Martin Leo Jones
MEANS of a God Made Movement
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Acts 1:4-5, 8 (NIV) On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit… …8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
"And surely I am with you always" can be a confusing statement when you realize that Jesus ascended to heaven not long after saying it. The only way to abate the confusion is to understand it as a reference to the presence and deity of the Holy Spirit, meaning that His presence in the disciples was the same as Jesus's presence with them. To have a God- given movement, we must be moving with God's Spirit. If He is not present in what we are doing, it is only a product of man’s talents and abilities, and the effects are temporary and, at best, will last only a lifetime.
We need not say, "If I could see Jesus, I would be bold just like His disciples were." It was not Jesus on the outside that made them bold; it was the Holy Spirit on the inside of each of them - the same Holy Spirit that is available to us today. The problem is that you will never be real disciples until the Spirit you possess as Christians possesses you. Yes, I mean owns you, every nook and cranny; all of you - saint and sinner.
In addition, 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 indicates that the Holy Spirit is God’s personal spirit that He shares with us. No other religion teaches the idea of God inhabiting man like Christianity does. This brings me to ask: How is it then that the ever-present, all-powerful God, who created and sustains all things, seems to be absent from or impotent in many of the churches in America? How is it that Christianity, as a whole, is losing influence, turning America into the 4th largest mission field in the world?
I would submit that the missing component is the Holy Spirit. Without Him, the motive is not felt, the mission is not achieved, and the magnitude is never reached. The Holy Spirit is the means, the glue that ties it all together. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst of God’s work on earth; we are just facilitators. He is the initiator and instigator; we are the managers. He is the leader; we are middle management at best.
In Acts 1, the apostles were commanded not to "GO" but to "WAIT." They were told to wait for the Holy Spirit to come and empower them to be witnesses for Jesus from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. In the book of Acts, being a witness for Jesus would have never taken place without the waiting for the Spirit. But we today need not wait. The Holy Spirit has come and is accessible to us. He is only a prayer away for salvation to those who need to be saved and for empowerment to those who need to be empowered. But this raises the question: if God's power is so close and so easily accessible, why do we not see more witnesses witnessing from where they are to the ends of the earth? Why don't we see a movement? The reason may be that many Christians have chosen to accept their Christmas gift and leave it unopened under the tree. It appears that many want the eternal security of the Gift but not the earthly responsibility it brings. Like opening a new set of power tools requires learning to use them (usually for honey-do chores), Christians are expected to become proficient in working with the Spirit. As long as Christians remain incompetent at walking in and with the Spirit and untrained at understanding and engaging in His work, America will not experience a God moment, much less a God movement.
It starts with you, with your availability more than your ability. A movement of God in your area may directly correlate with your level of surrender to the gift of the Spirit within. The greater your surrender to the Spirit within, the greater the chance of catalyzing and sustaining a movement.
Are you regularly engaging God's word to prepare yourself to engage God's Spirit as He works?
Does the Spirit you profess to possess, possess you?