What are you reading? I am not one who grew up with a love of reading. Early in my career I travelled most weeks and learned to enjoy reading on long flights. I tried some fiction books, but found with the limited time I had to read that I wanted to read books that I could learn from and apply to my life. For many years I have tried to have two books that I am reading at all times. Generally I am reading s a business book and a book on the Christian walk. I guess this is how I came to write Good to Great Families.
I just finished Forgotten God by Francis Chan. Francis delivers so many short, thoughtful, and challenging thoughts in his books. I shared some of his thoughts from Crazy Love in a previous blog that inspired me. Forgotten God illustrates the observation and reality that the western church tends to rely on the talent of our church leaders and has forgotten the Holy Spirit that distinguishes us from every religion and person in the world. In this book, Francis describes the Holy Spirit, challenges us to know Him, and let the Holy Spirit work in our lives. The following are a few passages that I underlined as I read Forgotten God and thought would give you a taste of the book and possibly inspiration to engage the power of the Holy Spirit that resides in you.
The Holy Spirit is as essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive.
Without Him, people operate in their own strength and only accomplish human-sized results. The world is not moved by love or actions that are or human creation. And the church is not empowered to live differently than any other gathering of people without the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit is more obviously active in places where people are desperate for Him, humbled before Him, and not distracted by their pursuit of wealth or comforts.
As we trust in the promises of the Spirit, we will be led away from discouragement and into lives marked by confidence, power in the midst of our weakness, and the fruit of the Spirit. ….”Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished.” Acts 4:13
He wants an invitation from us to permeate everything and every part of us.
If it’s true that the Spirit of God dwells in us and that our bodies are the Holy Spirit’s temple, then shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?
The Holy Spirit does not seek to hurt us, but He does seek to make us Christlike, and this can be painful.
As citizens of this kingdom, we are called to live in a way that reflects the reality of the kingdom of God. When we become overly concerned about our appearance, our spiritual reputation, our coolness, and our acceptance, we are living as citizens of this world rather than as ambassadors.
Truths about the Holy Spirit:
- The Holy Spirit is a Person
- The Holy Spirit is God
- The Holy Spirit is eternal and holy
- The Holy Spirit has His own mind, and He prays for us
- The Holy Spirit has emotions
- The Holy Spirit has His own desires and will
- The Holy Spirit is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient
Let’s pray that God would empower us so radically that we would get no glory: That people would see our works and glorify God.
The Spirit is meant to lead us toward holiness. The Spirit is here with us to accomplish God’s purposes, not ours.
The Holy Spirit is the one who fills believers with God’s love and the one who enables us to love one another.
It is a spiritual discipline to be still, to listen, and to cut out the distraction and din of our world. And as we practice this stillness, this waiting, this being, it is then that we can experience deep intimacy and relationship with the Holy Spirit.
God wants to see His children stake everything on His power and presence in their lives.
Is your life a life in which people know that our accomplishments could not have been attained by our own power? I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. …Now I deeply desire that the Spirit of God would do things that I know are not of me and that cannot be faked or accounted for by human reason.
At Christian gatherings, do people leave talking about the people who led rather than the power of God? This principle carries into the way we live our personal lives as well. People ought to see the transformation in our lives respond by saying, “The Lord-He is God!”
Have you ever prayed that God would so fill you with the Spirit that people would know the change could be empowered only by the Spirit? It is when we are filled with true peace and hope that people notice there is something different about us. The Holy Spirit is the one who give us both peace and hope.
Most churchgoers are content to find a bit of peace rather than a “peace of God”, which surpasses all understanding.”
When you begin living a life characterized by walking with the Spirit, that is when people will begin to look not to you but to our Father in heaven and give Him the praise.
This week I heard the testimonies of 4 people at church. In each of the four stories all had reached a point of desperation before turning to God and that is when God did His work. In my own experience I can also say that when I have come to the end of my strength and only have God to turn to then He has been there for me. We hear of the great work that God is doing in parts of the world where people are desperate. Is it possible in the comforts and self-reliant capabilities in our western world that we do not feel we need God? If we recognized our depravity and trusted God in all things would we experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives? My hope is that you have read and contemplated each of these thoughts. I hope that they have challenged and inspired you as they have me and that you will pursue a relationship and experience the same power that operated in the original disciples and Jesus Himself in your life. I pray that you will experience this power and be changed by the overflowing of the fruits of the spirit in your life.