January 31, 2018

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SOMETHING’S MISSING

Recently my family and I decided to put together a puzzle at our house, so we set a card table out, poured out the pieces, set up the box top with the picture on it, and got to work. Days later, after the meticulous process of putting almost all the pieces in place we realized there were pieces missing from the puzzle. After all that work we all were left with this sense of dissatisfaction; we were really let down that we couldn’t finish what we had started.

Do you ever feel like something’s missing in your life? Does it ever feel like all the pieces just aren’t there? That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Jesus said he came to give us life and life abundantly (John 10:10), but why are so many who claim the name of Christ so dissatisfied with life?

SOMEONE NOT SOMETHING

The reason many are so empty is because they are missing Someone not something. That Someone is the Holy Spirit alive in their heart and life. Jesus told the disciples it was better that He go away to heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come live in them. He is the Comforter, the one who convicts of sin, and the one who teaches us all things. He is not some impersonal force to help us figure out life. The Holy Spirit is eternal God who comes to dwell in the hearts of believers when we repent of sin and place faith in Christ.

Consider what these Scriptures say about the Holy Spirit:

  • Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”
  • Galatians 5:16, 22-23  “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh….the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
  • Ephesians 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”
  • Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
  • Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”
  • Zechariah 4:6 “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

The entire Christian life is about the Holy Spirit! He gives us eternal life through the new birth, educates us in the truth of Christ, empowers us to serve, emboldens us to share Jesus, and enables us to pray fervently and effectively! It’s not something that’s missing from our lives, it’s Someone!

In the American Evangelical Church the power of God is missing. We have incredible strategies, unrivaled productions, and systems which run like a well-oiled machine; however, we are missing the revival power of God that many experienced decades ago before all this technology and professional emphasis in ministry ever came about. Why is that? Because many of the great pastors and lay leaders of old were desperate for the Holy Spirit! They talked about prayer, worship, personal holiness, and personal evangelism. We talk about strategies, organizations, models, and systems and wonder why we’re so impotent spiritually. These things are not bad; in fact, they are very important when put in the right perspective. However, the point is these things alone do not make a church, and these things done well do not guarantee a healthy church. A healthy church is measured by the power of the Spirit of God which is evident among her members. Are people being saved? Are believers truly living on mission for Christ and discipling others? What miraculous answers to prayer have you seen lately? Is there a radical spirit of unity amongst people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities? Is there a deep hunger for God’s Word and for worship? We learn in the book of Acts that all these things and more are born out of prayer and a revolutionary dependence on the Holy Spirit of God.

So, is there something missing in your walk with God? That something is actually Someone; the Holy Spirit. Is there something missing in your church? It’s not better music, a better group structure, better processes, or greater strategies. What’s missing is the Person of the Holy Spirit. Desperately call out to Him in prayer. Ask Him to fill you and your church full of His life-giving fruit and power. Here’s the cool thing, Jesus said that if we love to bless our children, how much more does our Heavenly Father love to give us His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)!