There’s a lot we can do on our own. We can dig wells in deserts. We can establish bases in the harsh conditions of Antarctica. We can put a person on the moon. We can build computers to do our calculations for us. However, there is a lot we can’t do under our own power.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” – Acts 1:4-5, ESV
After Christ’s resurrection, he returned multiple times to believers before the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would be poured out in a permanent way. One of these visits was to remind His disciples that they needed to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit rested upon them. God could have reached each person wherever they were in the world. However, Pentecost was to be a sign to His people, reflecting His glory and power.
His power. Not our power. His. And He was going to pour out His power on us so that we might accomplish His will. Many of the things to be done, as great as some of our abilities might be, required God’s power. Those tasks and achievements required the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the early Church, even before it was really any semblance of a church, was told to wait on that power.
It’s not any different today. We need the same power. We need His power. There’s a lot wrong in our families, in our churches, in our neighborhoods, in our nations, and in the world as a whole. Some things we can address with our own talents abilities, and experience. God has prepared us with those things.
However, there is so much more we can’t do. There are needs we can’t see with our own limited vision. There are resources we don’t have in our local churches that other churches do, but they have no way of knowing of our need. There are God’s plans for the future that we can’t fully understand nor even imagine. And there are situations we will encounter that will totally outstrip those talents, abilities, and experiences we rely so heavily upon. For all of these and more, we need the Holy Spirit.
One of the weaknesses in a lot of churches is to try and rely so much on human planning and capability. We pray marginally as bodies of Christ. We don’t seek desperately after God to know what He would have us do. Or if we do such seeking, when God raises up something we see as impossible to do under the abilities of the people who attend a particular church, we shrink away saying it is too much. Maybe we don’t use those words, but our actions reflect them. We don’t yield to the Holy Spirit and we don’t turn to Him to do what we cannot do.
The model church embraces the Holy Spirit. He is God. He is all-powerful. Just as the Son obeys the Father, so does the Holy Spirit. That means He is here to provide the means for believers to accomplish the Father’s will. He is not a feeling. He is not an energy drink to give us a boost of enthusiasm during worship service. He is God. The model church understands this, embraces Him, and is obedient to Him. He is a vital part of such a church. Let our churches by more like the model church, O Lord!