A good friend of mine from theological college in Bristol, UK eventually got around to publishing his first book a couple of years ago. I only recently got my hands on a copy when friends from England visited us back in August. The book is entitled "More .. How you can have more of the Spirit when you already have everything in Christ". It touched a deep longing within me for more of God in my life and in our community. It also challenged me to consider afresh what the Lord is looking for in my heart and life.
Recently I have spoken with one or two people within BridgePoint and it has excited to hear of a growing desire in them for a deeper experience of God in their lives. I sense this is something that the Lord is working in us and wonder if the testimony of others is a similar hunger. This real desire has led at least a couple of us to commit to look for opportunity to get together each week to encourage one another and to pray specifically that the Lord would pour out his blessings but that also the reality of the Spirit within 'me', would be a greater force, a wider, deeper river, whatever the metaphor we prefer.
This coming weekend I will be teaching and preaching at a Church of Christ church in Grand Prairie, near Dallas. They have invited me to speak at their Alpha away-day on the subject of "How can I be filled with the Spirit" and then to preach at their Sunday gathering and teach in Sunday School - so a busy weekend. I would appreciate your prayers for the Lord's anointing upon our time together.
It is interesting to me that these things are all happening together - perhaps a mere coincidence, but I sense that the Lord is also speaking to us through these events. In particular, that he continues to scour the earth, looking for worshippers who will worship in Spirit and in truth. What will he find when he visits your home?
In his book, my friend Simon Ponsonby speaks of different ways we can both hinder the work of the Holy Spirit by 'putting on the brakes' but also ways we can 'clear the path'. I wanted to include them here for your own meditation and prayer.
Putting on the brakes
- An unexpectant heart
- An unyielded life
- An unconfessed sin
- An undiscerned enemy
- An unclaimed inheritance
- Unwanted gifts
- Unbelief because of unworthiness
What we should seek (and this applies to all Christians) is that God pour His Spirit out upon us so completely that we are filled with joy, victorious over sin, and bold to witness. And the ways He brings us to that fullness are probably as varied as people are. It may come in a tumultuous experience of ecstasy and tongues. It may come through a tumultuous experience of ecstasy and no tongues. It may come through a crisis of suffering when you abandon yourself totally to God. Or it may come gradually through a steady diet of God's word and prayer and fellowship and worship and service. However it comes, our first experience of the fullness of the Spirit is only the beginning of a life-long battle to stay filled with the Spirit. (sermon on Eph 5:18 - "Be filled with the Spirit")So, let us wait upon Him for the promise, for His glory alone.
Praying for righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,