Here is an incredible revelation. If Vickie and I had a limited amount of time to be away from our home to be in Lakeland, Florida with the most incredible kids and grandkids in the whole world (no brag, just fact!!!), we couldn’t leave our home in North Richland Hills, Texas and drive west to Cowlick, Arizona and then up to Chicken, Alaska and then east to Embarrass, Minnesota and then further east to Accident, Maryland and then south to Experiment, Georgia and expect to enjoy our limited time with our Florida family. No, a million times no. While visiting these cities might be incredible, I can guarantee you that, knowing that we have kids ready to see their parents and grandkids anxiously waiting for Papa and Nana, Vickie and I would look for the route that would mile by mile get us closer and closer to our desired destination.
Really, this is not too much of a revelation. In fact, it is a no-brainer. To get where you want to go, you must aim for the desired destination and don’t allow detours to keep you from getting there!
I know that many reading this blog desire to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their ministry. And yet, for some, that goal or destination isn’t being reached. Let me draw from the opening scenario and offer this suggestion. If you want to see people baptized in the Holy Spirit (your desired destination), lesson by lesson and sermon by sermon needs to move you closer to this outpouring. In other words, there is absolutely no room for detours!
I am constantly amazed when a children’s pastor calls me and tells me of their desire to see children baptized in the Holy Spirit and yet, when asked about what they are presently teaching, I learn that they are teaching a four-week series on dealing with bullying which will be followed by a three-week series on how to tell the truth. While these are great subjects, they are not moving you closer and closer to seeing the altars filled with boys and girls praying to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The same holds true for pastors preaching to the adults on Sunday mornings or youth pastors ministering in their youth services. Many are ministering about family relationships and then moving on to a series on agape love and … well, you get the idea … great subjects, needed subjects, but not subjects that will get people baptized in the Holy Spirit and begin a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Children’s pastor … youth pastor … lead pastor … if you are going to reach your destination and see the desire of your heart come to pass, better yet, if you are going to see the fulfillment of God’s prophesy through Joel (Joel 2:2:28-29) and the all-consuming passion of God’s heart (Luke 11:13) come to pass, you can’t take side trips and detours. Know and keep your focus aimed towards your final destination. Preach, teach, and demonstrate and then preach, teach, and demonstrate some more and then preach, teach, and demonstrate even more about the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the great command to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Service by service, move closer to your destination. In doing so, the end results will be incredible. You will see the promised “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh” come to pass.
Oh, one more thing. For those who have been detouring and passed through Cowlick, Arizona, did you buy me a t-shirt?