When I was a small boy, I used to make cups of tea for my mum. I would pour the water into a cup, add a teabag and stir. And stir, and stir. Not a lot would happen – the teabag would float around in the mug, but I could not see any “teaness” happening.
I added the milk and carried on stirring – a milky whiteness was all I got. Obvious to me now, but I had forgotten the vital thing of boiling the water first!
No hot water, no cup of tea. What has this got to do with spirituality?
Imagine the teabag is the Holy Spirit. Imagine I am the water. There is a partnership between my obedience and submission and love and passion for Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit being seen in my life. When I am cold, whilst the Holy Spirit is present – I am not “hot for God” and it is hard to tell! However, when I am passionate about my life with Christ, serving Him, loving Him – I can trust that He will be seen.
We have the Holy Spirit IN us – we can often forget this, and lack enthusiasm for our life and our faith.
The word “enthusiasm” originally meant, “inspiration or possession by the presence of God” – in fact, the root of the word is “en theos” meaning literally, “in God” – from “theos” we also get theology. So, here is the question “Am I into God?” He is certainly into me in a big way!
“en theos” also, naturally makes me thing of being infused with joy, being filled with passion, overtaken by it! When we infuse tea – we add hot water . . . . en theos is also our root for “infuse”.
A W Towzer says this of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost,
God dwells in a state of perpetual enthusiasm. He is delighted with all that is good and lovingly concerned about all that is wrong. He pursues His labors always in a fullness of holy zeal. No wonder the Spirit came at Pentecost as a sound of a rushing mighty wind and sat in tongues of fire on every forehead. … Whatever else happened at Pentecost, one thing that cannot be missed by the most casual observer was the sudden upsurging of moral enthusiasm. Those first disciples burned with a steady, inward fire. They were enthusiastic to the point of complete abandon
Today, do I want to live like that? Abandoned to God?
Do I want to be “en theos”, do I want to be so infused with the Holy Spirit within that it permeates ever pore?
Next time you boil the kettle for that cup of tea – remember “en theos”.