Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Out of Control" Is NOT the Sign that God is Moving

Tipp City, Ohio store

I have seen, in some Christian contexts, "out-of-controlness" being valued as a sign that the Spirit is really moving. To be "overcome" by the Spirit so much that one can no longer say 'Yes' or 'No'. Mostly, I do not think that is a good thing, if ever. 

In this regard I really like what Mike Bickle counsels in his book Growing In the Prophetic. (This is the main text we use on our RMS Prophecy class.) Few people have witnessed more genuine and fake Spirit-manifestations than Mike. And there is no doubt that he values the authentic moving of the Spirit. So we need to listen when he writes things like this.

“Over the years, I have witnessed prophetic people being asked to stop speaking or behaving in a certain way. Some prophetic people claim that they are unable to stop because they are “overwhelmed” by the Holy Spirit. However, the Scriptures are clear that people operating in the power of the Holy Spirit are governed by love and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)” (Bickle, Growing In the Prophetic, 163) 

Paul “would not let prophetic people in the NT church claim that they could not help what they were doing in a meeting… [A]nyone claiming that they cannot control what they say or do because they are “overcome” by the Holy Spirit is na├»ve… Paul admonished and required each believer to contribute what he had in an orderly way by using self-control (1 Cor. 14:28-40).” (Ib.)

“One aspect of self-control is the ability to rule our spirits or to control our words and actions. ‘He who rules his spirit [is mightier] than he who takes a city.’ (Proverbs 16:32) ‘Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down without walls.’ (Proverbs 25:28)

This is not about trying to quench or take control over the Holy Spirit. It is to say that, when the Spirit moves, one does not lose their self-control but actually finds it to be one of the manifestations of the Spirit. 

There is a Spirit-given self-control and a fleshly, Spirit quenching self-control. Seek the former.