Every few years any organization needs to evaluate if it is still “mission true”. In other words, ask the question, “Are we still focused on our mission, or have we drifted?” Peter Greer wrote a great book that I would recommend to you called Mission Drift. He describes how over time we lose focus on what our mission really is and begin to focus more on other things.
I recently learned that one of my ancestors was a Celt. I thought I was 100% Swiss Anabaptist. But what I learned is that a Celtic Christian moved from Ireland to Switzerland and his ancestors became involved in the Anabaptist movement.
Christ Followers should live naturally supernatural lives.
After all everything about Christianity from our new birth on is supernatural. The gospel is the power of God. The Kingdom of God does not consist of words but power. So even though there is an anti-supernatural bias in our culture, we must renew our thinking. Even ministry should be defined as Jesus defined it not by tradition or our ideas. Jesus called the twelve together so that he could train them and then send them out to announce the new kingdom and they were told to pray for the sick and cast out demons. Jesus was also introduced in all four gospels as the one who will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. So this is the plan of God for us, that He would fill us with the Spirit and enable us to represent Him by using the gifts of the Spirit as tools to touch people’s lives.
Everyone whom God calls experiences resistance from the enemy. We engage in spiritual warfare. Typically the pattern goes something like this: God calls us and as soon as the enemy understands that we intend to obey God, he comes against us. We enter into warfare because of our calling and the battle is real. But God will bring us to a place that He will give us a breakthrough if we persevere. While breakthrough will come from God, we should not be passive in the process. This is illustrated by David’s struggle with the Philistines.
In Christian Science, the God in three persons means Father, Son and Christian Science. They replaced the person of Holy Spirit with science. According to Mary Baker Eddy, their founder, the baptism of the Holy Spirit happens as you are filled with “Divine Science.” While this sounds bizarre to any true Christian, there is an anti-supernatural bias that pervades the Western world since the Enlightenment.
David Hume promoted the idea of natural law to the point that he claimed that miracles cannot happen. His ideas promoted a world ruled by laws which cannot be set aside, apparently even by God himself. Since Hume never saw a miracle and since no one could prove one to him, he dismissed them all. So his lack of experience invalidates anyone’s claim to an experience. This is a common mistake made by many. We are skeptics about anything that we have not personally experienced or anything we don’t understand.
But God’s executive on the earth these days is the Holy Spirit. We need the Spirit to apply to us all that Jesus won for us. Jesus even said that one of the reasons he needed to leave the earth was so that he could send “another Comforter.” The word “another” means one of the same kind, instead of having Jesus here with us in the flesh. So Jesus left and sat down at the right hand of the Father, and they sent the Spirit to be our “Comforter”. This Spirit is a person and not a force. The Spirit is certainly more than part of the list of doctrines and certainly more than the catch-all explanation for the theological mysteries of the Bible.
The Holy Spirit is assigned as our helper and to resist Him or ignore Him is to lose the benefits He brings to our lives. Since He is a person, He can be known and experienced. We can have a relationship with Him and talk to Him and feel His presence. Since all truth is God’s truth, even science is not incompatible with the work of the Holy Spirit. And science has not replaced the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to pursue encounters and experiences with the Holy Spirit. The Bible is filled with historical accounts of experiences with God. Even in the twenty-first century, we still need a real, live, Comforter to come along side of us.