Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
Several months ago I was speaking at a conference, sharing my passion to see our Alliance family embrace its heritage as a Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered and Mission-focused movement.
One of my strong appeals was calling people to experience a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit. Afterward, as I was exiting the conference room, a young man hiding in the shadows grabbed my arm and pulled me into a quiet, secluded place. The look on his face showed a level of desperation. He spoke quietly but with an inner hunger that was almost palpable. “I don’t think I have been filled with the Holy Spirit,” he declared. “I have been serving as a pastor
for ten years but my heart is empty and I am longing for More!”
Arnold Cook, a past president of the C&MA wrote, “In the book Much More there is this helpful reminder: ‘Many believers stopped with the experience, the step, the act (of conversion) and have never gone on to maturity. They have lived a life of spiritual poverty and defeat, always under the suspicion that there was More!’ The Alliance has declared boldly that there is MORE!”
“The Apostle Paul gave a compelling invitation to ‘Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit…’ (Ephesians 5:18). Jesus declared, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him’ (John 7:37-38).”
“Simpson affirmed this: ‘I thought I was filled, but I was not filled to overflowing, to overwhelming, baptized in, immersed in the Holy Spirit, not just the ocean in the bottle, but the bottle in the ocean.’”
I wonder if our fear of fanaticism has kept us from entering into a deeper and fuller expression of the Holy Spirit. Simpson affirmed that the Alliance has been given “a message steeped in the Holy Spirit, a message that leads men and women to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit without exaggeration, without fanaticism, without unscripturalness of any kind, all that power can be and yet with the spirit of a sound mind.”
Use whatever term you will—filling of the Spirit, fullness of the Spirit, baptism of the Spirit, deeper life, higher life, fuller life, victorious life. The key reality is that God calls us into a defining experience where we encounter a fresh outpouring of CHRIST-REVEALING, HEARTREVIVING, SIN-DEFEATING and BOLDNESS-PRODUCING power!
I love the attitude of Simpson who affirmed, “At all times my spirit has been open to God for anything He might be pleased to reveal or bestow” (Simpson’s Diary, October 6, 1912).
In my own personal time of listening to God, I hear the invitation of the Spirit calling us as the Alliance: Deeper, fuller, richer—a vast reservoir of my power and my glory is available. Tell them to come! Tell them the time is now! One baptism is not enough. There is a fullness that I long to give. Live in me. Receive my breath of life. It is the only hope for true renewal.
The young pastor fell to his knees and raised his hands to the sky. I laid my hand on his forehead and prayed that he would receive a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit. He began to cry and I heard him praying over and over again, “Come, Holy Spirit!” All of a sudden he jumped to his feet, his face beaming with joy. A new anointing of the Holy Spirit had come. He had entered into the More!
I know I am writing to many who are longing for more. You have had an encounter with the Holy Spirit but not to overflowing or overwhelming. You have the ocean in the bottle but not the bottle
in the ocean. Today…I dare you to respond to the call: “There is MORE!” Come out of the shadows; surrender all that you are to God and ask for More!
“The Holy Spirit is able to take everything we dare to give and gives everything we dare to take.” — A.B. Simpson
Please find the original version in C&MA website