In reading A.W. Tozer’s The Counselor yesterday, I found this powerful statement …
“There are churches so completely out of the hands of God
that if the Holy Spirit withdrew from them,
they wouldn’t find it out for many months.”
~ A.W. Tozer
It is an honest assessment, isn’t it. Sadly, it is true, painfully true. It is easy for churches to become such a well-oiled machine that they have absolutely no need for the Helper to do His job. Total reliance upon formulas and current trends can cause pastors to ignore His presence and directives.
But wait. I can take Tozer’s statement one step further by changing it to read “There are ministries so completely …” Have we become so good at the teaching/preaching in Sunday school classrooms or children’s church gatherings or student ministry services that the Holy Spirit is pushed to the side? Is His presence really a necessity or have we become satisfied with what the flesh can produce?
And now, the biggie. “There are Christians so completely …”. It is so, so easy to get involved with day-to-day life that, at best, the One who has been sent by the Father to abide with you forever (John 14:16), the One who is assigned to communicate to you the Father’s thoughts (John 16:13), the One who is strategically directed to be your teacher (John 14:26), the One who is (should I keep going?) becomes an after-thought. We can become so good at getting through life that we wouldn’t notice His absence.
How dependent are you Pastor upon the Holy Spirit? Sunday school teacher, children’s pastor, mid-week Bible club leader, student ministry pastor, can you go through a service without His presence and power? And finally, you, the one sitting in your chair and looking at the computer or smart device screen reading these words, are you helplessly dependent upon the Holy Spirit to enable you to make it through your day?
Present or absent? Speaking or muted? Active or restrained? My prayer for you is that you glean from the wisdom of my pastor, B.B. Hankins when he said, “I wouldn’t want to cross the street without the Holy Spirit”. Let’s become totally dependent upon Him.