Don't Major on the Minors!
I can't tell you how much mileage I have gotten out of this simple, unobtrusive little maxim.
It plays out (and plays well) in so many different settings, and topics... this past Sunday we talked about the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church.
We fail to recognize the majors and the minors of the work of the Spirit, whenever we mistake powerful signs and wonders, awe inspiring revelation, or charismatic experience as the goal. These are not the ends, but rather the means of the Holy Spirit's work.
We stated the four purposes the Spirit is working to accomplish (or rather the primary purpose that has three main components) as first and foremost to glorify and reveal Jesus as the Visible Image of an Invisible God, true Sovereign Lord of Creation and All Within it, and the Reconciliation of Lost Children to a Heartbroken Father.
The primary method by which the Spirit accomplishes this task is through the Church. This then means that the Spirit is also working towards transformation of individual Christian women and men into the likeness of Christ. Making you and I look like His Son. The Spirit is at work within us to make us holy because this both glorifies and reveals Jesus. The Spirit also is the source of unity in the Body. If the Spirit has joined me to Christ, and the same Spirit has joined you to Christ as well, then we are now joined to each other. The Spirit is at work creating the mystical community amongst all believers because this both glorifies and reveals Jesus. Finally, the Spirit is at work in the Church in mission. The proclamation of the Kingdom in both word and deed is the reason for the existence of the Church, and this is the Spirit's work within us; compelling us, equipping us, guiding us, and empowering us to usher in the Kingdom in all the earth. The Spirit is at work within us to proclaim and perform the Kingdom because, this too, both glorifies and reveals Jesus.
So a focus on the majors (instead of the minors) allows us to see that the Spirit indeed does perform signs and wonders, anoint individuals for powerful ministry, as well as provide individuals with euphoric experience, yet these are not His focus, but merely some of the ways He works to accomplish His primary aim; (1) glorifying and revealing Jesus through (2) making individual Christians christ-like in character by uniting them to Jesus, (3) uniting individual Christians to each other as they are joined to Jesus, and (4) preparing, empowering and organizing the Church to accomplish God's redemptive purpose on the earth.