As we get ready to welcome Mike Erre to the stage, this prayer was shared. Can you relate? I know I can.
Father, we come into this room carrying too much. Pressures. Family conflicts. Multiple jobs. Our hands can’t carry it. God, clear our plates. Help us to be here. To be present. God, begin a work in our hearts and our minds. Let us put aside those things that pull at our attentions. May we trust you. Not only as the Source, but also as the giver of good things. Teach us that you are enough. Amen.
Here’s the message from Mike:
Do you believe that God is the Source?
Sure, you can profess that God is the Source. But do you truly believe it?
If we, as Christians, truly believed this, why do we spend so much time marketing our church?
If we really believed that He really was the Source, why do spend so much time jazzing everything up?
Take Easter, for example.
About two months before Easter, I start getting all these people walking up to me and telling me about the friends they will be inviting. I feel like they are telling me so I don’t mess things up. I feel all this pressure to make sure I “seal the deal” on the eternal destiny of these people.
And then we add some gimmicks.
Like giveaways on Easter. I know one church who gave away a car on Easter.
Isn’t the gospel enough?
We say it is. But do we really believe it?
The greatest barrier to knowing something is believing that you already do.
Today, I want to take a look at a few passages — ones that you are probably already familiar with.
To start, let’s look at John 14:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
What works was Jesus doing? Healing, raising people from the dead, feeding the hungry.
And Jesus said that you will do even greater things?
Does He really mean that?
Jesus continues this passage, promising that He will send an advocate.
He is sending not an abstract power, but a person. Kind of like another Jesus. It is the Spirit of the Triune God, personally. To be with you. To live with you and to be in you.
In Scripture, we first see the Holy Spirit show up in Genesis 1 — hovering over the waters. And David mentions God’s spirit in his prayers at time, asking God not to remove His spirit from David. But not really as a personal being. In the Old Testament, God was only found in the tabernacle. Interaction with Him occurred only once a year when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies.
So, the fact that God’s Spirit could live IN a person? That’s pretty mind blowing. Unheard of in Jesus’ time. And yet, somehow taken for granted in our time.
We see the impact of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. The disciples are totally transformed. The same men who were cowering in an upper room with the doors locked 50 days before are now boldly proclaiming the gospel and seeing people added to their numbers daily. The church was unstoppable.
What about the American church? Is it unstoppable?
Theoretically, in it’s purest form, maybe not. But seriously, think about it. Try changing the worship style. Have the kids join the adult service for a month. Kick the favored pastor out of the pulpit for a few weeks. People would be leaving left and right.
We have inadvertently raised up a generation who feel that church has to “be just right” in order for me to go.
I just want us hungry again for the fullness of our inheritance.
What we’re experiencing in church today is not it. How much pressure do you feel to entertain the people who walk through your doors each week?
Let’s turn to Galatians 5. You’ve heard of the Fruits of the Spirit, right? Almost too much. They even make Potpourri in “fruit of the Spirit”. But is it changing our lives? Really? Does our life look any more joyful or patience or gentle because of the impact of God’s Spirit in our life?
How can we change this?
There are three types of soil where this kind of fruit can grow.
#1 Soil of Obedience
Are you willing to obey God? Are you willing to put away sins in order to make room for the Holy Spirit to work in you life? Are you willing to listen to the still small voice that is prompting you to give to others or to step outside your comfort zone.
#2 Soil of Risk
Are you willing to step out in faith? Or are you using Christianity to keep your life safe and secure? When did following Jesus become about risk management? That’s not what’s it about.
#3 Soil of Weakness
Who does the American church celebrate? The superstars! Look at this guy who is so capable. Look at this rock star that loves Jesus. We herald these heroes as the spokes persons of our faith because they are impressive. But we hate to recognize weakness. We hate to showcase our struggles with mental illness or anxiety. We want to be impressive. However, God does His best work when we are at our weakest.
God wants to dwell with you. The real you. Not the impressive you. Not the social media you. The weak you. The one that is at the end of your rope. Is your life a mess? Are you exhausted? God wants to restore you life. He is the Source. He can refresh and restore your soul.
Plug into the Source.
About the Speaker
MIKE ERRE is the lead pastor of EvFree Fullerton, a 6,500-member church in Fullerton, California. Mike is from Ohio and moved to Southern California to earn his MA in philosophy of religion and ethics through Talbot School of Theology. He has authored five books: The Jesus of Suburbia, Why Guys Need God, Death By Church, Why the Bible Matters, and Astonished. Mike has served as an adjunct professor at Biola University and has spoken at universities, retreats, Catalyst, Leadership Network, and on radio and television. Mike is the husband of Justina and the dad to Nathan, Hannah and Seth.