One of our church’s core values is that we value the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We humbly acknowledge that without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, nothing of value to God’s Kingdom can be accomplished (1 Cor 2:4-5; John 16:7-11; Gal 5:16, 22-25).
Each of us is empowered by the Holy Spirit in very different and distinct ways through the impartation of his grace gifts. Some may feel led to serve in the marketplace, some in church; others in the mission field, etc. Most start off rejoicing and enthusiastic albeit somewhat apprehensive of our ability to serve the Lord. For a while, all is well. We feel empowered by the Lord. But for some along the way, encounters with unpleasant situations or bites of fellow sheep (yes, sheep bite!) may fill our hearts with negative thoughts. The joy is gone. We get tired of serving. We want to quit and take a break.
There will always be problems in dealing with people. It happened to the prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New Testament, and to Jesus. They lamented but they didn’t quit! They complained to God but they also recharged their batteries through Him.
In the midst of serving, it is good to pause and reflect if we have substituted the strength of the Lord with our own. Has familiarity caused us to become mechanical?
Do we focus on the task and no longer on the Master – the one who empowered us? Are we fixated with the doing instead of the being (in the presence of the Lord)? Do we still pray earnestly before doing and set apart appropriate time and quiet place for our contemplation and preparation? Perhaps we have gone solo?
The depth of joy is directly proportional to the intimacy of our relationship with the Lord. And intimacy depends on our daily pursuit of the Lord. Could it be that the lack of joy stems from the deficiency in the time spent with the Lord daily? Perhaps the delight in the Lord has waned and so too the joy in our service?
The Holy Spirit’s empowerment is not a once for all time event. Neither is it supposed to be just “On-Demand”. We are commanded to continuously be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18) and in so doing experience His grace like a powerful river flowing through us.
However, despite our dependence on God and the intimacy that we have with Him, we can still find ourselves in the valley of heartaches in this imperfect world. The Bible is filled with such reminders.
But be encouraged as the Holy Spirit is not tired of the work you are doing and is not therefore withdrawing His empowerment. On the contrary, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6). In doing God’s work, He never meant for us to be solo. At best we are just the co-pilot.
– by Elder Shi Pau Soon, YCKC bulletin 16 & 17 March 2013