Devotional by Samuel Chadwick, Focus 6

Power of the Holy Spirit
By Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932)
   The church still has a theology of the Holy Spirit but it has no living consciousness of His presence and power. No doctrine of the Christian faith has been so neglected. The blunders and disasters of the church are largely, if not entirely, accounted for by neglect of the Spirit’s ministry and mission. The church is helpless without the power and presence of the Spirit. The lust for talk about work increases as the power for work declines. Conferences multiply when work fails. We see that the church has lost the note of authority, the secret of wisdom and the gift of power through persistent and willful neglect of the Holy Spirit of God. Confusion and impotence are inevitable when the wisdom and resources of the world are substituted for the presence and power of the Spirit.

The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is college-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles. The church that multiplies committees and neglects prayer may be fussy, noisy, and enterprising, but it labors in vain and spends its strength for nothing. It is possible to excel in mechanics and fail in dynamic. There is a superabundance of machinery; what is lacking is power. To run an organization needs no God. Man can supply the energy, enterprise and enthusiasm for things human. The real work of a church depends upon the power of the Spirit. Certainly the energy of the flesh can run bazaars, organize amusements, and raise millions of dollars; but it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes a temple of the Living God. Things will get no better until we get back to the realized presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

–Samuel Chadwick was the principal of Cliff College, a British Methodist school for training young evangelists. He was also a president of the Methodist conference and author of The Way of Pentecost and Pioneers of Revival.