The following story was shared this week during the annual North Pacific Union week of prayer.
A woman purchased an old house with no electrical power. She would light her candles at dusk to carry on with her domestic routines. Finally, one day she decided to call the electric company and request services. Once the service work was completed, the electromagnetic current filled her home with light and shadows.
A few weeks later, a representative of the electric company stopped by to check on the recently installed service and found the woman in half darkness with her candles lighting the rooms. He asked, “What’s wrong? Isn’t the electricity working? Why aren’t you using it?" She responded, “Oh yes, the electricity works just fine, I use it long enough to find and light my candles.”
Andrea King, the speaker that day, went on to say that this is exactly what some Christians do with the power of the Holy Spirit. Although we have all the living, potent power of the Holy Spirit available to us, too many of us have grown so accustomed to the dim flicker of our candlelight that turning on the electrical power switch doesn’t even occur to us. It’s baffling to imagine that we are just one switch away from enjoying the maximum illumination of an authentic and empowered Spirit-generated life.
Other Christians, King shared, are like hybrid cars. They go from being connected to the power, then disconnecting, then again, connecting and disconnecting. Charged, then discharged.
Why are we okay living like this? Often, it can be because the Spirit has a different agenda and purpose for our lives; we say we want His company, but we have no interest in hearing His suggestions, much less, His directives.
Pastor King reminded us that God is in the business of taking ordinary people and reconstructing them so that they can become extraordinary people living extraordinary lives. This requires full surrender. Thus, the Spirit must live in us and be given permission to lead us. When we give the Spirit full sway in our lives we will experience disruptions in our routine, our schedule, our expectations and ultimately our entire lives.
If we are willing to have the Holy Spirit, disrupt our lives, then we can expect a revolution — like that which took place at Pentecost. This Pentecost revolution united uneducated, unsophisticated and uncultured individuals. It continues to ignite eruptions each time a disciple of Christ is determined to be all in.
So, what holds back disciples of Jesus Christ from full surrender to the vision and mission of Jesus? Colin Smith would answer, “When God interrupts your life, He is calling you to follow Him in a new way. By breaking into your settled pattern, He is moving you to a new place where you can make fresh discoveries of His grace. Embracing God’s call is never easy, but this is where the pursuit of a God-centered life begins and where the shame of a self-centered life is exposed.”1
Jesus’ call isn’t new and applies more than ever to our self-deceived generation. “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38,29 NKJV).
The Holy Spirit generated conviction lead leading to repentance. True repentance results in a REVOLUTION. The Spirit turns us inside-out and upside-down and doesn’t just do a “remodeling job” on us. We become brand-new creatures — a new construction — for the glory of God. We become fueled by a new purpose, with new passion, sustainable joy and incomprehensible love. All this takes place so we can become effective ambassadors for His kingdom. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 9:10 NKJV).
When my life priorities are flipped, Jesus’ mission becomes my mission. Everything else dims. It’s high time for a mission-centered REVOLUTION.
1 Colin S. Smith, Jonah: Navigating A God-centered Life