Monday, January 5, 2015

Why You Shouldn't want to Wield the Power of the Spirit

Yes, I have indeed done this very thing again. I keep telling myself that I should stop, but it is just too appealing. I have titled my blog post in such a way that the casual reader just automatically thinks I'm a heretic. This means the responses of those who are reading this fall into one of three camps.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
  1. Oh, what has that dastardly college been teaching that boy? He used to have so much potential and now he's getting destroyed. I need to find out just how messed up he is.
  2. Wait, what type of church did he come from before hitting college that he thinks this is ok? I need to read this post to find out just how I can help him see the light. 
  3. Goodness, why does he think he's so clever with his titles? I really don't want to read this, but I can't move on without knowing what "clever" word play he's used in his title today. 

Well, to those who fit into the third category (and for intellectual honesty), the alleged wit is not something I can claim as my own, which might mean it's actually worth listening to. 

If asked by anyone whether they want to wield the power of the Holy Spirit in their life automatically affirm that such a desire would be quite noble. Who shouldn't want to wield the power of the Spirit? 

The notion does make a good deal of sense. After all, we all know that the flesh is weak, We all know that the flesh is incapable of serving and pleasing God. We all know that the Spirit is necessary for living the victorious Christian life. I can say nothing against any of these things because they're kinda in the Bible. I feel like I shouldn't try to take on the author of all truth on any position. 

I am more convinced than most that the flesh is unable to do anything but sin, so you once more can know that I am not taking apart any big doctrine here. But here's the thing. Do you notice what words we keep using for this? 

We need to wield the Spirit so we can live our own life in a way pleasing to the Lord. I don't know about you, but I see a couple of problems with this. 
  1. First, the emphasis of what we are doing here is very much based on what we are doing, rather than the Spirit. It basically makes it about just supplying a little help to our efforts rather than allowing the Spirit to truly shine. 
  2. Second, the Spirit is seen as something that can be manipulated easily for our ends. No goal or direction of the Spirit is provided for whatsoever. 
Mainly the problem with these phrases and the issues with the way Christians view this subject of the Spirit is that they want to wield the power of the Holy Spirit. They see that power of the Spirit as a tool to put in their arsenal against the attacks of the wicked. How disrespectful to the Creator of the universe. 

Hey, I want to please you, but I want to retain control of my own life, so you know can you just give me your power every now and then. I mean, I know you saved me and everything and have done much to ensure that I am convicted of sin in my life, but I still need to try my hardest to supplement the weakness of my own flesh with your indescribable and unlimited power. 

It also inevitably gives too much credence to the power of our flesh itself to think that we simply need a "supplement." We are completely lacking in our ability to please the Lord. The flesh is powerless, not an insufficient power. Furthermore, the flesh battles against itself. 

We are not called to wield the Spirit. We are called to be led by the Spirit. We are called to live in the Spirit. That is our defense against the attacks of the flesh. That is what we see from Galatians 5:16
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

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