Our engagement in mission...is pointless and fruitless without the presence, guidance, and power of the Holy Spirit. This is true of mission in all its dimensions: evangelism, bearing witness to the truth, discipling, peace-making, social engagement, ethical transformation, caring for creation, overcoming evil powers, casting out demonic spirits, healing the sick, suffering, and enduring persecution. The Cape Town Commitment, 16.
I became a Christian on October 14, 1980, during a charismatic revival in Windhoek, Namibia (then South West Africa). Not only did the Holy Spirit break through satanic bondage and demonic blindness, but He also released me from several addictions instantaneously. I remember realizing a week after my conversion that I had not done drugs all week. It was a very exciting time.
But then, as time went by, and as I began to move in more conservative Christian circles, the Holy Spirit became less of a Person and more of a rather difficult theological concept...it was as if a personal relationship had been turned into a impersonal study. The sad thing is, I don't think I really missed His presence until much later in my Christian walk. But oh, when all the walls of cognitive theories and abstract theologies came down, He was there, waiting for me. Of course, He had been there all along, but somehow I had managed to tune Him out.
My ministry was successful...God is always gracious, merciful, kind, and compassionate...He does not want a sinner to die...so even though I often ministered to others in my own strength, He still worked through me to bless them. But the past year, in particular, has been very different. Having done the Alpha Course and once again experiencing the very Real Presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst, my ministry has come back to life. Once more I am aware of His voice speaking to me and others around me through visions and words of wisdom and prophecies...and I am even more aware of His power at work in me and through me.
How did I ever think I could do God's work without Him?
The Cape Town Commitment says it so well. There is no true or whole gospel, and no authentic biblical mission, without the Person, work and power of the Holy Spirit.
So, may we pray for a great awakening to this biblical truth, and for its experience to be reality in all parts of the worldwide Body of Christ.