“What if you grew up on a desert island with nothing but the Bible to read? Imagine being rescued after twenty years and then attending a typical evangelical church. Chances are you’d be shocked…having read the Scriptures outside the context of contemporary church culture, you would be convinced that the Holy Spirit is essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive. You would know that the Spirit led the first Christians to do unexplainable things, to live lives that didn’t make sense to the culture around them, and ultimately to spread the story of God’s grace around the world.
There is a big gap between what we read in Scripture about the Holy Spirit and how most believers and churches operate today. In many churches, you would be stunned by the apparent absence of the Spirit in any manifest way. And this, I believe, is the crux of the problem.
By journeying honestly, I hope we can go beyond our current understanding of the Holy Spirit and begin to communicate openly…that our experience with Him would be day by day, even moment by moment. That by keeping in step with the Spirit, we might regularly fellowship over what He’s doing rather than what He did months or years ago. We’ll be reminded of the strength and wisdom available to us in the Spirit and earnestly pray for more. As we trust in the promises of the Spirit, we will be led away from discouragement and into lives marked by confidence, power in the midst of our weakness, and the fruit of the Spirit.
My prayer is that your changed life would produce this kind of astonishment: ‘Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus’ (Acts 4:13).
As we begin this book, may our desire to experience more of the Holy Spirit be our starting point. And may we open our hearts and lives to His presence and action more fully than we have ever done before. By the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, may we be different people when we finish from where we started.”—from the Introduction
Copyright 2009 Francis Chan. Forgotten God published by David C Cook. Publisher permission required to reproduce in any format. All rights reserved.
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