In The Right Tools & The Right Access I mentioned our need for the right tools and access in order to accomplish the job that is at hand. In youth ministry, and in the church, the stakes are very high, and the job is huge. Without the right access and the right tools, we have no hope of success.
The first access that I want to talk about is the Holy Spirit. At a youth event recently, one of my students questioned the speaker on something huge. He did it after the session and in a polite way, just for the record. This wasn’t a snotty, know-it-all attitude pridefully telling the speaker he was wrong about something. (Like I may or may not have done as a kid!) The speaker talked about how great it would be to to have been Moses, hearing the voice of God from within a burning bush that didn’t seem to be burning up. He talked excitedly about getting to heaven and asking Moses what that was like. My student’s question… “Don’t you think Moses wonders how awesome it is for us to have God’s very Spirit living inside of us?!” Whoah!
Sometimes, it seems that we forget today, the very fact that enabled the early church to survive and move forward with the Gospel of Jesus: His Holy Spirit is alive in His people! The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit at work within our lives. He is here to comfort with love, strengthen with faith, & encourage with hope. God has given us access to the very heart of who He is in the Holy Spirit. He is here to empower us to do exactly what He directs us to do.
- Self-reliance – We are taught from the time we’re very young to rely on ourselves. The problem is, the job is a God-sized job that we can’t do on our strength. All the best technology and skill and strategy come up short without the Spirit. We need to rely on His strength.
- Fear of what we can’t control – The Holy Spirit is not some little candle that we hold up at Christmas time to sing Silent Night to. He’s an all-encompassing, all-consuming fire that will burn wherever He finds fuel. He’s like the wind. You can learn to steer by it, you can learn to harness the power inherent within it, but you can never hope to control it. Is it a risky proposition to set your sail to be fully directed by such a power? Sure it is. But there’s no other way to get to where He wants you to be. Raise your sail and trust Him. He’s not tame, but He’s good.
- Guilt by association – There are some, even as early as the book of Acts, who have tried to make a name for themselves by misrepresenting the Spirt. Selfish profiteering has caused some to claim the Spirit’s power for their own ends, not His. A lot of well-intentioned Christians have steered clear of too much talk of the Holy Spirit because they don’t want to be associated with these various movements or personalities. This is an old roof that we need to cut away in order to show a better understanding of what the Spirit is all about.
Cutting away these old roofs is critical to gaining access to the Spirit Jesus promised to His disciples. Is there an area where you need to do a little cutting?
Check out Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit ~ It’s a great book from Francis Chan that’ll give you a little more to think about regarding the Holy Spirit.