Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
Do you have a drinking buddy? This may seem like a very strange question coming from a denominational leader, but it is actually a critical issue when it comes to your personal spiritual vitality.
One of the interesting dynamics in our neighbourhood is what I call the “garage bar.” Many of my neighbours have converted their garage into cozy meeting places, complete with a large-screen TV, comfortable chairs, and ample alcohol to enjoy with friends.
It is not uncommon to see four or five friends gathered together in someone’s garage, sharing a drink and enjoying a good conversation as a gathering of “drinking buddies.”
In the Message paraphrase of the Bible, Paul declares, “Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-19).
He seems to be describing gatherings of spiritual drinking buddies becoming intoxicated with the Holy Spirit, engaging in unbridled worship and unrestrained joy. There is something compelling about that kind of atmosphere.
So I want to ask you, “Who keeps the flame of spiritual passion ablaze in your life? Do you have ‘drinking buddies’, people who inspire you to go deeper in your surrender to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit?”
I am not talking about life coaches, or accountability partners; rather, I am asking if you have companions who move into the deeper things of God. One of the great tragedies I’ve seen in our culture is the privatization of our deepest spiritual encounters.
I am convinced that the Spirit-filled life is to be lived in the context of a fire-filled community. It is not a solo journey, but a communal adventure. It is a gathering of “drinking buddies.”
Fred Hartley writes, “When the apostle Paul wrote, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’, he was exhorting believers corporately…‘All of you believers are to be filled with the Spirit.’ We have been taught to get alone with God to pray privately and to deal with God one-on-one…our rugged Western individualism has stolen the joy and dynamic of the corporate infilling. Is it any wonder we have trouble sustaining fire in our congregations? Separate logs and fire goes out; put them together and watch them blaze.”
This past year has been a journey of fresh fire in my soul. God has been pulling me into new depths of spiritual awakening, and I am passionate about keeping the flame burning. I can’t do it alone. I have a drinking buddy.
We connect on a regular basis to talk, but the real purpose of our meetings is to experience fresh encounters with the Holy Spirit, to move into the deeper things of the Spirit together.
Who are you drinking with? I want to challenge you to find a drinking buddy, to go beyond prayer partners, study groups, and mentoring relationships, to lean into a friendship that is laser-focused on experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
I encourage you to practise the presence of God together! Dare to talk about the deepest longing of your soul; courageously confess your profound thirst for God, and passionately listen to God with unapologetic desperation. Do not settle for anything lees. It is time for a drink!
“Let us walk in the Spirit. Let us abide in this fellowship. Let us lean continually upon His strength, and drink unceasingly from His life”
Please find the original version in C&MA website