this sometimes helps me focus on His essence, nature, His character, His heart. It draws me from being lost in thinking about the theological dimensions of His Person (wonderful as that is!) and focusing on His heart of agape, who He is, what He is like, His character, His heart for us and for all of us.
This picture is something that came ever-so-faintly as I thought about this. It's His spirit, the Holy Spirit:
The spirit of GodThe Spirit/spirit is God's heart of love, broken by His love for His Son (see "Anointing"), broken in the painful shape of the cross. It is His love for His Son, His love for us. The white "cross" behind it is the Son, and behind that is the Father, all who we know because of what He has done for us on the cross. We can't see exactly what God looks like now, but we know His heart (His spirit), and He is in the "shape" of the cross, so to speak -- the shape of the love He poured out by giving His only Son for us. We see Him perfectly represented in Jesus Christ. The curved line at the top could be His chin, but I feel it's His smile upon us and His joy which is our strength. Thank You, Lord!
The spirit of the Son
The spirit of the Father
the spirit of Christ
The Holy Spirit
The spirit of the Holy Spirit
The spirit of the Spirit
The spirit Himself
The Spirit of God
The heart of God
THe Spirit that descends as Father says,
"This is My Son, the Beloved;
in Him I am well-pleased."
I may be seeing more symbolism in this picture than you intended, but everywhere I looked I saw aspects of God. The light in the corners is tinged with the blood of Jesus, the semicircle of yellow at the top, middle is the chin of the Son/Sun of God, the yellow beams around the edges are the Light of the Truth of God, the broken heart of God has been broken in the shape of the cross from all eternity, the double shape of the cross says that He did it for "you and you and you and you..." the split in the bottom of the cross says that "It is finished" for time and eternity;and it was more than enough; nothing will ever have to be added to that one infinite sacrifice.
No, praise God! I didn't completely understand it, and what you've shared is deep! Sometimes I don't completely "get" a picture, and I am blessed by what He's showed you in this! Thank You, Jesus!!