When God possesses us through His Spirit, we have a genuine affinity for the communion of saints (or the Church). We love one another with a love that is unique to the world. By giving ourselves to the communion of saints, we find ourselves and Christ possesses us even more than he possessed me. The Triune God is enfleshed in the Body of Christ: “We are one, as they are one,”. The great commandment is made possible through the great communion (of saints).
When God possesses us through His Spirit, we have a prophetic witness in the world (not just to it) as God bears witness through us. Our words, our work, our virtue – even our very Presence – is in stark contrast to the world. The Spirit teaches us how to live in this world, as unpopular as we are necessary. How often have we lost our witness because we cannot tolerate the world’s disapproval?
When God possesses us through His Spirit, we no longer work for him, but with him. Rather, he works with us so that one cannot always tell who did what because our work and His are interwoven, blended into one. God does His work in ours. How is our work different when God does His work through us?
When Christ possesses us through His Spirit, we are never dispossessed of our (true) selves, rather we are infused with the personality of God. Unlike two objects, which cannot occupy the same space at the same time, the personality of God – together with our personality – is like two musical notes that can be blended into something new.
The way in is through love and obedience which are, in Jesus’ mind, inextricably tied together. That is, if we truly obey what we only say we love, we will come, over time, to love what we have so far only obeyed. Disobedience, then, is not so much a lapse of self-control as it is a lapse of love, or desire. To obey is the doorway into a bigger and better life. It is not, as we too often suppose, a sacrifice that we make to live the holy life.
In Jesus’ last conversation with his disciples, he said, “The reason I am leaving is so I can be with you,” and the way that He does this is through the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit he is “with us forever”, he dwells or makes his home inside us, he teaches us all things and reminds us of everything he has said. So the transition from Jesus to the Holy Spirit is a transition from with-ness to in-ness. It is the blending of two into one.