A lot of folks have been on the Purpose-Driven train and Dr. Warren has sold a bunch of books. Nothing I read was very new or different. I had heard most of what he was saying preached by others. I have even preached a lot of it myself. It sells because of the way it is “packaged.” I am not faulting Dr. Warren on that. The fault belongs to the folks who are so much like the Mars Hill people who want to hear a new thing every other month or must have their 10 Steps to Marital Bliss, the One Minute Prayer Manager or The Silver Bullet Fix For Holiness. I really believe someone could take the same book and change the order of the chapters, the cover, and title and promote it as a new book every couple of years and it might be a decade or so before someone realizes it is the same book. Marketing is everything. Famous names are good as well. There are many pastors that may have preached every chapter in those books and no one ever got excited. If they had published them, say as a pastor of a church of 200, the sales would not have been anyway near the volume that Dr. Warren has experienced. They may not have had a ThD and certainly a man who has a church of 5,000 knows more and is blessed more of God than one with 200. In our business-oriented minds that concept sounds logical to us. Yet, our Lord lost more disciples than He gained and His congregation went from thousands to a hundred and twenty so the theory is not necessarily fact. Numbers are not always a sign of blessing and success. The majority is often wrong. We want forty days of purpose when Christ from the time the Great Commission was given has wanted us to fulfill our purpose as it is given there and in Ephesians 4:11-16 every day of our life. So if you are saved at twenty and die at eighty that is approximately 14,590 days of purpose we were to embark on, but we get excited about forty. I am afraid that most of the folks who do all this will only last forty-one to sixty days in their purpose after the forty day adventures. Purpose really can’t drive us very far for very long since it can be very much a flesh thing and the flesh tires very easily. Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (KJV) Jesus gave us another insight to our purpose here, but also told us what would be our driving force, the Holy Spirit. Indeed, it is the New Testament affirmation of Zechariah’s, “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zech 4:6) “The all-pervading, all-controlling, all-achieving Holy Spirit is the only Source of power. It is not in our schools, not in our churches, not in our organizations. It is not in our separation, not in our busyness, nor in our attractions. It is not in our programs. It is solely the Holy Spirit who gives this power to do exploits for God, to promote the interests of God’s kingdom, to overcome Satan, to win the lost. There is no separating of spiritual power from the Holy Spirit. It is not power; it is the Holy Spirit. You cannot have power without the Holy Spirit. You cannot have the Holy Spirit without being flooded by Heaven’s power.” Hyman Appelman 1902-1983 Brother Appelman was right on target and he is affirmed and validated by the following Scriptures. Acts 4:7-8 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, (KJV) We like to take on the Government and other authorities, especially preachers, but when we do it we often do it with rancor, disrespect and fleshy wisdom. The results are that we often lose the argument, the case and sometimes our liberty. If were filled with the Holy Spirit instead of rhetoric we would see better results. Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (KJV) Why are so many Christians namby pamby and afraid to speak the truth and take their stand? They are not filled with the Spirit. They fear man more than God and covet the blessing of the culture more than His blessings thus their souls are filled with other things than the Spirit and boldness is replaced by coldness. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. (KJV) There are many churches where the Deacons, Elders and whatever else they may be called in your church are picked according to politics, business prowess or “beauty contests” rather than for their wisdom and being full of the Holy Ghost. It is no wonder then that there are great controverseries and discord in the churches? Why is it a surprise that pastors leave so soon after having accomplished very little because those who should be serving desire to rule? Pastors last about three years while bad Deacons and such last until death either theirs or the church. Paper overrides discernment and social standing over spirituality. Acts 11:22-24 22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. 