Building People of Substance for Works of Power
The Holy Spirit is an action kind of Guy. In the New Testament He is described as doing all kinds of stuff. He leads folks, falls on folks, descends from Heaven, speaks, teaches, anoints, reveals, and in one very dramatic instance, He translated a guy to a completely different town. That doesn’t even count all the places where He did stuff through the agency of men: prophecy, miracles, signs and wonders galore. Unfortunately, the Person and power of the Spirit in the Church dimmed over the centuries. Slowly but surely, He has made a comeback. He moved from the doctrinal statement to the preaching in the Reformation as His work in conviction of sin and regeneration of sinners began to be emphasized again. Over the last century, His gifts and manifestations have been re-introduced to the Church. We have enjoyed wonderful demonstrations of His power in our services.
Sadly, in many places and in many churches the things of the Spirit are again being relegated to the spiritual closet: “Yes, we believe in that, but we don’t do it in public.” There are many reasons for this, but I want to focus on what I believe is the root: We have allowed the things of the Spirit to remain behind the four walls of the Church. In many instances, we implied that the manifestation of the Spirit was reserved for Sunday, or for “special” meetings, or for cheesy television shows. Spiritual gifts were restricted to the platform to be operated by the chosen few: “These are trained professionals. Don’t try this at home.” Pentecost was reduced from the young men, old men, sons and daughters, servants and handmaidens, all flesh, all-hands-on-deck outpouring of Acts Chapter 2 to a mildly entertaining spiritual vaudeville hour. It is time for believers to be refreshed in their spiritual life, and compelled to take it to the world they live in. The supernatural is our life style, not a Sunday diversion.
Somebody Said: Our passion is to imitate the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Spirit. This requires we must follow Jesus out of baptismal waters, through our personal deserts, and into the harvest. We want to take the ammunition of the balanced evangelical theology with the fire power of Pentecostal practice, loading & readying the best of both worlds to hit the target of making & nurturing disciples. John Wimber
Scripture Reading: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (Acts 2:17-18 KJV)
I have experienced and seen so much, the scripture is so full of examples, that I can’t just let it go and sit back on the padded pew to offer the occasional “Amen” for a well-crafted homily. So let’s sing another chorus of “Takin’ it to the Streets,” and do away with the idea of “Laymen.” Instead let’s empower the people of God to do the work of God by the power of the Spirit. I have the sense that God is offering us a choice: Will we allow the things of the Spirit to be moth-balled for the museums, or will we decide to be the supernatural church that Acts Chapter 2 envisioned? Status quo is not an option.