Yield To The Spirit
A Word from Pastor Doug
The more I read about, pray with the help of, and see the results of how the Holy Spirit brings transformation to people’s lives, I am not sure if a follower of Jesus can view the baptism of the Spirit as optional. Sunday, May 23 we will stop and pause to remember Pentecost. Pentecost means fifty. It was fifty days from the resurrection that the disciples received the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised. The church was birthed into the world that day and CLA is an apologetic to that world altering event.
We see the Holy Spirit all through the Old Testament - as the Spirit hovered over the waters of creation (Genesis1:1-2), anointed priests, prophets, and kings (1 Sam 11, 16), was seen through visions like that of Ezekiel, represented as the wind of God reviving dead bones into an army (Ezekiel 37). We then read of a future action of the Spirit which the prophet Joel recorded. ‘In the last days I will pour out My Spirit on all people, your sons and daughters, young and old’. (Joel 2).
In the New Testament things radically flipped right side up for it was no longer the Spirit resting upon certain leaders, but the promise is now for all God’s people including you and I. Ponder this gift, as this is not a held back, restricted, exclusive gift, but a gift that God openhandedly offers to all His followers.
In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is characterized as a member of the Holy Trinity, and one that is not merely a force or an influence or a ‘SuperMario’ type ‘power-up' but as the ‘Paraclete' seen in John 15-17. As one who comes alongside us to help us in this walk we call Christianity. The Spirit can be grieved (Ephesians 4), has a mind (1 Corinthians), and is a giver of gifts not just to be used in the church alone but in your friendship circles, workplace, school, neighbourhood and home (1 Cor 12-14). The Spirit has an opinion (Acts 15) about how our lives and the church should be conducted for God’s glory.
It was the turn of the 20th century, in 1906, when God used William Seymour, a black, blind preacher from Kansas to lead a revival birthed in Los Angeles which would re-ignite a move of the Holy Spirit all over the world. At the same time as the Azusa Revival, at the Hebdon Mission in Toronto, people were also experiencing the baptism of the Spirit. The Pentecostal Charismatic church movement continues to be the largest and fastest growing movement. The Hebdon mission revival is where our fellowship, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, was birthed.
Would you join me this week, leading up to May 23, in prayerfully reading through the book of Acts? You will discover that the Holy Spirit is not a force but a person. This means that although the Spirit comes to empower, give life and help us walk with integrity, the Holy Spirit does this in the context of relationship. How do we walk with the Holy Spirit in daily relationship? I use the acrostic CALL. Confess sin. Don’t hold onto sin in your life and heart. Ask for forgiveness. Ask by faith. This is God’s gift. Long to be used by God - He wants to give you capacity to be his witness. Lift praise. Thank Jesus for the gift and yield to the Spirit.
We love you CLA. We are not despondent because we are in Christ. May we never get over being desperate for the help and continual filling of the Holy Spirit. “Unless the Holy Spirit fills, the human spirit fails.” E Stanley Jones.
With respect, leading up to Pentecost Sunday,