Life in the Spirit

Life in the Spirit

So here we are again, ‘Ordinary Time’ in the church calendar. A time to take our foot off the peddle? Not a chance!

 

Having had all the excitement of Pentecost (Acts 2) we must remember why God sends the Holy Spirit. It is not so that we might personally bask in the delights of receiving a spiritual gift, (1 Corinthians 12), or be spiritually self-indulgent. Not so much that we become nicer people, although the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’  (Galatians 5:22-23)  is certainly a part of the indwelling nature of the Holy Spirit. It is not so that we become enigmatic or charismatic and bounce around like Tigger on steroids.

 

God in his wisdom wants each one of us to receive the Holy Spirit not for our promotion, but for the sake of Christ, by transforming us, ‘The Church’ and the world in which we live.

 

When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, they found their lives had been changed. The disciples could not hold back and they told everyone about what God had done in Jesus Christ. They were enthusiastic in their ‘witness’. Indeed throughout the Acts of the Apostles, wherever the Spirit is present, their evangelistic work flowed naturally through healing, speaking, challenging, listening and building up the ‘Followers of the Way’ (The Church). Why? Because the Spirit of God is essentially a witnessing Spirit. The Holy Spirit always draws full attention to Christ, not himself. (John 16: 13-15).

 

As time goes by they recognise that the Holy Spirit is not simply random and unstructured but orderly and strategic. (1 Corinthians 14 as well as many of the letters to the churches). They become the Body of Christ. They have an urge to witness and they begin to work hard on their own lives too. They also give instruction to the new churches on how to be followers of Christ. (The letters of Paul for instance). They build one another up, pray together and share what they have. Each day God adds to their number, but it is not without pain and strife (1 Corinthians 1: 10) or persecution either.

 

This baptism in the Holy Spirit is given to us today to empower us to be his witnesses. In effect we become his possession. Christ then works in us and through us. This baptism is a gift, which identifies us spiritually with the death and resurrection of Christ and joins us together as believers. (1 Corinthians 12 :13).

 

Therefore we are to function as Christ in the world. In other words we are to look after His Body, to witness, to bring people to Christ and make disciples. (This is essentially what the 2020Vision is all about). To heal the sick, teach, be an evangelist or even an administrator. To be filled by and focussed on the Holy Spirit means that we become his people more and more each day, where, as John the Baptist said “He must increase but I must decrease”. (John 3.33) . It will require obedience. This is not about a thrill factor roller coaster of a spiritual ride, but the nitty gritty of life as a follower of Christ.

 

Are you hungry and thirsty for the Spirit of God in your life? How might you respond practically? We need people to help in various ways in the life of the parish. Maybe God is calling you to help within areas such as

 

Children’s, Schools and Youth Work

Pastoral Team

Recognised Parish Assistants

Mission and Outreach

Prayer and Healing Ministry

Listeners

Welcome team

Maintenance team …. Etc etc etc

 

If so, please come and talk with me.