Summary: What really drives us? Should it be a purpose of the Spirit? Does it only last 40 days?
The Spirit Driven Life
A lot of folks have been on the Purpose-Driven train and Dr. Warren has sold a bunch of books. Nothing I read was very new or different. I had heard most of what he was saying preached by others. I have even preached a lot of it myself. It sells because of the way it is “packaged.” I am not faulting Dr. Warren on that. The fault belongs to the folks who are so much like the Mars Hill people who want to hear a new thing every other month or must have their 10 Steps to Marital Bliss, the One Minute Prayer Manager or The Silver Bullet Fix For Holiness. I really believe someone could take the same book and change the order of the chapters, the cover, and title and promote it as a new book every couple of years and it might be a decade or so before someone realizes it is the same book. Marketing is everything.
Famous names are good as well. There are many pastors that may have preached every chapter in those books and no one ever got excited. If they had published them, say as a pastor of a church of 200, the sales would not have been anyway near the volume that Dr. Warren has experienced. They may not have had a ThD and certainly a man who has a church of 5,000 knows more and is blessed more of God than one with 200. In our business-oriented minds that concept sounds logical to us. Yet, our Lord lost more disciples than He gained and His congregation went from thousands to a hundred and twenty so the theory is not necessarily fact. Numbers are not always a sign of blessing and success. The majority is often wrong.
We want forty days of purpose when Christ from the time the Great Commission was given has wanted us to fulfill our purpose as it is given there and in Ephesians 4:11-16 every day of our life. So if you are saved at twenty and die at eighty that is approximately 14,590 days of purpose we were to embark on, but we get excited about forty. I am afraid that most of the folks who do all this will only last forty-one to sixty days in their purpose after the forty day adventures. Purpose really can’t drive us very far for very long since it can be very much a flesh thing and the flesh tires very easily.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (KJV)
Jesus gave us another insight to our purpose here, but also told us what would be our driving force, the Holy Spirit. Indeed, it is the New Testament affirmation of Zechariah’s, “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zech 4:6)
“The all-pervading, all-controlling, all-achieving Holy Spirit is the only Source of power. It is not in our schools, not in our churches, not in our organizations. It is not in our separation, not in our busyness, nor in our attractions. It is not in our programs. It is solely the Holy Spirit who gives this power to do exploits for God, to promote the interests of God’s kingdom, to overcome Satan, to win the lost. There is no separating of spiritual power from the Holy Spirit. It is not power; it is the Holy Spirit. You cannot have power without the Holy Spirit. You cannot have the Holy Spirit without being flooded by Heaven’s power.” Hyman Appelman 1902-1983
Brother Appelman was right on target and he is affirmed and validated by the following Scriptures.
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, (KJV)
We like to take on the Government and other authorities, especially preachers, but when we do it we often do it with rancor, disrespect and fleshy wisdom. The results are that we often lose the argument, the case and sometimes our liberty. If were filled with the Holy Spirit instead of rhetoric we would see better results.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (KJV)
Why are so many Christians namby pamby and afraid to speak the truth and take their stand? They are not filled with the Spirit. They fear man more than God and covet the blessing of the culture more than His blessings thus their souls are filled with other things than the Spirit and boldness is replaced by coldness.