5.25.2010

In Other Words ~ The Holy Spirit



Our view of the Holy Spirit is too small.
The Holy Spirit is the One who changes the church,
but we have to remember that the Holy Spirit lives in us.
It is individual people living Spirit-filled lives
that will change the church.”
Francis Chan, in 




The above quote was chosen by Tami at The Next Step for today's In "Other Words.  Please visit Tami today to see what she and others have shared about today's quote.  Thank you, Tami, for hosting today!
Crazy Love is one of my favorite books I've never read. :)   You know the ones...you hear people talk about them, you read reviews, quotes, and exerpts, but you haven't managed to actually get your hands on the book yet?   Everything I've read about and from Crazy Love has intrigued, inspired, or convicted me.  I've been on the reserve list at the library for it forever, can't find it used at a price I like, and can't justify buying it new while I have a stack of "to be read" books staring at me from the shelf beside my desk.  But one of these days...:)
Anyway, I was excited to see it as the source of this week's IOW quote.  I also found it interesting because I have been looking toward doing a Bible study on the topic of the Holy Spirit soon.  I've thought often in the past few years about the Holy Spirit's role as intercessor...
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 
~ Romans 8:26
And I think often about the Holy Spirit's role in convicting us of sin.  But otherwise, I don't tend to focus a great deal on the Holy Spirit, and I've realized recently that that needs to change.  So...when I read this quote, that first line jumped out at me: "Yes, my view of the Holy Spirit IS too small!"  
I've mentioned several times here (in addition to my review) that the book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
   , by David Platt, has impacted me greatly.  It's one of those I'll be re-reading a bit at a time for a long time.  
One of the major points David Platt makes in that book is that the American Church has in large part completely "missed it" as far as "church growth" goes.  Platt, who had been called "the youngest mega-church pastor in history", began to realize that his model for ministry ~ Jesus ~ did not have a mega-church.  In fact, He had a mini-church.  He invested the great majority of His time in 12 men, and at the time of His ascension, there were about 120 people actually following Him.  Not quite the "successful church" as we define it today. 
Platt goes on to say that in many churches, the focus is on programs, buildings, all kinds of man-made resources.  But, as Platt says...
"The church I lead could have all the man-made resources that one could imagine, but apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, such a church will do nothing of significance for the glory of God."
He goes on to say...
"In fact, I believe the opposite is true.  The church I lead could have the least gifted people, the least talented people, the fewest leaders, and the least money, and this church under the power of the Holy Spirit could still shake the nations for His glory.  The reality is that the church I lead can accomplish more during the next month in the power of God's Spirit than we can in the next hundred years apart from His provision.  His power is so superior to ours.  Why do we not desperately seek it?"
I wish I had time and space to go into detail about Platt's description of God's gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It opened my eyes in a whole new way to the blessing and importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, while connecting to other things that God has been teaching me over the past several years in that mind-blowing way God has of teaching us sometimes.   I can only touch very briefly on it here, but perhaps will be able to expand a bit in another post.
In Luke 10:13, Jesus says that God gives us the Holy Spirit in answer to our prayers.   In a similar passage in Matthew 7, Jesus says that God gives "good gifts" to those who asks.  Platt says that those "good gifts" are the Holy Spirit.  We ask for comfort when we are hurting; God doesn't just give us comfort, He gives us the Comforter ~ The Holy Spirit.  We ask for guidance and help when faced with a decision; God gives us the Helper and Guide ~ The Holy Spirit.  We ask for strength, and God gives us the Spirit of Power.  God gives us Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, inside of us.  What an amazing thought!  And one which I have so taken for granted.
God uses us ~ Holy Spirit filled believers ~ to do His work.  But any work we do apart from the Holy Spirit is totally worthless...as filthy rags.  As I've been working on this post, I've been thinking about the youth girls' Sunday School class I start teaching in a couple of weeks.  I am so excited about it...it's where God has laid my heart right now and I am so thankful for this new opportunity...and yet, there is a bit of fear as well.  It's a huge responsibility, and one I don't take at all lightly.  I'm so thankful for the reminders even through today's quote and the reading I've done to go along with it that it is not my power, or my wisdom, or my presentation that are important...if so, we'd be in trouble!  What *is* important is for me to get desperate for God's power and wisdom and strength and plead for Him to work in this class through the Holy Spirit's power in me, to do a work that only He can do.  
What are you desperate for the Holy Spirit to do in and through you today?  I'd love to hear in the comments, or pop over to Tami's blog and share your own post on today's quote. 

8 comments:

ckbasi said...

It's so reassuring, to think that I don't have to be particularly holy to make a difference in the world.

MiPa said...

I'm like you in that Crazy Love is my favourite book I've never read---someday. But based on this post, Platt's book is also moving up that list of "must reads". Convicting stuff while at the same time being encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

Nic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic said...

"The church I lead could have all the man-made resources that one could imagine, but apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, such a church will do nothing of significance for the glory of God."
He goes on to say...
"In fact, I believe the opposite is true. The church I lead could have the least gifted people, the least talented people, the fewest leaders, and the least money, and this church under the power of the Holy Spirit could still shake the nations for His glory. The reality is that the church I lead can accomplish more during the next month in the power of God's Spirit than we can in the next hundred years apart from His provision. His power is so superior to ours. Why do we not desperately seek it?"


This moved me to tears! Amen to one so "young" who GETS IT! God told Paul, "My strength is made perfect in weakness". Thank you so much for participating this week. I've really enjoyed visiting.

(I'll have to get that book too now to see what more he has to say)

Debbie said...

I've been hearing more and more positive reviews regarding this David Platt book. I might just have to break down and buy it. :)

This was a great post on our quote.

Blessings,
Debbie

Tami Boesiger said...

Thanks for the tip on David Platt's book and for reminding us nothing is impossible with God!

LittleWomen21 said...

Now I have TWO "favorite books I've never read" because not only have I been hearing a lot about Crazy Love but also about Radical, too.

Just love this particular quote from your post:

"We ask for comfort when we are hurting; God doesn't just give us comfort, He gives us the Comforter ~ The Holy Spirit. We ask for guidance and help when faced with a decision; God gives us the Helper and Guide ~ The Holy Spirit. We ask for strength, and God gives us the Spirit of Power. God gives us Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, inside of us. What an amazing thought!"

Copying that and pasting it into my "quotes" folder. Thank you for the inspiration.

shopannies said...

you are so right until recently the holy spirit was something I had heard of never gave much thought then an older lady in our church led a group on the holy spirit and now it is so much more than just trivial knowledge