The question came up last night in a conversation with Krista. I think this question haunts church-planters and pastors regularly.
How do we access the power of the Holy Spirit described by the New Testament writers? Why don’t we have that power?
My observation is that I’m afraid of our wrong motivation in even asking the question. Which are we more desirous of: the Holy Spirit or it’s power? Certainly, we have good intentions. But when we seek the Holy Spirit’s power to fuel our plans and our desires, we neglect the thirst for the Holy Spirit! And how can God possibly bless that?!
And as I think about fuel, there’s an interesting thought regarding fuel. What burns? Fuel. So, by our description, we want the Holy Spirit to be exhausted and burn up accomplishing our desires. The reality of it all is that we should be the fuel for the Holy Spirit’s will and plans.
So, rather than asking God to bless your plans – rather than begging the Holy Spirit to accomplish your will – open your mind to the possibility that God’s will is different than your own, and he desires that you to stop asking for power and start asking for the Holy Spirit.
We need to stop asking the Holy Spirit to bless the American Dream in order to realize that the American Dream has nothing to do with obeying the Holy Spirit. That’s hard to deal with, but isn’t that the exact same truth that lead the rich young ruler to leave Jesus?