3.8.09

Why God loves a Spirit-filled Church

We live in the days of the Spirit of God. Through the Spirit (ruach) God made all things but it would seem that in the OT, the Spirit rested on certain individuals who were to carry out the Lord's mission. Moses wished that the Lord would put his Spirit in all people: 'Oh, that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!' (Numbers 11:29).

Why do we sometimes feel like Moses about our churches? I have had conversations today with people who have expressed that they can not feel the powerful presence of the Spirit in their church. The Spirit is there, I do not doubt, but the Spirit does need to be invited to come, as we know and if he is never mentioned, never invited, never the subject of teaching, never waited for, how tangible will his presence be? I am very fortunate to worship and serve at a church where the Spirit is welcomed and encouraged and prayed to in the name of Jesus with the Father.

The Lord promised 'I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh' (Joel 2:28), 'on your decendents' (Isaiah 44:3) and through the prophet Ezekiel, he said, 'I will put my Spirit within you' (Ezek 36:27). Jesus, at several times in his ministry, told his disciples to get ready for an outpouring from above. In fact, he told them they would benefit from his return to Heaven because if he did not go, the Spirit would not come (John 16:7). When Jesus was here in the flesh and was limited by his earthly body, he could only be in fellowship with a few people but now that his Spirit has been poured out, he can be in fellowship with each one of us in a very close way, anywhere and at anytime, inside and outside our churches. John 16:13-15 shows us how the Spirit glorifies our Saviour and reveals the fullness of his truth to us, so we have to ask ourselves, if churches quench the power of the Spirit, do not readily enough acknowledge and encourage the gifts of the Spirit, can they really claim to be fully glorifying Jesus?

Ask yourself whether your church invites the Spirit to come. Does it wait on the Spirit? Does it expect its members to meet with and be filled continually with the Spirit, do the leaders help you to invite the Spirit into your life and encourage you to ask the Spirit to minister to you?

If not, it could be that you are being subjected to a kind of very subtle spiritual abuse. You might feel as though the Spirit rests on the leaders in a way that it could never rest on you. You might be feeling as though you can not come to the scriptures and search them without the guidance of your leader because he makes you feel as though he is the only one who has the 'answers'. You might be having your mind stimulated with wonderful, intellectual, biblical teaching but are you being encouraged to ask the Spirit to bring you into the real fullness of this truth or are you in too much of a co-dependency relationship with your vicar, when your only Lord should be Jesus Christ, your Saviour, Son of the living God, present in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Go and seek the Spirit - be free to worship in fullness to his glory and majesty and ask Jesus to free you of the chains of co-dependency.

Rach

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