What if we surrendered our entire personality to the direction of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis?
Once again, we travel back in time to ask Starr Daily some questions. You will recall from other blog articles that Starr Daily was a criminal, who lived from the late 1800s to the mid-1950s. He is a tremendous example of how God does not squash his enemies under his thumb. Rather, God conquers his enemies by making them his friends.
Starr Daily spent 20 years in prison (1921-1941). The warden, who previously was Daily’s bitter enemy, placed him in a cell with an old lifer, Dad Thompson. Thompson could have been released from prison, but chose to say and serve God within the walls of a very harsh prison environment. Thompson reasoned, “I can best be used by God right here.” Many thought he was a fool for staying in prison. They used the term, “stir bug,” to describe their belief that years of incarceration had caused him to be crazy. Instead, he was captured by a higher calling – that of serving God among prison inmates. It is my belief that Starr Daily would never have become the man I greatly admire without the influence of Dad Thompson.
As I travel in time to interview Starr Daily, I am using a book by Stephanie Wiggins, “Rebirth and Resurrection.” I hope these articles will inspire you to check out her book on Amazon.
Bob: I have looked all over the Internet to find out your original name and where you served your prison sentence. This information is simply not there. Why is that so and how did you decide to change your name?
I am not going to satisfy your curiosity on my previous life. My former life is over and I now only focus on the new life Jesus’ love has given me. Here’s how my new name came about.
Dad Thompson suggested that I leave prison with a new name. A name has the power to impress the mind and motivate the heart. During my criminal career I had many different names, and they had all brought me to the same dead-end passage. I needed a new name that reflected my new life.
One night, I had a dream of a five-pointed star. “It’s your new name,” said Dad. He continued, “The sun indicates day. What does the star above indicate? Wouldn’t it seem to indicate a daily star? Suppose we transpose the words, then we would have a star daily. It means a star of life, son, a daily shining. If you fail to live up to the high meaning of the name, the sun will sink below the horizon. It’s up to you which way your sun will go.”
Bob: So, that’s how you got the name.
There’s more. Dad Thompson drew a picture of the star. Then, he took a coin and drew a circle. In the circle he printed the word SPIRIT. Just above the top point he printed the word MORAL. The right upper point he thus designated MENTAL and the lower right point FINANCIAL. The lower left point he printed in his unsteady hand PHYSICAL. In the upper left point he wrote SOCIAL.
These he called the primary areas of my human personality. Each of them was to be developed in an entirely new way, and none was to be developed at the expense of the other.
Bob: That’s interesting. What did you do with each of these aspects of your life?
Surrender was at the center of this whole process. I was not able to develop my moral area drawing solely upon the will power resident in my mental area, but was to employ that will power to direct my moral weaknesses to the center. I was to surrender them to the SPIRIT utterly and without compromise and thus permit the SPIRIT to do his perfect work with them and absorb and transform them according to the SPIRIT’S unfailing love.
I needed intellectual development. But this was not to be accomplished at the expense of other areas composing my personality; at the expense of my health, for example. I was to surrender intellect to the SPIRIT, dedicate it to the SPIRIT’S will, and let the SPIRIT have his perfect way as a director and developer of my intellectual capacities, according to the SPIRIT’S unfailing law of love.
In other words, I would seek ever to draw upon spiritual energy for all my personality needs and thus get an even distribution of power over the five areas of my personality. All five of these primary personality areas were dedicated to one purpose, that of letting the light of the SPIRIT shine through me and use me according to the supreme law of love.
What if we surrendered our entire personality to the direction of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis? A few Bible verses come to mind that suggest we will be well served to do just as Daily did.
MENTAL – Paul writes in Ephesians 4.22-24 to put off the former manner of living and to be renewed in the spirit of the mind. What better way to have our mind renewed than by daily surrendering our thoughts to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
FINANCIAL – Jesus spoke to us about money in Matthew 6.19-24. He challenges us to not store up treasures that are only temporary, because the things we treasure will determine the nature of our inside condition. Jesus makes it clear that we can’t be devoted to both money and to him. How is the best way to get our perspective on money right? Surrender it all to the leadership of the Spirit.
PHYSICAL – Does the work of the Holy Spirit have anything to do with the physical body. The best way to answer this question is to read the life of Jesus in the Gospels. Notice how frequently Jesus brings health to people. What would happen if we asked the Spirit to guide the treatment and health of our bodies on a daily basis? Why don’t we give it a try and see what is the result?
SOCIAL – In John 15.12-14, Jesus advises his followers to love each other just as he loves us. Then, the greatest Being to walk the earth says something astounding. He says, “I call you friends.” These are not merely pretty words on a magnet stuck to the refrigerator. They are the true words of God. Ask the Spirit each day to help you experience friendship with Jesus and love for others. See what God does.
MORAL – As we live in a surrendered relationship to the Holy Spirit and as we surrender each of these areas to the work of God’s Spirit, living a good moral life will be a by-product of all of the other aspects of starring daily for Jesus Christ.