THE SECRET PLACE
“He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)
WHOSE VOICE DO YOU FOLLOW?
I believe it is important how we process information and I am concerned that many including myself have fallen into deception over the years. In my search for spiritual truth, I felt more comfortable in the full-gospel camp of what is commonly called, the Charismatic, full-gospel, “Spirit-filled” way. There is nothing wrong with the name, in fact, I actually like it, however, I would like to stop for a moment and understand exactly what it means. It seems the spirit-filled folks tend to accept the idea they are more spiritual than the traditional groups. Some put the main emphasis of their identification in their doctrine that teaches the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. Of course, the traditional churches do not believe in speaking with tongues and their opinion concludes this is either an evil spirit or a work of the emotions. After being a member of BOTH camps in my life, I believe I can speak with experience and I want to begin this article with my discovery. First, let me say that speaking in tongues is a valid and genuine manifestation. Yes, there are fleshly imitations and sadly, it is not unusual to see “emotional” religious deeds performed on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the gift of tongues can be used in divine appointments as a way for God to communicate to unbelievers, also to edify and prophesy to believers. In addition, they can be used as a personal prayer language in worship and intercessory prayer. However, let me say once again, speaking in tongues do NOT automatically PROVE that a person is FILLED with the Holy Spirit! The evidence of being filled with His Spirit is demonstrating the FRUIT of God’s character and nature.
This is not exactly my focus, but I felt I needed to build a foundation with what being filled with the Holy Spirit is and what it’s not. Christians need to examine their hearts and re-evaluate just exactly, how they are living! To live thinking we are a certain way, and in reality we are not like that at all – is a dangerous deception! Allow me explain. I am not referring to anyone in specific, but rather a general scenario of a “normal” supposedly “Spirit-filled” Christian. Let us take a peek –
Rising in the morning, going through the routines of getting ready to go to work, do we ask God to be with us through the day, and to give us His favor and blessings? Do we ask Him for His protection and His wisdom? Do we ask Him to give us a burden for certain people and to give us sensitivity for those at work that might need God’s Word as a divine appointment? Do we ask Him what we should eat or if we should fast today? Do we ask Him to rule our tongue and guard our ears and mouth? Do we ask Him to help us be a good witness as we represent His Kingdom? Are we aware of His presence when we are gossiping, criticizing, judging, or laughing at sinful things?
After we come home, do we thank Him for our day and meditate about the things we said and did, and repent for our sins? Do we ask Him what we should eat for the evening, or if we should sacrifice our meal for the purpose of being more spiritually sensitive? Do we ask Him if we should watch television, what to watch or how long to watch? Do we ask Him if we should study His Word, who to pray for, who to contact, who to encourage, or if we can be used to relay a spiritual message to someone directly from God? Do we ask Him how we should spend our time every evening? Do we evaluate our day and meditate on how we can do better?
In our general everyday affairs and decisions, do we ask Him to give us burdens for people we notice on a regular basis but we do not know personally? Do we ask Him constantly to give us an awareness of His presence and a discernment to know what He wants us to say, so that we can be used in divine appointments? Do we ask Him if we should give a stranger some money or maybe have the opportunity to share the gospel with them? Do we ask Him to give us someone everyday that we can help in some way? Are we always looking for someone that might be within our space that God “sent” to us? Do we ask Him how we are to spend our money? Do we ask Him if we should buy certain things like new cars or expensive toys, or do we just buy whatever we want and do whatever feels good?
These are just a small sample of practical events that we all encounter in life, but my point is simple; if we take great pride in proclaiming to be Spirit-filled and yet have NOT incorporated the lifestyle of being “led” by God in everything, then we are a fake and a phony! If we do NOT have a constant line of sincere communication with Him about the places we go, what we do, and what we say – then in all probability, we are NOT being led by Him. It does not matter what group, name or denomination you call yourself, if you are born-again and have a constant, humble and obedient relationship with Jesus Christ, you are a Spirit-led Christian. It is not the quantity of religious deeds we do, it is all about doing WHAT He said to do, and WHEN He said to do it! Let us turn to Luke chapter six and verse 46, “And why do you call me, LORD, LORD and do NOT the things that I say?” This statement is straight and to the point! It is the most common phrase among Christians to proclaim that Jesus is Lord, but is He YOUR Lord? Lord means someone that has dominion and control over someone. In order to be controlled, a person must first YIELD and surrender to them. This is the problem – People want all that God has to offer, without giving up their will to do everything they want to do. “Big News Flash” – Jesus Christ becoming our LORD does NOT come automatically with accepting Christ as our Savior. Being saved with the mercy, love and grace of His blood does NOT mean He will force us to become humbly obedient to His voice. Selah.
I believe the idea of Christian service has always been difficult to comprehend among those who have never learned “how” to listen. We grow up and look around at those who serve Jesus Christ and we want to participate. There is nothing wrong with having zeal and excitement to contribute our efforts for His Kingdom, but it is crucial to KNOW what He is CALLING us to do. Just because we can do something or rather we “like” to do certain things, does not mean this is our calling. The Lord does give spiritual gifts, however we need to ASK Him exactly what He has planned for our destiny. I believe too many times, people work hard at building something for God and they become so stimulated with their accomplishment, they may miss the Lord completely. He never said that we should create whatever we want and bring it to Him so that He can anoint it and bless it. His divine order calls for us to first, “listen” to His directions, then obediently move in His anointing, and when HIS time is perfect, He will exalt and bless what we have done. If we get ahead of Him or alter His original plans, we are in disobedience and out of His will. When it seems that all doors are locked and no one is interested in our accomplishments, it is either not God’s time – or we are not spiritually, in a place where God can use us. If the gifts you have presented have not been used by Him, it is NOT HIS FAULT, (He has the power to make it as successful as we can handle) but most likely, we have overlooked some crucial “details” somewhere in His divine blueprints. Repent, be still and follow the Shepherd’s voice.