I read an article a long time ago that said, "Some years ago a preacher caused a fuss when he said in one of our Australian Anglican Cathedrals: ‘If the Holy Spirit were removed from this place, 99% of what we do here would go on unhindered!'" Although I don't remember the source of the statement, it has stuck with me. We can get so bogged down in ministry running programs and taking care of business that we forget the mission handed onto us by God the Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. How much of our work would go on if the Holy Spirit were removed from our midst? I am scared at how closely we would fall in line with the preacher's remarks.
The Holy Spirit is simply God in action. God acts in our lives individually and in the life of the Church. I have tried to keep this in the forefront of my mind, especially in regard to my preaching. I want to preach and proclaim God's Word faithfully, and with deep conviction. I want my words to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. If the mission and purpose of preaching is life transformation, it has to be rooted in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Those of us entrusted with the privilege of preaching have a huge responsibility. If we are faithful in Preaching with the fire of Pentecost all year long, it will evoke a response. As the Scriptures say, it will “cut to the heart.” Are we seeing God's people make a response due to our preaching? If so, is it a positive response? We want to see people experiencing renewal and joy so they can live faith-filled lives dedicated to the Lord in a culture that will challenge their convictions at every turn. Are we equipping them for such a task?
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you." (Acts 1:8) Do we really believe this? The danger of organized Christianity today is that it can become powerless! There is nothing more boring than empty theological words. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10) Is that the type of life we are experiencing? If not, why not?
“Suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.”
How does the wind, fire, and tongues apply to us today?
Read John 14:12. (Yes, look it up. I am not giving you the verse.) Read it. Pray over it. Meditate upon it. Then ask yourself, "Am I seeing this kind of power in my life? If not, why not?"