Tuesday, March 20, 2007
What About the Holy Spirit?
I've been thinking lately about the Holy Spirit, especially in regard to the emerging/missional conversation.
The charismatics are credited with having the inside scoop about the Holy Spirit. However having come from there, I sometimes wonder if we really have a better understanding of the Holy Spirit or just of His toys - manifestations, spiritual gifts, and power.
Graham Cooke talks about how we view the Holy Spirit. We know the Father, and we know the Son, but the Holy Spirit is a bird?!
It is our inheritance to know the mind and heart of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is our downpayment of that inheritance. He is our constant companion and teacher in walking according to the purposes of the Father.
Unless we embrace and understand the necessity of His role in the life of a Christ-follower, I believe that our missional identity will be lacking the very mDNA we need to be the people of God.
I guess what I'm saying is that the Holy Spirit is our mDNA. Without Him we cannot be transformed into our true identity and purpose.
Why don't we have disciples? Because you can teach people about the Bible and Jesus and God and the church for 50 years, but until a person takes the first baby steps of developing a relationship of dependence of the Spirit, they won't be transformed.
You can be a good church-goer without ever learning to walk with the Spirit. In fact, walking with the Spirit can be a hindrance to fitting in with the church program. I dare say that we have taught people the church routine at the expense of teaching them the necessity of reliance on the Spirit for their activity and direction.
This is the missional element that will make the difference between being nice people doing works of service and justice or being people empowered with the life of the Spirit. We can't expect to fulfill the purposes of God without having an ongoing revelation of His heart and mind.
It matters not whether we're emerging, charismatic, baptist, or orthodox; we cannot truly live the life of a Christ-follower without a real relationship with the Holy Spirit. Sure we can go to church, but how do we live a life of everyday mission without seeing what the Father is doing? We were given the Holy Spirit for this very purpose, to show us the daily, in-the-moment things that we need to know in order to be in step with the Father's heart.
Our very identity as the people of God is dependent on our understanding of the purpose of the Holy Spirit in our life.
Are we really living as a people who have revelation of the mind and heart of the Father? How can we expect to understand His kingdom vision without entering into relationship with the Spirit given to us to provide that understanding.
We don't need to learn more about the Holy Spirit, but rather we need to become acquainted with Him, to develop a relationship of ongoing reliance and dependence on His guidance and insight into the kingdom realm.
We weren't created to just be church-goers. The people of God are to colabor with God, incarnating His life, hope, love, and redemption in all that we are and do. It is only by walking with the Spirit that we are enabled to live according to our true identity and purpose.