When God Moves
By Benjamin H. Liles
I have heard for some time now that there are certain leaders and pastors within the Christian community that, and I quote, "God's Spirit doesn't move any longer" or even "The Holy Spirit is irrelevant in this day and age." Wow! To that I have to ask this, then, how does anyone become a Christian if there's no Spirit of God or even that He's still at work? That doesn't equate well in my mind's eye.
Let me preface this with the very words of Jesus Christ, who said, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful...I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing...This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be My disciples" (John 15:1-8, Berean Study, abridged verses here).
In other words, we must remain in Christ to bear any kind of fruit. And Paul remarks what the fruit of the Spirit is: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23, Holman Christian Standard). The point is if we are in Christ, bearing the fruit He offers us, which are these nine aspects of the Holy Spirit we have 1) Love, 2) Joy, 3) Peace, 4) Patience, 5) Kindness, 6) Goodness, 7) Faith, 8) Gentleness, and lastly 9) Self-control.
And then we see what Christ also says of those who do not remain in Him: "He cuts off every branch...not bearing fruit. No branch can bear fruit by itself. If anyone does not remain...is thrown away and withers - [these are] gathered up, thrown into fire and burned." Listen carefully here, and notice what He is saying. Christ is saying by being in Him, choosing to remain in the vine and therefore being part of the branch you have life, there is nourishment given to you, you will eventually bear good fruit.
We see then that those leaders in the Christian faith and pastors as well who claim the Holy Spirit is done moving and that therein He doesn't continue on are hugely misled. How does a person come to Jesus Christ if that is the case? "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ; and observe it" (Romans 10:17; Luke 11:28, New American Standard). We respond to the Gospel message of Christ by hearing the word spoken to us. And one of those things the Holy Spirit does is convict us of sin.
"But if an unbeliever or uninstructed person comes in while everyone is prophesying, he will be convicted and called to account by all, and the secrets of his heart will be made clear. So he will fall face down and worship God, proclaiming, “God is truly among you!" (1 Corinthians 14:24-25, Berean Study). When God's word is given, through the means of His Spirit we are convicted of sin. This debunks the claim that the Holy Spirit neither works or still moves in this day and age.
Rather, those who teach God's word are held accountable doubly for what they teach. On one hand they call themselves ministers and yet they are like those who are physically blind leading others who are blind to follow after them in their footsteps. We need leaders and pastors and the like who have their eyes, ears, and feet unloosed to see, hear and walk in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ. For He went to Calvary's Cross at Golgotha. He remained on the cross enduring separation and death so we would not have to. He died while on the cross and was buried for our transgressions. And yet on the third day, He rose again to everlasting life and we have that as well!
God still moves by way of His Son Jesus Christ who sits at His right hand. God still moves by His Spirit that still convinces us He is with us as Jesus said; He still convicts us of sin when we do, and lastly through our ongoing conversion. Two points bear in this: the first is John records, "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Her did this by giving His life for ours on the cross. And the second is by Paul's words, "For our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction" (1 Thessalonians 1:5). He still converts us daily as we choose to meditate and to think on those things He has done on our behalf: "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" (Philippians 4:8, New Living Translation).
I know I slip up daily and weekly. Yet, I also know what the Lord has done on my behalf. I've recorded my life since my gall bladder surgery on October 10 this past year. I still recall the moment it was either choosing my own way or to be with God late on October 9. I could feel an emptiness within me. It was touchable, it was so horrendous that I knew if I didn't cling hard to Him I would be cut off. Yet, I put my trust in Him. When I can and feel led to do as God calls me I do my best to explain God's power, and do my best to show He is real and He still chases after us. I, just like you, am a prodigal child. He still desires you to come home, begging to be made a servant where then He wraps His arms of love around you, declaring, "This is my child! They have come back from death to life! Kill the fatted calf and let us feast!" (Paraphrase of Luke 15:20-24). I pray this blesses and encourages you to a choice in making Jesus Christ yours. I ask this in His name. Amen.