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2022 Multiplication Theme
Empowered: Moving with the Spirit
The single command that Jesus gave his followers before igniting a movement was “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised…” He was telling them to wait for and then move with the Spirit. In 2022, we’ll discover a growing awareness of the Spirit’s work and leadership while also realizing that we will always be more effective if we move with the Holy Spirit.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The movement of Jesus begins when we discover what it takes to have an Empowered Heart. While “the heart is desperately wicked” the good news is that we can “be filled by the Spirit” (Acts 13:52, Ephesians 5:18) and claim the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
• The Empowered Heart: The call of the empowered heart is to be emptied of striving and control; living life in our own power so that we can receive what only God can, and will, give. Acts 1:4 indicates that there is an empowerment we are to live and lead out of, but we must wait for it…for Him.
• Yes, There’s More: To pursue the fullness we were intended for, we must first recognize our own emptiness and our need for more than we can bring in our own passion, gifting, resources. We must lean into a holy dissatisfaction and embrace the truth that “Yes, there is more.” That more comes when we “filled with the Spirit.” (Acts 13:52, Ephesians 5:18)
Having the Spirit impact us is not meant to be a one time event but an ongoing occurrence in the life of a believer. We are meant to live an Empowered Life where we discover how to “keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25). This will require that we rediscover the power of prayer and other personal disciplines essential for moving with Spirit-led expectations.
• The Empowered Life: Jesus Himself modeled the perfectly “Spirit-filled” life ( Luke 4:14 ) showcasing what empowerment by and partnership with the Spirit can look like in our lives. Jesus lives out what the apostle Paul challenges us to do when he says, “keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
• Living Expectantly: To follow the way of Jesus, we must adopt the lifestyle of Jesus. Practices He showcased such as prayer, solitude, simplicity positioned Him to be in the flow of the Spirit, and move in the power of the Spirit. This isn’t just a one time transaction, but an ongoing transformation. In Ephesians 5:18, Paul’s challenge is to “go on being filled” again and again. In truth, our hearts “leak” in ways that we need to continually be filled and fueled by the power of the Spirit. These practices create space, availability and expectancy in our lives to receive the “more” we were made for.
It is the empowered life of a leader that is able to build an Empowered Culture in the church they lead. This will require the acknowledgement of “different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:4) and the development of communal practices of dependency on the Holy Spirit. The outgrowth of mobilizing these gifts and communal practices is a church on mission.
• The Empowered Culture: The early communities of Acts paint a compelling picture of the Spirit effort to unite and empower the church to work together. God’s design and intention for His Church is that “everyone plays” ( 1 Corinthians 12:7).
• Hearing From God For Each Other?: What is clear is that the Spirit has gifts to not only give to us, but through us (I Corinthians 12:4). And when we create space in gathered moments to wait and receive together it opens the door for the Spirit to do His work. This shapes a culture of expectation that is increasingly defined by what can only be explained by God.
As our churches become more dependent on the Holy Spirit, God will bring us together to create an Empowered Movement. Our churches will join forces to ask for 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 (“and the Lord added to their number daily those who are being saved…and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” – Acts 2: 41 & 47) and more!
• The Empowered Movement: There is a growing, tangible, hunger across the Western Church to see God move among us like He has before in history. The brokenness and disorientation of this cultural moment has actually become the greatest evangelistic opportunity of our lifetime. God knows what to do, and He is uniting his Church in increasing dependence on His power and provision. Together, we can contend for another great awakening in our time.
• Interceding for a Movement: The increase of secularism and cynicism is an opportunity for leaders and communities to come together in prayerful desperation. We reclaim the cry of 2 Chronicles 20:12 – “We do not know what to do to do, but our eyes are on You.”
We long to see an empowered movement that echoes from “Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” We know that it begins when “the Holy Spirit comes” (Acts 1:8) resulting in a Spirit empowered heart within each of us. With that vision before us we ask God for an Empowered Moment that catalyzes an awakening that starts in us and then works through us.
• Empowered Moment: God uses moments to ignite the kindling of our availability. What begins with holy dissatisfaction of “there must be more” is fulfilled in a fresh call and empowerment to action. The first Jesus followers were promised that same empowered commission; that they would receive through the Spirit everything needed to play their part in changing the world. (Acts 1:8)
• Commissioned to Go: The ministry of Jesus was launched by a powerful commissioning moment as the Spirit came upon Him. ( Matthew 3:13-17 ) We are asking God to make this a moment where His Spirit comes, we go and together we see an awakening that started in this moment.
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