You are so ready. You’ve been looking forward to this moment all week. The table is set with the finest china and crystal. The aroma of the meal fills the house, energizing your sense of expectation. You know I’m coming to visit, and you can’t wait. In all likelihood, I am bringing you a gift – something that you know deep down is going to be very special. All your attention is focused on our time of fellowship and communion. The doorbell rings. You invite me in and you are so happy that I have arrived. And there it is, a gift wrapped just for you. Then, without warning, you suddenly get distracted. “It’s time to move on to something else,” you lament. Dinner is forgotten. We have no fellowship. After a while, I excuse myself quietly, leaving with the gift I had for you, which you have forgotten in your attentiveness to some other item on your agenda.
Sad isn’t it? Yet this scenario is played out week after week in many if not most church services across America. We gather together for worship. Jesus is with us as He promised. His presence begins to manifest in response to our corporate worship. The Holy Spirit is there; ready to impart a gift or gifts to many. Those who are spiritually sensitive know that God is ready to move. Then, without warning, it’s over. We move on to the next agenda item, leaving the Holy Spirit and His gifts to be ignored.
This is good, right? After all, do we really want to interrupt our agenda and allow mere members to be vessels the Holy Spirit moves through? What if the pastor never gets to preach his sermon? What if we take the offering in the wrong place, or miss the funny announcement video? We worked hard on this agenda and we know what’s best for our meetings. What if we lose control?
We groan about the lack of miracles and manifestations of the gifts in the church. Yet we never give opportunity for them. In many cases the church has moved from being an overflow of godly men – elders praying and crying out for God to move, to a sterile, carefully planned meeting. It’s not that the gifts are not there, it’s just that we never take time to open them.
It is time for the church to get off the fence. If we are not going to let God move, then let’s not call ourselves charismatic, spirit-filled, or anything else that would give people hope that we will let Him move. But if we genuinely want to see the awesome, amazing, New Testament church be what it can be, then let’s throw our agendas away, stop letting “creativity” determine what a meeting should look like, and just let the Holy Spirit move. Trust me; He has good things for us. His gifts are awesome. He might just have one for you.