It’s been a little while since my last blog post – sorry for that. Things seem to ebb and flow and the last two and half weeks contained lots of ebb. I’ve begun to read Forgotten God by Francis Chan – what a neat book.
I must admit the topic initially didn’t intrigue me that much – I don’t tend to forget God that much and then I read the sub titile: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Then I knew I had to read this book.
See – the Holy Spirit – well, I guess it’s my upbringing or something – but the Holy Spirit is something I really don’t understand all that much. I know – the Holy Spirit is God – and the Trinity etc. but beyond that – as to actual workings and scripture to back it up…well I admit I was pretty clueless. The book begins by actaully assuming that most people know or understand very little about the Holy Spirit. It’s very informative and good – I’m not going to do a major book study on it here.
But I got to the chapter called Why Do You Want Him?
Basically Chan talks about motive. Sure – who wouldn’t want the power of God inside of them – residing and actiing on your behalf. But if your motive is purely to have Him reside inside of you then Chan compares you to something very un-cool. Chan says we are to be compared to…
“Simon the magician, who tried to buy the Holy Spirit’s power from the apostles. Peter’s response to Simon in that situation was strong; he said, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!” Acts 8:20
Further on Chan provides the “right motive”
“The Spirit is intentional as He apportions these spiritual gifts to each person, according to His will and purpose. The most obvious and stated purpose of these manifestations is for the good and edification of the church. The Spirit desires to use us when our hearts are aligned with this vision, when we are filled with genuine love for the church, and when we desire to see the church grow in love for God and others”
Let that all sink in. I had to read it a couple of times. Not because it was complicated. But rather – because I had a tilted view of this. I was under the impression that the Holy Spirit was residing in me “for me” and that the goal was to have Him in there.
If any ot you were at Lakeside this past Sunday – Pastor Dave gave a talk that was actually perfectly in-line with this. I believe that God spoke through Dave this weekend – and God’s word shone bright and clear. We are to gather and scatter – functioning as the church. By us working for the church- and through the church - the Spirit will be ever present and guard and interceed for us and give us hope and all those great things the Spirit provides for us – but we can’t expect to get the Spirit just to have those cool things all to ourselves – we’ve got to understand that the Spirit was given for a reason – and it wasn’t completely to hoarde it for ourselves – rather…
“He [Jesus] said to them ‘But you will recieve power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ Acts 1:7-8″
If we don’t have the Holy Spirit working and residing in us some of us might need to ask the question “Why do you want Him?” This isn’t a trivial thing – God didn’t give the Spirit to be a blessing to “me” – but rather to “we”.
Take a moment right now or later when you can be completely alone with yourself and ask yourself that little question. And write out your answer. Be honest with yourself. Then take time to talk to God about your answer. If you’re inclined – read through the book of Acts – from chapter 1 all the way and including chapter 5 – it’s really not that much; a couple of pages.
Then make up your mind for yourself. Whatever you do – make sure you have a good answer for the question
“Why do you want Him?”