The churches of Christ can be a little Spirit shy.
When we talk about the Holy Spirit with someone outside of our tribe we tend to get a little nervous about where the conversation might lead. We are not sure how to talk about the third person of the Trinity. The one whom Francis Chan refers to as the “Forgotten God.” The one that you may believe to be “the silent partner.”
We back away from those conversations especially if someone has experienced a powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit or their language is saturated with talk of His presence and guidance in their lives. We are shy and our language is Holy Spirit dry. We leave the conversation either thinking that their experiences are too “far out there” to believe because it doesn’t fit in our theology, or that this person is a spiritual elitist. “I wish I was that in-tune with God’s Spirit.”
“I wish I was that in-tune with God’s Spirit.”
We are skeptics. Have you ever heard someone talk about their spiritual experiences of being led by the Spirit and it kind of sounds like this satirical article, “Everything Local Man Feels Led To Do He Coincidentally Really Likes.” You listen attentively to what they are saying and even affirm their experiences yet something inside of you knows that it’s not quite right. You ask yourself, “Is that really how the Spirit of God operates?”
Instead of thinking that others “more in-tune with the Spirit” are spiritually elite, know that God gives his Spirit to those who are poor in spirit. He grants His Spirit to those with a broken and bankrupt spirit. You need to be born of the Spirit and baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit. Your body is a temple of the Spirit. You have the living presence of God inside of your mortal flesh not because you are spiritually elite, but because you need your spirit to be connected to His.
Instead of always being a skeptic meandering through life not knowing how the Spirit leads, know that he will always lead you into the presence of Jesus. Jesus may be out in the desert and he may be at a wedding party. He will be in the garden of Gethsemane and on Golgotha. He will lead us to take up our cross. The Spirit will lead us to Jesus our neighbor who is in need of clothing, food, shelter and a visit in prison. The Spirit will lead us to the Jesus who sits at the right hand of God.
Take time to create space in your life for God to awaken His Spirit in you. Read, pray – sit in silence, seeking his powerful presence so that you may follow him with wonder each day.
Press into the adventure of the Spirit. You will go where He leads even if it is out of your comfort zone and wheelhouse. God will use you to be a minister of His grace and good works.
You don’t have to be shy and you don’t have to be a skeptic. You can choose to come alive with the Holy Spirit and join God’s adventure for your life.
Visit here to listen to a sermon Jovan recently preached entitled “spirit 2 Spirit: power to Power,” on May 15, 2016.