Sunday, October 29, 2017

I make a horrible Holy Spirit (and I bet you do too)

Stacy and I were slogging (slow + jogging = slogging) through our neighborhood on labor day weekend. As we turned a corner, we saw a neighbor working in the yard. As we slogged by, I smiled and playfully teased, "So you are celebrating Labor Day by... working?"

Surprised, my neighbor looked up, smiled, and said, "Yeah, unfortunately." And then he quickly added, "Hey, so sorry I missed your training at church last Saturday morning."

Without breaking stride, I smiled and waved him off, "No biggie bro. Always an invitation. Never any pressure."

Perplexed and surprised by my no-guilt response, he thought a moment. Then he yelled down the street, "Maybe you should put some some pressure on people."

I kept running and yelled back over my shoulder, "That's God's job."

And I sincerely meant it.

Here's why.

I really believe in the Holy Spirit.

Think about that statement for moment.

Some times and with good intentions, we act like we are the Holy Spirit in the lives of others.

Here's the problem: I make a horrible Holy Spirit.

And I bet you do too.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not afraid to challenge people to step up to find and follow Jesus. I do it in casual conversations and every time I preach and train.

My neighbor was in the congregation the Sunday before the training when I challenged him and the rest of the congregation to invest a few hours sharpening their hearts and hands for the sake of the Gospel. About half the congregation showed up for training the following Saturday. But alas, my neighbor was in the other half.

And now he wants me to pressure him? Really?

I refuse.

Here's why:
* "It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD...." Zechariah 4:4
* "...the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus the king...." Ezra 1:1
* "Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders...." Ezra 1:5
* "Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted...." Psalm 127:1

So let me ask you a question:
Do you really believe in the Holy Spirit?

Or worse yet, are you busy trying to be the Holy Spirit in the lives of others?

I have great news for you: There's no need to try to be the Holy Spirit in the lives of others.

Feeling any tension?

Does your need for control make what I'm talking about here scarey for you?

One last time, I dare you to answer this question honestly:
Do you really believe in the Holy Spirit?


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1 comment:

David Crosby said...

Great post Joe. Like the ol' saying goes, it's isn't you getting more of the Holy Spirit, it's the Holy Spirit getting more of you.