This past Sunday, we hosted Mark Nysewander, the teaching pastor at RiverStone Church in Kennesaw, Georgia. Mark has ministered as a pastor, evangelist, missionary, church planter and conference speaker. He has also authored four books, his latest being Revival Rising.
Mark spoke to us about the need for and the shape of renewal in our individual lives and in the church. As I have reflected on Mark’s messages the following thoughts have come to my mind:
As Christ followers, we recognize that the Holy Spirit dwells within the lives of all people who have received the gift of salvation in Christ through faith. This alone is not sufficient for the fire of God’s renewing Spirit to burn brightly in my life. Yes, it is important to know that I have the Holy Spirit. Renewal depends, though, on the Holy Spirit having me. The Book of Acts is filled with disciples who were controlled by the Holy Spirit. They were baptized in the Holy Spirit. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon them. The wording is not so important.
What ultimately matters is whether we are truly willing to surrender our need for control and our pride in such a way as to allow the Holy Spirit to thrive in our lives. This cannot happen unless we hunger and thirst for God; unless we desire above all else to be all that God wants us to be.
People are deeply touched by other people who seemed to be close to God. This is the fruit of renewal. Those far from God witness the presence of the Lord Jesus in the lives of his followers. Many centuries ago, St. Irenaeus said, The glory of God is a fully alive human being.
This glory was revealed in Jesus the Christ. This glory can also be revealed in our lives today! O Holy Spirit, may you take possession of my life today. I want you to thrive in my life. I desire that through you, the Lord Jesus would be glorified in all my living. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.