I’m still trying to figure it out. What seemed so clear to me in the past is being challenged. I am not sure how or why I came to believe what I did but I think it’s time I let the Holy Sp**** challenge me. I’m not sure how many of you would join me on this journey. I’m not sure how many will stop reading my blog. I find each time I am challenged to look at things differently, I wonder where I will end up. The one thing I know is I will not end up where I started.
Where does my belief about God and His power come from?
I would like to say it comes from the Bible. As a matter of fact I can say without a doubt it comes from the Bible. The issue isn’t where the beliefs come from but rather how they are tainted by my human perceptions. I think one of the most difficult concepts to grasp as a follower of Christ is the idea that we are to get to know God rather than try to fully understand Him. God has become the focus of academia rather than relationship. We apply human standards, limitations and the boundaries of time as we set out in search of who God is. The Bible provides many descriptions, many stories, many culturally specific guidelines all of which can be used to create an understanding of God’s nature but none of which were designed to place limits on His the power.
Once we think we understand we seek to understand more.
It doesn’t happen overnight. As a matter of fact, it’s difficult to tell when the joy of knowing God is replaced with the desire to understand God. Understanding in itself is not a bad thing. To some, understanding of the character of God provides boundaries that can keep us from adopting bad doctrine. Sadly, it isn’t a general understanding of the character of God that we seek. More often than not our journey is sidetracked by our attempts to quantify, qualify and even contain God. The more we think we understand the more we want to understand, the more we understand the less we seem to need to know God. Relationship is replaced with knowledge, a knowledge limited by our unchangeable status as imperfect created beings.
Who needs the Holy Spi*** as a guide if we already know?
Who needs the power dwelling in us through the Holy Spir** if we have God all figured out? Many of our watered down doctrines come from the misguided belief that the Bible reveals enough of God that we can fully understand Him. Our evangelism is a program that we believe reveals God to those who do not know Him. Our passionless plea for people to heed our great knowledge falls most often on deaf ears. Why? Because it is not the content of our arguments, or our powers of persuasion that effect change but rather the words and power given to us by the Holy Spiri*.
What happens when the Holy Spirit becomes the Holy S*****?
When the Holy Spirit becomes a bad word and the power of the Holy Spirit an antiquated idea, mankind becomes helpless and hopeless while at the same time we become very busy. The signs and wonders that the Bible tells us accompany those who believe become the processes and productions that keep our minds off of our fears. When we pray we use the words, “if it is Your will God.” When we face insurmountable circumstances that seem to have no good outcome we say, “God has a plan.” We try to use our human understanding rather than rely on our relationship with God. We lean into our comfortable Bible based theologies not because they have power but rather they have an exit strategy.
God has a plan, God’s will must be done and we must have works because faith without works is dead but to rob the Holy Spirit of revealing power that only can be God’s and to make God out to be a father who has no interest in our needs and desires means you won’t be let down because you have already decided you will be let down.
Holy S***** I Am Being Challenged To Change!
I will no longer allow the limitations of my human knowledge and understanding to define how I pray or what I believe. I will no longer pray with an exit strategy just in case I don’t see a demonstration of the power that clothes believers or get the answer that I have petitioned. God has a plan and His will must be done but I will not pray these words as a way of hedging my bets.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13 (NIV)
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (NIV)