“The Spirit’s work is almost always predicated on invitation.”
The church agrees on the existence and presence of the Holy Spirit but disagrees on how He moves in our lives today. Paul describes cessationism, a positions that many Bible-believing Christians hold.
“Cessation is the simply the idea that the Spirit has ceased to give either all of His supernatural work or some segment of His supernatural work to the church today.”
Paul is quick to say that holding this theological position does not invalidate your faith – but it may limit the ways the Spirit will show up in your faith walk. What does it mean for us to be open to His moving? It starts with an open heart.
“If you ask with sincerity for the Spirit to come and work, it won’t always be predictable or perhaps exactly what you can expect. But He will answer that; He’s there for that. If you invite Him, He will respond.”
If we assume the Holy Spirit only works in one way, we’re not living a life that invites Him to move in others ways. Paul says that can be a Christian life that doesn’t bear all of the fruit it could.
“All sorts of work is left undone in that kind of a life. Because without the Spirit’s power, we can do absolutely nothing. We just can’t.”
The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians,
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30,
He also wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:19,
“Do not quench the Spirit.”
This raises a question – how do we quench the Holy Spirit? Are there ways we’re holding Him at arm’s length without realizing it? Paul compares our walk with Him to a relationship with a close friend or spouse. Lack of communication, emotional distance, and acting in ways that dishonor God can all grieve the Holy Spirit and limit His work in our lives.
“The Spirit is a full Person; He’s here for the relationship. And so when we walk in a way that displeases Him or when we simply don’t walk in a way that deepens that relationship with Him, I think some aspect of His work or His fire is put out or quenched.”
Take a moment today to search your heart. Are you neglecting reading the Word of God? Are you ignoring the poor? Are there certain areas of sin where you refuse to repent? Take steps to remove those barriers and come back into close fellowship with the Spirit. He will joyfully help you in your walk with Christ.
Featured Songs: Thank You by Bethel Music; Spirit of the Living God by Meredith Andrews; Amazed by You by Lincoln Brewster