In one sense, God has given us a moment in time to develop His character, His way of life, and to be a part of the greatest work on the face of this earth, but we can’t do this without the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we all know, God is the greatest power source in the universe. And it is His power, the power of the Holy Spirit which moves His great work. And each member has the responsibility of drawing on that power for the good of the entire work. The question is; are we doing our part?
During the apex of the Worldwide Church of God they did a tremendous work. In comparison to the rest of modern Christianity, the Worldwide Church of God wasn’t all that big, but look at the work they did. The Plain Truth magazine was given out to millions of people in different languages; they supplied the Church with the Good News magazine, numerous booklets and articles, the Correspondence Course, and established churches all over the world.
But the greatest work is still ahead of us, and God has raised up his end time Church to do this work. That is one of the principle reasons each of us is a part of it. But the Church as a whole will only be as strong as the sum of its individual members.
Notice Daniel 11:32: “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupt (or pollute) by flatteries; but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do (or take action) exploits.”
“I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12).
As Christians, each one of us must evaluate our individual spiritual condition. Here are some points to examine ourselves:
How strong in the faith are you personally?
Do you have love and empathy for this sick, expiring world?
How filled are you with zeal to accomplish your part in God’s Work?
How deeply do you grasp the meaning of God’s Word?
Are you controlling and ruling your physical appetites and your desires for material things?
Do you really maintain a peaceful and tranquil mind, or are you racked with insecurity and fears?
As we all know the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit are mentioned in Gal. 5:22-23; they are love (outgoing concern), joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility and temperance (or self-control).
Now if a person lacks these fruits, it indicates a shortage of the Spirit itself. What if you had a pear tree and it fails to produce pears; that tells us it lacks sufficient supply of the flowing nourishing sap that produces pears.
God has given us this moment in time (exemplified by the Days of Unleavened Bread) to produce these fruits, but if we lack these Godly characteristics in our lives, we are likely producing a harvest of the opposite fruits, these fruits are called; “works of the flesh, such as strife, divisions, and various objectionable states of mind.”
All the works of the flesh, from hate and envy to feelings of competition and lust, contribute to the general misery and unhappiness of the individual. They are unsatisfying and unfulfilling, but more importantly; they hurt the Work of God.
In Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome; in the 8th chapter he is trying to explain the difference between the carnal mind and the spiritual mind. A spiritual mind will be exercising and using God’s Holy Spirit and therefore that person will be producing its fruits.
Now, just receiving God’s Holy Spirit will not make you spiritually minded unless we draw on and use the power of that Spirit every day of our lives. We are spiritually minded to the degree that we produce the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
Is it possible to be considered part of the Body of Christ and still not be spiritually minded? The Apostle Paul gives us the answer:
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (or solid food) for hitherto were ye not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as (or according to man” (I Cor. 3:1-4)?
These people were carnal, but who was Paul addressing: “Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God. Unto the Church of God which is at Corinth to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord” (I Cor. 1:1-2).
Paul was telling them that they were conducting themselves (or misusing the moment in time that God has given them) as the average man on the street would act. They were conducting themselves in an unspiritual manner.
In other words, they were producing works of the flesh. They had strifes, and arguing, debating and contentions. There were divisions, and party-spirit among them, the very same things that are mentioned in Gal. 5:19-21.
So what was the problem? These people had been converted and had received God’s Spirit as a begettal, which is what makes one a member of the Church (I Cor. 12:13). Why were they continuing to produce these unspiritual and fleshly works?
Paul isolated the problem: “Know you not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you” (ICor. 3:16)? Some of the members seemed to have lost sight of the fact that they had received the Holy Spirit as a begettal and that they must now use and draw upon the Holy Spirit to produce fruit.
They were not stirring up the Holy Spirit and drawing on its resources to produce the results of a spiritual mind.
Do you have personal problems? Could the same lack of perception be at the root of them? If we have been begotten of the Holy Spirit following baptism and are not producing many of its fruits, then something is seriously wrong!
