Of course, back in my day (the dark ages, I guess), people rarely moved in together without getting married. Or, if they did, it was on the sly or somehow covered up. Now, this “moving in” business is quite the norm, but I have to wonder, how does that transaction go? How do you decide to make the plunge?
The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. [I John 3:24, NIV]
It’s not the same as marriage, not really. I mean, generally speaking, there is not formal document or witnesses to the decision.
Some people move in bit by bit. You know, he (or she) drinks a little too much and really shouldn’t drive home or it gets to be so late, that it’s more convenient to simply spend the night. And then some of the personal toiletries begin to appear and a couple of pairs of clean underwear and voila! A space in the closet, a favorite coffee cup, and an empty drawer. Won’t be long now.
Some people have a nice dinner and talk it over. They might even create plus/minus columns (in their heads) and talk through all the practical reasons to do it (cheaper in the long run, more convenient – or less – to work, better than phone call or skype, etc.)
Some people decide and then change up the place all together. Some people split their time between two places and have personal stuff at both. Some people move in and move out and then move in again. Lots of variety is possible when it’s temporary.
But the mutual arrangement with the Spirit is a little different. There is an invitation to move in, but the Spirit only abides in the areas we allow. If we want to close off the closets or the storage areas, if we want to keep one room for ourselves, if we want to put up “danger, keep out” signs on any part of our inner life, we can. Spirit is the ultimate roommate and partner.
If we ask.
There are only two rules: believe in the Christ, the son of God; and, love one another (other humans). No other clean up is expected. It’s not necessary to hide anything or wash the floors even. Spirit will come in and help with everything. If we allow it. If we want change, really. If we keep up our end: love God, love others.
Intimacy is not with the human form God (Jesus). Intimacy is with Spirit.
Whose voice will I listen to today?