An ad for a Land Rover shows a man walking out of his house, diving off a cliff, and parachuting into his car. What do you see at the bottom of the screen? “Do Not Attempt.” “Dramatization“. Ads for cars or automotive products will often elaborate on this with “Professional driver on a closed course”.
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Sometimes these mandatory disclaimers are heard more than once when an outrageous stunt or death-defying act is seen. Why? It is difficult to fathom, but some people will actually try these things without the proper training. Without the disclaimer, losing a lawsuit is a high probability. Lack of common sense runs rampant.
Pentecost Sunday is just four days away. It celebrates the beginning of the Christian church after Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and prophetic fulfillment. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father”. “I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”. “Stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
The Holy Spirit came in power on Pentecost. Supernatural gifts of speaking unknown languages and understanding them came through the Spirit. Later, the sick would be healed and the dead raised through the same Holy Spirit. Everything Jesus said was true!
Unlike the stunts in commercials and movies, the power of the Holy Spirit does not depend on smoke, mirrors, redirection, special equipment or cinema graphic editing. Such feats of power as these are not to be attempted alone. Jesus was clear. Don’t try to accomplish greater things than He did unless you are filled with the Holy Spirit’s power.
Sadly, depending on the Holy Spirit often seems too hard. For many it is easier to invent other ways to grow the church than depending on the Holy Spirit. Flashier facilities, more performance and less participation, focusing on encouragement while discouraging accountability, saying what people want to hear rather than what God’s word declares are prima fascia examples. Or, the subtle message may be to join a church for social networking that enhances the ability to make the right business connections or a connection with that special person. At other times the message is that performance is required. Your good deeds must outweigh your bad ones at the time of death to make the pearly gates swing open wide. Have you received other communiques in this regard?
Ten seconds in the presence of the King, one miraculous experience, or a continuing sense of His presence and forgiveness is enough. They are convincing evidence that depending on the Holy Spirit is not too hard. Living without the power of the Holy Spirit is.
Life. God says don’t try it alone. Such a stunt is doomed. But life directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit is a journey filled with excitement, satisfaction, and the knowledge that your life has made a difference. Don’t leave home without the power of the Spirit inside.