Random Reads: Experiencing the Spirit

I just finished reading Experiencing the Spirit: The Power of Pentecost Every Day by Henry and Melvin Blackaby. This was another thrift store purchase, one I almost didn't make, but I'm so glad I did. As someone who grew up in a "slain in the Spirit" church, and felt very uncomfortable in that environment, I've been wary of much talk of the Holy Spirit. So it was much to my surprised that I enjoyed this book so much and couldn't put it down. It's not about the Holy Spirit being an emotional experience, but as a way to prepare us to do God's work.

Some excerpts:
There are some who want to enjoy all the fruit of the of Pentecost without an assignment. But that isn't biblical. The whole purpose of Pentecost was to enable us to do His will. Too many people want an experience without an assignment. They look at all the signs, wonders, and miracles, but they forget that these things accompany the assignment of God. The miracles have a purpose in the heart of God, and that purpose is not to satisfy our curious and egocentric nature. Yet we have a whole generation trying to tell us we can have the experience of Pentecost without an assignment. They've missed the whole point of Pentecost.

If you're more concerned about the talents you don't possess than about those you do, you're of no use to God. But once you come to realize that God doesn't need your talents, you're ready for Him to express His power in your life. He's looking for obedience.

Overall, what I took away from the book was that the Holy Spirit is what enabled Jesus to do what he did and that same gift is available to us, if we are obedient. The Blackabys talk about how we should be careful not to assign too much importance to spiritual gift inventories, for example, because if God calls us to do something we need to be totally relying on him and not any preconceived notions of what we are or aren't capable of doing. If God calls, and we respond, he will equip us.

Words to live by, I think.


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