No gentleman!

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2 (ESV)

There is a lie permeating through so much of the Church today that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman! Yes, it is a lie! This lie implies, He would never interrupt our services, especially to display weird an awkward manifestations. It suggests that He is more concerned about our comfort than about His mission. It implies that He will not offend us or do anything that would not fit neatly in our religious boxes. The Holy Spirit knows where He’s welcome, and when He comes, it is usually not gentle. At Pentecost the heavens opened and with a violent sound of hurricane force wind the Holy fell on everyone in the room (Acts 2:2-4)! On another occasion the when the Holy Spirit filled everyone in the room the building shook (Acts 4:31). On still another occasion, while Paul and Silas were locked in a dark jail cell, the Holy Spirit moved upon them as they worshiped, releasing an earthquake upon the entire prison structure (Acts 16:25-26). Elsewhere we are told that when God moves upon creation, mountains literally melt before Him (Psalm 97:5).

There is physical shaking when the Divine touches human-kind. People fall to the ground, and sometimes get pinned to there for hours. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit literally knocks people out cold, only for them to come to hours later totally changed and set free by the power of God! Yes, the Holy Spirit can disrupt our plans, but it is because He knows what is best and what people actually need! How funny it is that we actually think we know what people need in our services, better than God does! We need to surrender to His ways, His will and His timing!

The crazy thing is, we absolutely need the Holy Spirit in this current battle against darkness. Without Him it is like going to battle blindfolded without any ammo in our weapons. It’s like swinging at a piñata, blindfolded with a baseball bat. But our enemy isn’t just a paper mache object filled with candy. And instead he is the one attacking us. No wonder the devil has worked so hard to convince much of the Church that the Holy Spirit doesn’t do what He used to do! Think about it, if the Church actually knew what was available for us the world would look different. Instead the Church is divided over the person and role of the Holy Spirit, while the enemy attacks without recourse! As Larry Sparks says in his excellent book, Pentecostal Fire, “The more the enemy can confuse the Church about the role of the Holy Spirit the more he can gain influence.”

Paul told us that the same power that rose Christ from the grave resides inside each of us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-23). God’s chief concern is not about our comfort in a worship service! His top priority is advancing His kingdom. By requiring the Holy Spirit to be a gentleman we put a ceiling on what we expect God to do in our lives, in our church and in our nation. Ask Him to loosen the shackles you have put on yourself that limits what He can do in your life! CS Lewis referred to Aslan as a wild lion, who wasn’t safe, but he was good! Obviously, that was a reference to Christ, and by fact that Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit, it would include Him as well.

Cry out to God to show you any and every place you have put limits on what the Holy Spirit is permitted to do in your life, your church and our city. Repent if necessary! Tell Him He is welcome to come and do as He pleases among us! Invite Him to upset our services, to release His hurricane force winds from heaven, to shake bodies and buildings, and to move in our city without any limitations! Pray for your pastor to freely and boldly invite the Holy Spirit to come into your church, especially the services, and that space would be made for Him. Pray that the very atmosphere in our city would change as we expect the Holy Spirit to come with a roar, and not as a gentleman!!!