Observing a world marked by trauma, emptiness, and despair, God witnessed humanity descending into chaos. Of the many negative effects from the fall was that humans “transferred the honor which (was) due to God to material objects,” (On the Incarnation, 3), worshipping the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). However, due to His immense love for mankind, God refused to abandon humanity to our fallen state of corruption, blindness, brokenness and separation. Through the Incarnation of the Eternal Logos, the God-Man bridged the great chasm between us and Him in His Holy Body, thus regenerating our nature, revealing the Truth to mankind, healing our passions, and granting us an intimacy with Him (beyond what our limited imaginations could ever fathom).
Following His Glorious Resurrection from the dead and Ascension into the Heavens, Christ sent us an unimaginable Gift from the Father, which would establish His Life as a reality in ours. Enjoying earthly riches, access to power, physical beauty, satisfaction of one’s sensual desires, and social success are unworthy to be compared to this otherworldly Treasure. Nothing we could have imagined would even come close to – or be mentioned in the same breath as – the glory of this Gift from above.
As the disciples of Christ observed Him in prayer, they asked that He teach them how to pray. The gospel account of Luke 11 indicates that Jesus proceeded to teach them – what is commonly referred to as – The Our Father (or The Lord’s Prayer ). Later in the account, Christ instructed His disciples to ask for the Unimaginable Gift:
Luke 11:9-13 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Our heavenly Father is prepared to give us the greatest of all gifts. Let us quit settling for counterfeits that will leave us in a continual state of destitution. The Christian – united with God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – becomes transformed by God’s very presence within him. This tremendous charisma from God allows the person, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, to not only experience the very life of Christ – thus becoming a child of the Heavenly Father – but to also carry the image of God to a devastated and hurting world. During this season of the Apostle’s Fast, let us pray and fast, seeking to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit, that He may enlighten our hearts, clothe our lives with fruit that reflects His work in us, and serve as vehicles of God’s healing presence for all who continue to experience trauma, emptiness, and despair.