“But we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”- Romans 8:23
Mark Batterson begins Chapter 16 (“The Third Wheel”) of If by telling several anecdotes about not having a mechanical bone in his body. For example, Pastor Batterson owned his first car for two years before discovering that he needed to change- not merely add- the oil. Later, he drove the family minivan in D4- the wrong gear- for nearly a decade, logging over 100,000 miles.
Cash Luna, founding pastor of the largest church in Guatemala (Casa De Dios) took ten years to write In Honor of the Holy Spirit: He’s Someone, Not Something. Pastor Batterson observes that many Christians treat the Holy Spirit like He’s the third wheel, not the third person in the Trinity. When the Holy Spirit is not honored as an equal member of the Trinity, we may get an ‘A’ for effort- yet fail miserably. Mark explains:
“If you can ignore one-third of the Godhead, you function at two-thirds capacity (emphasis Mark’s). It doesn’t make you any less saved, and you certainly have the Firstfruits of the Spirit. But there is untapped potential. There are dimensions of joy and grace and power that can only be accessed with the Holy Spirit’s help.”
The etymology of the word firstfruits in Romans 8:23 is agricultural, referencing Israel’s two harvests. Israelites would take a firstfruits offering to the temple following the first harvest. According to Levitical law, God would bless the second harvest if they honored God with their firstfruits.
Mark describes what it means to fully experience the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit:
“No matter how greatly you’ve been used by God, He has new anointings, new giftings for you. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just want to fill you- He wants to stretch you. And when He stretches you, you never return to the original shape.”
Today’s question: What new anointings or giftings has God given you following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Wait for it patiently”