Who doesn’t want an experience like that of D.L. Moody? After The Great Chicago Fire in October 1871, his church and home were destroyed. Walking down Wall Street, he felt what he described as “a presence and power” as he had never known before, so much that he cried aloud, “Hold Lord, it is enough!”
Is that the depth of intimacy that comes to mind when reading Jesus “breathed on them” or that “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”?
Being filled with the Holy Spirit, being in union with God, or made one with God all describe the same phenomena and deep experience of love. How many are blessed with an experience such as that of D.L. Moody? Does your heart join mine in crying out, “More Heavenly Father; more!” What would the world be like if the number of people experiencing the sweet loving breath of the Holy Spirit blowing to them and through them increased exponentially?
“The Christian life is so much more that being active in a Christian community, affirming a certain set of beliefs or adopting a particular behavior pattern”, says Robert Mulholland. To follow Christ entails far more than adding one more thing to an already overextended life. Kallistos Ware puts it like this, “Christianity is not merely a philosophical theory or a moral code, but involves a direct sharing in divine life and glory, a transforming union with God ‘face to face.’” John Wesley described it as Perfect Love.
The Church is not primarily a means to the end of transforming society. It is not one option among many equally valid choices. The Church most transforms society when it is itself growing and being perfected in the love of Christ.
Christianity outlines a way of seeing all of reality that leads to Perfect Love, to Union with God, if a person will choose it as their life’s path. Such a way of life costs everything, ask Jesus who gave up His life to make this path possible. Nevertheless, for men and women such a path is not expensive, but a bargain. The return on investment pays big dividends immediately and grows each year; even stretching into eternity.
Union with God is the essence of the Christian life in the world.