2 Corinthians 5:5 NIV
Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
If you had the opportunity today to know what the next 10 years would hold, would you want to know? Many of us think we would be eager to know what is ahead, but that’s usually only when we’re thinking about the joys, the blessings, the good things, or even the bad things we would hope we could avoid.
But if the moment came, and I knew I would begin to expect what was to come in one, three, five, or seven years from now—I think I’d pass. A long season of anticipating a good thing is a delight; but a long season of anticipating the dark nights of the soul that lie ahead is quite another.
What about the future would I want to know? I would want to know where it’s all going, so I could hope, and would find strength to persevere through whatever presented itself. I would want a promise of joy that would sustain me, even be alive within me, always whispering, encouraging me, and giving me the strength to go on.
That is exactly what the Father did in sending us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is a deposit, a deep, divine, living promise, guaranteeing what is to come.
This is how hope works; assured of good ahead that we cannot see but can anticipate in our bones, the Spirit communicating to our spirit within, we then have the grace to bear the burdens we may face. The Holy Spirit in us, with us, and moving among us as a people is a sign, a first payment, communicating that the full reward is on the way. Paul used a word that was used in financial transactions of his time to note that through the Holy Spirit given to indwell the Church, the Father has confirmed his promise that the rest of his goodness is on the way.
And what is on the way, that the Spirit is a “deposit” in us “guaranteeing”? Jesus inaugurated the kingdom of God, manifest among us and within the reach of every human being, pointing the way to the reality that there is a New Creation ahead. Death is not the end. We will be resurrected from the dead, like our Lord before us. Our bodies will be raised, imperishable, whole and fit for the eternal delights ahead. Every tear will be wiped from your eyes and mine. There will be no more bad news. No more slave trafficking. No more hatred. No more wars. No more pandemics. No more division. No more cancer or lying or suicide or fear or anything that now runs against the Shalom of Christ, the Prince of Peace, permeating the world.
When we experience the Holy Spirit—and the Spirit’s gifts—we are experiencing none other than the promised Eden ahead, the New Jerusalem, the eternal dwelling of God among us, to come. Forgiveness, powered by the Spirit, is an ensign reminding us sin and offense between us will one day disappear. Healing and kindness signal that this world is on its way to the next. When we minister to one another with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, our capacity to do so in the face of adversity reminds us that the world will not end in destruction—it will end in a New Creation flourishing!
Let the Holy Spirit, the eschatological Spirit, stir your heart with worship as the Scriptures remind you of what is to come:
“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Revelation 21:1-5).
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. Lift my heart to sing the new song, the words of worship, that guide my spirit to the reality of the New Creation ahead. Come, Holy Spirit, lead me to live in the way of Jesus; I want to be a sign that a new world is on the way. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Have you ever felt, deep in your spirit, that the New Creation to come was as real as the world you are living in now? What kind of environment were you in, and how did the Spirit encourage you?
For the awakening,