This is the THIRD instalment in what I’m calling: “Uh – I don’t think so.” examining mis-held assumptions that cause discontentment.
One of the bad assumptions I picked up somewhere along the way that perhaps has been the most hurtful, most harmful, was my understanding of the Holy Spirit.
I grew up in a tradition that was not only very conservative in theology, but traditional in practice. This meant order, repetition, nothing unexpected. The frozen-chosen you could say.
God is a God of order after all.
However somehow along the line that shifted in my view that the Trinity was more likely to be: Father, Son, and the Holy Scriptures.
Those happy-clappy charismatic-types were highly suspect. HIGHLY suspect. Also, I often heard the phrase “Holy Ghost” which really did not help to any kind of understanding (and in our current form of the English language is a questionable translation of “Spiritus Sanctus”)
The Holy Spirit’s work was more abstract. It was probably very unusual, happened usually at some other time, or at least some other place. Miracles did/could happen – but I don’t think I saw The Spirit work them – they were something God the Father sent from heaven above like lightning.
Saying “The Spirit led me to ….” was not something that one just said…
I think the problem was that I compared one fairly extreme tradition towards the Holy Spirit, with the opposite. Never really just digging back through the bible to see what it actually said about the Spirit.
So please hear me out on this one. I would argue a Christian is someone who has received Jesus as Savior and Lord, is Adopted as a beloved child by the Father, and has received the gift of the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit gives us power and authority and all the things we need to live out our calling as followers of Christ, and children of God – how can we be content if we misunderstand him? IF we ignore Him? If we forget Him?
Contentment in this life will not come if we are trying to follow Jesus, yet refuse the power that He promised to give us to do so. We will never find deep, true contentment if we are children of the Father, but ignore the Spirit who came to encourage us.
This one is pretty big….and to be honest….I’m still working through it.
Read Acts. It’s not that long. Or just read some parts. There was an absolutely fundamental shift in the way the disciples acted from Acts 1 to the rest of the book. The only change was their receiving of the Spirit. That HAS to mean something to us.
follow-up: read . Forgotten God by Francis Chan I’m reading it right now for probably the third time through. Still a TON there for me to learn
I admit I don’t understand you
I either igrnore you, or obsess on you.
Help me to understand you.
Help me to see you for who you are.
the great counseller, encourager, healer, giver.
Ever present, and all powerful.
I pray in your holy and powerful name,