from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Archive for the category “Holy Spirit”

Forgotten God

Cover of "Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tr...

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I have been convinced for a long time that the biggest thing wrong with the church is the absence of the third person of the Trinity. Francis Chan refers to him as the “Forgotten God” in his book by the same name. Here are some of his comments to give consideration.

I’m willing to bet there are millions of churchgoers across America who cannot confidently say they have experienced His presence or action in their lives over the past year. And many of them do not believe they can.

…when believers live in the power of the Spirit, the evidence in their lives is supernatural. The church cannot help but be different, and the world cannot help but notice.

If you combine a charismatic speaker, a talented worship band, and some hip, creative events, people will attend your church. Yet this does not mean that the Holy Spirit of God is actively working and moving in the lives of the people who are coming.

For many people, however, caring too much about what others think can be a serious, even a driving, fear.

Don’t let your views be determined by a particular denomination or by what you’ve always been told.

…rarely (if ever) do we consider whether our actions or lifestyle are grievous to the Spirit of the living God.

I think it’s needless for us to debate about when the Holy Spirit becomes a part of someone’s life.

And that’s just from the first three chapters. Forgotten God is a very good read and should prompt some serious thinking and searching.

God Uses Whom He Pleases

When you hear someone mention Samson your first thought may go back to childhood Sunday School lessons about the great strength he had all because he never cut his hair.  But as an adult an examination of Samson’s life proves quite interesting from a spiritual perspective.  Based on what we know from Judges 14-16, Samson was rarely obedient to God and had an overall tragic life.  He reminds me in a way of Solomon without the riches. 

Yet God used him to lead Israel for twenty years and invoke judgement on the Philistines.  The awesomeness of God’s power literally taking control of him through the explosion of great strength astounded even Samson.  Why else did he not tell his parents about killing the lion?  Perhaps, even though he knew his strength came from God, he was shocked and a little freightened at what he had done “in the Spirit.”

Still Samson’s actions appear to be mostly motivated by his own selfish desires.  He didn’t even realize when God’s power left him (Judges 16:20).

Becoming an Evangelistic Church

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Churches often ask the question how can we grow, what do we need to do to reach more people. The answer is multi-faceted, but one thing sorely missing in many churches is the evidence of genuine worship.

Unfortunately we tend to under-estimate the power of our corporate worship time.  Many see it as a time to sing some songs and then complain if the songs aren’t like they prefer them.  David makes it clear in Psalm 40:3 that singing is power packed.

Rory Noland states in his book The Worshiping Artist, “Whenever Christ is lifted up, believers and unbelievers alike are drawn to him.”  There should be something for non-believers to feel, see, sense in our corporate worship time that draws others to Christ.  If there isn’t, that is perhaps the best place to start toward becoming an evangelistic church.

Listening to The Spirit

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been participating in an online discussion of Mark Batterson’s book Wild Goose Chase. I have my favorite quotes and points highlighted in my Kindle, and as I was going back through them this morning this one struck me – again.

“Spiritual maturity has less to do with long-range visions than it does with moment-by-moment sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy spirit.”

This statement stands out with me because I’ve known older Christians in leadership positions who you would consider to be spiritually mature but seem to have little sensitivity to The Spirit. And yes, I’ve been guilty myself. It got me wondering about the difference between maturity and spiritual maturity.

Perhaps part of spiritual maturity is knowing how to maintain balance in your life to avoid busy-ness. It is so easy to lose our focus, get caught up in a vision, or just “doing the Lord’s work” that we don’t hear or sense what God really wants. Experience teaches us how to distinguish the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Focus insures we don’t miss those promptings.

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