When we speak of our life in Jesus with language of ebb and flow, we conjure up images of His love that make it seem as up-and-down as the daily tides. But His mercy, His love, His grace are an ocean; we should be up to our ears in them daily; they aren't just lapping at our ankles!
More, more! Deeper, deeper! Take us further in, Jesus!
In working through the beautiful pictures of the ties between Jesus and the historical High Priests in Hebrews 5, I was really stopped by the following:
"Note also that nobody chooses for himself the honor of being a High Priest, but he is called by God to the work, as was Aaron, the first High Priest in ancient times." (Hebrews 5:4)
So let's look for moment at how Aaron himself was chosen and set apart for this high, terrifying honor, back in Leviticus 8 & 9...
First off, Moses heard from the Lord and was told to call forth all the people - the ἐκκλησίασόν, "the Church called together at the trumpet's sound" - and to present Aaron and his sons before the people. Then Aaron was washed in water, dressed in the ceremonial garb, given the Urim and Thummim - representing the knowledge of the Will of God - and crowned with a crown of holiness. Then he was anointed with oil and sprinkled with blood in the process of laying his hands on the animal sacrifices offered for the people; then he was sent to live in the Tent of Meeting - the place of the Presence - for seven days straight. After which, in offering one great and final sacrifice, in full view of all the people again, "the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering... and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces." (Leviticus 9:23b,24)
In essence, the historical High Priest, a solitary human being serving his role for his generation, was the choice of God to be the gathering-point for the Church; washed, robed and empowered with the will of God; anointed with oil, crowned with holiness and sprinkled with the blood of the sin-offering; and the place upon which the fire and glory of God might drop so that all people, everywhere, might fall on their faces in the Presence...
Sound like Anyone Else we happen to know?!
There are five human senses that are our body's ways of interpreting the natural world around us. Yet more important for us is The Sense - the movements, voice and stirrings of the Holy Spirit - deep within our spirit.
He is not another way of interpreting outside natural phenomena. He is the life of Heaven impressing Himself supernaturally upon, from within, our human heart.
He is not involving us in some extra cause/effect relationship. He is the Cause and the Effect.
The One who "assigns you your portion and your cup" (Psalm 16) is the very same One who also said, "All that I have is yours" (Luke 15). With Jesus, there's always more; and there's always enough.
From A.B. Simpson's The Christ of the Forty Days - “Christ’s ascension was the exaltation of man to the right hand of God. It was as Man He entered heaven and sat upon His throne. It is as the Son of Man, with a human face and form, that He is sitting there today. It is in our behalf that He has gone up to God. He claims our place there, and keeps it till we come. What an honor to the once lost human race was the ascension of Christ! It was the entrance of a Man to the highest place in the heavenly world, with the first-fruits of this new race following in His train and taking a place with Him that angels could not claim. Lord, what is man that Thou hast set Thine heart upon him and so strangely redeemed and lifted him up for ever? Oh, let us rejoice and shout for joy as we see the Son of God ascend and write our names upon the seats of glory, as our Great Forerunner! God has recognized man’s right to enter heaven, to enter it as a King, to enter its highest place of dignity and blessing through the ascension of the Son of Man.”
And now consider the end of Revelation 3 in that light -
"As for the victorious, I will give him the honor of sitting beside me on my throne, just as I myself have won the victory and have taken my seat beside my Father on his throne."
Sometimes, our being silent is to speak. Always, our being silent allows Him opportunity to speak.
The Law told the people of God what they must not do.
The Way of Jesus tells us what we're now actually able to do - through Him.
The Law frustrated, and eventually cut off, most forward movement for fear of overstepping its outer bounds of propriety.
The Way of Jesus is only possible through a continual moving forward; a movement that is just like His own, because He now lives His life, all over again, in us and through us.
"The Law never succeeded in producing righteousness — the failure was always the weakness of human nature. But God has met this by sending his own Son Jesus Christ to live in that human nature which causes the trouble. And, while Christ was actually taking upon himself the sins of men, God condemned that sinful nature. So that we are able to meet the Law’s requirements, so long as we are living no longer by the dictates of our sinful nature, but in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit." Romans 8:3,4
The end of the Law and the life of the Way are now - right now - today - this minute! - already alive within you because of the presence of His Holy Spirit. Thank you, Jesus!
