Release of the Spirit

cln-lee-street-worshipSome day the Holy Spirit will reclaim a prominent place in His church.  Currently the church is focused on teaching alone.  Teaching is promoted while operation of other gifts of the Spirit are quenched and stifled; worldly thinking and natural means are relied upon, rather than the Holy Spirit.  Teaching is an important gift and most teachers are believers, but they are operating in the natural; their doubt and lack of faith in God, limit what is done.

“You study the Scriptures…diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40).”

The members of the church become spectators, a mere audience, students who never mature, rather than essential members of the body of Messiah.  Moreover, church leadership is often equally weak in faith and unwilling to trust and follow God, so they hire a man who can keep an audience and generate ongoing financial contributions.  However, scripture gives us s picture of a healthy, thriving, Spirit led gathering.

“…When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.  Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.  If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.  If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.  Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.  And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.  For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.  The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.  For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.” (1 Cor. 14:26-33).

God invented variety and He knows exactly when and what His people need at any point in time.  The trouble begins when men want to control and plan ahead what only the Spirit can do.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8).

Yeshua’s followers were frequently surprised at His movements, timing, and waiting; they asked why He was or was not going along as they expected.  Also, God led His people out of Egyptian captivity in an indirect route to the promise land with a cloud by day and fire by night. He did not give them a destination and command them to get there on their own.  Occasionally God did give advance instruction, often related to battle strategy, and sometimes related to certain specific tasks, such as getting a donkey or preparing a room for passover, for example.   So we see that when God leads He seldom explains His purposes in advance, but expects his followers to follow instantly without advance planning and discussion, or debate.  When men are in-charge they must formulate plans and secure means to carry out their plans, but God has unlimited resources and His ways are beyond figuring out.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Rom. 11:33).

When worldly thinking and natural abilities are relied upon, disputes and divisions result, minor points of doctrine and matters susceptible to dispute are argued about and cause or continue existing division.  A divided church is weak and unbelief brings even greater weakness.  Historically, very few people become believers as a result of attending or visiting church, with the exception of the great revivals that were initiated and sustained by the Holy Spirit.  When God once again brings unity to the church, through Israel’s return to her Messiah, it will be a glorious day of freedom, life, and faith; God will again rule and release the gifts of the Holy Spirit in His gathered people.

“For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”  (Rom. 11:15).

The church will move in power, love, and unity, no longer will teaching monopolize the gatherings, through good intentions, with natural intellect and human skills and talents.

As the apostle Paul said, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor. 2:4-5).

Instead of an orchestrated presentation unbelievers will hear prophecy that will open eyes and hearts to Yeshua.  The Holy Spirit will operate in fullness and power through obedient gifted followers

“…if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare.  So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”(1 Cor. 14:24-25).

God is great and sovereign.  Just as Israel rejected Him for a human king, so His church has turned to worldly leadership.  However, this is not God’s best and a day is coming when the united family of God will once again cry out and anoint Yeshua Messiah leader and King.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”  And let the one who hears say, “Come!”  Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (Rev. 22: 16-17).

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