By Rhansyl Harris
Several years ago I went to a particular gas station because my tank was on E. When I pulled up, I saw the gas sign along with several rows of gas pumps. I had the muchies, so I went inside to grab a Slurpee and some Funions (I love those!). Moreover, to my dismay, they were out of gas! I then I realized that this is the portrait of me and my churchy self. I looked the part, but my actions showed that there was no conversion. I even talked with breathy hallelujahs and wore shirts with catchy phrases like “Too Blessed to Be Stressed” or “Jesus is my Co-Pilot.” However, I had not made the decision to give my life fully to Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit for Sale?
There was a well-known magician named Simon, who was erroneously referred to by the local Samaritans as “the Great Power of God” (Acts 8:10). Simon was a new convert, so we thought. He looked the part; he believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, was baptized, and even traveled throughout Samaria with Philip and his small group. It was not until he opened his mouth at the NSCC (North Samarian Christian Convention) that it was discovered that he was without gas.
Seeing, not experiencing, the power of the Holy Spirit, Simon asked if he could purchase that power. It was as if he looked at Philip, Peter, and John as a road show of magicians rather than missionaries. Driven by power, praise, and popularity, Simon believed, not in the Savior, but in self.
Could this be a portrait of us today? Did we believe and get baptized for the wrong reasons? Have we joined a church ministry team to gain the praise of the congregation? Have we given large portions of money to the church for the sake of buying power? Are we like that gas station without gas? If so, this is a good time to give our lives, heart, minds, and strength to him.
Dr. Rhansyl Harris is the Lead Pastor of the Rock Church of Cincinnati, Ohio, and adjunct instructor at Cincinnati Christian University. Rhansyl has been joyously married to Shirley for over 16 years, and they are blessed with two children, son, Ryan, and daughter, Raegan.