“The doctrine of the Spirit is buried dynamite. Its power awaits discovery and use by the Church. The power of the Spirit will not be given to any mincing asset to pneumatological truth. The Holy Spirit cares not at all whether we write Him into our creeds in the back of our hymnals; He awaits our emphasis. When He gets into the thinking of the teachers He will get into the expectation of the hearers. When the Holy Spirit ceases to be incidental and again becomes fundamental, the power of the Spirit will be asserted once more among the people called Christians.”
- W. Tozer
In case you are wondering, the word “pneumatological” means the study of spiritual beings and the interaction of humans with God. That word alone caused me to question my use of the above quote. However, in all honestly, I could not help but to use it because Mr. Tozer so wonderfully describes that which has become all too common within the universal church; the lack of the Holy Spirit’s power. “He awaits our emphasis.” With that said, however, I am inclined to believe that Mr. Tozer’s impartation may be in process of rediscovery. To various degrees around the world and within our own culture, there seems to be small pockets of re-emphasization of, and expectancy in, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. In many places He is becoming fundamental again to church culture.
Here at New Life, we are not unfamiliar with the presence of the Holy Spirit. However, we are still experiencing a re-awakening of sorts in His prevalence. We have seen this through the recent call from our Senior Pastor to welcome the Holy Spirit into every aspect of our lives. “Holy Spirit, come!” As well, this has been coupled with the integration of our 1st Wednesday services.
1st Wednesday services launched at the beginning of the year and we have had four amazing meetings thus far. In fact, they have been so well attended that after just two meetings it was relocated to the much larger main auditorium in the month of March. If you have attended each of these services, as I have, then you too have witnessed something incredible – the rapid increase in the Holy Spirit’s palpable presence. With each meeting the pressure in the room has intensified. It feels like the cork is about to burst out of the bottle. With this has come the sense that the Holy Spirit is ready to significantly add to the already amazing work He has done in our city and through our church.
Here is the thing though. As powerful as these once a month services have been, could you imagine if they were taking place seven days a week, and not just in our building but all over our city? What would that do to the spiritual climate of our communities? How would it affect marriages, our local government, businesses, hospitals, and schools? What about crime rates? Would they begin to drop? My inclination is that all of these areas, and more, would be positively impacted by the power and love of Jesus. But the question is how? How could this sort of seeking after God’s face continue through the month all over the city day after day? How can the power of the Spirit be asserted in such regularity?
Well, in short, the framework in already in place. We have groups that meet all over our city. Our groups are designed to build authentic biblical community, to provide a connecting point for discipleship, and to promote unity within the Body of Christ. However, there is one other purpose that has at times been overlooked within the world of small groups, and that is to communally seek after the face of God, to pray and to worship the living King just as is done during our 1st Wednesday services.
I have previously stated the vision the Lord gave me about groups. In May of last year (2016) God provided me with a picture for New Life Groups out of Acts 12:12. The Lord simply showed me a dimly lit living room with a group of people passionately praying and seeking the Lord together. I sensed Him tell me that if this begins to take place all over our city then our city will become a true city on a hill, shining brightly for the rest of our nation to take notice.
Here is what I believe. When we engage beyond Sunday, fundamentally emphasizing the presence of the Holy Spirit through the joint effort of elements such as our 1st Wednesday services and weekly Group meetings, then we will, without a doubt, begin to unbury and even ignite the dynamite of the Spirits power in our communities. Add this to our church’s faith in action; what’s been taking place in our community through things like the Dream Centers (Mary’s Home, the Women’s Clinic, and Adopt-A-Block), our city will begin to glow and the rest of the nation won’t be able to help but notice, looking, then, for the reasons behind it all. What they will find will be the Holy Spirit proclaiming the name of Jesus through His people.
Group leaders; let’s get Him into our thinking so that He gets into the expectations of our hearers. Let us fellowship. Let us disciple. But above all, let us make the Holy Spirit fundamental again. Let us seek Him in active prayer and worship. Let us prayer-walk our neighborhoods and share the Gospel by speaking the truth in love, and then let us expectantly watch for His power to draw people to Jesus and bring healing to our city.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus…After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. – Acts 4:13 & 31
Go Deeper—Grow Stronger!