How can we use the Holy Spirit to produce the good fruits of a spiritual mind? We have to be plugged into God’s power, be charged up, and then exercise that power.
In Mark 5:29-30 he tells the story of a woman who had been sick for a long time. She touched the hem of Christ’s garment and was instantly healed! Not only that, but Jesus Christ was immediately aware that virtue (or power) had gone out of him.
How is that possible, how did Christ know that someone had touched His garment? There are no nerve endings in clothes. The word virtue here is actually translated from the Greek word dunamis. It means power, might, strength or force.
So when Christ was touched by this woman He expended force or power. It was the dynamic power from Christ that produced this miracle of healing. He sensed a drain of healing energy or force from His person.
What was the source of His power? “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). Here is the same identical Greek word that is translated power instead of virtue.
During the Apostolic Age, even deacons such as Philip and Stephen were performing mighty miracles: “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (Acts 6:8).
What was the source of Stephens’ power? “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of the God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55) Notice that there is no third person of the trinity mentioned here, only Christ.
It was God’s Holy Spirit which filled Stephen, a lay member, with the power which enables him to perform miracles. If you and I are to have more of the power and force necessary to do the Work of God, then we must as individuals ask God to increase our supply of His Holy Spirit.
God’s Spirit can’t be bottled up, it must continually be flowing into you and me or it cannot flow out of us in good works. It has to be renewed and replenished daily. “The inward man is renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16).
Our spiritual battery must continually be on charge. We must continually plug in to the real power source which is God. How shall we receive more of God’s Spirit? Jesus Christ gives us the answer.
Notice Matthew 14:23 where Christ fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fishes; verse 23 tells us what He did after this miracle: “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain by himself to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.”
Christ had just expended dynamic miracle-working power: so Christ went immediately to the source of all power in prayer to be spiritually recharged. Christ wanted to continue operating at peak power. He could not afford to allow that force to diminish or dissipate. And what was the next thing Christ did – He walked on the sea.
Now we are getting closer to the real cause for Christ being here on earth. Christ knew what was coming, and he needed a great deal of strength from His Father. He needed a tremendous amount of spiritual power to carry Him through it.
He went straight to His Father and prayed earnestly; that account is found in Matthew 26:36-45. The first time Christ prayed was – “if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
The second time He prayed Christ prayed essentially the same prayer, drawing even closer to God; to totally accept the fact that He must go through with this ordeal. Now the third time He prayed He was now ready to go through that horrible ordeal.
“Rise let us be going, behold he is at hand that does betray me” (v. 46) Christ had now increased His spiritual power by praying persistently to God and tapping the source of that dynamic powerful force.
It was the Holy Spirit of the Living God that gave our Savior the power and mind capacity to carry out the commission that makes it possible for all mankind to be saved from the penalty of sin-- cremated alive in a lake of fire. It was the spiritual mind of Christ that made a way for us to be saved from the ultimate product of our weak fleshly mind, death.
If we, as individual members of the Body of Christ, are to have the same mind and power of God and produce the same fruits of the Holy Spirit we must connect ourselves with the source of that power.
We must be charged up with spiritual energy – the Holy Spirit. We cannot afford to let worldly pulls or this world’s influences quench the effort of God’s Spirit in our lives.
“Quench not the Spirit” (I Thess. 5:19). “Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the laying on of my hands” (II Tim. 1:6).
In this moment of time it is imperative that true Christians study and drink in of the examples of faith and power from the Bible; this will accelerate the flow of the Holy Spirit into and through our persons.
Each time we act on God’s instruction we activate the Holy Spirit. The more we do this, the more it will increase in us. By doing this, we become greater instruments in the hands of the Living God, and that moves the Work of God.
“Not my might, nor my power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). This work which we are called to do can only be completed and accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit; human abilities are not enough.
Finally – let’s all say with the prophet Micah: “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might” (Micah 3:8). We will then have more faith, deeper understanding, greater love, and increased resources with which to do this work – this moment in time God has given us to do the greatest Work on the face of the earth.