Hey, friends! It would seem that spring has finally sprung here in Seattle… there’s a bit less rain and a bit more sunshine these days.
When I first moved to Seattle, I honestly had no interest whatsoever in coffee – which is beyond unforgivable here. I slowly began embracing the wonder that is coffee, and now, liking it or not is beside the point… I think it’s become habit for me to brew a mug for myself on early morning days.
I usually don’t prefer my coffee black. I’ll leave a bit less than a fourth of my tumbler empty for cream. Every morning that I’m adding cream, I am taken back to my middle-school science class where we learned about displacement. If I add too much cream, the coffee will overflow. The same principle applies if you fill a bathtub completely full and then sit in it: you’ll displace the water and cause it to run over the sides of the tub.
I love the cream that I add to my coffee. Sometimes I think about continuing to pour and pour and pour the cream, so that eventually it displaces all the coffee and I’m basically drinking sugar. Yum!
John the Baptist says of Jesus, “Someone more powerful is going to come… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11).
Romans 5:5 says this: “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
One major purpose of the Holy Spirit being poured into our hearts is to change us from the inside out. He wants to produce in us Christ’s attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and others (Galatians 5:22-23), so that we may represent Christ well. He also burns away our fear, leads us, provides strength to resist temptation… the list goes on!
And like adding cream to my morning coffee, the more the Holy Spirit is poured into us, the more He will displace what was originally in our hearts… that which doesn’t belong. The Holy Spirit and “self” cannot both reside in our hearts. One will be greater and push the other out.
May I shoot straight with you?
It becomes a little uncomfortable when the Holy Spirit begins to displace our selfish preferences. He encourages daily denial of self – to the point that we become dead to ourselves (Romans 6:11). What we prefer, where we want to go, who we want to spend time with, and why we want to do things all become displaced by what He prefers, where He wants to take us, who He wants to bring into our lives, and for the reasons He delights in.
This is spiritual displacement. The more He flows into us, the more “self” is forced out.
And this is good.
Mankind without the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit – in other words, left on our own – has proven again and again to be riddled with spite, revenge, anger, turmoil, and malice, regardless of religious upbringing (which is hollow anyway without the Holy Spirit). Even at our best, when we show kindness or generosity, it is for an ulterior motive, even if that motive is to make us feel better about ourselves.
We need to be emptied of “self.” We need desperately to be displaced by the Holy Spirit and His gentle goodness.
Friends, don’t walk around with a spiritual umbrella when Jesus is trying to pour the Holy Spirit into you. Allow Him to displace your “self” with His beautiful presence, the very Holy Spirit.
And this is what I think about every morning when I make myself coffee!! What a daily reminder to be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit’s out-of-this-world presence!
I pray that even now, for everyone reading this, you will sense your heart being softened, as if it was running under fresh, warm water. Sense that the Holy Spirit is near right now! Fold up your umbrella. Let Him displace the sticky residue of things in your heart that don’t belong.
What’s going on deeply in your heart that you wish the Holy Spirit wouldn’t confront, whether “good” or “bad”? A relationship? Your attitude? Your weight struggle? Inability to submit to authority? Your sexual identity? The way you forgive? Your past? An addiction? Whatever it is, that’s usually the thing you need to surrender the most.
Let us welcome, with hands and hearts open, His counsel, His preferences, His will, and His authority. Jesus, displace me and pour into me Your Spirit.
Be filled, in Jesus’ Name! With all my heart,