If you read the account of what occurred in the book of Acts with the explosion of the Church even in the midst of trial and persecution, you see people who relied on and experienced the Holy Spirit’s power.
Then you look to today at congregations who claim the Spirit’s involvement in building their local body but then the children’s ministry declines or the pastor leaves or has a moral failure, and it all falls apart. Churches built over years can disappear with a few setbacks.
Isn’t it the same Holy Spirit today? It may have you crying out at Vizzini did in the Princess Bride, “Inconceivable!”
If the Spirit is the same, we should see a lot more resilience to the movement. As Francis Chan writes of the early Church in Forgotten God,
The church was powerful and spreading like wildfire, not because of clever planning, but by a movement of the Spirit. Riots, torture, poverty, or any other type of persecution couldn’t stop it. Isn’t that the type of church movement we all long to be a part of? So much of what we see today is anything but unstoppable. It can easily be derailed by the resignation of a pastor or an internal church disagreement or budget cuts. Churches we build only by our own efforts and not in the strength of the Spirit will quickly collapse when we don’t push and prod them along.
How many could describe the movement in which they are involved today as an “unstoppable force”?
This is so convicting to me! I am more fully convinced than ever that our manmade efforts to “improve” Church are destined to fail. I don’t want to keep prodding these institutions along like a Weekend at Bernie’s-style con.
Without the spirit in our body, there is no life. Without the Spirit in our church body, there is no life.
We can’t back down from praying for real experiences with Him, real awakening. We can’t shy away from radical obedience to what He gives us to do. I don’t want to be a part of something for a few years or a few decades and come to the place where I say, “well, we had a good run, but it’s all over now.”
I want to be part of something that will continue into coming generations until Jesus’ return. It’s going to be uncomfortable at times. There will be sacrifices made. There will be moments where fear will try to overtake and boldness will be required.
I want to make an impact–not a momentary one, but an eternal one.
That’s bigger than me. People and generations together have to heed the call of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to do what He desires. It’s bigger than living a “good life” and being as moral as possible.
A few men who had been with Jesus and received the Holy Spirit changed the world. Why should we be any different?
I realize there’s not a lot to this post other than my stated passionate desire, but I hope it stirs something in you as well. Status quo Christianity is not going to cut it. Never has, never will. It’s time to be untamable, unashamedly following the Spirit.
Are you with me? Does this stir anything in you as it does me?
Welcome to Chapter 7 of our book club discussion of Forgotten God (disclosure) by Francis Chan. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it (a chapter per week). If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts and the widget to add your post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!
For those adding posts, we’ll cover the afterword next week!