"For he said: ‘So I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest’; not because the rest was not prepared—it had been ready since the work of creation was completed, as he says elsewhere in the scriptures, speaking of the seventh day of creation, ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.'
"And in the passage above he refers to 'my rest' as something already in existence. No, it is clear that some were intended to experience this rest and, since the previous hearers of the message failed to attain to it because they would not believe God, he proclaims a further opportunity when he says through David, many years later, 'today,' just as he had said 'today' before. ‘Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.'" (Hebrews 4:3b-7)
So what do these 4.5 verses really tell us about God's "rest"? Let's catalogue the statements down the line: "it has been ready since the work of creation was completed"; in fact, it was "already in existence" prior to that seventh day of existence's existence; "some [people] are intended to experience this rest," yet unbelief is the cause for "failing to attain it"; however, even today, in the ever-present "Today" spoken of by David, there is the "further opportunity" of still, this day, experiencing it.
And here's what strikes me most within these statements. If this "rest" was already existent before Creation, is it not perhaps part of the very nature of the Godhead, the Trinity, itself? Is abiding in this "rest" to experience the climate of Heaven? Is "rest" just another name for pure, true Abiding?
Well, just as whenever we have big deep questions about the realities of God, all we have to do to satisfy our curiosity is to look at Jesus, "the flawless expression of the nature of God" incarnate. And I love this quote from the story of James Fraser, a long-ago missionary to China, because I think it tells us everything we need to know of Jesus' restfulness:
“In the biography of our Lord nothing is more noticeable than the quiet, even poise of His life. Never ‘flustered’ whatever happened, never taken off His guard, however assailed by men or demons: in the midst of fickle people, hostile rulers, faithless disciples – always calm, always collected, Christ the hard worker indeed – but doing no more, and no less, than God had appointed Him; and with no restlessness, no hurry, no worry. Was ever such a peaceful life lived – under conditions so perturbing? … ‘We can afford, then, to work in the atmosphere of eternity,’ James [Fraser] said. ‘The rush and bustle of carnal activity breathes a spirit of restlessness; the Holy Spirit breathes a deep calm. This is the atmosphere in which we may expect a lasting work of God to grow.’” (From Mountain Rain)
So if this "rest" is of the essential-eternal nature of God, and if all the other statements so far in Hebrews 4 hold up, we are left with a three-component equation, a matter of equivalencies:
REST = ETERNITY = TODAY
Or, to draw it out a little: Since this "rest" is part of the atmosphere of Heaven, and the life and work of Heaven are necessarily eternal, our only human ability to interface with the eternal rest of God is in the construct of Today. The Eternal is Right Now.
For me, personally, it was eight years ago, this June, that I came to really, truly know this. And like so many wonderful revelations, it was as I was reading in the works of C.S. Lewis, specifically this time in Screwtape Letters, chapter 15. Let me just go ahead and give you the section that forever changed my life that day:
“The humans live in time but [God] destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present – either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure…”
Friends, our only experience of eternity is happening right now, now, now, now, now, even as you're reading the sentence composed of these words. Yesterday is forever over and tomorrow is a non-reality. Today, with the promise of the eternal heavenly "rest" on-offer in Jesus, what do you say; what do you desire? I'm talking about something that's already yours - RIGHT NOW. Will you take and live what's already yours?
Abiding is the truest action of believing; it is the next step after we first "believe" - after we are indwelt by Him - of then going even further and starting to live our life "in" the One who now lives in us. We cannot abide without first believing. And we cannot continue to believe without abiding.
"Now since the same promise of 'rest' is offered to us today, let us be continually on our guard that none of us even looks like failing to attain it..." (Hebrews 4:1)
Fairly ominous sounding words, aren't they? Yet that warning idea - that "failing to attain it" - can also be translated as "be behind" or "late," "come after," as in second place, or "come too late." Which, all of them, for me, call to mind the imagery of a footrace, a marathon, where that top guy is just unreachable, unbeatable. Except, for us, who is our "top guy"?
