Believers have the authority and power to release or restrict a measure of what the Holy Spirit does in the life of the local church.
God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh, the heavens are open, the greatest gift has been given. We have the opportunity to drink from a fountain of life, an ever flowing stream, a enveloping reality of communion that is offered to bring to fullness of life, awaken, wash clean, purify, sanctify, energize, animate and empower. What God places by grace within us, through faith and obedience we are called to explore, expand and enjoy.
Within the hurts, hangups and hardships of human life, God mingles and manifests Himself. He is with us in all the shades of light that make up our ‘on and off’ life. He is the sun that is present no matter the clouds of our neglect, distractions, despairs or depressions. He is there even in our nights. He is present in the darkness of our loss, grief or suffering. He is ever near, even if seemingly hidden in the seasons of trial or testing. In the void…He is present, above, around, behind and underneath even if we don’t yet believe it or perceive it.
There is an anointing for you. A quickening, a flame of revelation and contemplation that illuminates the meaning of your life and guides you in living a Spirit filled and Spirit shaped life. We are invited to drink from the pleasures of God, to be drunk on His love at the table He has set of wine, bread and oil. Like David we have been made kings and priests, clothed in garments of work, witness and worship. But unlike David, we never need to offer up blood, only praise and personhood, given and surrendered because of the blood of the Son of God. We offer ourselves and our lives to the plans, purposes and pleasures of God. We no longer need to ‘bring in the ark’, Christ is our tent, tabernacle and temple…and the experience of the worship, witness and works of the Holy Spirit is our priestly service.
1. Don’t insult or disdain the Holy Ghost
“Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.” -Hebrews 10:29
God’s gift of salvation is a sacred and holy gift offered freely but not cheaply. His saving covenant is made through the blood of Jesus. It is His sacrifice and trust placed in it, that only saves. To reject this is to choose life disconnected from it’s original source and fullest meaning. To live incomplete, not fully alive in the manner God intended.
2. Don’t blaspheme the Holy Ghost
““So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.” -Matthew 12:31-32
There is a sacred reality, a holy fire, a dimension of existence that represents a Divine invitation of indwelling of God and humanity. To strike out in hardened resistance and rebellion to that invitation is to be lost eternally. To cast aside the love of God is to choose oblivion, separation, destruction. To be consumed by the fire instead of consummated in it. To die in it…instead of being born to eternal life in it. The fire of God’s love, His eternal passion, is the very flame of the Lord to reject it, is to be extinguished by it in whatever manner that is. All we know is that Christ said to fear and flee that judgment.
3. Don’t resist the Holy Ghost
“You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!” -Acts of the Apostles 7:51
At the core of the human existence is the will. The center of choice, the great throne of power. Here lies the most contested ground. Here is the spigot of life and the heart and mind that exerts itself against the Divine persistence, dries up, withers, divests itself of the fruitfulness of life.
4. Don’t grieve the Holy Ghost
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” -Ephesians 4:30
Living a life out of rhythm with the heart and mind and ways of God increases the sorrow of existence. Grieving God who longs to comfort and care for the sorrows and sufferings of this world. To live in such a way that is contrary to the truth, breaks the heart of God. To unleash divine sorrow by your life is one of the deepest dissonances of reality. There is no peace in such a posture of being.
5. Don’t lie to the Holy Ghost
“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?” -Acts 5:3
To be a truthful person is a gift of salvation. Complete vulnerability, is the gift of being known by God. He offers a relationship of trust and intimacy based on honesty and faithfulness. To lie is to betray the most sacred bond of love. To break trust is to sever the heart from one another. To not know the truth of a lover’s heart or mind is the end of relationship. God calls us to enlightened living not living a lie. Coming into the light is the gift of freedom that God gives. To live unashamed, unafraid, fully aware of failure and forgiveness. Being judged by the thoughts and intents of the heart instead of mere works, is the gift of being in relationship with an all seeing and all knowing creator.
6. Don’t Quench the Holy Ghost
“Do not quench the Spirit (the phrase could be more literally translated, “Stop putting out the Spirit’s fire.”). Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” -1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
“Quench not the Spirit; despise not prophecies” is another way of saying “Quicken, not quench your prophetic fire”
We are called to spread the fire, not put it out. To live a fan the flame life, is to be the ultimate optimist in an era of pessimists. Spirit filled people unleash potential, they search for ways to ignite the flames of truth, knowledge, light. They embrace the sciences and pursue the greatest amount of knowing possible. Champions of learning, growing and discovery. They are protect the fire of God’s work and witness within themselves and in others. They are believers more than doubters. Way makers instead of do nothings. Devoted to moving mountains.
7. Don’t neglect the gifts of the Holy Ghost
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” -2 Timothy 1:6-7
Spirit filled people release the gifts God has placed within them for the good of all. They are committed to cultivating an atmosphere and posture of presence and possibilities. They go in the knowledge that God has called and equipped them and operate by faith not feelings. They are wind bringers, people who expand others when they are with them. They fill instead of drain, lift instead of drag, ignite instead of extinguish.