Traumatic brain injury (TBI) stole much of my ability to learn and remember new things. But after my TBI, God started changing my heart and He began teaching me many "new" truths. I had seen and heard these truths before, but I was now seeing and hearing them with new eyes and ears.
Truth #1: We were not made for this Earth. We were made for Heaven. But that shouldn't stop us from bringing Heaven down while we wait.
“‘Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.“
Our culture is so fixated on dying and going to heaven when the whole Scripture is about heaven coming to earth.”
N. T. Wright
When I thought about what it meant for me to be a Christian, I tended to focus on going to heaven after I died. It wasn’t until recently that I started intentionally seeking and listening to God. and He revealed to me a wonderful truth. He showed me there is so much more to being a Christian than what I had previously thought.
I still believe the ultimate reward for all who genuinely trust in Jesus and His work on the cross is to one day be with God in heaven, a place that is far greater and more magnificent than anything of this world. But I have learned there is so much more to the gospel than that. God did not create us and place us here on this earth to simply take up space or barely survive while we are waiting to be taken up to heaven. He has given us the power and the authority to bring heaven down while we wait.
Truth #2: we can't live a selfless, Christian life on our own power. Only the holy spirit can give us the strength to do this.
"But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."
I was trying to live as a Christian on my own power. I was doing a lot of "good" things and avoiding most of the "bad" things. But I was doing it for selfish reasons. I wasn't looking to glorify Jesus and to point others towards him. I wanted to glorify myself. I wanted to serve God so I could get what I wanted. I viewed serving God as something I had to do, not as something I got to do. I met the Holy Spirit and this changed everything.
I had always known of the Holy Spirit but I would think of Him as being more of an "it." I would picture Him as my conscience or something that could help me make decisions. I viewed Him as being optional and available only to the super spiritual.
I have learned that He is much more than that! When we accept Jesus's sacrifice for our sins and give our life to him, we get the Holy Spirit. This is the same Spirit that defeated death and raised Jesus from the tomb. This same spirit comes down and lives in us, empowering us to find joy, peace, and hope in this broken world, and to die to our selfish desires each and every day. This kind of life is impossible if we are relying on our own power. The Holy Spirit is the only thing that makes any of this possible.
I met the Holy Spirit in ways only God could orchestrate, and because of this meeting, I will never be the same.