Life As Usual?

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Somebody asked this pointed question, “If the Holy Spirit would leave our church, would we notice the difference?” In his “Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit,” Pastor Francis Chan expressed his fear that it might be “business as usual” for many churches. 
Even our church growth can happen without Him. Let’s be honest: If you combine a charismatic speaker, a talented worship band, and some hip, creative events, people will attend your church. Yet this does not mean that the Holy Spirit of God is actively working and moving in the lives of the people who are coming. It simply means that you have created a space that is appealing enough to draw people in for an hour or two on Sunday. It certainly does not mean that people walk out the doors moved to worship and in awe of God. People are more likely to describe the quality of the music or the appeal of the sermon than the One who is the reason people gather for “church” in the first place. [1]

Will it be business as usual for our church? I hope—I pray—not. Zechariah 4:6 reminds us: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” [2]

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Let’s move closer to the heart. Our hearts. “If the Holy Spirit would leave us, would our lives be different? Would it be life as usual” Pastor Chan rued the lack of such a difference in the lives among many people who claim to be believers today.
I think the worst part is when you get outside the church’s walls and interact with believers and nonbelievers in the same sphere. Can you really tell a difference? If you didn’t recognize their faces from church, would you know from their actions and lifestyle that they were followers of Jesus? Honestly, sometimes I am embarrassed by some of my “Christian” neighbors because my unbelieving neighbors seem more joyful, welcoming, and at peace. [3]
Would people say that we live differently? Would they know from our words and works that we are the “temple of the Holy Spirit”? (1 Corinthians 6:19) When we put our faith in the Lord Jesus alone as our Savior, He indwelt, sealed, anointed, baptized and filled us (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 2:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:18. I’ll further discuss the works of the Spirit in the devotionals.) Thus, the Spirit ought to make a marked difference in our lives. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) 

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So, if there is freedom where the Spirit is, then how come we see supposed believers living a life of bondage instead of freedom? One reason could be that they are not really believers. Another reason could be that, though they are believers, they fail to make the most of His presence in their lives. Maybe they are living disobedient lives or just simply ignorant of what it means to have Him.

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Galatians 5:25 tells us, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” The Message version goes like this: “Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.”

Brothers and sisters, don’t go for life as usual. Go for the life that is spiritual, that is, “the life of the Spirit.”

[1] Francis Chan, “Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit,” (CO: David C. Cook). iBooks. Emphasis added.

[2] All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.

[3] Ibid. Italics his. Emphasis added.


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