Jump Start # 3245
James 4:5 “Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: He jealously desires the spirit which He has made to dwell in us?”
God wants something. He wants something from you, and you have it. God isn’t interested in stock portfolios, real estate, collectables, trophies, awards, square footage of your house, the brand names you wear. Those are the things that impress us. They turn our heads. They make us say, “Wow.” Those things do not impress God.
The Lord is interested in you. He longs for that spirit that He put in you. Unique and special as you are, God wants you. God wants you to want Him. God wants to call you His friend, as He did Abraham. God wants you, as David did, to seek after His heart.
Large church buildings, crowded assemblies, all the latest and greatest in technology may grab our attention, but what God is after is only found on the inside of each of us. He’s after your spirit. And, only you can give your spirit to God.
That spirit of yours is made in His image. It’s creative. It has a will. It defines us and molds us. Our personality, our character, our attitudes, our moods are all wrapped tightly around our spirit. It is who we are. Those things can be shaped, changed, improved upon and molded. One cannot separate our spirit from us. It is who we are. Hair color, your body fat, whether you wear glasses or not are merely the external. They are the wrappings. Our spirit is what is in the package. That’s what God made. That’s what God is interested in. The internal.
Why does God desire our spirit?
First, our spirit is more like Him than anything else. God doesn’t have a yard to mow. God doesn’t have a bedtime. God doesn’t need to watch what He eats. That’s our world. It’s not His world. But our spirit transcends this world into His world. Grace, hope, forgiveness, compassion, generosity, those qualities, qualities of God, come from within, from our spirit. Our bodies die, our spirit lives on. Our bodies are earthly, our spirit is spiritual. A vain, superficial god would be after our money, our stuff and all the glitter the world can produce. Jehovah is not like that. He knows what is good and right. He wants you.
Second, our spirit is what endures through eternity. Our spirit doesn’t age. Our spirit doesn’t have memory issues. Our spirit can soar, even when one is locked away in a prison, like Paul. Our spirit can be hopeful, even as the footsteps of persecutors approach, as the Revelation readers understood. In the hymn, Amazing Grace, there is a line that says, “when we’ve been there ten thousand years.” I’ve always liked that line. In one sense, we won’t realize or know it’s been 10,000 years because time belongs to earth and not Heaven. It is our souls, that spirit within us, that will endure 10,000 x 10,000 years.
Third, our spirit is what Jesus came to redeem. He didn’t come to save the environment. He didn’t come to make schools better. He didn’t come to weed out the corruption in politics. He came to save our souls. He didn’t come so we could live longer here on the planet. The Gospel of John says, “Where I am, there you may be also.” He died so we could live. He came into our world, so we could come into His world. Earth became His home, so Heaven could become our home.
The ESV states our verse today as, “He yearns for our spirit.” And, this is more than a divine wish, urging or liking. God is actively doing what He can to save you. He has plastered this universe with strong evidence of His existence. He has preserved His word, His will, for you and I to know. He has left examples then and now for us to follow. He has established His kingdom to be a haven, a fellowship, a work and a place of acceptance for us.
Oh, yes, the Lord yearns for our spirit. The real question is, “How much do we yearn for God?” Just how hard are we trying? Do we allow the first little thing to sidetrack us, discourage us, and defeat us. Do we toss in the towel because someone says something negative towards us? Do we complain about every little discomfort we notice?
Oh, may we yearn for God as He does for us.