Power, confidence, helper, strength:
John Wesley, the founder of Methodists states as he looked into the future of the growing denomination, “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.”
This passage is one that haunts me, and is why we are spending 24 days pressing into the Holy Spirit. Wesley’s quote applies not just to Methodism, but to all denominations, non-denominations, the church as a whole in America. It should challenge all who call themselves Christians if they have the zeal to “spread Scriptural holiness” that the early Methodists had, and the first church found in the Book Acts of the Apostles. I can’t read this quote without asking myself the obvious question: Is the Church in America a dead sect, does it have the form or religion without the power? Or have we held fast to the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which we first set out?
If I were to stand up in a church and ask, “How many people believe Jesus can raise dead?” Many, hopefully all hands would raise up. If I asked again, “How many people believe Jesus is raising the dead?” How many hands would raise? Believing that The Holy Spirit can raise the dead is different from believing that the Holy Spirit is raising the dead. The first belief contains past nostalgia and reminiscence, the second belief contains power for today.
In talking to and my experience with many churches and Christens there is a real lack of expectancy and power in their faith. A lack of expectancy that the power of God is going to do very much at all. Really. Do you really think your prayers for somebody has the power to see the sick healed? Or the whole time you are praying for their healing you are thinking in your head they better go see a doctor. Now this is opening up a can of worms I know. It is really not an either/ or. But do we really believe we will see the power of God at work? Do we really believe we will see the kingdom come in the world around us? Do I expect the most deprived neighborhood in Madison or Huntsville to come to Christ, become free of their addictions, have their lives be filled with love and turned around? Do you when you walk out your door in the morning really expect for God to do amazing things so that by the end of the day or the end of the week you will have amazing stories to tell about the power of God and what he is doing? Because He Is! And you have been invited to be part of it. You have the indwelling of the power of the Holy Spirit to complete it. What is ministry except a day by day, moment by moment invitation to step into something that God wants to do in somebody’s life and have the privilege of seeing it happen. Do we embrace the power of God enough and expect it in our own lives enough to be able expect it anywhere else?
Read Acts1:4-8, 4:29-33, Rom. 8:26-27; Eph. 3:14-21. Then reflect on the power, confidence, and strength of your faith and ministry through the Holy Spirit. Then post a comment below. I do not want this to be a "dead sect" 24 days. I want this to be full of testimonies and relevant prayers. So post as a comment below any prayers requests for power in your life or ministry so we can pray the power of the Holy Spirit over it. Share an example to encourage us of how you have seen the power of God recently in you ministry.