“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Cor. 1:21-22 NIV
‘Tis the season to host many visitors. Most of them planned, and some are unplanned. The perfect hostess is prepared for everything. She can muster up hospitality under any circumstance. Guestroom linens are pressed, meals are prepared and gifts are beautifully wrapped under the tree.
Are you feeling the pressure?
If the gift of hospitality is at the top of your Christmas list, there is one person that can deliver like no other, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the third person of the triune God, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son. In creation he was the very presence of God that accomplished every command spoken by God. He is present everywhere. He is sovereign and he is the very breath of life for all creation. He is the “holiday spirit” that the world seeks to invite into their homes this time of year.
When Jesus said “The Father will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16), he did not send the Holy Spirit as a temporary visitor. He sent him to take up residency in your life and empower you for life beyond your own strength. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” says the LORD Almighty.
Even at your hospitable best, hosting through the holidays in your own strength will leave you exhausted. If you lean on the Holy Spirit to empower you to welcome and comfort your guests, you will also enJOY them. He will surprise you with special moments you would have otherwise hosted right through.
Do visitors to your home know where your laundry room is? Probably not, but a resident does. If you want to experience the full power of God’s strength in your life, invite him into every room in your heart. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit is already a resident in your heart. So, let him do some laundry.
First, ask the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart in advance to love your guests as God loves them. Then, in the middle of all the action, ask him what is on his heart. He might nudge you to hug the person that is silently grieving from a loss, or equip you to ask a question that unlocks treasures. This special assistance will transform you from hospitality queen to heavenly host.
Which doors of your heart do you need to open to God this Christmas?
How will you host differently this year?