The Forgotten One

Matt Evans

Posted April 22, 2020
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“… in fact, it is best for you that I go away …”

Jesus to His disciples in John 16:7

Nationwide church “viewership” during the COVID-19 crisis is higher than church “attendance” was before the virus hit. Spiritual hunger is up. This global pandemic has brought about global seeking and not just for the answers that science and medicine can provide.

This is prime time for the Church but only if the Church is prepared to recognize the source of her power.

This source is not an “it”, not an influence, not a technique nor a tactic. This source is the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said the invisible Spirit is better for the Church than His physical presence (John 16:7). The re-establishment of the Spirit’s centrality is critical for the Church if we hope to help the seeking world find the living Christ and if we hope to see revival and renewal come to our communities.

However, many prefer physical Jesus to the invisible Spirit. Many prefer an understandable method we can copy instead of the mysterious Spirit to Whom we must surrender. Consequently, we have made incidental the One Jesus said has to be fundamental.

Why has this happened and how can the invisible coronavirus help us get back in step with the invisible Spirit?

The forgetting of the Holy Spirit has happened primarily because we drift toward control and self-reliance which comes at the expense of submission and dependence.

Additionally, we live in an age of busyness and superficiality leaving little time for depth and honest soul searching. Yet the Spirit of God does not do busy—after all, He inspired the words “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a)—and He works inside us as the indwelling Spirit (Romans 8:9). Perhaps this is one reason God has allowed COVID … to put us at a different pace or at least make us pay attention to our souls?!?

May God lead us to get back in step with His Spirit!

1) We must re-align ourselves 100% to the Word of God.

Some simply do not believe the truth about the necessity and centrality of the Holy Spirit. Some people think they can be saved by praying a prayer or getting baptized or attending church, but no one is saved without the work of the Holy Spirit on them. (Titus 3:5-7).

Some are self-righteous about the Spirit, believing that their experience of the Spirit is the only way the Spirit can be experienced, including the unbiblical belief that tongues is the only sign of the Spirit or that extreme emotions should be universal for all Christians.

Some are fearful of the Spirit, afraid of unbiblical excesses and abuses that have been committed in the name of the Spirit.

Instead, let’s believe God’s Word over our experiences, traditions, and emotions. Here are the clear and unequivocal truths of God’s Word:

  • The Spirit of God is God; therefore, He has a divine Personality, cannot be manipulated or controlled, and cannot be reduced to a formula (John 3:8)
  • No one is saved without the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-6); therefore, all true children of God have the Spirit of God living in them.
  • The Spirit of God is as essential in our spiritual growth as in our salvation (Romans 8:13-14); therefore, we must remain aware of and dependent upon Him.
  • The Spirit of God works through faith—not feelings (Galatians 3:5-6); therefore, the Spirit works in conjunction with and never in contradiction to the Word of God since faith comes through hearing the Word (Romans 10:17).

2) All people ultimately want what is provided by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

  • Everyone is a seeker and a worshipper. Everyone is pursuing a prize and a treasure to worship, and the Spirit reveals Christ, the treasure our hearts were created to prize, to worship, and to follow.
  • Everyone wants happiness, peace and joy. Most believe we get these things through positive circumstances, money and materialism, and/or pleasure. However, the Spirit imparts these things in us (Psalm 4:7; Romans 15:13).

During a time when people are restricted in their activities, may God give us all an inner receptivity to the ministry of His Spirit. May we believe the promise of God that we can have joy without sports and money, that we can have peace without economic prosperity, and that we can have hope that is immune to a virus (Romans 15:13).

3) Because the Holy Spirit is God, how to draw near to Him is clear.

  • We must CONFESS all known sin with the COMMITMENT TO DIE to it.
  • We must EMPTY ourselves of God’s competitors—whatever they are—and YIELDto Christ alone.
  • We must ASK for the Spirit to fill us and in faith, RECEIVE …

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. {Romans 14:17}