Jesus foretold that the heart of every believer would become rivers of living water; a fountain bringing life to whatever it touched. In this power we would be sent into the world just as the Father sent Jesus. The result would be an expanding church made up of living stones built together as a holy habitation of God in the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Eph. 2:22).
So what happened to the Holy Spirit? Why do we not see rivers of life giving water issuing from today’s followers of Christ? Some may say we really don’t need the Holy Spirit anymore. We have the Bible, the institution of the church, and so many amazing business models to use to create marketing and growth strategies for our churches. In addition, have a few gifted communicators using social media to do what used to take thousands of people years to do.
Another possibility to consider as to why the Holy Spirit is not as evident as He was in the early church is because we have resisted, grieved, and quenched Him. He has withdrawn His manifested presence wherever He is not welcome.
“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” –Acts 7:51
These hardened religious leaders Stephen rebuked were knowledgeable in the Bible and highly esteemed within religious circles. However, their arrogance blinded them to how much of God’s transcending truth they were able to see.
Isn’t it possible today to teach, advertise, and promote an interpretation of the Holy Spirit while in that same moment resist the very things He commands? The Holy Spirit may not be the one who is leading us. His gifts are rarely depended upon and our teaching is not birthed from brokenness as we seek the wisdom and revelation that only the Holy Spirit can give.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” –Ephesians 4:30
In this context, to grieve is to create sorrow in another person by our behavior. Is it not possible that the Holy Spirit is grieved when those whom the Father loves willfully do things with little regard to the fact that it violates His divine nature and will? When His children are driven by vain ambition and pride don’t you think we could be grieving the Servant of all? Sexual sin – from pornography to sex outside of marriage, is an epidemic in our culture and has now infiltrated our churches. Don’t you think it grieves the holiness of the Spirit of God? Is He not grieved by our disinterest in what Scripture calls pure religion; visiting the elderly and widows in our nation’s rest homes, or helping the orphans of our time as families crumble? Is it enough for us to say, “I don’t feel led”? How can the Holy Spirit bless our special events, worship music, and new buildings with His power when His heart is grieved that our passions and values are not His own?
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” –1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
An all-consuming fire, a passion of love for God, should burn hot in us. How can we allow this fire of our first love for Christ to be quenched? The passion of God experienced anew will fuel a fresh love for God and the world He loves. The Holy Spirit seeks to reach the lost and sanctify and edify Christ’s Bride through us. He has come to stir up the coals of passion to reawaken our love for God; a love that desires to be ignited and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. Let us arise as agents of Christ’s Kingdom of Light boldly invading the Kingdom of Darkness. Let His streams of Living Water burst forth!
Holy Spirit Come
“When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him…‘As for Me,’ says the Lord, ‘this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants’…Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” –Isaiah