Stephen Seamands writes in his book Ministry in the Image of God that while the Holy Spirit of God is resident in all believers, the Spirit is not president in all believers. While the Spirit is definitely present in all believers, He is not necessarily preeminent in all believers.
Sometimes I see people in the church and wonder if they really get it. And by ‘get it’ I mean I wonder if people understand what it means to belong to Jesus – what it means to say yes to Jesus. It’s not just saying no to hell and yes to heaven. It’s about following Him and doing His will. It’s not about doing things for God, but rather doing what God tells us to do. There are tons of people in the church who are doing things ‘for God’, not realizing it’s not what God would have them do. It’s truly the difference between God being the co-pilot verses being the pilot.
And I think Seamands’ idea of “resident but not president’ explains a lot about the vast majority of church people. There was an adult Sunday School class one time that decided to stay in the church and have Sunday School one Sunday after church instead of going to celebrate baptisms with the rest of the church two blocks away at the river. Where do you think Jesus would have been that day? Would Jesus have been in the church behind the walls talking about God or at the river actually experiencing God?
In my opinion, there are very few people in any American church who allow the Holy Spirit to be in charge of their lives. And I’m certainly not claiming I do. It’s difficult and dangerous. The Holy Spirit is not concerned for our earthly comfort or safety. The Holy Spirit is concerned about glorifying the Father, no matter the cost to us personally. The Holy Spirit knows there’s a greater purpose.
Here’s the prayer we’re going to pray together to open worship tomorrow:
O God, the Holy Spirit,
come to us, and among us;
come as the wind, and cleanse us;
come as the fire and burn;
come as the dew and refresh;
convict, convert, and consecrate
many hearts and lives
to our great good
and to thy greater glory;
and this we ask for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
And finish off today’s blog with this song: