Suddenly, all that I know is not enough. Every scripture, every revealed word from God, everything … means nothing in this moment. I do not have a sermon in me that can fix this. I do not have a revelation that can make this bad any better. I cannot save him. I’m desperate.
More than ever, I can see the deficiency in my walk with the Lord. There is no power. There is only words. Satan has come into my home and has stripped us of peace and joy. Now he is trying to destroy the hearts, the lives of my children. Why does he feel welcome? How is it that Satan can walk boldly across the threshold of my home? Why isn’t he trembling? Why doesn’t he fear the Christ he finds residing there?
Perhaps it’s all smoke and mirrors. Perhaps I have spent so much time reading the word, studying the scriptures, but I have neglected the relationship I once had. Perhaps I have traded intimacy for passing glances and shoulder rubs that mean little to nothing. Here’s what I know: the Holy Spirit is sorely lacking.
I have turned to God in complete surrender, so aware of my inefficiency and said, “God, I’ve got nothing!” And he sighed and said, “Finally!”
Could it be that it took such desperation to get me to recognize the futility of my own efforts? Is this what it takes to recognize the necessity of the Holy Spirit?
I sat in service last week and listened intently for something to hold on to. There was nothing. Our church programs have become the foundation of all we say and all we do. We have forsaken the true Cornerstone and fitted our pews with people who only want to be tickled. Then we give them what they want. We strip the Gospel of everything that might offend people and we feed the sheep hot air.
Where is the power? Where is the anointing? Didn’t Jesus come to set the captives free? To bind up the broken hearted? Release those bound by demons? To comfort those who mourn? Wasn’t Jesus’ message more than just trite platitudes that succinctly defined the Christian faith? What did Jesus have that we don’t have?
Jesus had a relationship. More than that, a dependency. He said, in essence, “Everything I bring to you, all that I say and do, comes directly from the Father.”
Who knows the Father? Who hears His heart? Who relates His wisdom to a lost and dying world?
The Holy Spirit.
Would the message change if we knew that the men and women, and even children, who populate our pews are dying inside? Would our message change if we knew that they go home to the same demons they sought release from week after week? Would we stop talking so much and pray more? Would we press in in desperation if we knew that the blood of humanity would be on our hands come judgment day? Would we speak less from head knowledge? Would we seek to know the mind and heart of Christ?
I’m desperate. I’m desperate for my family. I’m sorry that it took such desperation in my home to make me desperate for the lost. But now I am desperate for more of the Holy Spirit. I’m desperate for God. I’m desperate to know Him. Not about Him. To know Him. There is so much in the world I could have an opinion about but what’s an opinion worth? I need Jesus in a whole new way. The church needs Jesus in a whole new way. We need the Holy Spirit. We need the Spirit of God to reveal the heart of God to us so that all that we say and all that we do is worth something eternally.
People need the Lord. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, saying, “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you will find life, but you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40, paraphrased)” While knowing scriptures makes you popular among men, knowing Jesus makes you known in Heaven. How many of us will come to that day and be told He doesn’t know us? We might then defend our works and the many hours spent studying, but he will say again, “I do not know you.” Because in truth, we have not taken the time to know Him.
We study Acts 2 looking for a secret formula. What made the first church so effective? Was it their fellowship? The ability to get along? Their willingness to sacrifice and give of all that they had? No. These were not the cause of revival. Each of these were the effect of revival. Before they got along, they got alone with the Holy Spirit. They pressed in in prayer and waited on the Lord. It was the Holy Spirit working in them that caused unity. It was the Spirit of God that created an atmosphere of selflessness and fellowship. The Holy Spirit was the cause of the First Great Awakening.
To that end, no amount of man’s effort can replicate what only the Spirit of God can do. We want revival? We want to see people come to Christ? We want these dry bones to live again? We need the Holy Spirit. It is the epitomy of pride to think that we can bring these things about by our own efforts or our own cleverly worded sermons. And pride comes before a fall, not before a revival.
Holy Spirit of God, we need you. Now more than ever.