Squelching the Spirit

Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’”

Acts 7:48-50

Citizen’s Band (CB) radios were a ubiquitous cultural apparatus in 1970’s America. Every CB radio had two knobs whose purpose seemed self-evident: “Volume”, and “Channel”. But there was a third knob which seemed mysterious to every child playing “Breaker 1-9” in their parents’ cars. The mystery was revealed when my father finally used the word in a sentence. Upon entering a room overflowing with kids’ cacophony, he would often call out “Squelch it!” Adjusting the “Squelch” to a higher position on a CB radio filters out the background noise so that only the strongest signals are audible.

Hearing our Father can be difficult especially when background noise is preferred to the “still, small voice.” Which do you squelch, the din or the divine?

He is uncontainable. God’s Spirit does not live in hand-made boxes, even when they are as opulent as that ancient wonder of the world known as “Solomon’s Temple”. When he dedicated the temple, King Solomon prayerfully confessed: “heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27). God doesn’t need us to build Him a house; we need Him to build us a house (2 Samuel 7:1-11). God doesn’t need a house, in fact, He doesn’t need anything. He’s not a man; He’s God and He’s uncontainable.

He is unrestrainable. Perhaps the reason we humans have tried to build houses for God throughout history is that we’d really like to “get a handle” on the Holy Spirit. Well, He can’t be handled! He’s the irreducible God whose throne is heaven, the height of which is as unimaginable as it is inaccessible. But the Sanhedrin tried. If God’s Spirit was going to be anywhere, so they reasoned, He would reside in their temple, not rest on a Nazareth-born rabbi-carpenter (Acts 6:8-15). But the God of the universe doesn’t live for our reasons or play by our rules, even when those reasons and rules find their nexus in our religion. No matter how much effort our religious hands exert, we simply cannot “wag the dog”.

Canis Marjoris is the Big Dog in our neck of the celestial woods. At two billion eight hundred thousand kilometers in diameter, the red hypergiant is thought to be the largest star in our galaxy and one of the most luminous. If our sun was replaced by Canis Majoris, it would extend past the orbit of Jupiter. To put it in terms we may better grasp, if a person could continuously fly in a jet airplane at five hundred fifty miles per hour, it would take one thousand one hundred years to circle the hypergiant once. Just think of it, Canis Majoris is one star of billions in the Milky Way which is one galaxy among one hundred billion galaxies. As we mere mortals exercise our tiny minds to comprehend the vast expanse which is the known universe, we have done nothing more than begun to imagine the chair on which the King of Kings sits. But God created it all with the words, “let there be light”.

Christ Jesus, the God-Man, through whom all things were made (John 1:3), created something of infinitely greater value than stars when with His dying breath, He shouted: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). He created the Church, “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Spirit and the Bride speak with one voice “Amen. Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).

Are you listening to His voice, or have you squelched the Spirit?

This entry was posted in Post Tenebras. Bookmark the permalink.