Sometimes even when we know what to do, it is still not easy to do it.
Sometimes we feel we can't jump that high – that's why He gives His Spirit.
When Jesus says, 'Take My yoke…', we know that the yoke goes across the shoulders of two animals. Normally an older more experienced animal is joked with a younger animal. The older one calms the younger one down and communicates, 'Just walk with Me, I know how to do this.' On our own we are not capable of doing what God is calling us to do.
How does the Spirit work? It starts with you and me.
God is responsible for the great revival – no one else – and He will deal with us first. Pay attention to your own piece of real estate, and only then together look at the big picture. However if you wait until you are perfect to help anyone else, you will die of old age before that happens.
This is a both/and, not either/or, and we need to seek balance. God wants to give you the power to do the things of the kingdom, and also to be and to become holy. Both are essential and necessary.
Charisms flow from the generosity of God; they are undeserved gifts from the ridiculous generosity of God. God knows how to give good things to His kids.
Have you ever sat in a car-park of a hospital, nursing home or funeral place and said, 'I don't want to go in. God help me.' and you eventually got up and went in. That was His grace at work.
Priesthood is a special example of this; God working in the man, with the man, beyond the capacity of the man.
There was a farmer's wife who came to a prayer meeting with her very reluctant husband. He had a speech problem that made putting a sentence together a laborious effort. He was prayed with for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and nothing seemed to have happened. However at subsequent prayer meetings, he would be prompted by the Holy Spirit to stand up and speak – and out came this divine poetry. The farmer had been given an extraordinary prophetic gift that only operated under the influence of the Holy Spirit. At all other times he continued to have speech difficulties. This was an unusual charism chosen to show forth the surpassing power of God.
So don't limit God by saying, 'I could never do that', because we put our faith in the God who can do it in us.
Human effort cannot fix the world – only God can save us now.
Do not count yourself out – let Him use you to do something extraordinary – that the rest of us really need.
If God calls you to do something – do it. But you don't have to go it alone, seek out and talk to experienced people about ways to move forward in responding to that call.
Prayer groups are not the only place for charisms, they are for the water cooler interactions too. If someone at the water cooler shares what they are struggling with, seek the Lord for that person, and if there is openness and permission from him or her, take the opportunity to pray together about that situation.
Don't ever be afraid to minister in the Spirit anywhere.
The Spirit gives us the power to be something else – to be the sons and daughters of God.
Galatians 5:22 give us the fruits of the Spirit which flow from the Isaiah 11 gifts of the Spirit. When the Spirit of God fills and dwells in you, His personality starts rubbing off on you. Then the Holy Spirit's capacity for courage, wisdom etc start becoming our qualities, forming us into the likeness of Christ.
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Can you believe that?
When we think gift, we normally think of objects, but 'the' gift is the person of the Holy Spirit.
With some people, the room changes when that person walks in, and that person – just by their presence – brings everyone closer to God.
More people are converted by character than by charism: pick both!
This inner work in us cannot be done except by the Spirit of God.
We all need to be more open to the Holy Spirit. Ask Him, 'where is the bulls-eye on my back?' He wants to shine light on it. He will show those areas of weakness to you for the purposes of love and healing.
Human beings don't co-operate well together – but the Holy Spirit can make unity happen and can make team-work happen.
Without the Holy Spirit, there is no vision to unite us.
I invite you to journey with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him, 'what do I need to pay attention to from this weekend?' Reflect on it, but keep inviting the Holy Spirit into the process.
The only way restoration happens is by the Spirit of God.
There is no other way, no other option.
We have been called by God, to be with God for this great restoration.
When all the talks are transcribed and blogged, a printer friendly version will be provided. There is still the Homily to go.
There is outward and inward work to be done, and all under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. As missionary disciples, the charism gifts are the missionary part, and the character gifts are the discipleship part, and we should earnestly desire both types of gifts from God's goodness.
To think that we can do anything (prayer groups, children's liturgy, parish leadership, soup kitchens, evangelisation through social media, teaching as a catechist, youth groups, welcoming ministry, raising a family etc) without the Holy Spirit and His charisms – is sheer lunacy. But with Him all things are possible, fruitful, and effective.
If there isn't room for the Holy Spirit's charisms to operate in your corner of the restoration work – make room. Get your team together, collectively surrender your whole ministry to His leadership, beg the Holy Spirit together for the charisms your team needs, and spend time in prayer each time you come together seeking His guidance and direction, and be open to changing your plans according to His.
Make room in your hearts and minds too. Get hold of resources that have experiential knowledge of how charisms operate, and study them. Visit ministries in similar fields to yours where charisms are operating, and let the possibilities of what God can do get you on your knees seeking Him with all your heart.