Tuesday, December 19, 2017

7 Suggestions For Being Baptized With the Holy Spirit & Attending a Charismatic Church

These are things that I've personally picked up along my journey and by the grace of God have been able to practice in my walk with God. While this post is open for anyone to read, it really wasn't intended for those who don't believe in speaking in tongues or worshiping in a charismatic environment. My prayer is that God might use some of the things written here to help believers live a stronger and more fulfilling life in tune with God and His purposes for their lives.

Are you charismatic? Live it on a consistent basis.

Don't relegate exercising or talking about the gifts of The Spirit only at scheduled church services. Create a culture of the supernatural by declaring the things of God and priming the atmosphere for the wonder and work of God. Don't just seek the experience of speaking in tongues in church. Spend time cultivating intimacy with the Lord at home and work. Seek the Lord for this baptism when it's just you and God. And in His timing it will come.

Be willing to receive godly input from others and especially those who may not be in your immediate vicinity of influence. Run all feedback and words over to God so He may vet what you've listened to and give you what's particular for your season. Listen and obey the voice of the Lord as He talks to you.

Stay in one accord with believers. The book of Acts records this was taking place before the Spirit came to the believers in the upper room. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that they all stay in agreement with what they say. Granted, not everyone is going to see eye to eye on every piece of doctrine. But by taking a look at the scope of promises in The Bible, we certainly have more that brings us together in Christ than what divides us. We need more times to agree to disagree on a few things and unite with the things that bring unity and continue to rejoice in them.

Keep our lives clean from any known sin. After all, the third Person of the Trinity's name is Holy Spirit. The beauty of the gospel is that sinners can be made clean by the blood of Jesus. But to enjoy fellowship with Him and partake in all the experiences He has purposed for our lives, we need to keep short accounts of when we mess up. He's told us that when we come short to ask Him to forgive us and He will forgive and cleanse us. It's not hard. Living a lifestyle of confession and repentance leaves the door open for God to work openly in our lives.

Count the cost. The charismatic movement has experienced rapid growth in the past century, but there is still frequent misunderstandings, controversy, and backlash that believers endure while seeking the fullness of the Spirit. The sad reality is that a lot of charismatics are unaccepted and segments of denominations spurn believers who believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The blessing of speaking in tongues is great. But it does come at a price. We may be ostracized and talked about negatively. But that's part of choosing to have more of God. And I say it's worth it!

Go with the flow of The Spirit; not with the crowd of people.

This is one of two important lessons learned before I could operate and worship freely in a charismatic setting. I can dance and holler with the best of them, but sometimes I go in and I'm just not with it. What I mean is that sometimes the majority of people around me could be jumping the pews or swinging from the lights, and I just feel like I need to stay still and silent. I understand and am fully aware of how important it is to worship God, but I've learned that God calls each of us to Himself in different ways. It takes discernment. For instance, there could be 300 people getting their praise on in ways like I just described. But there could also be a few that are face down before the Lord whom He's told to be still before His presence. When in doubt, I'm learning that sometimes it's best to just ask Holy Spirit how he wants me to worship Him at that given time and just do it.

Comparatively, (At the start of this post, I wrote how we need cultivate a culture of worship and kingdom living in our homes and work places.) Do you know one reason why many people fear or are hesitant to give themselves over to God in worship? It's because they've not yet gotten to that place of intimacy with God where they are no longer intimidated by men. Long before I started giving myself over to God in a church, I was dancing and acting the fool in my own apartment all by myself. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if we really knew the actual number of people who thought about us on a regular basis, we would be a lot less worried about what people thought of us. But this one thing is for sure. He's invited us into a celebration of His goodness. And I for one, don't want to let my life go by where I'm either too old to express my gratitude bodily or I miss it altogether and have to wait until eternity. Anyway, I digress. I need to move on with this blog post too before Heaven gets here.

Emotions make wonderful servants but horrible masters.

Lastly, this is one principle I picked up along the way that has proved to be invaluable in my journey walking in step with the power of the Holy Ghost. First I want to preface by saying that I believe there are very strong feelings and sensations we can experience while being filled with the Holy Spirit and these are all good. But what I am also submitting is the fact that God has prescribed one way to consistent moment-by-moment victory. And that way is the way of faith and obedience, never the way of emotions. It is applying the biblical steps in proper order: Truth, faith, behavior, and feelings. If at points in our experience that are feelings are reluctant to line up, rain on them! Even though feelings will come, you can walk in complete victory (as God wills) without them.

It can't be emphasized enough how much sensationalism has left a bad taste in the mouths of many who have had an encounter with the charismatic. Sadly, they have went away and have not stepped back into the realm of the supernatural anymore. The Lord does not show favoritism. He loves them. They are Christians. But I have to say, they are missing out on much of what God has to offer. Let it be said among those who do believe in God for the supernatural. May we steward the counsel and mysteries of God faithfully. Whether that means speaking the truth in love or like Mary, treasuring those things in our hearts. We will give an account. To God be the glory. Amen.

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