In 1968,I met someone that I would like you to meet!I had read about Him and found Him to be quite famous. I heard a lot of people talking about Him and even heard some say that He really didn’t exist anymore in relevance. I listened to songs sung about Him, but I still had not met Him face to face.
Then one day,no more than a year after I had asked Jesus into my life,a little old Lady asked me if I had the Power. “Power”-what do you mean Power?”,I asked. In my short walk with Christ, my excitement and joy in knowing Jesus had seemed to wane, and I felt that there was more that I was missing, so when she talked about “Power”, I was ready to listen.
She invited me into her front room one afternoon, and sat me in a chair. Little did I realize that this chair was called the “hot seat”, where over the next four years, I would witness countless young people come into a deeper walk with Christ- one that I was about to experience, but that’s a story for another time! She tried to reassure me that what was about to happen wasn’t anything to fear. Actually how could I fear someone whose height barely reached four feet eight inches and weight tipped the scales around 100 pounds dripping wet. She simply placed her bony little hands on my head and asked me to invite the Holy Spirit to fill me. I knew that I received the Holy Spirit when I was born again, but this was different. She was asking me to invite the Spirit within me to flow out of me-in Power! Then I met Him. I can’t explain it. All I can tell you is that out of one simple act of obedience, my life was changed forever! I went from not sharing my faith with anyone because of inhibitions and fear to traveling the world, telling anyone who will listen about the one who desires to make you an over comer filled with His Power so that you can share the Great Commission to anyone who will listen!
Today, my heart is broken when I meet people who deny His rule and Authority in their lives. To deny the Holy Spirit, third part of the Holy Trinity, is to deny God Himself. Especially when I see high school students and Christian millennial’s, struggling to deal with a host of cultural attacks upon their walks with Jesus-individuals who know nothing about the believer’s second experience referred to as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But I feel the deepest anguish, when I see believers settling for “casual Christianity”, which is void of True Joy, Peace, Purpose, and Vision. To be introduced to Jesus and then not have a Power packed relationship with Him is like falling in love with your human best friend without being able to enjoy the fruits of that relationship.
Yes, some will tell you that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ended with the death of the last Apostle and the canonization of the Word. They will say that when “The Perfect” Paul talks about in First Corinthians 13:10 comes, there will be no need for supernatural Power. Because we now have the Word, we no longer need to be empowered. Such thinking is based on shallow exegesis of the written Word and poor historical understanding and time lines. Paul said, in relation to the “Perfect”, that when it would come the imperfect would pass away. He went on to say that when that Perfect would come, that,” Now I see dimly, but then I will see face to face.”(vs. 12)If the Perfect was the inscribing of the Word or Canon, then Paul missed it, because He died 35 years before various forms of the Canon came into existence and 25 years before the end of the Apostolic age! The “Perfect” (or completeness”) that Paul was waiting to see face to face must then be the return of the Lord Jesus, when there would be no longer a need for gifts, because the Giver of Gifts would be in our Presence!
Until then, the very Power that raised Christ from the dead dwells within us. (Romans 8:11), and that Power wants to flow out of you -putting an end to Casual Christianity forever! My Friend is waiting to become your Best Friend!