ago, Francis Chan wrote a book entitled, Forgotten
God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. The point of the book
is summed up in the following quote from his introduction:
“While no evangelical would deny His existence, I’m willing to bet that there are millions of
churchgoers across America who cannot confidently say they have experiences His presence
or action in their lives over the past year. And many of them do not believe they can.”
Chan goes on to discuss the way the church has left behind a reliance on the Holy Spirit. We effectively have removed Him from the Trinity and perhaps even have replaced the worship of God in three persons with a worship of possibly the Son alone. Practically, we are no longer orthodox in our understanding, teaching, and living when it comes to how we follow and experience the triune God of the Bible.
technologically advanced world, it is easy to rely on only what we can see and
explain. In fact, the common knowledge of our day screams that if something is
not scientifically quantifiable, then it does not exist. Therefore, the God of
the Bible and especially the Holy Spirit is relegated to myth; the feeble
attempts of ages gone by to make sense of a world they could not empirically
define or understand. Unfortunately, while we talk about the Holy Spirit, we
lived much more in line with the prevalent ethos of our scientific world than
we do in line with the Church we read about in the New Testament.
When we read about the Church in the New Testament, we see miracles performed and lives and hearts changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Things happened that could not be explained in any other way. Common, ordinary men do great things and the message of the Gospel floods the known world in just a couple of decades without the benefit of modern communications like social media, cables news, and internet marketing. Yet we are often at a loss to know how to reach the person next door. Could it be that we have forgotten the Holy Spirit?
The songs we sing focus mostly on Jesus and what He DID for us. This is great, but are we asking
the Holy Spirit what He wants to DO in and through us? Are we content to celebrate the completed work of Christ, or are we desiring to do the continuing work of God through the leading and power of the Holy Spirit? Are we happy to wonder what God’s will is for our life, or are we desperate to know and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in the next 10 minutes?
June 19th is Pentecost Sunday. We will be celebrating the coming of the Spirit of God. Jesus promised that He would send the Spirit and that He would comfort us, empower us, and guide us in all truth. It is my desire that we would seek, listen for, depend on, obey, and experience the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of our Church in the coming months. We certainly can continue to hold weekly gatherings and to be a church on paper, but the success of Engage in being what God calls us be – our very existence – depends on the Holy Spirit’s presence and work in our midst and through our lives.