Let's jump ahead a little and remind our hearts of the complexion of this particular race we're running:
"Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith." (Hebrews 12:1,2a)
Do you see Him there ahead of you, running hard, calling you closer? He is looking over His shoulder with a smile, even a laugh, beckoning you nearer, nearer as He runs with you toward the finish-line that is His eternal presence...
"...The crowd joined in the attack, and the magistrates had Paul and Silas stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. Then, after giving them a severe beating, they threw them into prison, instructing the jailer to keep them safe. On receiving such strict orders, he hustled them into the inner jail and fastened their feet securely in the stocks.
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God while the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, big enough to shake the foundations of the prison. Immediately all the doors flew open and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the doors of the prison had been opened he drew his sword and was on the point of killing himself, for he imagined that all the prisoners had escaped. But Paul called out to him at the top of his voice, “Don’t hurt yourself—we are all here!”
Then the jailer called for lights, rushed in, and trembling all over, fell at the feet of Paul and Silas.
He led them outside, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:22-30)
And, you see, this is what we're after. To so prove the living presence of the living Jesus in little lives like ours that people fall down on their knees, undone, at the glory of who He really is. No sermon can do that. No book. No Bible study. The world is dying - literally dying - to see the unfettered "sons of God coming into their own," like these men. The people around you would leave everything behind if only they could see how you possess what's already yours.
The power and unity of the whole worldwide Body of Christ begins with my own - and your own - accession to, and appropriation of, all the glorious things we're offered in personal Union with the living Jesus. Your inner life is the landscape of, the building-block toward, the showroom for, making the Church what it was intended to become.
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
That is why I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’” (Hebrews 3:6-11)
Those latter indented words are from Psalm 95 and are looking back at the Hebrews who had escaped from Egypt and then, in the wilderness, thought it in their best interest to begin doubting God. God, who had sent them Moses, who had performed signs and miracles, who had set them free, who had sent them forth with a huge bounty of gold and goods, who had crossed them through the Sea, who had destroyed their enemy, who had provided for them day-by-day, who had shown them His Glory - that God suddenly seemed to them less than trustworthy...
And it's funny how often I'll scoff at their ancient unbelief - like, "How could they not get it together?" - when let's consider for a moment our own reality as it pertains to His unbelievable power and promises - and our unbelief. God, who has sent us Jesus, who showed us the power of the Kingdom by performing signs and miracles, who set us forever free, who has sent us forth with the boundless riches of our heavenly inheritance, who has washed us in His own "sea" of blood, making us holy and blameless, who has destroyed the Enemy, who has provided for us every day of our lives, who has shown us His Glory in countless ways - that God we're not sure can accompany us through this particular workday...
In case you're missing my drift here, I'd say 90% of our lives we are those Israelites, wandering through the wilderness; we're just less obvious than them about our unbelief.
But, friends, what is actually on offer to us here? The answer frames those words from Psalm 95. What is the last word offered? "Rest." And the first word quoted from that psalm? "Today." This next glorious theme of Hebrews, the life we're actually meant to have, the experience those Israelites were meant to enjoy, is as follows: REST TODAY. The real heavenly trustful rest that Jesus intends for us - in Himself.
And so, what is the lynchpin command, tucked into Psalm 95, that is the necessary non-ingredient for learning to rest in Jesus today? "Do not harden your hearts..." ie. Allow no longer for a heart of stone, of doubt, of unbelief to lead your life. Be as gentle, and humble, and softhearted as was Jesus Himself - take on His heart - in the conduct of your everyday that is always "Today."
He is able, personally, to give you that heart. It's His. You actually need only ask - and then receive.
It's the nature of fire to either devour or die. Without something to burn, we'd never expect it to smolder on indefinitely.
The fire of the Holy Spirit must always be given more of ourselves to burn: more of our heart, our thoughts, our lives, our hopes, our dreams - all of us. When these are lit afire, He burns unrelentingly; others can actually see His ways alight in us. But if we refuse Him - if we will not ourselves burn - nothing at all happens.
