By Ryan Shaw
Throughout the book of Acts the author, Luke, emphasizes two characteristics marking the present age: the Holy Spirit’s supremacy and presence, and the faithful witness to Jesus.
The same Holy Spirit who had inspired Jesus to teach, heal, deliver and proclaim the Kingdom would now do the same among Jesus’ followers, marking them with His character and authority. Jesus’ mission was now theirs and Jesus’ same Spirit would also now be theirs and be the very power of that mission.
The worldwide mission of the church did not originate with human leadership strategizing this would be a good idea. It originated with the Holy Spirit whose chief end is to glorify Jesus through the fulfillment of the great commission and the making of love-consumed disciples among every people group.
The Holy Spirit is not only the power for mission but also the originator, orchestrator and leader of the great commission. We become activated in the great commission through the Spirit alone.
How does the Holy Spirit accomplish this activation toward the “Great Commission” within His people? I have observed at three primary ways He does this.
First, as we give ourselves to faithfully study and meditate on Scripture, the Holy Spirit enables us to see His ever beating heart fixated on bringing Himself glory among all peoples. This heart is transferred to ours as we meditate and apply truth found in the Bible related to His mission passions.
Second, as we are moved to cry out to God in persevering prayer on behalf of those presently outside of access to a relevant hearing of Jesus’ sacrificial love. Persevering prayer changes the one doing the praying.
As we pray, the Holy Spirit is at work on many fronts. He is touching the object of our intercession while also changing our own hearts by tenderizing them toward that which we are seeking Him about.
Third, the Spirit activates His people through informing us about the status of the great commission. Ignorance and lack of information about what is happening around the world and what trends are taking place in the mission movement, keep the people of God immobilized.
We need to consistently inform and raise people’s awareness and understanding concerning how the Holy Spirit is moving toward global harvest and how every disciple can become involved.
The global Church exists not for itself but to participate in the hastening of the return of Christ by partnering with the Spirit to see the great commission fulfilled (Matthew 24:14). Some stumble on this point.
The Church does not exist to build bigger buildings, put together more professional programs, pat each other on the back or be an insulated Holy Club. It exists as a bold witness to all ethnic groups of the glorious reality of the love of God through Jesus Christ.
If our personal and church-related emphasis is not centered around this most central of purposes on the heart of God, we need to reassess our priorities and go back to the drawing board.
Find out more about the Holy Spirit’s role in the fulfillment of the great commission in this inspiring and compelling book.