There must be more than this. So, what are we waiting for?
The one command that Jesus gave his followers before igniting his movement was “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my father has promised . . .” (Acts 1:4). Jesus is telling them to anticipate — to wait for — a movement of the Holy Spirit. He knew that for a movement to accomplish the mission of God, it must be Spirit-led.
The longer we are in ministry, the easier it becomes to forget that this simple commandment was meant for us, too, in our lives and churches today. Jesus’ charge bids us to ask: Is the Holy Spirit driving everything that we do? Are we inviting him in and waiting on his leading? And, if God’s Spirit were suddenly removed from our churches, would our ministries look any different?
In Matthew 3, the ministry of Jesus was launched by a powerful commissioning moment when the Holy Spirit came upon him: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matt. 3:16–17). Right now, in this time in history, the church is poised to participate in an awakening — a moment when his Spirit comes and empowers his people for more.
The presence and power of the Spirit are ours to reclaim — through empowered hearts and lives, movements and cultures that open our minds to what God desires next for our mission and ministry. We long to see a movement that echoes from “Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” And we know that it begins when “the Holy Spirit comes” (Acts 1:8), resulting in a renewed call to action.
An Empowered Heart
The movement begins when we discover what it takes to have an empowered heart. Although “the heart is desperately wicked,” the good news is that we can “be filled by the Spirit,” and we can reclaim His power and presence in our lives. We look for ways to get outside of our comfort zones and reach for new opportunities to learn and grow; to seek out where God is at work and ask him how we can join in that mission; to recommit to silence and solitude before God. We embrace a posture of prayer and fasting to live in communion with the Spirit.
An Empowered Life
Allowing the Spirit to have an impact in our lives is not meant to be a one-time event but an ongoing occurrence in the life of every believer. Galatians 5:25 says: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” God is calling us to live an empowered life in which we discover how to keep in step with the Spirit. To do so, we must recapture the power of prayer and other personal disciplines that are essential for moving with Spirit-led expectations.
An Empowered Culture
Church leaders have the unique opportunity to build an empowered culture in the church they lead by creating an expectancy and dependency on the Holy Spirit. This requires a willingness to ask for, depend on and listen to his leading during quiet time, prayer, teaching, and gatherings. It means allowing people to wrestle with their questions and doubts, and letting the Spirit speak to the heart in their search for answers.
An Empowered Movement
The brokenness and disorientation of this cultural moment is the greatest evangelistic opportunity of our lifetime. As leaders continually shape a culture that is dependent on the Holy Spirit, an empowered movement will begin to take place. Churches will join forces to ask for an awakening and revival in our communities, cities, nation, and world. It is then that we will see a move of the Spirit like we read about in Acts 2.
What Are We Waiting for?
God uses different moments in time to ignite the kindling of our willingness and availability. What begins with holy dissatisfaction — “there must be more” — is fulfilled in a newfound empowerment to action. The same empowered commission that was promised to the first followers of Jesus is promised to us as well. It is time to ask God for a moment in which he reveals his will for our ministries through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Together, we can work toward another great awakening in our time.
Empowered: Moving with the Spirit is Exponential’s theme throughout 2022. You’re invited to join the journey as we seek his presence together.
Exponential kicks off Empowered in Orlando March 7-10, 2022 with 150+ speakers, 200 workshops, 15+ pre-conference intensives, and 75+ networks and denominations in sunny Florida. For more information and to register for Exponential 2022, go to exponential.org/2022.