Got your coffee cup in hand? There’s a dessert recipe for you at the end of this post that should complement your refill perfectly (peanut butter banana bread scented with honey, cinnamon and vanilla. Get ready!). In the meantime, let’s chat.
Welcome to Water and Oil: the first half of a two-part conversation about the Holy Spirit inspired by a message that has literally been playing on repeat in my life for the past few weeks. This post is meant to serve as an introduction. My dad will be responsible for the second, and believe me—you’re not going to want to miss his perspective.
A brief history for you. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church where Jesus was Lord, God was good, and the Holy Spirit was that third part of the equation everyone kept ignoring because we didn’t exactly know what to do with Him. As a child, the first two made sense. The Father was the dad; the Son, naturally, was His son. But what did that make the Holy Spirit (or as some people called Him, the Holy Ghost)? A mysterious uncle who died of causes unknown?
Whatever He was, I knew that He was powerful. Which brings us to water and oil, or the way I’ve come to recognize the power that I always knew existed, but never began to understand until my adulthood.
Water: representative of the Spirit’s manifestation, or being filled to overflowing as He spills over the walls of our humanity.
Oil: the anointing that follows His manifestation, or the supernatural ability to accomplish what we cannot do in our own strength.
Let’s get personal for a sec. It’s so easy for me to trust what God will do for other people…but in my own life? I so often fear being wrong. Looking foolish. I feel inadequate. I doubt. I’m sure I’ll be hurt. I cling to the messages of the world that tell me to know myself, be myself, take care of myself, stand up for myself. But what if the truest version of the Karley I was created to be is actually revealed when I cease striving, choosing instead to empty myself to be used as a vessel by the Holy Spirit?
That would be, well…crazy, wouldn’t it? Because if that’s true, then we can only really find ourselves when we lay our hopes, dreams, ambitions and goals on the altar. When we entrust our deepest desires into the Father’s hands for safekeeping, faithfully believing that He will bring his good, pleasing, and perfect will to pass. If that’s really true, then we can only be the fullest version of ourselves when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us completely (water). And it must be true, because we are made in God’ s image. Which means that only in being filled by His Spirit can we set aside our selfish ambition and love others the way we were intended to (oil).
In short, I have found that in my life, the presence of the Holy Spirit clears my vision, increases my awareness, and empowers me to love others with a grace and mercy that says, “Yes, you’re flawed, but so am I, and I will love you anyway.” That is the Holy Spirit I’ve come to know. This is what He’s teaching me: I am called to trust. I am called to love. He will do the rest.
If you’re not ready for this conversation to be over, I highly suggest the following resources:
John 5: 16-30
2 Corinth. 12: 9-10
Rev. 3: 13-16
A friend recently pointed me toward the documentary series that “Furious Love” is a part of, and I can’t say thank you enough that he did. Watch this film and you’ll see light piercing the dark, questions being raised and chains being broken (the filmmaker goes everywhere from satanic celebrations in Salem to brothels in Thailand). The common denominator? Divinely inspired love. Rent it tonight on iTunes and send me an email afterward if you need someone to reflect with.
A link to the message preached at Gateway church today. If you’re looking to dig deeper into the role of the Holy Spirit, what it means to be filled by Him or how to walk daily in the empowerment He brings, this is for you (email rule applies here, too).
Be sure to check back for part 2 later this week, where my dad will share his personal experience with operating in…and out…of the Spirit. Can’t wait for y’all to get to know his heart!
Until then—how about that banana bread?
PB n’ Honey Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
5 tbsp butter
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
1 pot applesauce
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup turbinado raw sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Let’s keep this simple
- Mix the wet ingredients
- Mix the dry ingredients
- Combine in a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray
- Bake at 350 for one hour, or until slightly browned and set
- Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over the top
- Consume, run on treadmill for an hour, repeat