|Come Holy Spirit|
2 Chron 7:12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments,
The Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, Dr Robert Spitzer, recently apologized for his claims in 2001 and publications in 2003 that gays could change their sexual orientation. "I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy..." said Professor Spitzer publicly admitting his mistake after 11 years. We often quench the Holy Spirit of God through our false witness causing grave harm. Revival is near when we come before God in a contrite heart.
The church was founded with the coming of the Holy Spirit trigered by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit didn't come upon the church per say. He came upon the individuals who had gathered together in prayer to seek after God's face. Neither did the Holy Spirit came upon those who were not there for whom they were not baptised or filled with the Holy Spirit. Hitherto, He only appeared occasionally, briefly and not in a widespread experience in a prolonged manner.
The Holy Spirit is not an "it" nor a "Force". He is a person with an individuality. Once, you get to know the Holy Spirit, He is so special, sensitive, and gentle. You can hear His quiet whispers, and laughter and He is amazingly humorous. Jesus waited until the coming or the baptism of the Holy Spirit before starting His ministry. The Holy Spirit is faithful and lingers with us even though often we neglect His presence nor give space for Him to move.
The Holy Spirit is often a reluctant bystander, standing at the corner of the room whlists we do "church". We say that the Holy Spirit is everywhere and He was since the beginning of time when the Spirit of God howered above the yet unformed regions of the earth. He was there in the beginning of time and was with mankind after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
Although still present, the Holy Spirit retracted His presence when harm, violence and cruelty became prevalent prior to the flood. Since them, He had appeared from time to time to individuals, annointing them with power just as He did with Samson. King David so treasured the presence of the Holy Spirit that He cried out to God to not take the presence of the Holy away.
Perhaps the Holy Spirit will leave us once a while. We are often like Samson not discerning the things of God, some even denying the reality of Jesus' death and resurrection, or generalising that God is about love rather than the Love of God that became the way and the truth back to God in Jesus. Others like the Pharisees of old carrying their large book of the law made their personal crusade against gays.
The day of Pentecost this year marks the start of the Global day of Prayer in Singapore, where we together with Christians around the world cries out to God to send us a mighty wave of the Holy Spirit for revival.
Perhaps revival will come, when have a clean heart, a clean hand and a clean feet that the Holy Spirit can fill and annoint us to do His works amongsts the nations.
A Clean Heart - do we see people with humanity, compassion, love, mercy and grace? Just like Jerusalem of old, we are at the Cross roads of the world. What do they bring back to their home countries whence they had come from? the foreign workers, maids, and those in the service industry. Many Christians insist in putting gays in jail for being "openly" gay which we distort as somehow "promoting homosexuality" which is innate.
A Clean hand - We are called not to have blood on our hands. Have we abused our position and power against the weak and using them for our own ill purposes. How do we treat our foreign maids and foreign workers?
A Clean feet - Where do we walk! amongst the intellectual, the rich and the powerful. Do we walk where the Spirit of God leads us? Are we messengers of the Good News of the Gospel? Do we walk amongst those that society considers insignificant?
The Holy Spirit does not reside neccesarily in the church but in our hearts and minds as Christians to continue on the ministry of Christ. He comes with power and annointing to give us victory, fellowship, and guidance. He chose to work in us, to work in the lives of Christians that we become the hearts, hands and the feet of Jesus.
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
The Holy Spirit comes to annoint us with power - for without power against the demonic principalities, the early Christians wouldn't have gone far. We are to bind the god that rules the city before its citizens can be loosened to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Yet for many Christian people of faith, demons are just a myth. The game "Diablo 3" may be fictional, and we the demon hunters in it, not knowing that in real life, Satan mock at us when we don't believe in hell, nor the power of darkness which binds a city or an area to the deity that the people of faith there worships. Just as we believe that the Holy Spirit is "everywhere" why don't we believe that demonic beings too roam the land?
The Holy Spirit is gentle and senstive, some say feminine yet will not insist in His way. He will not impose His ways. When the Jews took over Canaan, God instructed them to destroy all the inhabitants because these people were bonded to their demonic gods whom if allowed to remain will detract the people of God. It is only when their temples and spiritual strongholds are removed, that the Holy Spirit of God came and begin to do a work in the life of Israel.
The extent of the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit is seen in Mat Mat 12:31-32 where once we insult the Holy Spirit of God by claiming His powerful manifestation and works as that of the Devil, we quench the power of God. We are "unforgiven" in the sense that the Holy Spirit will not return to us. Whereas, even though the Pharisees criticised God in Jesus Christ, He still spoke to them and engaged them in conversation.
The Holy Spirit is easily quenched. He can be found standing in a quiet corner of the church whilst we do church, then in a far corner, then near the door, and then no more be found. Yet, like Samson we still believe He is with us not knowing that we are "unforgiven" for when we desprately cry out for the Holy Spirit, He will no longer be found.
When we cause harm, when the perpetuate sin against the marginalised, when we exalt injustice for the weak, when we do not exalt Christ as the way, the truth and the life to God as our Lord and Saviour, we limit the power of God. We put aside the Holy Spirit of God through our own intellect, carnal human centered religious theologies and traditions, and religious self righteousness. The Holy Spirit is not with us simply because we proclaim we are "people of faith". He is with us, when we honor the name of Christ in our lives.
During this Global Day of Prayer marked by the Pentecost, I believe that God is calling the church to humble herself. Professor Spitzer has apologized for his faulty research on gays yet he is still widely quoted by the church against gays. If we want revival, our hands must be clean!
What areas/attitudes/faith beliefs that are we called to change in our lives before the Holy Spirit of God can do a greater work and annointing? How do we honor the name of Christ in our actions, words and deeds.