Spirit of the Living God, Break Me

In John 14:15-17, Jesus promised his disciples – he promised us “if you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. And while the world won’t accept or even recognize him, you will because He lives in you and will be with you.” There are so many names for the Spirit and so many dimensions to what the Spirit has for us that we often struggle with the language. The Spirit is our helper, our comforter, our encourager, our witness, our judge, our teacher, a Holy companion, and so much more. 

The Spirit of God longs to live in us and empower us to be more and to do more to bring about God’s good. We are not orphans; we have not been left to fend for ourselves. THE Spirit is ready to help us and lead us into a more intimate relationship. 

So when we sing, “Spirit of the Living God…break me” what is it that we are asking to be broken? It is any self-righteousness, or self-centeredness, or egotism, or greed, or arrogance, or insecurity, or any false sense of our self that needs to be shattered before we can recognize our need for God. 

Evidently at our birth there is a powerful drive in us to become independent. In fact, I am enjoying watching it again in the life of Eden, our 7-month-old granddaughter, as she has learned to roll over and hold her own bottle, and to crawl. Innately we want to learn to walk and most of us eventually leave home. We long to be independent and free to do what we want to do – and free from doing what others tell us to do! 

I have a memory as a strong-willed 5-year-old girl of wanting that independence. My parents and I were being shown around the Children’s Unit of a hospital in Austin where the next day I would have my tonsils removed. I was so ready for my parents to go home that evening so I could stay and play with the new toys. How early a child begins to say, “I can do it myself!” and this drive for autonomy and independence goes on in our life and can make it hard for us to recognize our need for the Spirit of God who wants to be our advocate – our Helper. 

I was 7 years old when I had that first experience of being broken open and recognizing my need for Christ. I made a personal decision to become a Christian. It is true that my decision was limited to what I could understand as a child. But the thrill of God’s presence with me was very real and that commitment has grown with me; while experiencing God’s grace in my times of willfulness and disobedience. 

When we decide to commit our lives to Christ we are not just making a decision about our life after death, we are making a quality of life decision that has consequences for us now. And as our relationship deepens, the Spirit’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control grows deeper roots in us. The Spirit unites us with God’s will and purpose, and we learn to love individuals we once thought unlovable. We discover peace even when in the middle of a storm, and we experience a Joy that resides deep in our life – in spite of our circumstances. 

May the Spirit of the Living God fill you with all joy and love, and peace as you trust in him, and may the Spirit overflow from your life to the lives of all you encounter!