Is the Holy Spirit the “Forgotten God” in your life? Francis Chan asks that probing question in a book by that same title. He continues with a corollary question: When was the last time you undeniably saw the Holy Spirit at work in or around you?
These are logical questions to ask the day after Pentecost Sunday because both imply the necessary “So now what?” that we must always ask after celebrating such a powerful event. Did you know that’s what yesterday was? … 50 days after Resurrection Sunday? Did your church celebrate Pentecost? I worshipped at a church in Portland, Oregon yesterday (well-known for its Bible teaching), along with thousands of other folks, but no mention was made whatsoever of Pentecost … a lost opportunity!
The previous post on this blog … Preparing for Pentecost … focused primarily on the Promise of Pentecost, namely the Holy Spirit. Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry, He hinted at greater things to come for His disciples because of the Provision of the Holy Spirit.
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:12–15)
What could this passage mean for us today … Jesus–followers in the 21st Century? … “greater works than these he will do” … what are these “greater works”? … how is it possible for us as human beings to even come close to doing the “works that I (Jesus) do”?
The simplest answer may be found in geography! Unlike Jesus, Who voluntarily confined Himself to one specific location at a time while ministering on earth, this new “Body of Christ” is spread all around the globe at any specific time, on any given day.
The proverbial “bottom line” is that as Jesus Christ’s “body” we become the visible hands and feet and heart of Jesus to a lost and dying world. The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to fulfill this promise made by Jesus to His disciples.
The apostle Paul elaborates further on the Holy Spirit’s Provision in both of his letters to the church in the city of Corinth (I Corinthians 2:1–5, 10–16 and 2 Corinthians 3:17–18).
Jesus also spoke directly to His disciples about the Power of the Holy Spirit.
- “…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” (Acts 1:8)
What are some examples of this “power” [δύναμις] … from which we get the word “dynamite”?
- He convicts
- He regenerates
- He baptizes believers into His Church
- He indwells
- He seals
- He illuminates
- He gives gifts & empowers for service
- He produces spiritual, character fruit
*For a more complete list, plus supporting Scriptures, click here and download a one–page handout on “Pneumatology” … the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
“Spiritual Formation” … the life of discipleship … cannot occur without the power of the Holy Spirit. We may practice a variety of spiritual disciplines to aid this life–long process, but it is the living Spirit of God Who brings transformation of our character.
So now what? … How might we pursue this Holy Spirit–transforming life?
- Ask God to continuously transform our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 139:23 and I Corinthians 2:6–16)
- Ask Him to lead us into the truth of His Word.
- Ask God to point out the areas in our hearts that need to change.
- Listen for His answers.
- Ask Him to begin to change anything He brings to our minds.
- Resolve to give Him space and freedom to begin/continue a work of change within us.
- Ask for fresh, daily fillings of the Holy Spirit!
We don’t need to wait until next year’s Pentecost Sunday (May 20, 2018) to focus on the Promise, the Provision and the Power of the Holy Spirit as we pursue life, following the footsteps of Jesus.
Peace & Joy!