Monday, October 25, 2010

More Like Falling In Love

There's a song by Jason Gray called "More Like Falling In Love."  Click the link for a video!
Give me rules, I will break them
Show me lines, I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet...
That "truth that live, moves and breathes" is called the HOLY SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit is the PERSON of God who comes and lives in us and among us when we trust Jesus. He does great work in our lives when we let him. And it's way more than just something in our heads.

I've been reading a very interesting and helpful piece published on the Lutheran Renewal website by Larry Christenson. After giving a history of the "Charismatic Movement" (including a mention of psychiatric interviews that were done on Lutherans who were "spirit-filled"), Larry goes on to talk about how the Christian life needs to be way more than just "principles" or "rules."
    One of the great traps in living the Christian life is the tendency to substitute general principles for the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We scour Scripture looking for principles we can apply to life situations. In almost any story or text we can ferret out a general principle, a formula for dealing with a life problem. When the formula doesn’t seem to work, well, you have to refine the principle.
    “Love one another” doesn’t seem to cut it with that rebellious student? Re-examine your principles. Try the “tough love” formula. There’s a principle for every situation or problem. Keep looking.
    The danger in this approach is that it can foster a belief in Scripture that effectively neutralizes the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Lutherans — and evangelicals in general — run the danger of all but handcuffing the Holy Spirit to the “Word.” The Holy Spirit is politely invited to confine His work to inspiring and authenticating the Word, the essence of the “Word” being understood as a series of doctrinal truths that we understand, believe, and by which we order our life. “Just give us an authoritative Scripture, and we’ll take it from there.” We end up with a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Scripture.
    Many things that people do in the world can be successfully copied — a good recipe, a scientific experiment, a computer program. Living the Christian life is a different kind of proposition. Here we encounter the paradox of a God who is reliable, yet often unpredictable. He is faithful. What He has promised, He will surely do. But how He will do it, or when, we often do not know. He holds His own counsel. He does what He has decided to do in the counsel of the triune Godhead (see Ephesians 1:11).
    That is why the Christian life involves more than living by principles. Jesus was much more than “a man of principle.” He said, “The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing” (John 5:19)...
    Jesus did not intend His disciples to be guided simply by commonsense application of spiritual principles. Not even the truths that He had taught them stood alone. He said, “I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper . . . he will teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:16,26)
    Christ calls us into a totally new dimension of living. Our life as Christians is not meant to be guided simply by principles, common-sensically applied. Our life is under the direction of a living Person, the Holy Spirit. By His power we partake of the divine nature. The Lord is in us, we are in Him.
A dear friend told me of a dream she had of DANCING while being filled with the Holy Spirit! I love that! To live in the Holy Spirit is to dance with God. It is more like "falling in love" than just "something to believe in."

How can you experience this? Ask someone to pray with you, that you might be filled with the joy and peace and love of God through Jesus Christ... let go in prayer... pray for the Holy Spirit... and the Holy Spirit will come.

***The whole article by Larry Christenson is "The Charismatic Movement: An Historical and Theological Perspective" (click the link for to read it in pdf format).  Another article worth your time to read!***

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