“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I
have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these,
because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my
name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Our church is starting a new series on the Holy Spirit. Using Frances Chan’s book, The Forgotten God, as the backdrop for the study, Pastor Jon Huizenga asked the congregation a very provocative question, “What would I do, believe, and expect differently if I truly believed that the Holy Spirit is the person that the Bible describes?”
Then my pastor went in for the one-two punch. He said, “We minimize the truth about the Holy Spirit probably because we would rather minimize it than admit we do not experience it.” If that wasn’t enough, I was reminded of Jesus’ word when he told his believers that they will do even greater works than he. He said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:12–13). I believe Jesus’ words were literal. The disciples’ lives in the Book of Acts testified to truth of it.
I felt hit between the eyes. Am I living as if the Holy Spirit is absent, ineffectual, or inconsequential? If I use this passage as a ruler and measure my life, I think I am in trouble. I suspect I don’t regularly experience the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit because I don’t rely on his guidance, don’t count on his presence, and probably don’t even completely believe in his power.
Besides a lack a faith, maybe I also am too much in the way of the Holy Spirit’s work. I am self-conscious, have too little faith, and don’t obediently ask where the Holy Spirit is moving so that I can join into his work. I need to remember the points I made in an article I wrote earlier this year:
“The limits I encounter must exist within me, rather than in him.
I know. . .
God is never afraid ― yet, many things keep me up at night and make my jaw ache.
God is love ― however, I struggle to even adequately love myself, let alone to love others well.
God is all-powerful ― I know I am very weak. It took two of us to push my small hybrid car off of a tiny patch of ice.
God has perfect control over himself and all things ― yet I can’t even resist the last bite of dessert.
. . .Now I know God is neither surprised nor disappointed by my timidity. In fact, he expects it. And in his anticipation of my fearfulness he has provided me a way out. He has placed within my heart, his amazing Holy Spirit who is all-powerful, able to perfectly love, and maintain self-control.” (Posted on March 3, 2013)
Today these words are a reminder that encourages me. I want to live my life with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit so that I am an effective part of God’s life-changing ministry to save a desperate, dying world. Yet, God knows I am frail and fallible. Maybe all it takes for this to happen is a willingness to open my heart to the Holy Spirit and act obediently to his will.