"So then, my brothers in holiness who share the highest of all callings, I want you to think of the messenger and High Priest of the faith we hold, Christ Jesus." Hebrews 3:1
First things first, I think this first verse of this next chapter of Hebrews deserves a far more robust translation than it's given in any of the main versions of the NT (feel free to check for yourself!) because, really and truly, when fully heard in all its full meaning, it reads like a one-sentence guide to everything we need to do and focus on. So here we go:
"Therefore, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, observe well (meaning grasp) the Apostle and High Priest of our agreement (our vow, our surrender), Jesus."
As you start this morning, let me ask you: Have you personally accepted the holiness already purchased for you by the blood of the Cross; are you a partaker of the heavenly calling, a real bon vivant of what's yours there; have you watched, and tasted, and smelled, and grasped of the goodness of our Apostle and High Priest; has your "agreement" to all this moved past intellectual assent into the realm of vow, of absolute surrender to Jesus Himself?
Me, I love that word "surrender" as a synonym for what we think of as faith or belief. Because - have you not yourself found? - that oftentimes to cease to do is actually to begin to believe...
"It was imperative that he should be made like his brothers in nature, if he were to become a High Priest both compassionate and faithful in the things of God, and at the same time able to make atonement for the sins of the people. For by virtue of his own suffering under temptation he is able to help those who are exposed to temptation." Hebrews 2:17,18
This workweek, as you live and work and think and take meetings and go about your daily life, I want you to see Jesus as He really is. He is, right now, and in every single moment of every single one of your days, seated upon the Throne of Heaven, as a man, watching you, loving you. Can you see Him as He sits there: unshakable, unchanging? He looks upon your days with an infinite heart of compassion and steadfast faithfulness; His eyes are alight with joy that you are His. You are one that He has atoned for, personally, in His own blood. He thought of you then, and He thinks of you now. When you struggle and are tempted, He leans forward, far forward to the edge of His throne, and looks you full in the face and says, "I can relate to that. I felt that too."
That is the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven, and also its perfect atoning sacrifice. That is the High Priest of our days, of our lifetimes, of this very moment.
You can trust Him with every ounce of your heart today. You can trust Him with this week.
We often say or hear that the highest love of Jesus is in His "meeting us where we are."
His highest love is, having met us where we once were, that He now is daily calling us up to where He is.
"We ought, therefore, to pay the greatest attention to the truth that we have heard and not allow ourselves to drift away from it. For if the message given through angels proved authentic, so that defiance of it and disobedience to it received appropriate retribution, how shall we escape if we refuse to pay proper attention to the salvation that is offered us today?" Hebrews 2:1-3a
To me, the logic that the writer of Hebrews is trying to get across to us in these first 2.5 verses could be described as the "law of diminishing spiritual returns," ie. if the inputs to our hearts and minds increase and yet we are unmoved and unchanged today by these truths, by this salvation, then, in either the long or short term - probably both - our personal spiritual output will almost certainly diminish. This is perhaps the greatest, most dangerous pitfall of our Western mentality around "discipleship" - we tend to think it's more and more information and knowledge that necessarily equates to spiritual maturity. It can... But not always necessarily...
What if the only measure for "how I'm doing with Jesus" is actually how you're doing with Jesus today? What if all of our knowledge-accrual pales in comparison to how we truly access the presence of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit right now?
That's why I love the imagery implied by verse 1. The idea of "drifting away" also serves to tell us that the "truth" is like a mooring, an anchoring, a solid rock tucked into a tranquil cove, that allows us to stay tethered to our Savior. Can you picture that? Can you imagine yourself moored to the truest true thing you now know - really KNOW - of Jesus today?
What is that truest true thing for you on this particular day?
