Friday, January 13, 2012

Do Not Quench the Spirit


Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”   
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

As a new, born-again believer I was taught that the bible was truth – God breathed, inerrant, and a complete revelation.  I was told the text was to be taken as a whole and in it was all the instruction needed to live a life set apart for God.  That instruction I have found to be solid and indisputable.  Yet, as God has given my family the chance to be a part of many churches over the years there has been a teaching stated by some churches in their doctrinal statements and in other churches in their unwritten doctrinal application that is grievous to the Trinity.  Now I know that the word Trinity is not used in the bible, but rather it is a human definition of who God describes Himself to be as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  But as a Christian church on a whole the Father is the easiest to worship as He is the most politically correct.  Jesus, the Son, is at least understood in form because of He took on the nature of man to reveal Himself to us on earth.  But, the big sticking block in the Trinity for most Christians is the Holy Spirit.

The bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is a gift to all who believe on Jesus, but I believe there is a great fear within the church of what would happen if the Holy Spirit were given the ability to run loose among the Church. 

Not living in the Spirit is fanatical
A.W Tozer uses the following, what he calls a “crude illustration”, to explain one of the main underlying reasons the Church fears the free movement of the Holy Spirit.  He writes, “…let me tell you what we did after planting a field of corn when I was a young fellow in Pennsylvania.  To save the field of corn from the crows, we would shoot and old crow and hand him by his heels in the middle of the field.  This was supposed to scare off all of the crows for miles around.  The crows would hold a conference and say, ‘Look, there is a field of corn but don’t go near it.  I saw a dead crow over there!’  That’s the kind of conference that Satan calls, and that is exactly what he has done.  He has taken some fanatical, weird, wild-eyed Christians who do things that they shouldn’t, and he has stationed them in the middle of God’s cornfield, and warns, ‘Now, don’t you go near that doctrine about the Holy Spirit because if you do, you will act just like these wild-eyed fanatics.’”

Living in the Spirit is a life of joy
The Holy Spirit is an equal part of God and requires our equal worship.  Picking and choosing the biblical truths we want to believe and rest in is not a choice – the bible is a complete revelation and that revelation is beyond anyone’s comprehension if the Holy Spirit is not allowed to work.  Sitting on the edge of the corn field may make you look dignified, but if left there long enough you will starve.  The same is true with your relationship with God.  If you stand on the edge of that relationship gathering up all the Father and the Son can teach you about the corn field you may look dignified, but unless you allow the Holy Spirit to move you into understanding and application then all your knowledge will be useless and it will starve your relationship with God.

Do not let the fear of what God may do with you hold you back from His work.  Instead pray and ask God to teach you how to worship and live in the Spirit so that over time you can learn to trust Him more and allow Him to work through you in greater and greater ways for His glory.

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