Recent findings from George Barna Research don’t paint a positive picture for the future of the Church in the western world. Particularly among younger generations, there has been a significant decline in theological literacy, and the gap between one’s spirituality and other aspects of life has grown. And the pervasive post-modern emphasis on tolerance has infected the Church to the extent that many Christians no longer have the confidence to speak out for moral principles that are founded on the Bible.
Further, an increasing majority believe the Holy Spirit is a sign of God’s presence or power, but not a live entity, not a real Person, according to the summary of Barna’s findings. To put it another way, a growing percentage of Churchgoers are downplaying the Holy Spirit’s essential role as a source of power. It is understandable why the Christian religion faith is being marginalised more and more: in the lives of many believers, the third member of the Triune God is missing in action.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit, according to Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology, is to make known God’s active presence in the world, particularly in the church. As we live our lives as individuals and as the Church, the Holy Spirit is God residing inside us. Denying His presence entails not just grieving Him but also completely quenching and putting out His spiritual actuality in our everyday life.
The Apostle Paul ordered us to always pray in the Spirit on all occasions, live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), and be consistently filled with (ruled and affected by) the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). (Ephesians 6:18). Denying the Holy Spirit means cutting off our hearts’ access to the most powerful spiritual tool we have at our disposal for living in Christ.
The hyper-charged pace of civilisation leaves people with little time for thought. The deeper reasoning that takes place frequently has to do with monetary or interpersonal demands. Contemplation, seclusion, silence, and simplicity are uncommon spiritual activities.
As this new year rolls out before us, I would implore you to take it easy and to bless yourself with such introspection and contemplation. Repent, if required, of the sin of dismissing the influence and authority of the Holy Spirit. Make a commitment to experiencing the fullness of the Holy Spirit each day. God the Holy Spirit is the crucial link that will enable you to make a stand for Jesus in every area of your life.