There are two characteristics of the Jesus Movement that set it apart as a legitimate spiritual awakening on the level with other major spiritual movements in the history of western civilization like the Great Awakening and the Reformation. 1) There was no central organization in control; and 2) it happened simultaneously everywhere (U.S., Canada, Europe, South Africa). Taken together, these two characteristics tell us one thing: This was the Holy Spirit’s doing. There is simply no other explanation.
The question is: What does this mean for us today? We can’t schedule the Holy Spirit for the next Jesus Movement. But knowing the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s participation for any genuine move of God, there are a number of things we can do.
- We can NOT trust our own plans, structures and manipulations. But we can do everything in reliance on the Holy Spirit. As James wrote, “Instead [of saying we will go here or there and do such and such], you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’” (James 4:15). In other words, whatever plans we make we hold lightly.
- We put a lot of prayer into our plans and our movements. Whatever we plan, we know that the Lord will direct our steps (and we need to be prepared for the fact that He may not direct them exactly as we planned).
- Keep your eyes and ears open to what God is doing everywhere and among all generations. Wherever you find miracles going on, it’s a sign the Spirit of the Lord is moving. Find out what He is doing and offer your gifts and assistance. Instead of making plans and asking God to bless them, find out what God is already blessing, and get involved.
- Don’t try to control any of this movement of the Lord. Go along with it. Let the wind of the Spirit take it. We can’t control the wind, but we can set sail in it, learn how to maneuver the boat, and work with the wind to get where God wants us to go.
- And finally, we have the Holy Spirit as a permanent possession. The Holy Spirit will be our guide as to how God wants to move in the world and what He wants us to do. He is the one who empowers us to do His will at all times and all He requires is for us to be available to Him. Which always reminds me of my mentor, Ron Ritchie, who lived in a town with “Ritchie Real Estate” signs all over that read, “Available Ritchie.” It was true, and the way he lived his life. Of course, however, he had to point out that my sign would most likely read, “Fischer: By Appointment Only.” Which is also accurate. So, which are you? Available or by appointment only?
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