Did I just hear something?
Uncertain, I ask God. I’d rather not do that, thank you very much. It is something painful or frightening.
At times I’ll ask the Holy Spirit, “Is this what you wanted me to do?” Or I’ll give the “reflective listening” a try. Hmmm….I must be hearing him wrong.
Or I ask again, because surely he wouldn’t want to give me something enjoyable. It must be my imagination.
Some think that God taught us everything in the Holy Scriptures, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased. God was done talking. That’s it. How then, do people have gifts such as wisdom and mercy? Who decided that prophecy, tongues, words of knowledge and healings were considered a bit “unacceptable” today?
Another school of thought is that the Holy Spirit still speaks today. Yes. Today. The condition is that everything that we think He says has to be weighed…consistent with the Word of God and with the nature of Jesus Christ.
John Calvin spoke of the Holy Spirit; “He is the Author of the Scriptures; he cannot vary and differ from himself”.
So that is the delicate balance as He directs me.
When I dance with the Holy Spirit, He may give me a gentle nudge in a certain direction, some eye contact, a whisper in my ear…
The communication could be a vision, dream, the voice of a human, an angel …hosts of ways that my creative maker could make himself known.
But I have to be listening. I have to be in close contact with Him. If I don’t take time to be in His presence in listening prayer and His Holy Word, how will I know the dance steps? How would I notice if something is off beat, or out of tune?
The need to be open; the need for practice. Any good dance steps need repetition. I have to be willing to receive the guidance and step out on the floor.
I love the story about Paul getting the vision to go to Macedonia. The man was standing and begging him to come and help.
That is my heritage. That is the very first time that the gospel was preached to anyone in Europe.
My Gentile ancestors received the Gospel because Paul was obedient to the vision he had. What if he hadn’t listened or was afraid and didn’t obey?
In Acts 2, it’s laid out clearly, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below…”
These are my thoughts, inspired by the book, “Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit”, by Long, Stokes, and Strickler. This is the fourth dynamic of the dance of cooperation with the Holy Spirit. There are three more, in posts to follow.