Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

One more time, Friend!

Many years ago, I didn’t have any churches that wanted me to preach. As a result, I spent a lot of time doing things outside the church. One frequent destination was the city bus interchange – a large, mostly empty lot where a swarm of buses rolled up every hour to deposit their human cargo, load up a fresh batch, then roar off in a cloud of diesel smoke. People began gathering on benches to wait for their buses about 15 minutes before the mass arrival. This population was a prime target for our zealous tract-passing and Gospel-preaching. On my first attempt at this cold-call style of evangelism, I spotted a man sitting on a bench with his back to me. With fear and trembling, I approached him. He was leaning forward as if working on something on the ground in front of him. I cleared my throat and said, “Good morning, sir. Do you know Jesus?” He straightened up and turned toward me. He was a large man of African heritage with tattoos and an open shirt. In one hand he held a whetstone, in the other a sizeable knife, which he had apparently been sharpening. The certainty of my impending death swept over me in a wave.

Obviously, I didn’t die. In fact, I wound up praying with this man to ask Jesus to forgive him and save him. Indeed, after he stared at me with what I thought was a vicious scowl, he began to weep as the Spirit of God touched his heart. He said, “Oh man, my mama’s been prayin’ for me again.” Here’s the point: The Holy Spirit is alive and well. He is eager to help us when we are involved in doing the work of God. We tend to diminish Him in our churches, either to a mere doctrine, or to a toy for performing spiritual tricks to entertain the crowd. He is so much more. If we consult Him, He will lead us to folks whom He has prepared for us to reach. If we expect Him to do so, He will intervene in our ministry interactions with supernatural power. If we learn to listen and yield, He will give us words to speak that will break the stoniest hearts.

Somebody Said: “Will God ever ask you to do something you are not able to do? The answer is yes–all the time! It must be that way, for God’s glory and kingdom. If we function according to our ability alone, we get the glory; if we function according to the power of the Spirit within us, God gets the glory. He wants to reveal Himself to a watching world.” ― Henry T. Blackaby

Scripture Reading: He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” (Acts 1:7-8 MSG)

I never start out to write a jeremiad. Sometimes it just happens. I believe the church, kind of like Samson after he was captured and blinded, is beginning to grow hair again. After all the scandals and embarrassments, after looking to focus-groups rather than Bible truth, after depending on programs rather than power, after building on marketing rather that anointing, after trusting politicians above prophets, I believe we are standing in the temple of Dagon crying out for one more move of God before it all comes crashing down. The critical need is some people committed to obeying and trusting the Spirit of God. God won’t empower us for things we are not willing to do. Are you ready? I am.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

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