Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Gal. 5:25
Has someone ever asked you if you are “led by the Spirit?” or if you are “Spirit driven” or “Spirit-filled” or have the Holy Spirit’s Baptism?
There are many Christian groups that have placed their focus on the Holy Spirit as front and center for the Church as well as their personal and ministry life. Verses some groups have ignored the work of the Spirit. As a result, a various amount of aberrant teachings have surfaced that have become very popular. Some of these got the cobwebs dusted off from ignoring the Holy Spirit and have been good for the Church. Some of these new ‘teachings’ have been bad, because they are just not biblical.
To show the difference, some say that all we need is the Holy Spirit’s empowerment; which is good and biblical to a point. While some say, go to seminary then come and teach, which is also true, to a point. The bad teachings are saying that because of the Holy Spirit, we do not need to go to any school for formal training, we do not even need to be discipled or rely on or even read the Bible to become a mature Christian. I can just have a call, and go do it and all I need will come to me. Some even say when one goes to a Bible School or have any training to do ministry or be a pastor, we are quenching the Spirit! So, is it getting training and do ministry, or just do it and what we need and what to say will come?
Before I unwrap this more, allow me to lay some thoughts on you. Let’s say you never played the piano, can you lead worship with it? That is, get up to sit down at the keyboard or Steinway and usher in the music? What about, if I never worked on a car, never took classes on auto mechanics and your new Mercedes broke down, would you let me under the hood with a hammer and a monkey wrench? Wait, I have good intentions and feel called to work on your car? Wait, I will jump up and down and scream that I can work on your car? Will you let me? Well, maybe if you trust me, which would ne be a good idea. But, would you go have surgery from a ‘doctor’ who never went to medical school or had a residency? Why not?
Many so called church leaders are teaching. I can do it, I can lead and live my Christian life and I do not need to work at it, because the Holy Spirit is at work in me.
However, a big on the other hand “but:” yes, the Holy Spirit is indeed at work in us and He is indeed front and center on all aspects of personal and church life, because He is God. He is the Third person of the Trinity who empowers and gifts us to do the mission that the Father tells us to do. He does equip and He does lead. We are to seek His empowerment to fall afresh on me, to mold us, fill us and use me… The “however” is that when we examine the passages having to do with this, like Galatians chapter 5, we discover that ‘work’ is required on our part. To know Him, study Him, exercise our faith in Him. All of this is study and work, practice and experience.
Yes, we must put in the work too. First, we do have to receive Christ, even before we become a Christian; secondly, to grow in this empowerment, we have to learn about Him through His Word and discipleship so we will have the tools with which to live by the Spirit. Thus, we are empowered, supernaturally and effectually, and we do have what we need from day one of the Christian life. But, we still have to add our efforts and training to the mix so we can be used even more. The more we have taken in, the more He can utilize to equip and use us.
So, do you want someone who does not know the Word or has been properly discipled lead you and your church deeper in the precepts of Christianity and be a Kingdome impact?
When we live or walk by the Holy Spirit, we will stand our ground in the principles of our Lord as revealed in His Word. We will exercise patient endurance and faithfulness, because God uses His Word to transform us; it is what we do, and what He does. He sends us His Spirit, we respond. This is the call to remain true and keep our trust in Christ no matter what comes our way in sufferings or the temptations of Satan. This will help us focus on His Way as well as when we are tempted, even in persecution and stress.
(Matt. 26:51-54; 2 Cor. 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:19-24; Rev. 1:9; 2:2-3, 13, 19; 3:10; 6:11; 13:10; 14:12; 16:15; 18:4; 20:4; 22:7, 11, 14)