"Then he got up and left that place and went off to the neighbourhood of Tyre. There he went into a house and wanted no one to know where he was. But it proved impossible to remain hidden..." Mark 7
Here's a subtle little thought. If we focus first on intimacy with Jesus, there will always be voices that say that we're too inward, too individualistic in our outlook about what "Christianity" is. Yet consider Paul's later words about the reality of our salvation and what it means both practically and positionally:
"For, as far as this world is concerned, you are already dead, and your true life is a hidden on in Christ." Colossians 3:3
Our new life means certain death of the old; our place now is meant to be a hidden one: hidden in the living person and personality of Jesus Himself. And yet who is He? One who "gets up, leaves a place, goes off to another neighborhood. There He goes into a house and wants no one to know where He is. But it proves impossible for this Jesus to remain hidden."
The highest expression of us is to be hidden within the Unhideable One; to allow our anonymity to accelerate His aroma, His presence. Crawl on in; Abide in Him; let His life supersede all.
"[The new believers of Pentecost, along with the original group of believers] continued steadily learning the teaching of the apostles, and joined in their fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayer. Everyone felt a deep sense of awe, while many miracles and signs took place through the apostles. All the believers shared everything in common; they sold their possessions and goods and divided the proceeds among the fellowship according to individual need. Day after day they met by common consent in the Temple; they broke bread together in their homes, sharing meals with simple joy. They praised God continually and all the people respected them. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were finding salvation." Acts 2:42-47
These six verses, arguably the best-known in all the New Testament for describing the lifestyle of the Early Church, strike me as a beautiful picture of the three-part blend that our own lives should always be: an ecstatic reaction to the new life we've been given; a direct continuation of the life of Jesus through ours; a holy practicality that lives out the present temporal circumstances in light of the eternal. Consider these verses again through the lens of that heavenly blend:
They continued steadily learning the teaching of the apostles – thrilled, no doubt, by the depths and heights of all that Jesus offered; receiving, through the apostles, the direct words of Jesus; needing to know, to understand, more of what they’d just said 'yes' to – and joined in their fellowship – because, my goodness! what power, what joy, what love was offered up there; the actual power and joy and love of Jesus as directed now through His Body; a power and joy and love they needed to come under in order to be filled by – in the breaking of bread – because there’s nothing better than a meal with your newfound brothers and sisters; meals were a significant place where Jesus shared His life with His brothers and sisters; and because, well, they needed to eat somewhere! – and in prayer – because this Savior was ALIVE, He could be talked to anytime, anywhere; He loved to show Himself and delighted to talk to His friends and followers; because the apostles and new believers had very little idea what to do next.
Everyone felt a deep sense of awe – because they were surrounded by the glory of Jesus; because Jesus was consistently manifesting His life through lives; because we cannot help being awestruck by things heavenly and awesome – while many miracles and signs took place through the apostles – after all, they were “filled with the Holy Spirit”; Jesus just wanted to keep doing His thing; miracles and signs were simply a practical outflowing of heaven that bore present fruit in lives. All the believers shared everything in common – Who needs this stuff when you’ve got a whole Kingdom?; Jesus lived out His humility through living commonly with commoners; the new believers were from all over the Roman Empire and hadn’t brought enough clothes and food and money to last for, well, who knows how long! – they sold their possessions and goods and divided the proceeds among the fellowship according to individual need – Jesus and His Kingdom are all that matters, not this stuff I used to be so busy accumulating; the spirit of Jesus was rich with selflessness and humble, kindhearted burden-sharing; if we’re all part of the same Kingdom-family, why not internally take care of each other, since we’re now brothers and sisters!
Day after day they met by common consent in the Temple – they couldn’t get enough of Jesus, His Word, His life-in-them, and each other; Jesus had walked His day-to-day with the disciples and still desired the same; why let the fire of the Holy Spirit smolder when He is always ready to self-stoke? – they broke bread together in their homes, sharing meals with simple joy – the joy of new life was always bursting forth, even as they ate; Jesus, again, loved to pass His meals with all sorts of people; again, we all need to eat: Why not with each other, since we’re all now One? They praised God continually – How could they not! so rich was their newly found inheritance; Jesus always praised His Father; practically speaking, we cannot help continually doing what consumes our hearts – and all the people respected them – these were people alight with joy, kindness and love; Jesus was living His perfect life through them; the world, for all its arguments, cannot argue with the unvarnished Way of Jesus. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were finding salvation – because the new believers lived up to their heavenly privileges; Jesus never stops seeking the lost; and “the light still shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out” (John 1:5).
