I am asking myself and you today: Are (some) Pentecostals afraid of the Spirit (some times)? This question has come to my mind lately, and it was so pressing that I wanted to write a short blog post about it.
Looking back upon my own growing up in the Pentecostal church I have realised that some of the preaching and teaching heard and read was more fearbased than lovebased. Or you might say there was a lack of trust in your own ability to do the right thinking and even some times the critical mind was condemned and rejected.
What makes me wonder is why Pentecostals that so strongly believe in the Holy Spirit and the possibility of being filled with this Spirit at the same time can be in the danger of rejecting the listening to this same Spirit?
Jesus talked about the letter of the law that would kill the spiritual life. And this makes me wonder if the “sola scriptura”-focus (aka literal Bible interpretation) has been a hindering for seeing and trusting the Spirit’s work among the members of the church.
When the message is believe God’s Word, and God’s Word (clearly) says this, and this, and that, we may have lost the ability to trust the promptings of the Spirit within ourselves. Was Pentecost only an outpouring of the Spirit on the outside, or was it not also a filling of the Spirit within?
Another common teaching among Pentecostals is “don’t trust your feelings, rather trust the Word of God (in the Bible, and in the Bible only!)”. I wonder why Christians want to send the message that your feelings are not so important and often should be disregarded?
One thing I have learned is that the greatest a person can experience is a sense of love and freedom on the inside. I believe this love AND freedom is what God created us to experience as the Spirit keep revealing the divine and eternal truths to us. This freedom from within is what creates a profound joy in our lives. Yes, the feeling of true joy!
Jesus said he had to leave in order for the Spirit to come. The Spirit was going to teach us, each and everyone of us. Also the Spirt would grow fruits in our lives, as joy, patience, meekness and more. I believe Jesus also was serious when He said “Fear not”. God sent His Spirit to be with us, around us, AND also within. A Spirit to be trusted.
So in my opinion I think there is a lot of fear stopping people and even “Spirit-filled” Pentecostals to trust in the inner promptings of the Spirit in their hearts. Many are so afraid of mixing up man with God, and can’t trust the Spirit within because they think they make themselves gods or God! This is one of the greatest misunderstandings I think. This is also why many believe mystics are on the wrong path. That’s until they too experience that the scales are removed from their eyes, and they finally see what a Spirit God has blessed us with and filled us with!
Please, if you have read this far, I pray that you kindly ask yourself: Am I afraid of the Spirit in my life? The promptings and the intuition, the Still Small Voice, calling me not only through the whole of creation but also from within my very soul? Is my faith more fearbased than trustbased? Can I trust myself, and the Spirit God has given me to teach me? Do I long for more freedom and joy in my life? Have teachings I grew up with stopped me from trusting that God is with me in all my processes in life, and that He wants me to grow in freedom and joy?
Grace and peace to you!
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