One of the features (neither good or bad) of leading a modern worship-style community is that we don’t follow the liturgical colors or Christian calendar. Since we are series driven and thematic it is all about the current and upcoming worship plan that drives us.
But Pentecost is coming up. The one day on the church calendar that we acknowledge the gift of the Holy Spirit – the continuing presence of God in the individual and corporate life of Christian community. One day out of three hundred and sixty-five. Oh and not even for a full day – really it is just one hour…maybe.
As a team we are reading a book about the Holy Spirit and the author proposes that we have a deficiency of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the corporate life of our churches. I am joining the ranks of those who believe this.
Jesus said that it was necessary for him to go away because if he didn’t, then the Holy Spirit would not come. Even though Jesus was fully divine, he was also fully human and that meant that his life was bound in time – finite. It was his return to the Father that would prompt the coming of the Spirit. But to do what exactly?
The Gospel of John in the sixteenth chapter provides us a description of the Spirit’s ministry. He will convict. The Holy Spirit convicts each of us our brokenness, our selfishness, and our sin – the ways in which we dishonor God and ignore each other. The Holy Spirit is the small voice that says “you know better; you should have; or you shouldn’t have…” This is one of the instances when you should listen to the voice in your head or gut.
The Holy Spirit will also guide us in truth and in a pluralistic society we need solid, non-negotiable truth. How about these tenants:
1) God created the heavens and the earth
2) God provides all that we need – even our daily bread
3) We should not worship anything we make with our own hands; we should worship God who made us
4) God became flesh and dwelt among us preaching and teaching forgiveness of sins, restoring sight to the blind, causing the lame to walk, and setting the captive free
5) The Word that became flesh also died for each of us that we might have a new relationship with God the Father
6) The love and grace of God made known in Jesus Christ is intended for all of us as a free gift from God
7) We were created to love and worship God in Spirit and in truth
This is my short list – intended to help us see that the Spirit was sent to teach us the truth about God and to empower us to live in this truth.
Finally, the Spirit came to bring glory to the Son – Jesus the Christ. The Spirit speaks into our lives the words of Jesus and calls us to emulate the deeds of Jesus. When we do then we enact Micah 6 which says “love mercy, seek justice, and walk humbly before God.”
Granted this is something we all have heard and we know we should be doing but how many of us truly are? How many of us are living the Spirit life?
I think a Holy Spirit campaign is in order! We need to be reminded consistently about the power of the Holy Spirit that can shape and move a community of people as well as an individual heart. We need to be reminded that it is not by our physical or mental acuity that we achieve God’s vision – it will only happen when we are a Spirit-led people who respond to God’s nudges. We need to be reminded that God’s story is a truth worth living and dying for!
Personally, my daily prayers need to focus more on the Spirit life because this is what will sustain me long-term. Sure books are informative and conferences give us ideas and systems we can use but only God can grant us the power of the Spirit that will cause us to soar. And that is what I want to do…
God – please grant me a daily anointing of your Spirit and power so that I can accomplish more than is humanly possible! I hope you pray this as well.
Blessings for the journey.