In today’s churches, it seems the Holy Spirit has “either been ignored or over-sensationalized,” said Paul McDonald, interim pastor, Christian Chapel, Columbia. Where the Holy Spirit is concerned some churches choose “coma over chaos.”
He added that neither way is good. “We don’t want coma. We don’t want chaos. We want a genuine moving of the Holy Spirit that allows us to experience His presence,” he said.
McDonald explained the Holy Spirit is always moving. “He is the movement of God. He is at work all the time. He waits for us to join Him in partnership and welcome His movement.”
When he was a child, McDonald explained he accepted the “flannel-graph Jesus.” His Sunday School teacher illustrated accepting Christ as a cut-out Jesus dancing over and jumping onto a heart.
“I invited the flannel-graph Jesus to jump into my heart at the age of five.” He added when he was a teenager, he was introduced to a dynamic Holy Spirit who wants to work in our lives.
In his home church some used the King James term of Holy Ghost for the Holy Spirit. That term combined with an older woman who gave prophesies in a scary voice made him want to distance himself. “The ghost thing scared me. I didn’t want anything to do with ghosts. I’d take Casper over this scary ghost in church.”
The genuine working of the Holy Spirit sometimes gets over-shadowed by human tendencies. That is why there are churches who chose “coma because it is safe.”
“We need to be reintroduced to our God who is safe, but always wants to work dynamically in you and through you. We want the giftings of the Spirit to be at work in us and in our lives.
“We want our lives to be spirit-led and spirit-filled, gifted and empowered Christians with tools in our toolboxes. We need the fruit of the character of Jesus, but also the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”McDonald explained the Holy Spirit speaks to us in words of encouragement, “sometimes it is dramatic and sometimes it is in whispers.”
As Christians, when we have a sense or impression that we should do something such as talk to a person, call a person, send them a text, we choose “coma over chaos.”
“We do not entertain that the the Lord may be speaking to us. If the Lord lays someone on your heart ask, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ He will let you know if you genuinely want to know.”
In addition, individuals tell themselves it would be better to do nothing than to fail. “We have a father who is bigger than our failures,” he said. Our Father will say, ‘Thank you for trying. You missed the mark this time, but I love you dearly. You are my child.”
McDonald explained that God “is more grieved by quenching the fire rather than the potential of chaos.”
Allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us to live from Him and from His vital presence within us is the essence of Christianity, McDonald added.
“We cannot live our lives on a natural level,” he said. “We have to tap into a supernatural level.”
As humans, he added, we are “one continual road to destruction. If you invite Holy Spirit into your life, He will put on His construction hat and go to work on whatever you ask Him. He will clean up your life and sensitize you to Him. The more you allow Him to clean up your life, the more you can be used to bring Him glory.”
Who was Jesus sending to them?
What was the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Jesus going to do?
What is the nature and character of the Holy Spirit?
Why did Jesus say it would be better for them if they had the Holy Spirit rather than Him?
What did Jesus mean when He said He was not leaving them as “orphans?”
What does it mean that the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance all things?
How do we understand and know what to do in any circumstance?
How do the Bible and the Holy Spirit work together to make the Word of God come alive? Can you give an example from your own life?
How can we live our natural lives on a supernatural level?
Can you give an example of a time when you invited the Holy Spirit to guide your day and something dynamic happened?
Why is it necessary to ask Him to come into the closed places in our lives even if we’ve done it before. How has this worked in your life?
How can we “give place to the presence of the Holy Spirit” on a continual basis?
What are some of the things the Holy Spirit is to you and does in your life?
How can we pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us?
How can we be sure we are not charismatic granola made up for fruit, nuts and flakes?
What closet doors have you closed to the Holy Spirit? Share with your group and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to have free reign in your life, every part of your life.
What is worse: not allowing the Holy Spirit into certain parts of your life or not caring if He comes in or not? Why?
Pray: “Holy Spirit we ask that you move through me to touch others. Father, we need a greater dependency on you. Help us be sensitive to You and not grieve your Holy Spirit. Fill me, baptize me, immerse me. Touch my stuck places, Lord. Live in a way that with glorify and bless Your name.”
Homework: Read John 14-16