Thursday, September 20, 2007

His Spirit is all we need

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Zechariah 4, 5, 6

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)

6 So [the angel] said to me, “This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord God Almighty.”

Acts 2:17; 47b (NIV)

17 ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.’

47b And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Good morning!

Can you imagine what the early church might have looked like had it hired an outside consulting firm to do its evangelistic outreach campaign? The advertisement might have sounded something like this:

Come and visit The Church! We are conveniently located near the intersection of Grace Parkway and Highway 2 Heaven Road. Come and experience abundant life in our spacious state-of-the-art worship center. We offer a variety of program selections designed specifically to meet your family’s needs. We maintain a staff of highly educated, well-trained pastors, teachers, and evangelists, who are on call and ready to help you seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Won’t you come and join in one of our ten celebration services this weekend?

Sometimes we lose sight of whose church it is that we worship in. God had instructed Zerubbabel to see to the rebuilding of His temple in Jerusalem. The prophet Zechariah encouraged the people to press on while Zerubbabel made sure the work was completed according to the Lord’s specification. We get so caught up in the craftsmanship and detail of human hands that we forget to acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing people into the community of faith. The angel spoke God’s Word to Zechariah when he said, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord God Almighty.

After Christ’s death and resurrection, a small band of believers gathered together in the Upper Room and waited for the promise of the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit of the living God that drew literally thousands into fellowship with Jesus Christ. It was His Spirit that spoke to the hearts of people everywhere. It was His Spirit that converted even the most hardened hearts, like Saul. The early church gathered together in one tiny space, sharing everything they had with each other. They built their foundation upon prayer and praise, knowing they were powerless to change a world by their own hands. They waited for the Lord to act, and gave Him all glory, praise and honor, for the hearts of those who were being saved daily. Can you imagine what The Church could be if we took the “we” out of our advertising and focused completely upon Him?

Jesus Christ sends us forth with a message of salvation and hope to a world who desperately longs to know Him. We need to get out of His way, allowing His sweet Holy Spirit to do the greater work. We must stop relying solely upon the amenities we build with our hands, or the programs we plan and offer. Bringing people to Christ begins on our knees in prayer. It is not by anything we do or build, but only by the power of His Holy Spirit.

When the presence of God hovers, the people will come. As Christians, we can join hearts and hands through the Spirit, praying for our brothers and sisters to give their lives to the Lord. His sweet Holy Spirit is the only evangelist we need to bring the message of salvation to all people.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: a move of the Holy Spirit to break out in your faith community today. If God’s people will simply humble themselves and pray, the Church of Jesus Christ will rise up over all the earth and the Great Commission will be fulfilled just as He instructed us to do.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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