Posted by: Veroni Kruger | February 20, 2011

GOD IS NO SLOT MACHINE, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT CANDY

Continuing the conversation I wrote about last week, the pastor asked me “But what should I do to have more of the power of God in my services?” (At this point I smiled, albeit ruefully, thinking back to another pastor, who said “If I can just a get a band going in my church, I’m sure the Holy Spirit will come!”)

There is no pattern, no magic method, no easy way. Yes, no easy way, because God is not a slot machine, and the Holy Spirit is not like candy.

Here are a few thoughts, as much for churches as for individuals.

The place to begin, is daily submission to the will of God. Only when, and to the extent that we submit to Him, will He reveal Himself as He really wants to do. Submission is best practiced through the classical discipline of daily Scripture reading and prayer, provided your attitude is right, so that it does not simply become another “good thing to do.” If you don’t talk to Him regularly (talk as if He is really listening!), and allow Him to talk to you (and you listening as if you really expect Him to communicate with you), what makes you think He will suddenly appear on a Sunday morning to bless “your” service? Or report for duty as your personal attendant when you decide “This is the day God needs to bless me with his presence” in your personal prayer time?

Humility is a great opener. C S Lewis says pride is the one vice we all struggle with, and in my experience as a pastor, I have found ministers (including me) to be especially prone to this vice. There is a fine line between gratitude for the blessings of God, and pride. And Satan knows where that fine line in each one of us is, better than we ourselves!

Religiosity, whether of the personal type of exaggerated piety, or of the denominational type (“We have always done it this way, and so shall it always be, world without end!”) is a severe stumbling block to opening the door for the Holy Spirit to work among us. (A word in the ear of the Pentecostals, I have found them to be as prone to getting stuck in religious forms as any other group of believers – I grew up, and am thankful for that, among Pentecostals.)

Of course there are specific things we can do to make it easier for ourselves to experience the power of God. I will get to some of them in due course. We can start working on making sure that we are taking care of the few I have mentioned here – they need to be attended to constantly. Then our personal devotional times as well as our times of corporate worship are sure to become more like what the Psalmist was talking about:

“You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Ps 16.11, NIV)

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Responses

  1. Hi Veroni.

    I am visiting Carel in Sydney and we got to talking about school days and looked you up. Let us have your e-mail address so that we can chat.

    Bset wishes,

    Neil Oates

    • Hello Neil,

      I am so glad to hear from you. I have been trying to find some of you, with no success. Greetings to Carel, and looking forward to hearing from you.

      Veroni

      • Please let us have your direct email address. Cheers, Neil


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