Posted by: whereintheworldismike | January 3, 2015

The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Formation

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The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Formation, Pt 9 (final segment for this installment but there certainly will be more of the message God has given me to preach in this apostate age.)

The struggles we face are not only dealing with our individual vulnerabilities to temptation but also the societal “prisons of disobedience”[1] we are shaped by on a daily basis. God wants to make us increasingly citizens of heaven who consistently release living water in this temporary environment in which we are tasked with inviting others to the feast of grace.

As the spiritual, moral deception increases in this generation, we need close community where we can safely be transparent with others and pray interactively for healing and strength to stand. So many Christians are addicted to pornography and this will need to be addressed if we are to remove controlling “hooks” Satan has in the flesh of many of us. Our enemy seeks to “jerk us around like marionettes,” but Christ offers freedom for those who will seek him humbly and utilize the spiritual resources that can not only cleanse us, but also increase our inward resistance to such temptation that enslaves our soul.

This is a particularly challenging age to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), but Christ never changes and still is powerful to set the captive free and release the oppressed. May we humbly seek Christ for the grace he freely offers us and we so desperately need.

Greater sanctification that touches us emotionally, relationally, and ethically will bring amazing unity to Christ’s Church. Such unity brings synergistic power for Kingdom expansion.

[1] Lingenfelter, Sherwood. Agents of Transformation: a guide for effective cross-cultural ministry. (1996)

This and the last 8 posts was written as a paper for a “Holy Spirit and Spiritual Formation” conference in Virginia, USA. Since it is not published, I decided to post it here.

My motivation for ministry right now is provided by the sad state of the Church in North America and other developed countries. Here are some introductory notes I put together for a talk I will give to 1000 pastors in Yaounde, Cameroon in July.

1600 models of “Church” in the world

Amidst so much variety, the best definition is perhaps “Christ-centered community with a       mission.”

  1. Colonial Period of Missions

– Western Church withered in Europe

– Western Church is currently withering in North America

– Western Church is nearing plateau-stage in South America

– Western Church has not provided deep enough discipleship in Africa

– Western Church has lost it’s influence in North America because it did not take                                                discipleship/transformation seriously

– Western Church will wither in South America if they do not engage in                                                    discipleship that transforms and results in great fruitfulness and increased influence in surrounding society


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