Volume 18 Issue 5
What are you doing? The old man asked.
I am going to school, the young man replied.
Why do you go to school?
To study, he said.
Why do you study?
To get smart.
Why do you want to get smart?
To get a good job.
Why do you want to get a good job?
So I can make lots of money.
Why do you want to make lots of money?
So I can buy food.
Why do you want to buy food?
So I can eat.
Why do you want to eat?
Why do you live?
At this question the young man paused a second and repeated to the old man, Why do I live? Then he paused in mid-thought and answered his own question:
This parable from India (K.P. Yohannan) quickly gets to the heart of the matter. It is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27). But, why do you live? Just to make money? Just to die? Of course not. God has a purpose for your life. However, only through the guidance of the Holy Ghost can you discover His divine will.
Too few of us (and not nearly enough young men and women) have a vision of world revival. Most of us in the network of this magazine’s circulation view the world from a certain framework. Although we are in the body of Christ, born of the Spirit, we often fail to live under the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit that has given us this new life (Galatians 3:3).
On this journey, it is possible to see what we see and know what we know apart from the revelation of the Spirit. Our eyes and ears can be unskilled and undiscerning when it comes to our spiritual walk. We are like the foolish Galatians who lost sight of their dependency on the Holy Ghost, which had released them and which releases us from human limitations. The Holy Ghost releases us from intellectualism while uniting us to the mind of Christ, and it frees us from the crushing power of sin and carnality.
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him (1 John 2:27).
The Galatians begin to see things from their traditional perspective, the Law, their ancestral connections, all of which limited them and slowed them. In time they lost their divine eyesight. They abandoned Grace. They ran amuck. No doubt they felt comfortable and in control, but it was the Spirit that had performed the miracles (Galatians 3:5). Paul described their state as going back to zero, all in vain.
Here’s the point. Doing church – performing good works, hosting bigger and better conferences, making better presentations, printing slicker advertising – is not the same as really answering the questions: How should I live? What shall I do?
Doing church – singing in the choir and preaching sermons – does not mean one has touched the primal spiritual order of church. The function (physiology) of the church is obedience to the Spirit. What makes a church a real church is its dependency on the Holy Spirit for its life and for the knowing (Romans 8:9). This dependency gives us the knowledge of what to do, where to go, and what to say. If we do not allow the call of God to fire our ministries, to inspire our songs, to fill our prayers with passion, then our lives are of a human construct. They are in vain.
My fear is that we may start to build our spiritual lives around our own ambition and desires. In this action, we will set aside the Holy Spirit in order to define success on our terms. We will be ushered into strong delusion, speaking words that please men, fashioning church services to meet carnal wishes, while failing to declare the revelation of the Mighty God in Christ.
My hope is that there is a moving of the Holy Spirit around the world, a quickening. The world is shaking. Whole continents are experiencing spiritual revolutions. And, God is calling young men and women into the greatest spiritual battlefield ever. The harvest is ripe. But first the question: Why do I live? Until your life is submitted to the power and leadership of the Holy Ghost, you are not ready to do this spiritual work. Don’t waste your time. Your paradigm must not be personal ambition, but a compelling burden. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
Where are you going? Asked the preacher.
I am going to Bible school, answered the young man.
Why are you going to Bible school?
To give my life to Jesus! he replied.
Ah, tis the work of the Spirit, smiled the old preacher.