UNAPPRECIATED

UNAPPRECIATED

 

Whenever we see something truly remarkable, how many times do we stop to think about all that had to be done to make it happen? We get so used to things going smoothly that we are completely blindsided when they do not go as planned. I am so guilty of this. When I order packages to my home, they are usually delivered exactly by the agreed-upon date. However, it becomes all I can think about when there is some sort of delay, hiccup, or issue in its delivery. Sports fans are incredibly guilty of this too. More times than not, in pass protection, offensive linemen block the defensive attack and provide the perfect amount of time for the quarterback to throw the ball. However, when they fail or miss an assignment—it is all anyone can talk about. Or perhaps we can all relate to this when it comes to our household appliances. When they begin to operate poorly or even break—we all know how that frustration festers in our minds.

It is easy for us to APPRECIATE the successes, victories, and accomplishments around us, but it is also easy to neglect the reasons for those triumphs. Amazon may get praise for being a great company, but what about the packager or delivery person? The head coach may get all the credit for winning games, but what about the assistant coaches, players, and staff? A host might get all the adoration for such a lovely home, but what about the dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum, and broom? There really is no difference when it comes to ministry. It does not matter how great the ministers or elders are without dedicated and involved deacons, office staff, and members. On top of that, without the wives and families of these ministers and elders, there is no way they can do what they do for the Church. It is because of the unappreciated things in life that the appreciated things get appreciation.

Unappreciated figures appear throughout the Scriptures of God’s Word. Where would Jesus be without John the Baptist paving the way for His ministry? Where would the apostles be in the book of Acts without the seven men put in charge of service in Acts 6? Without his unsung companions (Timothy, Titus, Tychicus, Luke, Silas, Phoebe, Barnabas, Aquila, and Priscilla), where would Paul be? But perhaps the greatest question is, where would any of them be without the Holy Spirit? When we think about unappreciated parts of our faith, I believe the Holy Spirit must be at the top of that list. The Holy Spirit is the most unappreciated aspect of our walk with God.

When it comes to God the Father, we could not be more thrilled. When it comes to God the Son, we could not be more on board. But when it comes to God the Spirit, we are not really sure how to feel or what to do with Him. The Holy Spirit is often pushed to the side because we cannot fully comprehend Him. We know that the unpardonable sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31). We also know that the Holy Spirit does not work in the same manner that He did in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 13:9-10). Because of these two facts, we often decide to sweep Him under the rug and hope no one mentions or brings Him up. In all honesty, He should be appreciated and loved every bit as much as the other two Members of the Godhead.

How many of us fully comprehend the work and power of God the Father? Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 8:17 that it is not possible. How many of us can fully discern the blood of Jesus and the gift of salvation through God the Son? Paul explains how impossible it is in Philippians 2:6-8. Even though we cannot fully grasp God the Father and God the Son’s impact on our lives, that does not stop us from praising and worshipping their greatness. On the contrary, this ineptitude often drives us to pour out even more adoration and gratitude for Them. Why is this not so for God the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit pre-exists time and is an eternal being like the Father and the Son (Genesis 1:2). The Holy Spirit inspired the authors to write the Scriptures that we cling to (2 Peter 1:20-21). The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus and the Apostles to perform miracles (Matthew 12:28; Acts 10:38; Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit comforts and helps us in our walk with God (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:7-11). The Holy Spirit speaks on our behalf in prayer (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit is the seal of a Christian (Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian in a personal non-miraculous way (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 2 Timothy 1:14; Romans 8:11). The Holy Spirit gives us the Fruit Christians should bear in their lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

According to Acts 2:38, when we repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, we receive the forgiveness of our sins. Many of us hold that verse near and dear to our hearts. But if we forget that the same verse also promises us the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are guilty of leaving this gift unappreciated. If we hold to the belief that we do not have the Holy Spirit today, then we are unknowingly disqualifying ourselves from a home in Heaven. “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, He is not His.” Romans 8:9. I pray that we start appreciating one of God’s greatest gifts to His children—His Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, where would we be?

 

-Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism