Last week I challenged the people of NGWC to become missionaries, each and every one of them. This challenge was based in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 – “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. … And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
This week I told them that they were incapable of becoming missionaries on their own; that they needed an empowerment beyond themselves. This assertion is based on Jesus’ words recorded in Acts 1:8 - “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus understood that His disciples would need help (power) beyond themselves to do the work that He was leaving to be done. This power source was the same one that He had while He served as a missionary on earth.
At Jesus’ baptism the heavens were torn open and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove.
He was then led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Jesus then returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.
The first recorded time that Jesus spoke in the synagogue He quoted scripture and said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me …”
Before His crucifixion Jesus went to great length to explain to the disciples the promise of the Holy Spirit and His work in their lives and in the world (John 14-16). In Acts 1, before His return to heaven He restates the promise once more.
A careful read through the Acts of the Apostles (some would say of the Holy Spirit) reveals how the church was moved by God’s Spirit time and time again.
The church under the anointing, direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit went out into the streets of Jerusalem and then down the roads to Judea and Samaria, and eventually to the ends of the earth. As the Holy Spirit moved, they moved with Him.
Perhaps it was because of his experience of seeing how the Spirit worked in and through the church that he was prompted to write in Revelation 22:17 - "The Spirit and the bride say come!"
When the individual members of the bride of Christ are all (collectively) saying the same thing it speaks more loudly to the world and they are more apt to hear the message. But the Spirit must also be at work in our hearts and lives as well as those of the people we are communicating with.
So, if we are going to be missionaries then we must move with the Holy Spirit. Someone has referred to this moving with the Holy Spirit as a dance.
Question: are you dancing with the Holy Spirit? Are you listening to His voice? Are you following His promptings?
I may get in trouble as a Wesleyan pastor – but I challenge you to dance this week – dance with the Holy Spirit.
Later this week I will be sharing some tips on being a good dance partner.