We continue to hear reports of how the majority world (Africa, Asia, and Latin America) are experiencing tremendous growth and renewal in, through and by the Holy Spirit. As we consider the Christian landscape in America however, we hear stories of decline in attendance, membership and general interest in Christianity. This should raise some important questions for those of us living in North America.
The number one question is “where has the Spirit and the power gone?” The Apostle Paul speaking about the gospel says “and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” (1 Corinthians 2:4). The Spirit of God is ever present with us, but are we allowing the power of God to manifest for and through us for the transformation of the world.
The Jesus event (his birth, death, resurrection and ascension) were all accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. All of our workshops, seminars, strategy sessions etc…are no substitute for a vital relationship with the Holy Spirit. Many attempt to reduce the Holy Spirit to a mere influence or moral compass in the life of the church. The Holy Spirit is, however, God active in the world. Others have tried to domesticate the Spirit, making God subject to human permission. Despite these attempts, which largely have taken place within Western Christianity, the Holy Spirit continues to work out the redemptive purposes of God.
There are tremendous things happening in the world which are directly connected to the work of the Spirit. Equally true is that God is still working among God’s people here in the states as well as within the majority world. It is true, that we generally only hear about the decline in the church and little attention is paid to the tremendous works of renewal taking place within our own cities. I am excited to know that I am living in a day and age which may well prove to witness one of the most widespread moves of God in human history.
I am encouraged by the words of the Prophet “And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am Jehovah your God, and no one else; and My people shall never be ashamed. And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions. And also I will pour out My Spirit on the slaves and on the slave women in those days”. (Joel 2:27-29)
Thanks for listening,