May that "blend" be as richly evidenced in my life, in your life, today!
When we look at the opening of Peter's message to the Pentecost crowds, the prophecy from Joel 2, what's so particularly wondrous (apart from the fact that it's positively filled with wonders) is the relatively passive role that His people are meant to take in the unbridled active presence of the Holy Spirit. Just look at the way the verbs play out for God's sons and daughters:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit - meaning, Here He comes! Open up and simply receive what's being poured forth so liberally - on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy - meaning, open their mouths to the direct words of God, not their own; they will be spoken through - your young men shall see visions - their natural field of vision will be overlaid with the supernatural; they will see God's sights - your old men shall dream dreams - they will lie down to rest and, through no effort of their own, be given God's dreams for the Church.
And on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit - again, open up! be filled with this free offering - in those days and they shall prophesy - again, being spoken through. I will show wonders - sit back and watch! - in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapour of smoke - whoa! The sun shall be turned into darkness - He'll do that - and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord - This is the prophecy's first available action of our own wills. This is the first time in Peter's words from Joel 2 that we are offered an independent action that requires our activity. Everything else is done to us, for us and through us - the Holy Spirit manifesting all the glorious power of Heaven - and all we're given to do is, by Belief, call upon the Name. Which nets us what? - [They] shall be saved.’ Be saved. Not save ourselves...
So in this present generation, these "last days" as Peter and Joel refer to our times, we are meant to be Holy-Spirit-poured-into, prophetic visionaries who dream His dreams, flooded by His Spirit and His words, and who are able to fearlessly observe the "signs of the times," call upon His name, and live out our salvations. Our active submission to His Way, to the Holy Spirit who now lives in us, creates a lifestyle that allows us to passively receive all the power and glory and purposes of the Kingdom for this world. What others might see as passive belief is actually our greatest action. From there, everything can springs from His plans, His power.
As he walked along the shore of the Lake of Galilee, he saw two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, casting their nets into the water. "Come and follow me, and I will teach you to catch men!" he cried.
At once they dropped their nets, and followed him.
Then he went a little further along the shore and saw James the son of Zebedee, aboard a boat with his brother John, overhauling their nets. At once he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and went off after him. (Mark 1)
In those five verses, in the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John, what really strikes me is the image of the nets, their main tackle for their life-work as fishermen. It's what they're using, when Jesus first stops to watch them, to actually make a catch of fish; to provide for themselves and their families. It's what they're caring for, carefully mending, "overhauling," when Jesus walks up to James and John; their maintenance ensures their future livelihood. Really, these nets are their life. A fisherman without his net, in that day and age, was nothing. When these two pairs of brothers, on this one stretch of coast, drop their nets in the presence of Jesus, it is their highest expression of total self-abandonment. They will now source their lives in this Man rather than in those nets.
What is normalcy to us, today? What is "life" in our present context? Education; physical prowess; looks; charm; career; possessions; family; friends; reputation; honor; future legacy; family name? Let me help you. It's what we throw around to get what we need; to make sure this world knows "WHO I AM"; it's what we most attend to in order to ensure our future livelihood, position, personal comfort...
And THAT - our normalcy, our quickest self-definition, our Life - is what we must most quickly have down there at the feet of Jesus. A fisherman without his net was nothing. A disciple still holding his net is nothing too.
"Suddenly there was a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were seated. Before their eyes appeared tongues like flames, which separated off and settled above the head of each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit..." Acts 2:4
The Greek word used there for "filled" - ἐπλήσθησαν - means "to fill full of, to satisfy, to glut, to fill for oneself" or "to get ships laden" for voyage. When you think about your own experience so far with the Holy Spirit, it is so important to remember this: There can never be enough of the Holy Spirit in one's life, but there's always too little; we should never stop asking for more of His wondrous presence to fill us, through and through.