23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people were added unto the Lord. (KJV) Oh how we could use more men like Barnabas!!! He was good and full of the Holy Ghost and faith. Faith is great but often faith is really confident or wishful thinking flesh robed in religious terms. But true faith empowered by the fullness of the Spirit will bring about the fruitfulness of a Barnabas, a Moody or a Spurgeon that gleans the over ripened fields bringing in souls for the Heavenly Harvest. Acts 13:9-10 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (KJV) Lord, we need this type of discernment!!! With all the screwballs and fakes running around leading poor souls to their doom and robbing widow’s houses such fullness of the Spirit enabling Christians to ferret them out and expose them would be an asset beyond price! 1 Cor 2:12-16 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (KJV) Why is there such a dearth of biblical knowledge and wisdom in a land abounding with colleges and seminaries? Could it be because so many of these seminaries are full of lost instructors teaching lost but religious students? The Spirit was sent to lead us into all truth and we are supposed to speak the same thing and yet there are so many groups and trumpets making noises instead of one band of horns playing in symphony. With so many differing voices is it not understandable why the Church sounds like barbarian babble to the world? (John 16:13; 1 Cor 14:6-12) Acts 16:6-9 6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. (KJV) Is it because so many times we have done as we assayed rather then go to where the Spirit would have directed that we have failed so miserably in world evangelism? Have we had willing hearts and the funds but not the go ahead by the Lord to send people to places where there is no fruit while many other places have pled for missionaries and no one goes? We have mission boards and denominational mandates but have we missed the direction of the one who knew where the help was needed and the Word would be heeded but instead we assayed ourselves to go to what we called hot spots or unreached regions which were instead unreachable spots filled with cold hearts that would not melt? Have men assayed to be good Christian business men with funds to send other men when God had called them? Have we sent women to places they were not meant to go to do what God did not call them to do just because they were willing? I fear that is case. Acts 7:55-56 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. (KJV) Many dear saints have had a similar experience at the time of their death. Their lives have been a consistent walk with the Lord and His Spirit that when He takes them home He opens their spiritual eyes that the may see Him welcome then into the Kingdom. Their testimony is meant to be a source of comfort and challenge to the ones left behind. My brethren, what shall we see and say at that time? It will depend on how filled with the Spirit we are because of how full we have been. Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. (KJV) Would the Church in many lands have greater rest and comfort if we have been led by the Spirit to win some of its greatest enemies by a Spirit filled witness rather than by political clout or theological argument? Only in that Last Day will we know that answer. Finally, Brethren can you now see the need for a Spirit driven life rather than a fad driven or program driven one? Would not the Spirit lead us into a lifetime of purpose rather than forty days and after that whatever else came down the pike? Would He not lead us into a more interactive prayer life each day rather than thirty days of praying an Evangelical version of the rosary taken from poor Jabez’s prayer though the book sold like ice water in the desert? Is the Holy Spirit an external motivational speaker or rather a seeker of instilling that motivation from within by a change of the mind and soul? Do you need fads, mantras and seminars to get you do to anything else that you truly love and enjoy? Why then do we need all this stuff when we say that we love the Lord and enjoy doing His will? It is because we are not Spirit driven. Some of us are not Spirit driven because we are not Spirit indwelt. We are tremendously religious but we are ever learning and never coming to the full knowledge of the truth. That truth is that we are dead in sin and hopeless without the new birth. We must cast ourselves on Him for mercy and salvation from Hell by trusting in His sacrifice and it alone. Nothing we can do shall ever save us, keep us saved or even make us fit and able for service. It is all of Him or it is none of Him! He needs and wants no help from us. We must only believe and receive then we can proceed on a path of holiness and service. The Spirit will motivate us and drive us to where need to go to be what we need to be. Be saved today for tomorrow may never come, but eternity will. My Brothers and Sisters, we must give up rituals, fads, mantras and whatever else is keeping us from a one on one living relationship with our Savior. We must allow the Spirit full control and relinquish all our perceived rights and wisdom and allow Him to give us true wisdom. Get out from behind the wheel and let Him drive. He will take you to places beyond your wildest dreams and use you in ways you would never even conceive. He has His purpose for you and He can get you there. Will you let Him drive? I pray that we will from this day forth until Glory! Maranatha!!!!