I am reading “Forgotten God:Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit” by Francis Chan, and this passage grabbed my attention:
“My guess is that you would love to be filled with supernatural power from the Holy Spirit. You probably wouldn’t be reading this book if you didn’t. The question I want to ask is why? Recently, a man dying of cancer asked the church elders to anoint him with oil and pray for his healing. Before we prayed, however, I asked the man a question I don’t normally ask: “Why do you want to be healed? Why do you want to stay on this earth?” The man, as well as everyone else around, seemed a bit surprised that I would ask such a blunt question. The reason I probed like this is because in the epistle of James, we are reminded that we often don’t receive the answers to our prayers because we ask for the wrong reasons: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” ( James 4:3 ). Our desire to live should be for the sake and glory of the God who put us on this earth in the first place. So, really, why do you desire the Holy Spirit’s activity in your life? Do you want to experience more of the Holy Spirit merely for your own benefit? When the answer is yes, then we are no different from Simon the magician, who tried to buy the Holy Spirit’s power from the apostles. Peter’s response to Simon in that situation was strong; he said, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!” ( Acts 8:20 ). The Holy Spirit is not a commodity to be bought or traded according to our individual wants, whims, or even our felt needs. We absolutely cannot have this discussion about the Holy Spirit without calling our motives into question. Right now I want you to take a break from reading and spend some time asking yourself why you want the Holy Spirit. Is it for power? Is it for your own betterment and purposes? Or is it because you want to experience all that God has for you? Is it because you love the church and desire to be a better servant to your sisters and brothers?”
I think I usually want His power to correct what’s wrong with me so my wife will like me or forgive me, or so I can be a “better Christian” (so that others will look up to me), or so I can say some profound thing to wow the people around me. I think I’m afraid of experiencing all that God has for me…I need to get over that fear. I definitely want to be a better servant.
Food for thought.
My love be with you all in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 16:24)