The Google dictionary defines “synchronicity” as, “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” Someone taught me the word twelve months ago, and it has opened my eyes to a dimension of life I never really gave much thought to before.
With my new friend Vincent Dehm preaching his heart out each morning this week for our university Week of Prayer—his theme, “Residence: The Holy Spirit Inside”—it seems the right moment to invite you to brood with me over this notion of synchronicity.
Here’s how Douglas Cooper describes it: “Synchronicity is experienced. Once you have placed yourself in oneness with God and He is living in you by His Spirit, you are connected everywhere you go and everywhere you are (think broadband, Wi-Fi, DSL, 4G cellular network!) with the same great creative super-intelligent [Being] that created and sustains the world and continues to expand the very dimensions of the unfathomably immense universe. ‘Meaningful coincidences’ begin to happen. (A coincidence is God’s way of working a miracle anonymously!).” (Gentle Dove: The Holy Spirit, God’s Greatest Gift 17). What’s that have to do with the Holy Spirit? Much—let me explain.
A year ago God used Helmut Haubeil’s little book, Steps to Personal Revival: Being Filled with the Holy Spirit, to change my life—simply because it introduced me to a Bible teaching I had never heard or been taught before. The daily baptism of the Holy Spirit. Oh yes, I knew all about the “early rain” and the “latter rain” of the Holy Spirit, even preached a series of sermons on it years ago. But nobody ever told me that the Bible in fact repeatedly teaches the daily baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Himself taught it: “‘If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who [Greek—continually, daily] ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). Paul himself taught the same: “Be filled [Greek—continually, daily] with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). And “Walk [Greek—continually, daily] in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:18). But did they practice what they preached? “Morning by morning [Jesus] communicated with His Father in heaven, receiving from Him daily a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit” (Signs of the Times 11-21-1895).
So a year ago I decided to take these verses seriously and pray each morning for a fresh baptism of the mighty Third Person of the Godhead. And as I just said, my life has not been the same since.
Synchronicity? It began happening everywhere. Little and not so little “coincidences” (God’s anonymous miracles, as Cooper put it) that not only caught me by surprise, but were direct responses it seemed to the very prayers I was praying. Synchronicity—what God Himself promises: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). Amazing—God is so engaged in the very details of your life (and mine) that He anticipates our prayers and before we even breathe them (sometimes even days before), He initiates a chain of events/circumstances that synchronize themselves to the very moment we petition His throne . . . or the very moment we pick up the phone . . . or the very moment we get an email . . . or the very moment we bump into a stranger . . . or the very moment we look in our wallets . . . or the very moment we are broadsided by a crisis! Synchronicity, “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” Only you and I now know better—for by faith we can perceive the “discernable causal connection” of the Holy Spirit!
So every morning I invite you to join me with the humble prayer: “Lord Jesus, please abide with me today, and let me abide with you.” Which, of course, is a prayer for the daily baptism of the Holy Spirit, since the Bible is clear: “And this is how we know that He [Jesus] abides in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us” (1 John 3:24).