Worship in Community

A Spiritual Jump Start

Well, summer has ended and some of us need a little motivation. After all a more normal schedule has resumed for many of us. I sometimes get stuck staring at the computer monitor or a calendar and don’t know where to start.

I want to suggest that before we get bogged down with “To Do” lists and “should do” guilt, we remind ourselves first of whose we are.

In the beginning of the book of Acts we find the disciples sitting and waiting. Did they consider it vacation and a time to relax? Were they impatient waiting to be useful? Were they fearful wondering if they had the skills, knowledge or energy to accomplish anything of use? I can’t answer these questions directly. I imagine that there was probably a combination of the above. Martha probably was preparing a banquet meal, suggesting they fellowship. Peter was probably impatient, wanting to rock the world. And of course Thomas was doubting he could be used.

Let’s look at some of the promises that Jesus gave these disciples — and I believe you as well. More directly to this situation we read, just prior to Jesus ascending to sit at His Father’s right hand, “…[Jesus] ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, …’you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ …But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you'” (Acts 1) Earlier, not long before Jesus was killed in Jerusalem, he tells his disciples, “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

When I get stuck thinking about the tasks at hand, it’s helpful to me to remind myself that I have the Holy Spirit within me. I don’t think this means that I will magically have hyperactive energy, as if I downed a case of Red Bull. I don’t think that it means that I will necessarily see supernatural miracles flow from my hands (though it could). I think at the heart of it, it means that Jesus is with us, that His Spirit guides and teaches us, and most importantly that our efforts done in His name will have positive and eternal results. Some of these results we will be able to directly and immediately perceive, while many of them will have to be trusted, knowing that the Holy Spirit is working in mysterious ways that we may not ever see clearly.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that we don’t plan and work strategically. What I am simply saying is that there is a power within us that is greater than we often realize. Be encouraged in these promises and continue working toward God’s purposes, following the example of Christ, and trust the Spirit to produce what He wills through us.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

(Isaiah 55:10-11)

Categories: Worship in Community

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