Saturday, November 10, 2018

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


I have seen, in some Christian contexts, "out-of-controlness" 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. 

I like what Mike Bickle counsels in his book Growing In the Prophetic. Few people have witnessed more genuine and fake Spirit-manifestations than Mike. There is no doubt that he values the authentic moving of the Spirit. So, I 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 New Testament 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 experiences it as one of the manifestations of the Spirit. 

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

My two books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church