Hi everyone, I learned a long time ago how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said how: by asking, seeking, and knocking. (Matthew 7:7) We know that in Revelation 3:20 that Jesus is knocking on the door of the Laodician church, but for us who believe he is nearer than our next breath. So why don’t preachers teach more about being filled with the Holy Spirit and thereby exhibiting His fruit? (Galatians 5:22,23) My wife and I do it every day when we get up and find ourselves growing closer to each other as well as to Him Who bought us with His blood. God seems to like it when his children seek him out. Go figure. What do you think?
@Michael_Fitzgerald So glad for that reminder brother - we should walk in the Spirit, singing Psalms and hymns to the Lord from our hearts! Praise His name! Hallelujah!
What evidence do you have that Churches do not teach that we should walk in the Spirit? I have heard it taught a few times in the last couple years at three different Churches.
The thing that concerns me is when we mistake walking in the Spirit for having a mystical experience. While I certainly believe that we can sense God’s presence with us when we walk with Him, I think the main evidence of walking in the Spirit is joy and love - not spiritual gifts or experiences. Some people get turned off from the idea of the Spirit because they see a lot of emotionalism, but you are right brother - the Spirit is our power to love and live a holy life. Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters
I appreciate the comments by both Michael and Sean. Sean, I am college trained as an Anthropologist. I think the study of human culture is very useful when understanding people’s response to scripture. The history of the church has seen many manifestations of interpreting “walking in the spirit” often influenced by culture. Today, I seek a unity behind this idea. Have some doctrines taken the Holy Spirit to an excessively mystical level? Yes, I learned that when I was led to a Pentecostal church for a time. I also learned the risks of seeking God through our emotions. As I read scripture I keep coming back to the idea that “walking in the spirit” essentially means, living one’s life in line with God’s purpose, God’s desire and in obedience to His will. Balance is needed. Too much head knowledge can block the Holy Spirit within us. Too much focus on the “experience” of Spirit can distort His voice. For me, obedience is key. My absolute commitment to put nothing before God, nothing but the Cross.
Thank you Sean and Lynne for your responses. What I mean is pretty simple, and also most profound because it comes from God. John 15:4 says, “Abide in me and I in you.” We bear fruit from abiding. The Father tends us as we abide. It is the Spirit who glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate issue, but the filling of the Holy Spirit is something we can all experience through praying it. Plus, my question was not related to RZIM but in general. My hope is to generate more discussion on the activity of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives.
@LynneAZ I’ve always thought anthropology would be very fun to study I have a book of ancient creation myths and another on ancient flood myths. And I’ve always wanted to dig deeper into ancient culture - its social dynamics and the development of civilization / religion. What area of anthropology did you focus in?
I agree that the way people seek to experience God is often a byproduct of their particular culture. Then there is this balance you have to strike between recognizing these cultural differences and avoiding syncretism. What was your experience in striking that balance in the Church that you led?
Have you ever read Paul Hiebert? His books on missiology were directly related to anthropology and I very much enjoyed them.
No Sean, I have not read Paul Hiebert’s books. My area was actually in Biological Anthropology. Of course I had to study the Cultural elements in the general portion of the degree. I am pretty much a science geek. Loved discovering the links between diverse populations through human remains.
I agree Michael and appreciate your distinction between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
@LynneAZ Does that mean you study things like where humans originated and the size of the likely initial population based on genetics? Or is your concentration in another area?