Terry Virgo - Brighton 2005 - On the Holy Spirit.
In conducting this series on "The Kingdom of God becomes Reality Through the Holy Spirit" - I was reminded of the powerful conclusion that Terry brought to his 1st message in his two-part series on Gideon at the Brighton Leadership Conference in 2005. It is available from Newfrontiers here. In listening to it again I decided to transcribe the relevant section. It fits in beautifully with what Dr Ern Baxter is arguing for!
"It says in verse 34, "So the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. He blew a trumpet and the people were called together to follow him". The Spirit of the Lord! The book of Judges is really about people who are distinctive because they are clothed with power. That's what made them stand out - there was a "coming upon" them of the Holy Spirit. It wasn't because their father was king before them. The only thing that marked them out was the clothing of the Spirit upon them. The Spirit came upon Samson and the Spirit came upon Jephtha. The Spirit came upon and clothed Himself. He clothed Gideon - there came that energy from heaven! And we mustn't lose our longing and expectation of clothing with power from on high!
We mustn't get confused. We mustn't say "Well we're charismatic because we have an overhead or a guitar". We need to know that energy factor. We need to make sure that people are experiencing the "coming upon" of the Holy Spirit - God's Spirit falling upon us and energising us and strengthening us. And God wants you to make you to make sure that you know that the Spirit of God has come upon you. That God has met with you. That you're not vague about this. This is God's wonderful provision for His church! In the Old Testament, isolated individuals - a king, one of the judges, a priest, a prophet - they're just isolated rare individuals who knew this high privilidge. But in our generation, in the last days, "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh - your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions". God is expecting to clothe a whole community with power from on high. So that as we gather, as we go with Him, we can see phenomenal things taking place so that we can give evidence that God is amongst us! His Presence is with us!
Let's not water down our anticipation of the Spirit of God in our life and experience. And even as we're here together to know what it is to have the power of God amongst us in our church lives, in our individual lives. To know what it is to be clothed with another power, another force - nothing to do with us. This which has come down out of heaven is God's gift to us. This is a thing that marked out those judges and it marked out Gideon".