Love Championed (the year of gathering)

I think about the moment in Genesis, the first chapter.

God, in His divinely creative glory, crafting man and woman and smiling and saying, “This is so very good.” God, cradling the yet unborn bodies of every future life, warming them with His embrace, moving them to the rhythm of His heartbeat. And then, gently, He breathes. And their lungs are filled, their souls quickened, their hearts beating a warm welcome.

We are God-breathed.

I think about that often when I think about the purpose and power of the Holy Spirit, that third person in the triune expression of all God is. Wrapped in mystery, yet familiar to all who know His presence.

Holy Spirit. Breath of God, quickening our souls, filling our lungs, strengthening our steps, giving our hearts rhythm to beat a warm welcome for all who fill the space before us.

He’s not remote; He’s near. We live and move in Him, can’t get away from Him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Acts 17:28

God-created. God-breathed. God-held.

That is a most glorious image.

If you stop reading here, it’s enough. That image is enough to keep you. God delights in you. And His love is complete for you.

But some of us have been told it’s not enough, that there is a better way, a second blessing, an ‘even more’ to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

A friend and I talked about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I remember the books piled in my arms with tips and tricks that would add to the miraculous power of a life fully redeemed by a God who found His delight in me and stood with hand outstretched for me to hold. In one ear, I was told that the Holy Spirit was ready to work miracles through me and give me a new language.  In the other, I was told that God was quite finished with doing much more than offering eternal life—that eternal life was sufficient for our days. One side was flamboyant and bold and ready to invite the world to witness signs and wonders to prove God’s power. The other shook their heads at the seeming circus acts with mankind as ringmaster and Holy Spirit as well-trained lion.

One side said that anything less than a real “can’t be explained” miracle revealed unconfessed sin or weak faith. The other said the miracles come in ways we may not see these days.

Both sides pointed the finger and said the other side was misinformed, lacking in understanding, small in vision.

I could talk about the days of not being able to confess suffering, of crying out to God when healing wouldn’t come and wondering if there was ever a “faithful enough” for Him, of being taught an incomplete Gospel that focused on formulaic transaction rather than deep and abiding relationship, of wanting to know if the Holy Spirit even cared enough to be real in the days when it seemed miracles didn’t exist at all.

I have a feeling you might have those stories too. And perhaps one day we could talk about them over a cup of something lovely, when there would be time and space to hold each other tenderly and thank God that He is far more than the limits well-meaning doctrines place on Him.

What I have found to be true about the Holy Spirit is a far more intimate understanding than either side could offer.

God-created. God-breathed. God-held.

The signs and wonders have happened. And there have been new languages spoken. There was the time a man in a small village could see again after an accident blinded him. Vision meant he could provide for his family. His healing didn’t happen on a stage and wasn’t applauded by crowds; in fact, he was at the back of the room when shadows became color again.

Just God and him, with God doing what He does best.

Breathing life. Creating life. Holding life.

There was the young girl who sidled up next to me in a cathedral with rosary beads in her hand. Church folks had told me all Catholics would burn in hell because their faith was illegitimate. All others who followed suit with written prayers and wine rather than grape juice at the table were sure to burn too. I sat in that cathedral on a stifling summer afternoon and prayed God would give me just a small sign to let me know those church folks might be wrong. In a mining town in the middle of Mexico, that little girl and her mom sat next to me to pray. They moved the beads through their fingers, and their Spanish sounded like poetry. So did the crystal-clear, “I love you, Jesus,” spoken by that little girl with no hint of an accent. I was the only one sitting within reach of the words—words given to my soul as an answer to prayer.

Again, God doing what He does best.

Breathing life. Creating life. Holding life.

Sometimes the breath of God is a shout. Sometimes it is a whisper. And always, that breath is life-giving.

So, what is the purpose and power of the Holy Spirit? Of all the things said and written about Him, this word fills the space and covers them all.

Champion.

Champion of truth.

Champion of life.

Champion of the journey.

Champion of God.

Champion of us.

Holy Spirit. Breath of God, quickening our souls, filling our lungs, strengthening our steps, giving our hearts rhythm to beat a warm welcome for all who fill the space before us. That is the true miracle of His presence. That is the greatest sign, the most glorious wonder, the language of love that all need to hear.


You might be wondering how stories about the Holy Spirit fit in with a year of studying the word, “gather.” Right now, I’m focusing on its definition of “understanding.” This is part of a three-part series on what I have come to understand about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God. Jesus is Love embodied, a Love Who passionately pursues and saves to the uttermost. The Holy Spirit is Love championed, God’s very breath filling our lungs as He fills our life to overflowing.

That understanding stems from a personal relationship that is weathered and war-torn and yet still keeps me warm. I’m here to pray with and over and for you and to be a listening ear, no matter where you are on that road of relationship.

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About Ronne Rock

Helping you hold on to what is real and true.

We're in this together, and I am for you. I secure road signs with a hammer of hope, and clear the debris so they can be seen. Call me your spiritual aunty, the one who you can trust with the hard conversations. I am your encourager. I walk and keep walking. Cheer and keep cheering. I invest, dive deep, and cherish the stories being written in the lives of women like you who long to believe restoration is a reality on earth as it is in heaven. God holds the pen in those stories, and He delights in you.  I OFFER REAL HOPE FOR YOU, PURPOSE-WEARY WARRIOR. You'll love One Woman Can Change the World: Reclaiming Your God-Designed Influence and Impact Right Where You Are. It's available wherever books are sold. I'm honored to be represented by Credo Communications.

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