As I began thinking about and working on my upcoming message for Sunday, I came across this question:
How many of us pause to consider the ways in which we inadvertently quench the Spirit’s work in our lives individually and in our churches corporately?Sam Storms
How might an individual Christian do this? Maybe these are some questions to ask:
- Am I genuinely seeking God and taking time to be in his presence?
- Am I willing to be honest about where I need to repent, and to change direction in order to walk more closely with God?
- Do I want my way or God’s way and can I see the difference?
And what about churches? How might a church find itself resisting the work of the Spirit?
- Do our traditions or customary ways of doing ministry, organizing our programs, and encouraging engagement in church life get in the way of how God wants to lead us?
- Do we distinguish between what we do as church members and what we depend on God to do? Are some aspects of church life spiritual while others are practical? Do we truly rely on God for all aspects of church life?
- Is our focus on perpetuating the institution rather than on building relationships?
Maybe you can think of other questions.
The underlying point here is that we need the presence and power of God–which is made available to us in the person of the Holy Spirit–if we are going to be individual followers of Jesus and a life-giving community of faith.
The church needs the Spirit. Is this a need we recognize clearly enough?
May the Lord in his love and grace open our eyes to what we need to see more clearly. May we be willing to see.
Veni Sancte Spiritus.