Shouldn’t This Be Normal?

And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. Genesis 41:38-39

It’s one thing for pagans to ask the question, ‘Can we find a man in whom is the Spirit of God?’ It’s quite another to realize that in the family of God, it can be equally difficult to find someone who is full of the Spirit. If each of us is a container for the Spirit of God to live His life, why is He not more recognizable?

I’m convinced that life is one long series of choices where I choose whether or not to quench the Spirit. He speaks; I turn my ear toward more enticing voices. He suggests; I ignore His suggestion and pick something that promises instant gratification. He begs obedience; I procrastinate and then live in perpetual guilt. He woos me to behold Him in all His glory; I am oblivious by the lights and glitter of Babylon.

The only time I am more than willing to drown out everything that competes with the Spirit is when I suffer. My need of Him is stronger than my need for things that are of little consolation. Stripped of everything that used to matter, Jesus is in full view. His voice is clear and merciful. “I’m here!”  His invitation is gracious though I don’t deserve this prodigal’s homecoming. As I sink into waves of mercy, He proceeds to say what He has said across the ages to repentant sinners. “Go and sin no more.” Of course. How could I think of it after such a lifesaving encounter!

The Spirit of God is prominent in me only when my need of Him has exposed how precious He is. He is on full display when He is my treasure. May others see that I am obsessed and possessed.

Joseph’s betrayal, imprisonment, and isolation proved to be three great friends – for these lifesaving wounds led him to cling to his God. No wonder Pharaoh saw the Spirit in so short an encounter.

Lord, the greatest lesson of my lifetime is to learn to embrace suffering and not fight it. Each trial has led me to You. Amen

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