Over the past few months I have been contemplating an issue wondering to myself, "How do I best address this? I've been in and around a lot of spiritual things in the church, but I often wonder people feel the need to give into the weirdness of the flesh rather than the genuine move of Holy Spirit? Loaded issue right? I know. So, here is my best shot at dissecting something rather complex, but I'm just hoping to go on a journey to find the middle ground. If you wish to join me, well... read on.
I have been around the charismatic/prophetic movement for about seven years now. Having traveled all over the U.S. visiting churches of various denominations, I have been exposed to a lot, and yes even some things that were truly God freaked me out at one point. One thing I know without doubt, is that when the Lord is truly welcome into a gathering of people, amazing things really do happen, and even though the things that may happen are sometimes a little different than what most would expect or anticipate, God comes where He is welcome.
Sometimes a Spirit of truth and worship comes so strong that people feel the need to get prostrate on the floor in adoration because the sense the nearness of the King of all Kings becomes so heavy. Some people begin to shake from the Power of God entering the room, and then resting on and moving through people. Some pray in the tongues as the Spirit gives them utterance. Now while this may be common place for some, it is very foreign to others, but it is a beautiful and sometimes unexpected thing when God has complete and free reign in a place, to come and move how He sees fit to move.
I want to use this one example as a premise for what I am getting at here. Even more foreign to some, could be the fact that people begin laughing in the Spirit because of an overwhelming presence of joy that overcame them. I have seen this happen genuinely, and I myself have had this happen on very rare occasions. I know the Lord can come and move like that on someone in that way, but what I have been bothered by is people who take these attributes of the Spirit and apply them to every meeting where they are around people. I have been in meetings where there were a few people who literally laughed together for long periods of time, and not just in one meeting, but in one after the other, after the other, after the other. While this would annoy me, and eventually make me angry, I have come to an important realization.
People are genuinely hungry to have the Holy Spirit show up in their lives.
People desire to have the Holy Spirit come and move in power, and for some, they long to see Him come as He did once before in their lives. But all too often that hunger and zeal turns into futile attempts to replicate what was once genuine and in the process we find people representing an inaccurate and sometimes damaging view of who the Holy Spirit truly is. It ends up being a representation that makes people very skeptical and freaked out by what they see. (Don’t get me wrong, a large portion of the church would be freaked out by a genuine move of God’s power anyway, but this is different.)
When Jesus was preparing His followers for His departure in John 14:16-18, Jesus made us a promise, “… I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever. The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come [back] to you.” Here in John, Jesus promised us a comforter. In other scriptures it talks about many different attributes of who the Holy Spirit is, but one of them is comforter. A helper. An advocate. A friend to stand beside us and strengthen us!
I encourage you today to seek truth. The Holy Spirit is many things, and not just a part of God that really enjoys being weird and freaking people out. That is not the goal of the Holy Spirit, so don’t make that your goal when He comes to meet you. If you truly yield yourself to Him, unexpected things will happen, but that’s simply a part of the journey of discovering God. If it is our heart’s true desire is to reflect Him with excellence, we must purpose our hearts to reflect him unfiltered by our idea of what we think needs to shine through. Remaining and continuing to bring ourselves to a place of being a truly open vessel, that is the goal. That He might be able to use for His glorious purposes on the earth and as beacons of light in a world that’s getting all too dim.
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