There are three things I find particularly offensive when weak: a man, a cocktail, and a believer. We all have weaknesses, but habitual excuse-making while claiming the power of the Holy Spirit makes me want to holler like Marvin Gaye. From the failure to discern blatant offenses to the fear of responding when things are amiss and the refusal to love universally, believers have collectively developed a crippling lethargy that allows outsiders to look inside the church with revulsion. They say “he’s just a man” or “we all make mistakes.” Yes, all human beings are fallible. However, reducing our moral standards to the lowest common denominator blasphemes the Holy Spirit. [We] can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]. (Philippians 4:13)
Prior to his ascension, Jesus promised we would receive power when the Holy Spirit hit us. The same spirit was prophesied by Joel to fall on not just preachers, but all flesh. With that power comes authority.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you (Titus 2:11-15).
If I had a dollar for every time someone said “who in the hell does she think she is” I could pay off my student loans. I’ve never been good at playing the shrinking violet. Most of what passes for God’s will doesn’t require a keen sense of discernment to detect. However, taking the risk of addressing sin is precisely what the gospel requires. Many people have little problem giving expression to the movement of the Spirit during worship. Let that same movement reveal something wrong and they show themselves to be spiritual weaklings. “I’ll go pray on it” they say reflexively. In other words, they are going to stick their head in the proverbial sand. Times like that is when the devil does his happy dance. God is calling you to get off your rump for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
Cowardice in the kingdom is about as worthless as a watered-down drink. God apparently agrees with me. Jesus did not turn the wine into water did he? One of my favorite biblical phrases is when God tells Job repeatedly to gird yourself up like a man as Job wavers in faith. Believers need to man-up to conquer everything that is an impediment to the redemptive works of God in themselves, their communities, and the world. That’s the essence of faith. Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead (James 2:17). By the power vested in me, I implore you to rise, repent, and move mountains.