I am deeply indebted to Willis Carrier who, beginning in 1902, started producing air conditioners! I love it at home, in the car, at church, and in the market place (I could go all Seuss, but I’ll refrain). No other word suffices besides “refreshing”, to describe that first rush of dry and cool after being out in the humid, oppressive heat (sorry, heat lovers, you’ll have to use your imagination today). I’ve had central air in 2 homes (so awesomely quiet), and window units everywhere else. It really doesn’t matter which…it’s lovely! But just having the a/c unit is not enough, it has to be used properly. For instance, there is a setting on most units that can be switched between “cool” & “fan”. The result of either produces the same sound and feel of moving air. In one mode, the same damp, hot air is being circulated. In the other, it gets cooled and dehumidified. And the unit can be blowing out chunks of ice (I don’t think this is actually possible), but rooms whose doors and/or registers are closed will remain muggy and uncomfortable. Or how about when you turn on the a/c but forget that you have windows open from earlier in the day? You’ll feel the cooling effect but it will never get really comfortable. While all this seems far removed from any spiritual meaning, I beg to differ. The “refreshing” that we are promised after we repent and believe in Jesus (see Acts 3:19-20) is in direct proportion to being connected to the One who Refreshes in the way he has defined “connected”! One of our issues in this regard, is revealed by an ancient foe of God’s chosen family in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings. A huge army had come against the nation of Israel but had been soundly defeated in an epic battle in the hills around Jerusalem. Rather than tuck-tail and head back home, the attacking army started to regroup for another push, “After their defeat, Ben-hadad’s officers said to him, “The Israelite gods are gods of the hills; that is why they won. But we can beat them easily on the plains.” 1 Kings 20:23 (NLT). These commanders voiced a truth we sometimes don’t admit, or even perceive, namely that we limit the influence of Jesus. God has authority over both hills and plains, and every other place (as the second defeat of these invaders proved when you read more of the story). He is not only Lord at church, but also in the bedroom. He’s not just around when we worship, but also when we play. His call to, “be like me” doesn’t just touch public action, but also the most private thoughts. We have been offered a cool, reviving and continual oasis from the heat and humidity of a dying world but often settle for only temporary wafts of freshness. It could be that the fan mode is selected, that is, the idea of God and some forms of his ways are present but the power—being connected in conversation and participation in his heart are absent. There might be rooms closed off, places that seem too painful or shameful to open, or perhaps fiercely guarded as “mine”. Maybe there are windows left open to old ways which are letting in the muggy heat. No matter what is preventing the full refreshing and accompanying presence of the Holy Spirit, there is only one remedy, choosing to do things God’s way, “Jesus told the people who had faith in him, “If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples.” John 8:31 (CEV). Turn things over to him today and live in refreshment!