When we think about the gifts of the Spirit, as put forth in I Corinthians 12, we might confuse those gifts with our natural abilities, or natural skills, or even with our aptitude for a specific spiritual work.
Many leaders in “full-time Christian service” believe they are called by the Lord because of their abilities or experience. Such as someone with experience as a teacher, a coach, a business manager, or who has skills that might be useful in managing a church and its congregation.
But this is not how God chooses or uses people.
The Lord is not interested in the strengths of men. Nor is He impressed with their celebrity, their influence, their singing voices, their oratory skills, or their ability to rally people around a cause or a movement.
God’s way is based on something entirely different.
His way is based on our weakness. And on our failures.
The Lord’s Ability VS Our Own
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9)
The church today is a place where Christian leaders are rallying people to a movement.
These popular leaders are gathering Christians to follow a good cause or a good work. To accomplish goals. To become servants for Christ.
But the power behind their work often has very little to do with Christ. Or the work of His Spirit.
Even though their motivation is to do the work for Christ. Even out of love for Christ. Or in obedience to Christ. Or out of love for others.
And on the surface, their stated objectives are difficult to criticize. Their sincerity and devotion are tough to question. And their willingness to sacrifice their time and strength is commendable.
But there is something missing.
There is something that is cold and sterile about it all.
There is something dead in all this work.
Whose Work Is It Anyway?
The modern Evangelical, and also the Fundamentalist, tends to know very little about the working of the Holy Spirit within the believer.
Even though they would deny that statement.
The Holy Spirit’s working within us is basically ignored. While Christians focus on other ways to accomplish the Lord’s work.
By placing their confidence in motivational sermons and “spiritual disciplines” that are designed to make us do His work for Him. Instead of allowing Him to do the work.
The methods that the Evangelical church applies to the Christian life are little different from those applied to the people in the mainline denominations, or in Catholicism, or in Mormonism, or in Judaism.
Or in the cults.
Their emphasis is on making Christian flesh behave through behavior modification, mixed with motivational “Christian psychology” – supported by very selective, biblical proof texts.
The Holy Spirit is not really needed to run the average Bible church today.
Because we have enough strength of our own to get the job done. As we hire leadership with the coaching and organizational skills to move people to accomplish spiritual goals.
For Jesus’ sake.
To Be Continued . . .
Image by Alexa from Pixabay