This study is part of a more extensive series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I wanted to make you aware of this entire resource before getting started.
- Supernatural Living Without Being Super-Weird
- How Can We Live A Naturally Supernatural Life As A Christian?
- Believers Guide To The Holy Spirit And His Gifts
- Living A Naturally Supernatural Life
- How To Be Empowered By The Spirit
- What Are Spiritual Gifts?
- Should We Use Spiritual Gifts Today?
- The Motivation For Using Spiritual Gifts
- The Word Of Wisdom
- The Word Of Knowlege
- The Gift Of Faith
- Gifts Of Healings
- Working Of Miracles
- Discerning Of Spirits
- Speaking In Tongues
- Tongues In The Church
- Interpretation Of Tongues
- Activating The Gifts
Living Naturally Supernatural
Recently I discussed with someone from a church that has made it a doctrine that certain practices and manifestations of the Holy Spirit are meant to be kept in special believer’s meetings. They didn’t understand the concept of living a naturally supernatural life and saw all spiritual gifts as possibly controversial.
I understand why they came up with this doctrine but for the life of me cannot understand how they biblically justify it.
It takes a significant twisting of 1 Corinthians 14 to even come to a shred of justification for this belief.
I do understand why they do it.
A couple of weeks after I gave my life to Jesus, I had an experience with the Holy Spirit, that set me down a path of being open to supernatural things happening.
I had read the book by Hal Lindsey entitled “Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. In which he devoted a chapter to what he called “the tongues movement.”
Well, I was so ignorant and naive, that I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. So I asked a friend.
What I didn’t know was my friend’s dad was the pastor in the Foursquare denomination. (a traditional Pentecostal church).
He explained to me that it was a prayer language and that you ask God and He gives it to you.
So I went home that day, went to my bedroom, asked God, and got it!
No mighty rushing wind, no flames descending upon our house, and no being flattened on the ground. I just got it.
I went to my church the next Sunday and told them what had happened, and they looked at me like I had swallowed a demon. Not what I expected in the least!
Supernatural Living Without Being Super-Weird
So needless to say, I soon found myself attending the Foursquare church.
Now I know that every denomination and every family of churches have their healthy churches and they’re less than healthy ones. This one was healthy.
They were open to the moving of the Holy Spirit, but nobody acted weird. They were not trying to put on a show for God and man about how “in the Spirit” they were. They modeled naturally supernatural living.
The pastor, Jerry Cook, would always tell us that if we could not behave in Walmart the way we acted in church, then we need to change the way we behave.
This was my first experience with people open to the Holy Spirit.
Then I moved to the Los Angeles area to go to the Foursquare Bible college.
My uncle, who was the pastor of a Pentecostal Church of God church, (a hard-line Pentecostal church with holiness roots) offered to mentor me. He was a fan of A.A. Allen, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Oral Roberts.
I was introduced to a whole new breed of people who claimed to be under the Holy Spirit’s influence.
I still remember, and with somewhat fond memories now, of my uncle screaming and shouting his sermons, of Sister Kathy who would fall off the piano bench under the “Spirit’s” power and lick the leg of the piano.
Brother Ray would run up and down the aisles, and of many who would start shaking and seemingly convulse. I remember thinking to myself “Oh Lord, what have I gotten myself into.
I now realize that Jesus was still there, but that the people had been taught, that is how God moves. You didn’t have an excellent church service unless those types of things happened.
So I understand why people would be tempted to throw the baby out with the bathwater concerning the practices and manifestations of the Holy Spirit in a church service.
There have been many cases of abuse and a lot of plain old lousy teaching by people who were sincere, but not very biblically literate.
How Can We Live A Naturally Supernatural Life As A Christian?
So where is the balance point? How can we have the power and operation of the Holy Spirit without getting weird? I think it lies with these points.
Understand that what is weird to you might not be strange to God
The Holy Spirit does at times do unusual things as He wills. Acts 2, Acts 3:1-10, Acts 9:1-9, and many others.
The key words here are “as He wills.”
We should not try to make something happen, or repeat or replicate what happens, but allow God to be God.
You see, we are not wise enough to know if something will look strange to someone, or if they will think “wow that has to be God.”
That does mean, however, that you have to be broken enough, and humble enough to be willing to be a fool for Jesus if at some point you are asked to do something out of your comfort zone.
Walk in love and not in need to perform
We should always be aware that no matter the manifestation or gift, that it must operate out of a heart of love and not performance or show. 1 Corinthians 13
As I read recently in another blogger’s article, we need to trust that God loves and accepts us. It is that lack of trust that drives us to try to perform for Him or put on a show about how much we should deserve His love.
I honestly think, that if we trust His love for us, that the need to try to make it happen, or do something that looks spiritual dissipates.
We can allow the Holy Spirit to do what He wants without the hype. The Holy Spirit is more than willing to operate in naturally supernatural ways. He wants to touch people, not scare them.
So if the Holy Spirit wants you to do a Pentecostal jig in church, you better make darn sure you would do it in Walmart too!
Look for ways to use your supernatural gifts in the marketplace and not just in church
Realize that most of the manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit were not done in believer’s meetings or church services but they happened while people were out about their business in the real world.
Again I would encourage you to look at the Acts 2 and 3 passages above, also those in Acts 10,
They spoke in tongues in front of unbelievers just as in Acts 2. Acts 16:16-19
Paul cast out a devil in public.
I would encourage every one of you, to read once again the book of Acts, and take notice of all the miraculous things that were done, and ask of each one of them.
Did it happen in a church service or out in public, mixing with people?
Model your naturally supernatural Christian life after Jesus
Finally, take a good look at how Jesus behaved. Did he put on a show? Was there any hype? Did he do Pentecostal shout, or a Charismatic convulse?
In the end, is it not all about doing the works of Jesus through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit? If you can’t see Jesus doing it, then don’t do it yourself.
I honestly hope that this helps you.
For some of you, to get over your fear of letting God use you in supernatural ways.
For others of you, to help you use the gifts and empowerment that God has given you in ways that are both more effective in reaching people, and more authentic and real to the common man. More naturally supernatural.
I know I am still learning both of these as well.
Now let’s go more in-depth concerning the actual gifts of the Spirit.