Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 57

Prayers of Petition continued...

The second thing we ought to be asking God for in our prayers of petition is the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Contrary to what some continue to assert even to this day -that the Holy Spirit is like a door prize for everyone who walks into a church and raises their hand- the word of God tells us He gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.

Having already discussed the power, presence, and purpose in a previous series, hopefully we have come to understand that when one receives the Holy Spirit, they know they’ve received the Holy Spirit.

There can be no ambiguity; there need be no guessing at whether one has the Holy Spirit or they don’t, because they will know if they do possess it.

I’ve been within earshot of conversations between preachers and laymen, asking about receiving the Holy Spirit, and after encouraging their sheep of the certainty that they received the Holy Spirit as soon as they raised a hand in a church service, most often the follow up question is, ‘but how do I know that I’ve received it?’

If you have to ask that question, you haven’t received it!

God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask, and if you’ve never asked for God to fill you with the power of His Holy Spirit, if you’ve never asked God and petitioned Him to overflow you with the presence of the Comforter, it is high time you started to.

The Holy Spirit is a person. His presence in a life is evident, and true, and undeniable. Once He enters a heart, you will never again wonder whether or not He is there because you will know with certainty, having felt His touch and having known His presence.

Because certain individuals considered the sheep of God’s pasture to be less than intelligent, they took it upon themselves to oversimplify the gospel of Christ, to oversimplify what God does in a life, and often times altogether leave out any teaching on the power available to us as the children, and the beloved of God.

As such, the children of God are no longer encouraged to ask God for the Holy Spirit, they are encouraged to ask God for worthless, trivial things that rust and gather dust, and become altogether unappealing given enough time.

The children of God are no longer encouraged to press in, to seek out, to study and show themselves approved, instead they are encouraged to ‘honor the man o’ God with their offerings’, sit there mouth agape like baby birds waiting to be fed, and never question the extra biblical things he teaches from the pulpit.

Even when some awaken from their stupor, and with the last vestiges of their strength attempt to find succor elsewhere, they are told to return to the shepherd from whom they fled, and not abandon him in his time of trial and adversity.

First of all, being exposed as a whoremonger, or a pedophilic pervert, is neither a trial, nor an adversity. It is God exposing the sin in His own house, that the sin might be dealt with, and excluded from among the congregation.

When with the full knowledge of what has transpired we remain in a place where the whole head is rotten, and God has long removed His lampstand, we are in essence putting our hand in with evil, and assenting by omission.

I’m just sick and tired of hearing from seemingly intelligent people that the requirements for a bishop, an elder, an overseer or a shepherd, were contextually relevant to the historical timeframe in which the apostles lived, but no longer apply in our day and age.

This is doublespeak for ‘we can’t expect our leaders to be husbands of one wife, or men of character, or men full of the Holy Spirit, or men of wisdom anymore, because God only expected that of the primary church.’

I’ve got to vent to somebody, and it might as well be you!

We need to stop pretending we don’t know why the church is in the condition it’s in. We need to stop pretending that more programs, more sermons on Christians having more sex, more series on budgeting wisely, and clipping coupons will save the church, and restore it to a place of honor in God’s sight.

The one thing that will restore the household of faith, the one thing that will restore the church, is if we take the scalpel of the word of God, and remove every tumor, every cancer, every boil, every bleeding ulcer, and every putrefying sore calling itself a man of God from behind the pulpits of America.

Unless we return to the standard of the Gospel, and abide by it, things will not get better, the ship will not turn, and sin will only continue to grow and multiply within the house of God.

My grandfather was fond of an analogy he shared often, of a man who went to a fish market one day to buy some fish. Never having bought fresh fish before, the man picks up a nice looking trout, and begins to sniff the tail. The sales person gives the man smelling the trout tail a sideways glance, and finally says, ‘if you’re going to smell anything, smell the head. The fish always starts to rot from the head on down.’

Pray and petition God that those who handle the word, those who stand behind pulpits and deliver the message of the gospel, would be men full of the Holy Spirit, and power.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen! This is another excellent,thought provoking series, Michael, and once again I'm learning & re-learning a lot. Thank you!

Cyndi in MN