On Pentecost, the Spirit came as “tongues of fire” and filled the disciples. They were forever changed. The Apostle Peter, once a bumbling fisherman, now preached to thousands of people from different nations. His hearers, cut to the core, repented and were baptized, not because of Peter, but because of the Spirit of God within him, speaking through him (Acts 2). With a few words or a touch, the disciples healed the crippled, sick, and demon possessed – works of the Spirit of God within them. New believers sold everything they had to share with those in need – evidence of the Spirit of God within them. The evangelist Philip was instantaneously transported 30 miles after sharing the gospel and baptizing an Ethiopian eunuch; the Spirit within was using him for His purposes (Acts 8).
We can easily think such miraculous works of the Spirit were only for New Testament times and believers, but this is far from true. The Church of God movement has experienced many powerful works of the Spirit throughout its history. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, or “sanctification,” has been a central teaching and experience throughout our history. People who were surrendered to the Holy Spirit saw God perform the very same works mentioned in the New Testament because the very same Spirit dwelt within them, within us.
In the early 1930’s, my grandfather prayed all night for a man lying on his deathbed. During those hours of prayer, my grandfather received the spiritual gift of healing and the man was healed instantly. With only an 8th grade education, my grandfather went on to plant over ten churches and heal hundreds of people. Like the New Testament believers, the Spirit of God who lived within my grandfather gifted him and enabled him to fulfill God’s will.
Is Crossroads a people that is fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit? Are we experiencing fruit only God can produce or are we content with mere human effort as if God were not even with us? Do we merely ask God to bless what we have already done on our own strength or are we using the gifts His Spirit has given to follow His lead, building His Kingdom? Imagine what the Spirit within us desires to do in our lives, in our families, at Crossroads, in our community, and beyond. Wouldn't it be amazing to surrender anew and find out.
For further dialogue on this blog entry and the role of the Holy Spirit in your life, contact Pastor Jason at 419-229-4074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.