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Spiritual Inspiration From Great Pastors and Theologians

spiritual inspiration

In my new book, Transforming Presence: How the Holy Spirit Changes Everything From the Inside Out, I have included more than 250 footnotes. I wanted this book to be clear, well-researched, and in line with some of the historic and contemporary voices of the Christian faith. Below are just a few of the many insights I discovered from some of the great pastors and theologians of today and yesteryear. I trust these will be an inspiration to you today.


“The Holy Spirit is God’s agent on earth, yet He is the least understood member of the Trinity.”[1]  Jim Cymbala

“If we review the history of the church, we notice how many important truths, clearly revealed in Scripture, have been allowed to lie dormant for centuries, unknown and unappreciated except by a few isolated Christians until it pleases God to enlighten the Church by chosen witnesses, and to bestow on His children the knowledge of hidden and forgotten treasures. For how long a period, even after the Reformation, were the doctrines of the Holy Ghost, His work in conversion, and His indwelling in the believer, almost unknown!”[2] Adolph Saphir – A Jewish Presbyterian Missionary (1831 –1891)

“There have always been people in the Christian church who were very sure about the Holy Spirit. It was simple. He was the divine backer of their particular emphasis in theology and practice.”[3] Michael Green

“When it comes to the Holy Spirit, churches are either cemeteries or insane asylums.” Jim Cymbala

“If some churches marginalize the Spirit in favor of the institution and its forms, others react simply by making the opposite choice. However, there are myriad ways of domesticating the Spirit besides assimilating His sovereign work to formalism. If some render the Spirit an ecclesiastical employee, others presume to make the Spirit a mascot for a movement or a prisoner of their own private experience.“[4] Michael Horton

“Without the Spirit of God we can do nothing; we are as ships without wind, or chariots without steeds; like branches without sap, we are withered; like coals without fire, we are useless; as an offering without the sacrificial flame, we are unaccepted.”[5]  Charles Spurgeon

“The biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit suffers today from three extremes: abuse, neglect and distortion.”[6]  Robert Lightner

“Are you willing to pursue truth in your journey to know and be known by the Holy Spirit? Do you have enough humility to be open to the possibility that you have been wrong in your understanding of the Spirit? It’s easy to get into ‘defensive mode’ where you quickly disagree and turn to proof texts and learn arguments to defend what you’ve always believed. Rather than guarding your perspective, consider taking a fresh look at familiar passages to make sure you haven’t missed something. You may end up with the same theology you’ve always had, but maybe you won’t. Don’t let your view be determined by a particular denomination or by what you’ve always been told. Within the context of relationship with other believers, seek out what God has said about His Spirit. Open your mind and your life to the leading of the Spirit, regardless of what others may think or assume about you.”[7] Francis Chan

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As a lead pastor for nearly three decades, Daniel Henderson helped several congregations experience transformation and renewal through an extraordinary commitment to prayer. Daniel now serves as founder and president of Strategic Renewal and is the national director for The 6.4 Fellowship. As a “pastor to pastors,“ he leads renewal experiences in local churches, speaks in a variety of leadership conferences, and coaches pastors across North America and beyond. Daniel is the author of over a dozen books, including, Old Paths, New Power: Awakening Your Church Through Prayer and the Ministry of The Word, Transforming Prayer: How Everything Changes When You Seek God’s Face, Transforming Presence: How The Holy Spirit Changes Everything - From The Inside Out, and Glorious Finish: Keeping Your Eye on the Prize of Eternity in a Time of Pastoral Failings.