Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
As a preacher, I have often stood behind the pulpit, relishing in the presence of the Spirit as He evidenced Himself in the service. And then, there were those loathsome services where the Spirit was quenched and preaching was akin to pulling teeth.
I see several words in this chapter which cause me to covet the Spirit's presence: Life, countenance, glory, ministration, excelleth, glorious, hope and liberty.
These descriptors all make for a wonderful time in the Lord's house.
There is no set formula for procuring the Lord's presence. The wind bloweth where it listeth. We don't know where it came from or where it goes. Such is the Spirit of God. He moves as He deems necessary. However, it is needful for us do our part in welcoming His presence. I think of the promise of the Lord where He said that if two or three are gathered together in my name, there will I be in the midst of them. We need to gather together, be unified, as they were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, bathe the services in prayer, have our hearts in the right place, making sure sin is confessed and cleansed.
Humanly speaking, there are a few things we can do to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for the Holy Ghost.
First, we must bathe a service in prayer. Nothing eternal is ever accomplished without a concentrated effort of prayer. Prayer is opening the door, once He knocks, and inviting Him to enter and have free reign.
Second, there must be a submission on the part of the majority of the people. When we line up our desires with His and sacrifice our selfish wishes on the altar of surrender, then He is welcome and active.
Third, we must be careful not to quench Him. As He moves from row to row, heart to heart, each one ought to say yes to God's will. As we turn our eyes upon Him, seeking to please the Lord, we must let the things of the world grow dim and allow the glorious light of the Spirit to flood our souls. Then we must be obedient to Him as that light reveals to us His will.
Fourth, Praise! The Lord inhabits the praises of His children. The more we praise Him, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth, the stronger His presence.
If we provide the Spirit of the Lord an inviting venue for His presence, we could well be rewarded with liberty. Liberty to enjoy church, to witness His power, to experience His presence and to watch Him operate in lives.