How do we honor the Holy Spirit? Do we honor Him fully in all aspects of our lives?`
There is one area where I have a burden that I don’t know how to communicate well enough or have the right words to say, I’m sure that these thoughts and my heart could be twisted or taken out of context, but I hope I communicate this out of love.
I believe we’ve made an idol out of reaching the unsaved too often in our lives and churches. Or perhaps sometimes it’s fear of man – twisted to look like we’re putting the “point-of-view” of the unbeliever first.
What is an idol? It is simply something that sits in the place that should be reserved for the Lord. The top place of our hearts, the most important, our focus and our gaze. “Idol” sounds like such a strong word and many think that it is inherently an evil thing – but even good things become idols if they reside in the area of our lives that should be for our God.
We cannot diminish, hide, or reserve the Holy Spirit in order to be more approachable.
Who convicts sinners? (John 16:8) Who brings the revelation of who God is? (Ephesians 1:17)
Why do some believe they will be MORE effective at reaching the lost when they ask their church members to stop inviting the full depth of the Holy Spirit? That’s ministering with both arms tied behind our back. We are not salesmen. Let God the Holy Spirit work on man’s heart – and then present the simple Gospel! Don’t you remember getting saved? Why did you say yes?! Take a minute and honestly remember and contemplate it. Where were you, what was presented, and what was happening in your heart and soul leading up to your yes?
In your personal life and ministry, you absolutely won’t be as effective if you believe you can talk someone into salvation.
Pursue depth in your personal life to uncover and search out more and more of the heart of God. Fall in love with the bridegroom and I promise that you will fall more in love with the bride. In my life, I need more hunger. I want more passion, more zeal. I have tried to love my neighbor more, I have prayed for more love for my fellow man. But I find that as I fall more in love with my Father, my Friend and my Comforter – that I have more love for man, my community and even my family.
Don’t put the Holy Spirit on a shelf – especially during church. Worship, pray and be fed from a house that pushes you into deeper love with Jesus (in all His fullness). Let our character exude the fruit of the Spirit. Let our lives be marked by answered prayers, the testimony of His faithfulness and even miracles.
“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” – John 10:37-38
Our gatherings ought to look like something. Our lives ought to look like something. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control are all yours if you will live life out of the Spirit.
I’m speaking right to my own heart: stop replacing the Holy Spirit with knowledge, charm or charisma. Stop thinking you know better how to love the lost than the One who died so they could be saved. Stop dishonoring the Holy Spirit by placing him on a shelf or ever viewing Him as anything less than fully God.
I’m working to fall more in love and pursue depth with the bridegroom – and I’d encourage everyone else to as well – for from that relationship we will discover love for the lost. God is actively working to call the unbeliever home – let us not think we know better than Him or that we can put a prettier face on Him first. Let’s be sure to carry the Holy Spirit boldly and give the unsaved soul the opportunity to recognize what it is longing for – both in church and in our everyday lives.