Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
One of the television programs I love to watch is called Storm Chasers. Each spring, weather patterns across 700,000 square miles of the Great Plains, known as “Tornado Alley,” create the conditions for the world’s most violent storms. A group of the world’s top storm chasers head out to track down twisters, but just seeing tornadoes is never enough; their goal is to go inside and survive! I often imagine myself in the midst of a tornado, seeing raw power unleashed! A few years ago, I was moved beyond imagination and into reality. I was in St. Louis when an F4 tornado with 330-420 km/h winds touched down a few miles away. Emerging from the safety of the underground shelter, I was awe-struck by the damage. Well-constructed houses were levelled; structures with weak foundations were blown away; cars were thrown like toys and trees were launched like large missiles. Unleashed power is unmistakable!
When the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost, the sound was “like the blowing of a violent wind coming from heaven that filled the whole house…” (Acts 2:2). It was an unmistakable release of heavenly power! Tornados are uncontrolled and unpredictable, but wind turbines, on the other hand, are able to harness the power of the wind to be productive and beneficial. The wind of the Spirit produces transformation that is life-giving and benefits the nations of the world. Nothing else can explain the transformation of the disciples, the massive conversions, the dramatic healings and the breath-taking miracles except that God’s power was unleashed! Do our lives and our churches still display the unleashed power of the Spirit? Is the evidence of transformation so clear that no other definition can be given for the unleashing of the mighty power of the Holy Spirit? We are to be like wind turbines, utilizing the productive and beneficial power of the Spirit. Without his power, all our plans, strategies, goals, structures, slogans and visions are ineffective in advancing the Kingdom of God. We do not need better methods; we need a baptism of power!
A.B. Simpson wrote, “The operations of the Holy Spirit, like the winds[,] are mysterious and hidden. We cannot trace the workings of His hands but we can see and feel the purity, the peace, the joy, the love and the fruits of blessing on every hand that follow that working.” Recently, I witnessed the power of God in a very significant way. I was asked to lead a seminar at the Latin American Missions Conference in Quito, Equator. I was nervous about this opportunity because of the different culture and the need for interpretation. I thought no one would be interested in attending. I was teaching the same seminar back-to-back: “The Power of the Holy Spirit and Missions.” The first seminar room was about three-quarters full and God gave me an amazing interpreter. We spoke together as one man – he was as animated as I was! At the end of the seminar, the room was silent. The presence of the Holy Spirit was thick and powerful. Finally, people began to leave, but I sensed God was preparing us for what he was going to unleash in the next seminar. People began pouring into the room. All the seats were filled, and there was standing room only. They spilled out into the hallway, leaning in to hear what was going on. I realized word had got out that God was doing something unique. The interpreter and I spoke with Spirit-anointed liberty. At the end of the seminar, the room was once again filled with a deep sense of God’s presence. I felt God wanted to speak through his people, so we gave an opportunity for individuals to express what God was saying. The room became alive with words of praise, powerful prophecies, exuberant prayers and uncontrolled sobbing. We prayed, we sang, we wept, we rejoiced together. A fresh wind of God’s Spirit was released.
One precious lady shared that women throughout Latin America are gathering together in small groups to pray for a “mighty wind of the Holy Spirit to be unleashed on the Church.” Perhaps this moment was simply a breeze to encourage our Latin American churches that there is more to come. Do you feel the breeze? Do you long for the wind? Why not join our Latin American family and call for the wind to come.
“God’s faith is all sufficient, and we can have and use it.” — A.B. Simpson
Please find the original version in C&MA website