Practical Spirituality

This title is an oxymoron to some and everyday life to others. To be lead by the Spirit means different things to different people. Is the Holy Spirit the person of God on earth today? Does He dwell in the temple of God’s people corporately and individually? Is Christianity effective through Believers by means of the Spirit or by human effort, initiative, and intention? Is there a supernatural spiritual component in the normal Christian life? These questions progressively span a range of what the Spirit means. Yeshua said, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7) However, Yeshua’s subsequent description of what the Holy Spirit would do has become so obscured that it can hardly be discussed or considered without producing offense. It’s like today’s politically charged environment where each political side is entrenched in their position and inflamed by that of others.

New Believers need to know what scripture says regarding the Holy Spirit. I have taught and teach still, but not as an intellectual pursuit; it should include apprenticeship, practice and ultimately proficiency. In a similar manner I’m a student. However, regarding the Holy Spirit, who is a person, just as Yeshua and Father God, it is imperative to develop a relationship, because He is our best teacher – “He will guide you into all the truth.” Teaching is over rated, particularly when it is simply an intellectual exercise. The instruction of the Spirit comes directly from Yeshua and is confirmed by the Word. (John 1:1,14; 16: 14-15) The best teachers have first hand practical experience. The Apostle Paul said, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.” This qualified him to speak and provide instruction thereon. Paul was led by the Spirit, this is a prime example, “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:6-10)

In most churches in America we have professional preachers who fill the pulpit every week as their professional vocation. How many times has this central figure in the church ever been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching on Sunday? When has the Holy Spirit interrupted the plans and structures of the preacher? What evidence exists to demonstrate the leading of the Holy Spirit? Some may suggest, “Well I was going to preach on X, but the Spirit told me to preach on Y.” That’s fine and good, but it’s like serving mashed potatoes instead of boiled ones. Our preacher was honest, “I preach every week, it’s my job, that’s what I do.” The scriptures present a different model and it is not fixed on what happens each Sunday. Have worldly ways and influence infiltrated the church such that human structures have replaced Spirit leadership? Has this happened by a lack faith in the Holy Spirit to lead God’s people? Is the result, mimicking what the Spirt once used to reach the masses in a wilderness frontier setting? This is not about criticizing men, preachers, or church leadership, as their fallibility is unquestionable, it is about restoring Holy Spirit leadership.

Where are the faithful who believe every word of God; who can be stopped in their plans and redirected by vision? Where is the evidence of the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit? One may answer, “In the lost coming to faith through the preaching of the Gospel.” Yes, but that happens very rarely in today’s church gatherings. The scriptural model involves prophecy, rather than intellectualism in a lecture, (Acts 13: 1-3; John 16:8-15; 1 Cor. 14:23-26). This is not a critique of preaching and teaching, but rather, turning the leadership over to the Holy Spirit so that:

1) all the Offices, Gifts, and functions of the Holy Spirit can be released in the congregation of Believers, (1 Cor. 12:28 ),

2) Worldly influences, structures, and ways that have infiltrated the Congregation of Believers may be rejected as worthless idolatry and offensive to the Spirit, (Col. 3:5; Eph. 4:17, 5:5; 1 John 5:21), and

3) A recognition that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6).

About Steve2525

Retired Journeyman
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