Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Not as a competition to the FridayFive, but more as a flattering imitation,...
...I started the TuesdayThree on our 1J13 Email List. Here's this week's question and a response from my friend Todd and myself.
> Hi, all - I wanted to see what your views are on the following subject: the
> Holy Spirit.
> 1) What do you know about the Holy Spirit, his function and purpose on the
> earth and in believers?
Not as much as I would like to think. But I am learning more each day.
> 2) Are you more open or less open to the supernatural aspects of healing,
> intercession, speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc, because of your
> views/understanding of the Holy Spirit?
Not more or less open...WIDE open!
> 3) Do you think this culture would be more open or less open to the
> supernatural and mysterious aspects of God in the work of the Holy Spirit?
I think they would respond well. Movie special effects get better and better, and church get more and more boring to the unchurched. Perhaps seeing with their own eyes a supernatural work of God would change their tune.
> Just curious - hopefully this won't spark debate as much as an exchange of
> ideas and God-thoughts.
I am bored with debates. I just want to know Him and make Him known.
Thanks for writing back, Todd. Here's some of my thoughts, after posting the questions and then pondering them for me the past day:
1) What do you know about the Holy Spirit, his function and purpose on the earth and in believers?
** Most churches have a blurb in their "statement of belief," either at the local or denominational level, that describes what "they" believe about the Holy Spirit, but I think most church-goers take it for granted and haven't really considered who this Third Person is. For me, I've found subtle things to be very profound: the way the Spirit draws people to God out of the clear blue; the way I feel His presence in the most simple things, moved to tears and joy in looking at the river flow under a bridge, stuff like that; and the way there can be a "powerful display" of God moving in a congregation, and yet I can still sense His "still small voice" in the midst of what some might consider chaotic.
2) Are you more open or less open to the supernatural aspects of healing, intercession, speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc, because of your views/understanding of the Holy Spirit?
** I'd say more open, but also less likely to be duped, if that makes sense. There's alot of stuff going on in this world that's being inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, and then there's alot of stuff going on in the name of a "holy" gullibility. The Spirit won't contradict Himself, working against God to bring disorder and confusion, and yet folks are being led in false doctrine and bad theology because they're gullible.
3) Do you think this culture would be more open or less open to the supernatural and mysterious aspects of God in the work of the Holy Spirit?
** I think this culture is more open to the mysterious and spiritual, and that it's the church's responsibility to live this thing out in a real, meaningful and visible way. If Jesus is lifted up, He'll draw people to Himself. But the opposite is also true, I think: where He's not being lifted up or is being degraded by "Christians" who grieve the Spirit, people will be turned away. That's a good thing, though - people whould be turned off by the fake, and they should be drawn to the Truth.
This kinda fits with the Holy Spirit questions:
Jesus once told his disciples that the Kingdom of God belongs to the children. "In our children's ministry, it is particularly the 8- to 12-year-olds who have special supernatural experiences," says Ulrike Tetzlaff of the FCJG church in Lüdenscheid, Germany.
"When we go to pray on the prayer mountain on Saturdays, they sometimes see things in the Spirit which are described in the Bible, but which they have never read. For example, they have described the golden Jerusalem, the jewels, the clear river and God's throne room. They sometimes have prophetic impulses to pray for people in other parts of the world, and they prophesy freely. God's presence can become so strong that we can hardly remain standing," she says.
"These things grow a deep love for Jesus, a familiarity with the Holy Spirit, and the desire to pray more. Could it be that children hear God better because they have such a pure spirit?"
Source: FCJG through Friday Fax [from JoelNews.org]
May we listen for the Spirit, and obey in God's grace.