The Gifts Part 82
If a dozen or so years ago, being drunk in the Spirit was all the rage, the new and improved mockery going in in many churches today is that of getting high on the Holy Ghost. You can take my word for it, or if you have a strong stomach do some research yourself, but yes, there are countless disheveled individuals pretending to be ‘toking’ and ‘smoking’ the Holy Spirit, and getting high.
At the risk of sounding unloving, intolerant and all the other overused clichés that have been thrown at me over the years, such manifestations are nothing more than mockery and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Throughout history the Devil has attempted to pervert the work of God, to pervert the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and by so doing discredit the work and bring shame to the household of faith.
Because they’ve never had the real thing, men attempt to counterfeit it, because well all know a knockoff is never as costly as the authentic. Some want the best of both worlds, refusing to deny the flesh, refusing to shake off the things of this earth yet desiring to ‘experience’ the supernatural, while others are just giving the folks what they want at a discounted rate, with no strings attached.
Why fast, why pray, why grow in God, why mature in your spirit, why seek after righteousness, when you can have the same experience, without doing any of those pesky and time consuming things?
That my friends, is the hook: you too can experience power without sanctification!
Our purpose however as children of God is not to experience power for experience’s sake, or even for power’s sake, our purpose as children of God is to grow in Him, become like Him, and one day be welcomed into His eternal Kingdom.
There are countless other religions that offer you ‘power’ whether by transcendental meditation, opening your third eye, having out of body experiences, channeling spirits, and scores of other things, but no other faith offers salvation than faith in Christ Jesus.
It’s still all about Jesus, it’s still all about what He did on Golgotha, it’s still all about the price He paid for you and for me that we might be reconciled unto God.
The reason for my being is not to experience power, it is not to speak in tongues, it is not to have the gift of prophecy or working of miracles, the reason for my being is to serve Jesus, and in His goodness Jesus equips me as He sees fit for the calling to which He has called me.
When we make it about the work, the ministry, the signs, the prophecies, the healings or the miracles rather than Jesus, we’ve strayed from the path, we’ve wandered from the narrow way, and tragedy, disillusionment and heartbreak, are only a matter of time.
Do we pray to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Do we desire to prophesy as Paul instructed? Of course we do, but we do so while serving and worshiping Jesus, making Him the preeminent priority and desire of our hearts.
So the next time you get invited to ‘Power Fest 2012’ and there’s no mention of Jesus, the cross, repentance or sanctification, maybe stay home and read your Bible, or have a prayer night in your home. I guarantee you, you will receive more spiritual nourishment from spending a few hours in your prayer closet, than you would from listening to some bloated ego trying to convince you that astral projections are biblical.
We let so many things slide, we let so many men pass themselves off as Ambassadors of Christ when they are teaching anything but His gospel that I often wonder if we’ve altogether lost our ability to reason, to discern, or if we even care that we are being deceived anymore.
While we’re on the topic, no, God is not doing a new thing. If I hear that phrase one more time within the context of justifying all the foolishness going on in the church, I think I’m going to scream.
Not only isn’t God doing a new thing, God is a stickler for the old thing!
Jeremiah 6:16-19, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘we will not walk in it.’ Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘we will not listen.’ Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words, nor My law, but rejected it.’”
It’s not that God hasn’t tried, it’s not that God hasn’t sent messengers, it’s not that God hasn’t instructed us to ask for the old path and walk in it because that is where the good way is, He has done all these things and more, but every time God spoke the people rejected His counsel, every time God commanded the people rebelled against His voice, because they thought they knew better than God.
Though we might try by way of other avenues to find peace for our souls, only where the good way is will we find that which we are seeking. The fact that divorce rates within the church are the same as in the world, the fact that the church is popping as many anti-anxiety and anti-depression pills as those of the world are, only goes to show that God is right, we are wrong, and if we hope to find the rest we are seeking, then we must humble ourselves and obey His voice.
The path of righteousness is brightly illuminated by the word of God, and we see it clearly. If however we choose to follow a different path, we do so at our own peril, for only on the narrow path will we find rest for our souls and fellowship with the eternal God of all.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
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Dear Brother Michael - I post this comment with some trepidation... I'm attending a pentecostal church. It is actually fairly "tame" as such goes, though speaking in tongues is practiced. You would find it quite orderly, I think. Well, a little over a year ago I started to notice something odd -- I was starting to shake/tremble during some of the sermons. I didn't tell anyone about it. Then I started to get more serious about spending time in prayer and joined the Saturday evening prayer group, and then got permission from the pastor to start coming to the church and pray there at night (I've been coming a couple times a week for about an hour). I've had several shaking/trembling incidents now, during some sermons, and then sometimes when I pray alone in the church. These are not sermons that I felt specific conviction about, but they were powerful. This is not something that anyone talks about at church nor is it encouraged in any way. So far no one's noticed, but it is getting stronger and I'm afraid I'm going to embarrass myself or cause a distraction in church. We've been doing fasting/prayer as a church, and the senior pastor has shared that he fasts and prays regularly. I've been assuming that I've been picking up on the Holy Spirit annointing on the senior pastor (it seems to happen more often when he preaches), but now, from what you've said, I'm wondered if this is something wrong or evil or fleshly and I should be asking God to take it away??? Can you help? I'm not comfortable asking the pastors here, as it just sounds too weird or like I'm grandstanding, or something.
The Lord is doing a "new thing" inside my heart if that makes sense. He is showing me the height and depth of His great love for us...it truly surpasses knowledge. I've been a Christian for 20+ years, and just in the last few years am I actually remaining in His love, knowing His love, delighting in His love...and from the overflow of that love... I want to love the Lord with all my heart, I want to read the word, I want to pray, I want to obey Him... So that's what I think of when I think new thing....just a revelation of His great love for us. It makes His yoke easy and His burden light, to be filled up with His great love. Then dying to self is actually a delight because you know the Lord is going to give you everlasting life.
The Lord may be doing a new thing in your heart, from your perspective, but it is not a new thing from His perspective. We serve an unchanging God, whose desire has always been for His children to desire closeness to Him, since the beginning of time. I am glad that you are growing in God, it is the natural progression of a believer. May you continue to grow, from grace to grace and understanding to understanding.
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