What is our greatest need? There are so many needs, and if you would ask 10 different people this question, you might get 10 different responses depending on the circumstances of those being asked.
So let me cut to the chase. The greatest need in our country is Holy Spirit power. The best times in a nation’s history have been the times of spiritual revival. Our greatest need is the Holy Spirit’s power. He is the greatest need in the life of the church; he is the greatest need in our national leadership and in every community of our nation and our world.
The Holy Spirit belongs to no particular party or no particular church denomination. He is a promise that is freely available to all.
The apostle Paul prays for the church at Ephesus, a city enveloped in idolatry and sensuality, prone to violence and reflective of the turbulence that occurs when true spiritual connection with God is absent in community life. Here is what he prays: that they may be strengthened in their inner man with the power of the Holy Spirit so that they could understand the measure of the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:14-19).
When a community, or a nation, does not know the love of God, light becomes darkness; darkness becomes light and turbulence is common.
There must be — has to be — a turning back to the spiritual facts of life. Acts 3:19 could not be more timely: “Repent … turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord …” Zechariah 4:6 was true then, and it is true now: “Not by might, nor by power (human and political), but by my Spirit, says the Lord …”
While there are various national movements for spiritual revival, I am convinced that spiritual revival begins one community at a time. We must ask God for it. James 4:2 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask.”
On one day in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit was released from Heaven, 3,000 people experienced the power that changed their lives, their marriages, the way they did business, the way they treated each other, and the way that they understood their identity as a child of God, loved more deeply than they ever knew.
That change came through an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised, “If anyone thirsts (a need), let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me … ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit …” John 7:37-39.
My conviction is this: Spiritual revival begins one community at a time through prayer meetings uniting churches into one church with community leaders (administrative, law enforcement, social services, medical, etc.). Anyone interested in changing our community … a nation … our world?
David Woods is a teaching pastor at Park Chapel Christian Church in Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.