Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How To Tell If You Are Going Deaf

Can you imagine how hard it must be to be deaf? Well, most of us are; that is, deaf to God. When is the last time you heard from him? We Christians live as if God gave us a book of instructions and left us on our own, like a parent leaving a detailed list of do's and don't s and then disappearing for the rest of our lives. Our God doesn't roll like that.

Jesus didn't tell us to go and then just leave us. He told us to go and promised to be with us until the end of the age. He said he had to return to the Father so that he could send us the Spirit, and that is the part we keep forgetting. While here in the flesh Jesus could only be in one place with one small group of people. When he left he sent the Spirit so he could be with each and everyone of us, giving us direction and power to live for his glory.

Why do we ignore this fact? Why do we live as if we are on our own? Why can't we read in the Word when we are told to live by the Spirit? Jesus warned us that we could say what we want about him but never to say any thing against the Spirit:

And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)

Please note, these are Jesus' words. The apostle Paul, that great man of the Spirit of God, through whom much of the Spirit has been revealed to us, simply said:

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

How does one grieve the Holy Spirit of God? By not listening and, doing what we want instead of what he leads us to do. We are grieving him, living as if we are deaf to him. We don't quiet ourselves to listen for his instructions, we just do what we think is best. We shout over his voice in a world filled with noise. We dismiss the convictions he puts on us and we slowly train ourselves not to hear him any more. We have become deaf to God.

For those who say that the Spirit is only given as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come and he has no other purpose than this, I want you to consider a couple of scriptures:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12)

I consider 1 Corinthians 12 one of the greatest insights into the Church and how we are to live in the Spirit. Each of us is empowered by the Spirit to do our part, to live for the glory of Jesus.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (Romans 8:9)

Obviously we are not on our own and we don't get to do whatever we think is best. We are to be controlled by the Spirit.

If we really want to live for the glory of Jesus we need to start giving the Spirit the authority that is rightfully his in our lives. We have to stop living as if we are on our own following a book if instructions. We have to submit ourselves and accept the fact that we need the Spirit to teach us the real revelation of the Word and to live according to his power and not our flesh. We need a real move of the Holy Spirit again, to ignite God's children in the power he intended us to have in the Spirit. Stop training yourself to be deaf and start listening.

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