Cleaning the Cup – Part two – De-spiritualizing the Faith
Lopsided to Learning
Recent studies have shown that Christianity which accompanies the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the act of Glossolalia(speaking in Tongues) is one of the fastest religions/faiths in the world! Well, praise the Lord, that is excellent news! However further study and evidence details that the practice, doctrine and personal experience of this event is actually declining among long time Pentecostal denominations… That seems almost contradictory!
In my research however I have found some unique substantiation of such views! Why these elements exist I don’t know, perhaps there are circumstances that skew the data collected, in any event I can personally attest that to some the element of Spirit in faith while not shunned is certainly not chased or strongly desired.
There is no substitute for knowledge. Without a doubt we quickly understand that knowledge possess power and is critical to the growth, potency, and longevity of the faith. In fact Paul admonishes us:
(2 Timothy 2:15) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Wholeheartedly I concede to the wisdom of scripture and the critical need for its application and understanding, after all Paul again instructs us:
(2 Timothy 3:16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Equally we must further understand there is no substitute for the Spirit of God, and His active presence in our lives.
For these the Word and the Spirit are merely two halves of one whole! Greater credence given to one than the other creates an imbalance, an unharmonious blend, which creates an unfortunate deficiency.
(John 4:24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
This in mind, perhaps one of the shortcomings to which we voluntarily succumb is we are more given to knowledge, lopsided to learning, and we have not given ample credence to the move of the Spirit.
We are inundated, over-whelmed; covered up with books, series, programs and teachings. Certainly the market contains more product than any person can digest! For every fear, circumstance and question, a book has been written, and thank God for it, I take no issue with knowledge… But knowledge alone will not, cannot, and has not been possessed singularly with the power to change, heal and deliver. In fact by design that is not the job of knowledge alone, it contains a powerful partner… the Spirit.
For this cause Jesus spent a great deal of time teaching the disciples, but they were commanded not to do anything until they became infused with the Spirit! What a potent truth this is! Knowledge was not enough!
Consider the Spirit’s job - He produces within us
Again we are told
(Galatians 5:16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
(John 16:13) But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
Consider the gifts that accompany the Spirit of God
(1 Corinthians 12:7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
(1 Corinthians 12:8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
(1 Corinthians 12:9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
(1 Corinthians 12:10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
Words of wisdom
Word of knowledge
Just to name a few! Wow! That is some powerful stuff! Imagine operating as a body in the gifts of the Spirit, not just in the service, but as equally important in our communities as well! We’d turn the world upside down!
No wonder Paul tells us
(Galatians 5:25) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
(Ephesians 4:30) And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God
(1 Thessalonians 5:19) Quench not the Spirit.
Let’s expand that a bit. Imagine this power in operation in you as a: Father, a Mother, or an employee… As a husband a wife, or a neighbor…
The Spirit is in operation in our lives, not just at our services, He is ever present, all the time! Let Him invade your everything! Your personal life, your love life, your parenting, or your checkbook, in all things! We are supposed to be spiritual beings, filled with the Holy Spirit, functioning in His abilities and directions! … in Him we move, we live, we breath and have our being…
Look at these scriptures for the very personal relationship others had with the Spirit
(Acts 15:28) For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
(Acts 16:6) Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Do you see the interpersonal relationship being presented here?
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us
were forbidden of the Holy Ghost
We have the Spirit working with, speaking to and directing the paths of the early church…
Imagine for a moment, giving the Spirit freedom in your life, allowing Him permission to function in every area… Letting the Spirit out of the box! Giving attention to His presence in little and big ways and opening our minds up enough to accept the supernatural!
Hearing His voice
Feeling His presence
Seeing His hand in our circumstances
It’s possible; actually it: “is” – it is a reality, it is an absolute - when we allow it.
Open yourself to Him. He is in you… Feel His presence, His guidance, His unction… He is the comforter, the teacher and He guides our steps…
Lets get Spiritual… Let us walk in the Spirit, lets us as Paul said: live by the Spirit, and keep in step with the Spirit.
There is within you, by the power of God, receptors, antennae for the Holy Spirit… its time to tune… He who hath an ear let Him hear what the SPIRIT saith!