You mentioned the need for the Spirit to empower us as it did to the apostles in Acts. You said even though it can seems like things aren’t happening now as they were then, they are to some level. E.g. People are being converted, people are serving each other etc… Lately I have been feeling a lack of power in the Spirit. The following points from the article below sum up my feelings. Can you share some thoughts on these points in regards to our church. e.g. do you think we have lost these things as a culture in our church? If yes how, if no how? Thanks… Mark
Below is a section from:
“We have lost an undeniable reliance on the Holy Spirit’s power
The early church recognized the necessity of the Holy Spirit to empower the gospel, like they recognized the necessity of oxygen to empower their physical bodies. How else do you explain a distinctive community described in Acts? How else do you explain the contrast between Peter’s denial of Christ in one instance and his proclaiming of Christ that leads to the salvation of 3,000 people in another? The power of the Holy Spirit.
We have lost an unwavering sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading
The mission of the early church did not commence until the power of the Spirit had filled them. They didn’t move beyond the Spirit’s leading, nor reluctantly choose to not follow as the Spirit prompted. They had no agenda other than God’s agenda, and it shaped all facets of life for them.
We have lost an unexplainable expectation of the Holy Spirit’s presence
The early church lived in an expectation for the Holy Spirit to do the unimaginable. They were filled with awe and wonder. God was moving and changing lives in a way that was unexplainable, yet undeniable. And he was doing it through his called out people who represented the means by which he was reconciling the world to himself.
The early church was filled with the Spirit. Jesus was filled with the Spirit. Yet the church today has often settled for a cheapened manifestation of the Spirit, which is often not an expression of the Spirit at all.
As we respond to Jesus’s calling by living our lives with missional intentionality, may we never lose touch with our need for the Holy Spirit working both through us and for us to engage in the work we are called to. As church leaders and planters, may we never stop motivating our people to pray with urgency for the Holy Spirit to act on our behalf. And may the church rise up and lead this generation towards a sustainable gospel movement that brings the good news of the kingdom to all people.”
One thing we have to remember is that the Holy Spirit has always been around since the beginning. Understanding who and what the Holy Spirit is and what His role as such is, I believe is something the protestant church’s has been lean on over the last 70 years in Australia part of that is due to liberalism entering the church for quite sometime and the charismatic movement I guess abusing the spirit some what.
There is a change though very slow with in the Presbyterian church to see the importance of the Holy Spirit preached about as they are three in one after all.
“They had no agenda other than God’s agenda, and it shaped all facets of life for them.” This quote from your article is great as it really points to the way we should be living but the world screams’ more of me and less of the Trinity’. I see this happen in my own life and i see it in the church. There are other things i could say but i will stop here. A book worth reading is Forgotten God(Reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit) by Francis Chan I have a copy you can borrow.
I would love to borrow that book.
The name of the book makes me say “wow!”
I want to read it and make sure I am not forgetting God.
It’s really important to remember that the Spirit’s work is the Spirit’s work – as Jesus said to Nicodemus, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). The Father & the Son send the Spirit, when, where, to whom and in what measure they decide and in this way God works his will.
It’s tempting to read passages like the early chapters of Acts and compare ourselves and our experience unfavorably and conclude that we must be doing something wrong. That the solution is to do something right – or in the words of the article you’ve quoted – regain something we’ve lost.
But I think there’s another way of looking at it – a way that is much more honouring to God – which is to gratefully and wonderingly identify and acknowledge the good fruit of the Spirit in our lives and in our church. It’s so much easier to criticize than celebrate. Can I suggest that Satan rejoices and the Holy Spirit is grieved when we overlook his NORMAL work – the gradual transformation of his people to become what we are in Christ.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t eagerly pray for God to INTENSIFY his work in us and through us – we should, and I know that you do. But make sure that you pray those prayers with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise for all that God IS ALREADY doing in you, in us and around the world.
love your reply Pete.
“It’s tempting to read passages like the early chapters of Acts and compare ourselves and our experience unfavorably and conclude that we must be doing something wrong.”
So often we can look at other Christians and see something amazing but then think hey how come that doesn’t happen to me, instead we should praise God for what he is doing for others and rejoice with them and remember the most amazing gift God lavished on us that is the gift of salvation through His son Christ Jesus.
The rest is gold too.
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