The Advent Part 67
When I first arrived in America and subsequently began attending school, due to my inability to speak English there were only a certain number of classes that I could take. There was of course math class, there was English as a second language, or as it was affectionately known ESL, and there was Physical Education class.
Since we were doing algebra at a high school level before I left Romania even though I had only been in the third grade math class was a breeze, ESL was fun because other than myself all the other kids were Hispanic and Spanish being a Latin based language like Romanian is I picked it up allot quicker than English, And PE had its own merits because I learned to play new sports.
The only sport I was tangentially familiar with before coming to America was soccer. Yes, Europeans play soccer like squirrels hunt for nuts, and as such it was the only sport I learned while attending school in Romania.
One day we were learning the fundamentals of basketball, which seemed simple enough: throw the ball in the basket. As it came my turn to take a shot however, and as I walked toward the hoop ball in hand, the teacher called out that I needed to dribble the ball otherwise it would be traveling.
I turned to him and shrugging my shoulders I asked why it was that I needed to dribble the ball, and his answer was one that I remember to this day.
‘Because the rules be the rules Mr. Boldea, because the rules be the rules.’
So what’s the point of this little trip down memory lane? Well, the point is that not everything that has a supernatural tint to it is automatically of God, neither is everything that gets labeled as a move of the Holy Spirit a true move of the Holy Spirit.
‘The rules be the rules’ and in the Word of God we discover what the rules are. The gifts, what they are, what their function is, and how they ought to be used is laid out in the Bible, and if something strays from the Biblical parameters established by God, then as good as it might seem, as spiritually inviting as it might be, we must be wise and cautious that we do not fall into a snare of the enemy. The reason God laid out the parameters so clearly, the reason God established the order He established within the Word of God is that we not stray, that we not be deceived, and that we not be swayed by the words of men.
If all that glitters isn’t gold, then all that shakes, faints, barks or otherwise manifests in odd and peculiar ways is not necessarily of God.
When it comes to supernatural things, when it comes to supernatural movements, and groups marketing themselves as the newest and most innovative Holy Spirit outpouring of our generation, it is incumbent upon us to be weary, it is incumbent upon us to assess, and investigate, and compare what is happening with what the Bible says ought to be happening.
Biblically there are a total of nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, these being wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues and interpretation of tongues. There are also certain offices that God has established, to whom He appoints individuals such as apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle workers, healers, helps, administrations, and varieties of tongues, but this is a study for another time.
For now I want to focus on these nine gifts and ask a basic yet fundamental question. Why pray tell would I need to get oily hands, manifest feathers, gold dust, pearls, or glitter if these nine gifts were operating within the household of faith as they ought? Why pray tell would I feel the need to writhe on the floor like a snake, cluck like a chicken, make a fool of myself and bark like a dog, if the true power of God were made manifest within the congregation, and the nine gifts operated with frequency and power, and the presence of the Holy Spirit was evident for all to see?
I realize that on the surface the gift of wisdom or the gift of knowledge the gift of discernment or the gift of faith might not be as exciting as waking up with gold fillings or finding peacock feathers in your Bible, but those ‘plain and mundane gifts’ as I heard someone once call them, are biblical, they are found in the Word of God, and they ensure that the congregation of God will not be distracted, deceived, or otherwise caused to stray.
We want bombastic experiences, we want to be wowed, we want our lives to be like a special effects laden action movie where we go around punching people in the face in Jesus’ name, manifest some gold flakes when we need to pay the bills, get some oily hands when we want to polish the furniture, failing to realize that God is not a showman, His purpose is not to wow you or entertain you, and He is far more likely to be in the delicate whisper than He is in the strong wind, the earthquake or the fire.
How many more heartbreaks, disappointments, and disillusionments must the household of faith yet endure before it realizes the futility of chasing after signs and manifestations, and the futility of raising men up to the heights of glory only to see them come crashing back to earth?
How many more rude awakenings must we yet be privy to before we realize we ought not to take candy from strangers, we ought not to swallow every morsel that comes floating down the stream of life, and not everything supernatural has its origins in God?
Matthew 24:24-26, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.