“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)
In our day in an effort to win souls and reach the younger generation, many churches are toning down on the emphasis and demonstration of the Holy Spirit, especially speaking in tongues. To avoid offense in our churches some even confine healing, deliverance, and the Spirit baptism to the back room only. Nothing against back room ministry where more time and attention can be given to individuals, but we cannot undermine the importance of public demonstration. It is not either or, but both and more!
Have we forgotten that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgment – whose power heals and delivers, and who fills and overwhelms people with His presence?
Have we forgotten that it was He who knocked down Saul on the road to Damascus and turned the church’s greatest persecutor and murderer into a mighty apostle? Have we forgotten that it was the Holy Spirit who manifested Himself all the way through the gospels and the book of Acts? Nothing supernatural happens without Him! Even in the Law and the prophets of old He was the One who manifested Himself in divers spectacular ways. How could anyone buy into a philosophy that tones down on His ministry, operations, and manifestations?
Yes, we understand that the character of the age has definitely changed. People are five times more dysfunctional today than generations of the past. In our politically correct culture people are also much more easily offended. But do we really think that if we allow Him space to move that He would embarrass us?
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit doesn’t need a light show, a fancy band, and smoke and mirrors to draw people into the kingdom. Quite the contrary. He is the equalizer. He will take our simple faith, our hearts of love and worship and manifest Himself among us if we will only believe. We understand that methods are not sacred, but are subject to change. The Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, however, are sacred and cannot be changed.
Although the desire to reach more people is admirable, we cannot compromise the essentials to do it. And we must also remember that an increase in numbers of people is not necessarily equivalent to spiritual increase or success in God. Raising up true converts and disciples is true increase.
The late Dr. Ron Smith made a prophetic statement before his home-going: “These salvation-only churches that are not emphasizing the power of the Spirit will have a mass exodus in the future because people will wake up to the move of the Spirit.”
We need to pray for these true power and deliverance ministries to come to the forefront. The ministry of the evangelist is a critical ministry for the day we are living in now. Many believers are not being equipped properly for the marketplace because the ministry of the bonafide New Testament evangelist is diminishing in the Church.
The revelation here from the Lord was “to make clean and make ready the young converts through the working of His power in healing, miracles, and deliverance from evil spirits. There needs to be an evangelistic strength and focus in churches and flowing more in the faith and power stream.”
The Spirit of the Lord said, “New converts are like fish when caught – they’re messy and need cleaning. Yes, they are like butterflies in the Spirit, but like fish also. Some fish need more work than others. Evangelists not only catch fish, but are a part of the cleaning process through deliverance (a form of filleting).”
There is a power given to those who are fishermen. When you diminish the necessary work of the Holy Spirit in a new believer you diminish God’s work in them. People must see God’s work in a new convert right from the beginning (being delivered and filled).
Just as I was finishing up this article, I received a text from one of our sons in the faith. Here it is: “The glory of the Lord filled the room of the Salvation Army yesterday during the message. Many came to me after the service weeping and desiring to return to the Lord. Many who have been hurt and broken in church were restored back to Jesus. The conviction of the Holy Spirit was as thick as oil. Many were touched by the love of Abba Father.”
Here’s the clincher – this was during a funeral! Once again, the Holy Spirit is the equalizer.
Let the Spirit move!