Why We Urgently Need the Holy Spirit
I have subtitled this part “Urgent” because of what I am strongly feeling in my spirit. We must come to a place in our lives where the Presence is an absolute. Like oxygen. With our world falling deeper into confusion about many things that are clearly sin, we need “Godly clarity” more than we have ever needed it before.
I recently read on a wiki site that the majority of Christian church denominations (worldwide) are allowing LGBTQ to not only be within the membership but in positions of leadership. Now, this is not a blog meant to bash the LGBTQ; I am simply using this as an example. The interesting part of the article was that denominations that had a strong Holy Spirit emphasis in their doctrinal stance were not among those allowing this to happen. Again, this is not an LGBTQ debate, and I’m not going to spell it all out in that quarter.
Here’s my point: The Holy Spirit is a great Revelator to the sin that so easily besets us. And the greatest sin that the world is experiencing right now is not homosexuality. It’s not abortion. It’s not even the basics like stealing, lying, murder, etc. It is the compromising that the church is doing in an aggregate effort to “fit in.” In fact, the emerging effort to promote it as a purpose for their existence has become commonplace.
So are we still asking why we need the Holy Spirit?
We are called to love everyone. Whoever fills the position of “neighbor” is who we are called to love (Mark 12:31). The only thing we are to do above that is to love God (Mark 12:30). Jesus clearly showed this love. Is this love for our neighbor what we are doing?
I am not the last word on very many things. I don’t claim that title, and I refuse to try and wear it. There is a revelation from the Holy Spirit that the world needs to hear. But the world is not listening to God. It must come through us!
Jesus taught us to go into the world and make disciples (Matt. 28:19 NKJV). He did not tell us to go forth and pat them on the back, saying, “It’s okay. You’re fine just as you are.” In fact, in the same passage of Scripture, He told us to teach them to observe all that He has taught.
Here’s the struggle and why we are urgently needing the Holy Spirit: the Church is of two divisions with a minor third that has been “marked.”
The Love Division
Many churches, as I have pointed to, are now becoming blatantly “seeker friendly.” Basically doing anything to remain viable. This includes teaching and professing that God is only a God of love. That no matter what you do, grace is there for you, too! These points that they are seeking to make include a variety of things that are “post-scriptural.” Many call this thinking the “hyper-grace” teaching. In reality, it’s not grace at all.
Here’s something to stir you up: God’s grace does not extend to the unsaved. Why? Because grace isn’t needed by the unsaved. They remain under the law until they meet Jesus. So when they are taught that they can do as they please (not coming to Christ for forgiveness and salvation) they are being fooled and will not seek transformation.
This is all done under the guise of God’s love. I truly believe it is the greatest temptation of God when we use His love to excuse our own or someone else’s sin.
The Truth Division
The Bible says that we should know the truth and the truth shall set us free (John 8:32). And this fact will always be in place. Understanding the truth of God and the plan He put in place through the life of His Son will always be the path that leads us to freedom.
In the past (and yet today) many churches, when confronted with the blatant sin of the world, turned to spout Scriptural facts. This is the use of “truth” for defense. And that is what it became. The church seemed out of sorts and ill-equipped to handle what was going on. So the results became a shouting match to force the world to see its own filth.
But it backfired. Instead of the people seeing the errors of their ways, they fought back by becoming a squeaky wheel. No one folded and said, “Aww, you’re right. I’m a terrible, nasty soul that needs to change.” Instead, it became a movement that grew into a massive change in mindset. And a great many in America now see the church as hate mongers using “their” God to excuse themselves.
The results of these two factions have created a wandering nation, bent on doing whatever “feels good” for their time. Yet not just a feel-good mentality but a “rights” mentality that says they can do as they want because it is their right!
When you are driving and find yourself on ice, you try to be more cautious. Oftentimes, when we begin to slide, we steer one way to avoid the wreck that is about to happen. Then the car turns that way too much and we over-correct to get back on course. An over-steer will result in the crash we were trying to avoid in the first place. The “let everyone do what they want” group has oversteered and, therefore, is crashing.
When you don’t correct the path enough, you wreck as well. Our brothers and sisters of “truth” have done this.
The Third Division
So where to now? This goes back to the original purpose of this blog. We need the Holy Spirit. We need His discernment. We need Him to guide us. We need Him to reveal love and truth. These must come to work hand in hand.
Jesus was always about love. But truth was never compromised in the meantime. This is the struggle that is plaguing our churches and, indeed, the world at large. We cannot, for the life of us, figure out how to comprise our lives and thinking with the right amount of love and truth.
Although the Holy Spirit was present at the beginning of time, it was in the upper room in the Book of Acts that He became a strong, driving force within people’s lives. Why then? Because Jesus had come and paid the ultimate price for our freedom. But then He left. And He left man with the question, “Now what?”
Salvation is not an instant solution. It saves us and cleans us up, but then, we are fraught with the sloppiness of life. The Holy Spirit showed up to help direct us as newly-christened children of God. We cannot, however, point to the Day of Pentecost and say they had that one time. Or even point to the day we were saved or “baptized” in the Holy Spirit as the one act we needed.
No, we must seek the Holy Spirit daily. Multiple times a day if possible. We get up, we go to work, and spend the day being influenced (like it or not) by worldly endeavors. Yes, we need constant dosages of the Holy Spirit.
Because of the mindset of mankind, we live continually in the offense. Jesus mentioned it. He didn’t put it in a positive light either. But if we are going to follow the direction Jesus gave us there in Matthew 28, then we need to realize who we are and where we are. Persecution is a very likely thing. That is why I called this division “marked.”
As we seek to get direction from the Holy Spirit and go forward with both love and truth, we will often be seen by the church as both compromisers and zealots. And the world will see us as haters. In the end, we fight for the lives of the lost and glory of God! Offense or otherwise!
As I close this part, I want to emphasize that it is urgent that we as Christians holding the Hope of the World within us seek the Holy Spirit constantly. As I said, He is needed more than ever. Think of that one you love who is lost yet convinced they are not. Seek to understand what it means to be in the third division that knows rightly how to give love and wield truth. They were never meant to be used independently of each other. Never!
Featured Image by Toa Heftiba