Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Praying for the power, Friend!

I heard a really cute “grandchild” story the other day. Grandma described an excursion to Walmart with granddad and the 5-ish grandson. The child saw something he wanted: “Grampa, we should buy it!” Granddad explained that it was not in the budget, “We don’t have enough money today.” The reply: “We don’t need money!” Grampa was puzzled, “How are you going to pay for it?”, he inquired. With a certain degree of disdain for the obviously ancient one’s ignorance of modern life, the youngster boldly asserted, “We can just go online!” After I chuckled, it struck me that the child had never been exposed to the simple concept of exchanging work for money, and money for goods. He was swimming in an aquarium where adults simply click a few buttons on the computer screen or swipe a card through a reader, and goods magically appear, often right at the front door. The connection between work, compensation, value, and goods purchased was simply not in his limited experience.

The solutions to that problem will come with some life experience and a little economic instruction. But it seems to me that the church, especially in our land, is like the 5-year-old in many ways. We have generations (not just one) that are growing up in church without ever being exposed to the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. They have never seen a healing, heard a prophecy, or marveled at a tongue with interpretation. They hear the terms, they may even hear our stories, but we have made a decision to move the reality of the Spirit to a side room where we hope no one will be offended by Him. The problem is that we are entering a phase of history where only the genuine power of God will suffice to confront and overcome the challenges that face us. We who have seen and experienced the power of the Spirit in supernatural manifestation have an obligation to demonstrate, instruct, and recruit our juniors into the flow. If church doesn’t again become more than a few songs, an encouraging speech, and some expensive coffee, our legacy will be empty buildings and, even worse, empty hearts.

Scripture Reading: I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 NLT)

Somebody Said: When you read the New Testament, you see the Holy Spirit was supposed to change everything so that this gathering of people who call themselves Christians had this supernatural element about them. Frances Chan

I remember reading how Charles Finney attempted to stand as still as possible while preaching, so as to be sure any excitement would be from the Sprit and not from his oratorical and theatrical skills. Today, we have gone almost to the opposite extreme. I was told recently that in order to be ”successful” I needed a crack media department so we can do “effective commercials” in place of announcements. Really!? People need God. I pray they find Him among us.

Pastor Virgil Stokes


Check out our class “Is There an Interpreter in the House?” a guide to following the flow of the Holy Spirit in your services. It’s free on the Faith Ministry Training Institute website.

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