Activation required

Psalm 146
“Holy Spirit, activate! Activate! Activate!”

That’s one of the newest videos to explode on TikTok and make its rounds on other social media outlets. It’s a chant from a woman ready to play Family Feud. Well, she was almost ready. Apparently, she was waiting for Spirit to activate. Several thousands of dollars were at stake, after all.

It’s a fun clip to watch. Annoyingly catchy, too! I used it as an illustration last week.

Now, you know me. I’m not going to be too serious about too much. I’m going to laugh just as much as anyone else. Maybe more.

But I hope we can all see the issue behind everyone’s new favorite prayer. We don’t conjure the Holy Spirit to work on our behalf. When we pray to the Holy Spirit, much like as we pray to God the Father and Son, we ask for what we really need in life. It may be we’re just as used to praying for God to activate, too. As if God is on break, waiting for our call.

I can hear a pushback.

Can’t we ask God for anything? Doesn’t the Lord want to hear our prayers? Of course! Let’s pray for our game shows and all the other stuff we feel we need right now. What a blessing it is to know that God Almighty gave us the gift of prayer. And that God listens to us as we pray.

Part of allowing our faith to mature, though, is paying attention to what we’re praying for. Learning to let God remold our desires and what we want from life along the way. We can be quite selfish. Our selfishness leads us in ways we don’t always recognize.

We don’t need the Holy Spirit to activate. The Spirit blows wherever it pleases (John 3:8). We need to activate!

Let’s consider what our activation could do.

Psalm 146 is a Hallelujah Psalm. That’s a title we’ve given it. It is one of several that begins and ends with the phrase “Praise the Lord!” or hallelujah. Because of what the psalmist knows about the Lord, he has set his mind to praise God for his entire life. He can’t put his trust in rulers or other people because their plans all come to an end. God’s will is eternal, always guiding humanity.

As we focus on God’s will, we have help and hope from God. Since the help and rule of princes and other rulers fade with their death, we look to God’s reign. The psalmist understands what kind of kingdom God provides.

It’s one where people find freedom, healing and restoration. Those who have lost their livelihoods find protection and sustenance.

Whereas we tend to focus on ourselves too much because we only have so much time in life, God’s perspective is eternal. Ours is a get-what-you-can-while-you-can attitude. God’s is a I’ll-give-you-my-Son-just-so-you-know-how-much-I-love-you approach.

Not only do we trust what God wants to do in the world, we are God’s partners. It started in the garden. Even when we messed up that partnership, the Lord did not let us go. Since we know what kind of kingdom God desires, we pray for the strength, compassion, wisdom and courage to share that kingdom with our world. It’s not totally inappropriate to suggest we’re building that kingdom with God.

You don’t need to ask God to activate. God’s already at work. We need to activate!

Stay blessed…john