“After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to finish by human effort?” Galatians 3:3
In my first ten months at Mountair I have seen God do some amazing things in and through the people here. I’ve seen people freed from addictions, come out of the occult, elderly suburban people hugging homeless people, people using their spiritual gifts, a slow re-connection with the surrounding neighborhood, and much more. And while all of this was happening, a focus in my own life and the life of the church was praying that the Holy Spirit would work through us in mighty ways that were beyond anything we could accomplish in our own efforts.
Today I read the passage I quoted at the top of this post and was convicted. This summer we are doing all kinds of things at our church and with others in the community for both adults and kids. It’s only June and I know at least my wife, my administrative assistant, and I feel pretty wiped out. Without meaning to I set a course for the summer that is much more about our efforts and planning than it is the work of the Holy Spirit. I say this partly because in setting the course for the summer I relied much more on activity and strategies I’ve read about than prayer and the Spirit’s wisdom.
I’m certainly not saying we shouldn’t do any activities. But I’d rather do the things I believe the Spirit is leading us to do than the things I think are a good idea (or anyone else for that matter). When things seemed so daunting at the beginning it was easy to rely on the Spirit–we were doomed without his work. But as things have gone well it started to feel like we’d make it and we could handle it. This subtle slip from the Spirit to human effort wasn’t intentional, but I think it is bound to happen without being intentional about continually relying on the Spirit. My default is to rely on my own effort and the effort of others. What I need is to stay aligned with the Spirit and help others do the same.
I praise God for his correction, it is needed!