Acts 11 convicted me again of the absolute necessity of the the presence and filling of the Holy Spirit in my life personally and in ODC as a church for us to be people anointed by God, with a heart conformed to the heart of God and his will. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we want to have any hope of providing a place where people can encounter salvation in Christ and receive healing of physical, spiritual, emotional sicknesses and the restoration of shattered lives. I am getting emotional now, as the desperation and urgency of this need sets into my soul. I feel bold enough to say, If we individually, and collectively as a church can not commit to seeking to be filled with the Spirit, we need to quit right now planting ODC,abandon everything, and walk away into the safe, redundant, and complacent cycle of Sunday church.
I have, and ODC members have gifts use.
We have a strong gifting of service, and we are constantly either personally or as a house church and collectively encouraging ODC members help their neighbors whether it is bringing food, helping them move, working on house..ect. Also serving at Manna House and Downtown Rescue Mission and prayer walking neighborhoods.
Some have an Apostolic gift of visioning, planning, white boarding, and strategic thinking.
Some have the gift of Evangelism and to go out and prayer walk and tell people about Christ.
Some have the gift of pastoring, and naturally can sit, listen to, love on and offer compassion and guidance to individuals.
Some have the gift of prophecy, of hearing what God's desire is for his people, where his people actually are, and live, pray, speak into and mourn in that gap.
Yet all of these gifts must flow out of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
If we can't, if more personally I, can't, prioritize and commit to seeking being full of the Holy Spirit by committing my self time in the Word, to pray and to fasting, I have no business trying to use any of the gifts above. The number one mistake of Christians that are missionally minded make, is neglecting the great commandment in observance of the great commission. It is spending time "doing" something for God before we have spent time "being" with God. I can not “go” and make disciples if I myself am not willing go deep into my personal discipleship. I can not lead others to a place I myself am not willing to go. I need to seek that place where I Love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, Then I can have a love for my neighbor that flows out of this intense love for God. Observance of this great commandment is required before I can go to places and people to make disciples. All this holds true as well for us as a church.
ODC needs people willing to use all their giftings that are listed above, but not if they are not wiling to do so in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. If you do treat your neighbors kindly and fairly, help them out, and are a god neighbor but do not do it in the Holy Spirit and sharing the Gospel, you will make more friends. Your popularity will increase and your circle of friends will increase, but your ministry will decrease. Because it will be all about advancing your kingdom and not the kingdom of God. How are your seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit? How are you seeking to obey the great commandment and fall more deeper in love with God?
Please share your comments to my reflection or the reflections God placed on your heart from your reading Acts 11.