Thoughts on the Holy Spirit and Evangelism
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3
Let there be light – darkness dispelled. There was a moment when the darkness which covered a formless and empty earth was dispelled by the Spirit of God. A single command from God’s Word transformed what was previously vacant, shapeless and without life (Genesis 1:1-3). The Holy Spirit preceded that declaration and in the same way goes before all who, in response to the command of Jesus, “go into all the world to preach the gospel”’.
Let there be light – the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit is present in everything that is commanded by God. He was present and involved at the beginning of all things. He is still at work, ‘hovering’ over every broken and empty life. Jesus identified him as the one who would reveal the Word – Jesus himself – to every person. He is called the Spirit of Truth and convicts the world of sin, beckoning the weary hearted to receive the love and grace of God. The Spirit brings to life the redemptive work of Jesus, the Word that became flesh.
Let there be light – the power of God. When Joel prophesied that in the last days God would pour out his Spirit on all people (Joel 2:28), it seems to mirror the creation moment in Genesis where darkness was dispelled by the Holy Spirit. The outpoured Spirit in the life of a man or woman can result in a change so dramatic, that a life that once seemed impossible of success or abundance, can now thrive and prosper! The Gospel is the power of God (Romans 1:16), not just another opinion or someone’s collective wisdom. It is God at work through the presence of his Holy Spirit, and he has preempted all evangelistic endeavours and programmes by pouring out his Spirit on all people.
Let there be light – before us and through us. We often talk about unreached people groups when the topic of evangelism is raised, but in a sense, that narrative can be misleading. The Holy Spirit, the master evangelist, has already been sent to go to places unreached by us to reveal Jesus to all people. What remains is for us to connect with what the Spirit is already doing! The great commission is not about getting God into countries he still wants to reach, but rather, it is about joining ourselves, with all the creative and innovative energy we can muster, to what the Holy Spirit is already doing. Read Mark 16:20. Evangelism is not singular, but plural – he goes before us and works through us.
Let there be light – the promise of presence. The Holy Spirit has promised to enable us and invites us to depend on his ability even when we feel inadequate. Let’s be obedient, even with some trepidation, to share the message of Jesus with others. God is not willing that any should end their natural lives without being told how much he cares (Romans 3:10). Jesus will dispel the chaos and emptiness in any life, and he does it because he loves people more than you or I will ever have the capacity to accomplish. Let your words to others be like light – God’s words of wisdom and power that breaks through the darkness and emptiness engulfing the hearts of those around us.
His Spirit goes before us and remains with us whenever we GO!