February 24, 2010

Forgotten God

Lately I've been reading a lot of stuff for seminary, but I have managed to do some reading on the side, particularly some stuff by A.W. Tozer. Right now the focus from Tozer has been on the Holy Spirit, & after some reflection, I have to agree with him that we have come to a place of neglecting the Holy Spirit, which is of course, God Himself. The crazy thing about that to me is that the Holy Spirit is the person who dwells in us upon our salvation, & He is the one who empowers believers & the church to do the work & will of God.

Sadly it's possible for us to "do the Christian life" & to "do church" all without the Holy Spirit. Tozer calls this "turning the crank". We organize a group, hire a pastor, develop some programs, & "turn the crank." That's all there is to it. All the while we neglect the Spirit of God & His role in our lives & ministries. I know there have been times in my own life & ministry where I simply turned the crank; I relied more on my talent & ingenuity than on the Holy Spirit. The scary thing is when you see results from your work, & you think that the Holy Spirit has been moving even though you've never once stopped to seek His guidance or power. As a result you keep doing what you do. This isn't just about the church; it's true in our personal journeys with Christ as well. We follow a prescribed program for Christian growth separate & apart from seeking the Holy Spirit's power & guidance for that growth. We have to understand that as Christians we are called to do impossible things, & we are trying to do them "without first being empowered by the God of the impossible."

How have simply "turned the crank" in your personal faith? How have you neglected the Holy Spirit in your place of ministry? What can we do to get back to a place where we are desperate for the guidance & empowering of the Holy Spirit?

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