Yesterday we started examining The Empowered Life.
We acknowledge that we are tired of living this upright kind of life and that we have come to the end of ourselves. We say with our mouths that we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, but how much do we really hold that to be real? The fact is, Jesus – through the sanctifying Spirit – is able to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Not only that, He can empower us to do great things for the Kingdom, much as he did at Pentecost for a group of ordinary disciples. But this can happen nothing short of an encounter with the Supernatural.
The Presence of God
However, in order to embrace the empowered life we have to tap in to the resources that God makes available for all believers. And frankly that scares us. Because when God moves with power, we cannot put Him into a box. We cannot control this unpredictable, uncontrollable God. And we certainly don’t want to be emotionally manipulated by spiritual “leaders” who claim to have special access to the Spirit. So, rather than step out with faith, we resign ourselves to orthodoxy. At the very least, we become churches that are not much more than stained-glass museums and social centers of spiritual correctness.
We are tired, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Every other religion on the planet says that we have to work hard every single day in order to live an upright life. Hinduism, for example, has some of the poorest people on the planet, and yet their religion declares that they have to take everything they have and lay it on an altar of incense. They are starving, but they give their bananas and coins to gods that cannot answer back, giving them no assurance that they will be set free from the bondage that leaves them completely helpless. Followers of Jesus who have also surrendered to the Holy Spirit of God have a very different story.
At the end of the pastor’s sermon I referenced yesterday, he said this:
I’m tired of programs. I’m weary of pursuing one religious method and then another. My spirit craves for a purpose that’s powerful enough and important enough that I can not only work hard, but I’m willing to surrender my life for the sake of it. Call it an anointing. Call it sanctification. Call it a filling. Call it a baptism. Who cares what we call it. But we need something more than what you or I can conjure up. We’re not smart enough; we’re not persuasive enough; we’re not creative enough. Our only hope is Jesus. There is among many a growing readiness to live out the fullest meaning of the presence of God.
May it be so.