The Advent Part 55
What I find frustrating is that many believers today can rightly be compared to the man who bought himself a six speed sports car, but in his ignorance he spent all his time shifting between the first two gears because he was unaware that the other four gears existed. There is so much more that we have access to in God as His children, there is so much more that God is willing to reveal to us and pour into us, if only we would believe Him at His word, and seek those things which are above.
In our excessive vanity we’ve come to believe that we can substitute the power of God with other things, and no one will be the wiser. And so, rather than pray and fast, rather than do as the Apostles did and wait on the promise of God until it comes, we bide our time with programs and workshops and skits and dramatic retellings of Gethsemane, not realizing that if we are absent the power of God, all the ceremony and the programming and the pomp is pointless.
If the Holy Spirit does not reside in you, don’t for one second think that the enemy fears you in any way. I know, the preceding is painful to read, but it is the truth. The enemy does not fear opulent buildings, he does not fear bright lights and fancy shows, he does not fear bad jokes and stylish hair, what the enemy fears is the power and the authority of God, what the enemy fears is the Christ, what the enemy fears is the Holy Spirit which is able to discern when he is attempting to worm his way within the household of faith, and who likewise has the authority to rebuke him.
Our constant pursuit of quantity over quality has transformed us into a giant inert mass of souls who feel as though we are doing God a huge favor simply by showing up for service on Sunday, and whose single minded query is ‘what can God do for me today?’
‘I showed up, I was here five minutes before the service, surely I deserve something for my faithfulness. When are we doing that ‘raise your wallet to heaven’ thing again, it didn’t work last time, so I’ll be more forceful in my demands this time around.’
If not for the wreck the church has become, some of the things we practice and some of the doctrines we believe in our day and age would be downright hilarious. We can sing ‘God’s got an army marching through the land’ until we’re blue in the face, we can stomp around the congregation waving homemade banners until our arms get tired, we can dress up in camouflage and stomp on a plastic dummy saying we have the devil under our feet until our legs cramp up, but if the power of God is not evident, if the Holy Spirit is not present, if we are not seeing the gifts of the Holy Spirit flowing throughout the Body of Christ, we’re just putting on a show and deceiving ourselves into believing that we’re something that we’re not.
Now I know some of you will see this post as unloving, others will see it as too harsh a rebuke for our politically correct generation, but the enemy has stormed the castle, he has breached the walls, and is methodically going about wreaking havoc within the Congregation of God. He has so polluted the work of the Holy Spirit with foolish practices and vain flesh centered manifestations that many have chosen to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and not even consider the possibility of the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit any longer. It is the enemy’s good pleasure to have an entire generation of believers doubting the very thing that he fears; it is the enemy’s good pleasure to have an entire generation of believers so focused on the things of this earth and the realm of the material, that they miss out on the things of the Kingdom and the realm of the spiritual.
Yes, I know all the tired one liners that soothe our burdened conscience, ‘I read the book, and I know how the story ends! What does it matter Jesus wins in the end! We may lose a few battles here and there but we’ll win the war!’ but lest we forget, we are individually accountable for doing our part in the battle, and are likewise individually accountable for having put on the armor of God, having thoroughly equipped ourselves, having stood, and having done all to stand.
We have become spectators and cheerleaders when God is looking for soldiers and warriors. We have acquiesced to the oft repeated notion that God doesn’t do that anymore, and whenever we see the power of God manifest, whenever we see the Holy Spirit working in the midst of a congregation we are quick to label it a deception, a product of the enemy, because of our pre-established beliefs concerning the gifts as well as the availability of the Holy Spirit in our day and age.
Yes, we are repeatedly encouraged to think outside the box as the saying goes, but it’s always within the context of the absolute truths of Scripture rather than the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
‘Well, yes, Jesus did say that He is the only way, the only truth and the only life, but brother, you’ve got to think outside the box.’
When it comes to the Holy Spirit however, we are excoriated and castigated when we don’t tow the denominational line, and begin to search out the scriptures for ourselves. If we continue to reject the truth, and embrace the lie, if we continue to question the veracity of Christ’s words concerning His divinity, as well as His assertion of being the only way into the Kingdom while at the same time accept that we were fated to be a powerless generation absent the guidance and presence of the Holy Spirit, our ruin is certain, and alarmingly few souls will have enough life left in them to dig their way out of the rubble.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
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