The Holy Spirit is “wild” and cannot be restrained. At last weekend’s service, City Harvest Church’s executive pastor Bobby Chaw spoke about the Holy Spirit as the wind and urged the church to follow His leading.
On the weekend of Jul 27 and 28, Bobby Chaw made an interesting observation that in the month of July—though totally unplanned—the preachers, Pastor Choong Tsih-Ming, Pastor Erwin McManus and Pastor Derek Dunn—that spoke on one common theme: the Holy Spirit and revival.
Pastor Bobby said that every individual in the body of Christ is a carrier of the move of God. He brought the congregation to Acts 2:2-4, which said that the early church was birthed in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles did not have the Bible or a worship band, but with the Holy Spirit, they changed the course of history.
“Today, I want to talk to you about the presence, power and Person of the Holy Spirit from the perspective of the wind,” said the pastor. Reading John 3:8, he drew parallels between the wind and the Holy Spirit: the Holy Spirit is not visible but He is present in the midst of the believers.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OMNIPRESENT
“Understanding the wind, we understand that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent,” the pastor said. To support this point, the pastor referenced Psalm 139:7-12 which speaks of how the Spirit is always there, no matter what the circumstances are and what one has done.
“David says [in the Psalms] that even if there is darkness in your life, the Holy Spirit is still with you,” he highlighted. “Therefore, do not be afraid!”
Reading John 14:16-18, Pastor Bobby explained that the word “helper” in the passage in the word paraklētos in Greek. It means one who is called alongside as a helper or a defender. Jesus said that He would send another helper exactly like Him and that He will not leave believers as orphans, helpless and defenseless.
Pastor Bobby exemplified the Parakletos through a recent experience his son, Ryan had. Ryan was playing the keyboard during worship at a recent church youth camp when he heard another melody playing —it was as if there was someone else playing on the keyboard at the same time, supporting him. “I told my son that it reminds me of the Holy Spirit, our paraklētos: the One who will come to help us,” said Pastor Bobby.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OMNIPOTENT
“Concerning His power, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent,” declared Pastor Bobby. The pastor brought the congregation to John 20:19. After Jesus was crucified, the disciples fell to discouragement and made plans to give up their ministry.
But all this changed when the Holy Spirit came upon them in Acts 2:2-4. The disciples who were in hiding stood up before the people and preached boldly. As a result, 3,000 were converted on the Day of Pentecost.
“This is the effect of the Holy Spirit,” explained Pastor Bobby. “Only the Holy Spirit can bring transformation.” He then pointed the congregation to 2 Corinthians 3:18. The pastor explained that the verse bore the word “transformed”, which in Greek is metamorphoō from which the word “metamorphosis” is derived. Said the pastor, “He will turn you from a caterpillar to a butterfly!”
“Is change possible?” Pastor Bobby asked. “Can I be free from bad habits and failure? Can my family be restored? The answer is yes!”
Pastor Bobby then shared the story of an instance when he went on a mission to an affiliated church in Fukuoka, Japan. There was a woman who constantly had pain in her heart—several tissues in her heart had died. Nonetheless, she would come to church every day to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Bobby said that because of her persistent efforts in seeking His presence, she was healed; and this is a testament to what Paul said in Romans 8:11. “There is nothing too hard for the Lord!” exclaimed the preacher.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS UNRESTRAINED
“Concerning His person, the Holy Spirit is unrestrained,” Pastor Bobby said. He explained that, like the wind, the Holy Spirit cannot be restrained—no one can start or stop it. Hebrews 12:29 reads, “For our God is a consuming fire.” There is a wildness of the Holy Spirit that cannot be tamed.
Pastor Bobby then shared the history of the Celtic saints who were pilgrims for Christ. He highlighted to the congregation that a superior pilgrimage they embarked on was to set sail on a boat without a rudder. The pastor explained that such a pilgrimage was superior because the saints were completely at the mercy of the winds and waves.
Yet in the world today, individuals are more comfortable with a predictable God. They want a God of immediate access with easy answers, because they do not make the time to seek Him and to understand His mysteries.
Why? Because they are afraid of the unknown and so they resign to the safety of the comfort zone.
The pastor then brought the attention of the congregation to Abraham and Moses who, despite their old age, were willing to follow God into the unknown. And then there was Mary, who was only 14 years old but she accepted the “wildness” of God and agreed to bear the Son of God.
“Freedom is on the other side of fear,” said Pastor Bobby, quoting Mosaic Church’s lead pastor, Erwin McManus, who spoke at CHC earlier in the month. “Do not be afraid to take risks!” He explained that in fact to abide in faith, hope and love, one must be willing to take risks. And because faith is the substance of things hoped for, one has to hope in what one cannot see.
Pastor Bobby then shared about his heart for missions, specifically how Vietnam kept coming to his heart the year that he got married to his wife Cindy. They made great preparation for it but year after year, the wind of the Holy Spirit did not take him to Vietnam. It was only 28 years later, in 2017, that he went to Vietnam on a mission trip.
Romans 16:3-4 and Philippians 2:30 both describe Christians that the pioneering members of the early Christians as “riskers” or risk-takers. They knew only one way to love God and that was to give their all—their hearts, souls and minds—to walk on the wild side of the Holy Spirit. This was in line with Jesus’ call to His followers to be pilgrims for Christ: people who are willing to be driven by the wind (Matt 22:37).
Pastor Bobby then brought the congregation’s attention to 2 Corinthians 3:17. “If you want freedom, you have to let the Lord be the Lord of your life,” he emphasized.
The preacher ended his sermon with John 7:37-39. He highlighted the way Jesus talked about crying out to the Holy Spirit. The pastor explained that the phrase “cried out” in Greek is krazō which means to croak as a raven. He intimated that a raven has relentless hunger, and to croak like a raven would be to “scream, shriek, exclaim with deep emotion.”
“Krazō is also the cry of two blind men,” he said, pointing to Matthew 9:27 in which the two blind men had just one desire. “That is the cry of one desire.”
“Krazō is the cry of Peter in Matthew 14:30,” said the pastor. “It is the cry of the dying man.”
The pastor then pointed the congregation to Matthew 20:31. “Krazō is the cry of the desperate who will not be silent.”
“Are we so safe that we don’t need to krazō?” challenged Pastor Bobby. He urged the congregation to ponder over this question and encouraged them to be bold to follow the wind that is the Holy Spirit.