Friday, January 21, 2011

Spirit Talk

Recently, I've been studying the idea of a "prompt" from the Holy Spirit. Scripture seems to indicate that God will lead us to certain good works and even miracles if we listen to Him. As a matter of fact, the church age is to be characterized by "keeping in step" with the Spirit and following his "prompts" (see Gal. 5:25, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit" and Rom. 7:6-Amplified Bible-"So now we serve . . . under obedience to the promptings of the Spirit"). So how do we evaluate a “prompt.” Well, a helpful grid is the BCS of prompts. 1. Is it BIBLICAL? God will not contradict Himself. If you feel you are getting a prompt from the Holy Spirit and that prompt is telling you to rob a bank, that’s not God. God will not tell you to violate one of the Ten Commandments! Years ago, I had a woman tell me God was leading her to divorce her husband and marry another man. Wrong! There were no grounds for biblical divorce in that situation. Her prompt wasn’t a God-prompt. 2. Is it “CHRIST-WARD”? Does it move someone to Christ? God’s miracles usually move people to Jesus. If a prompt doesn’t seem to be moving people toward the true God, something is wrong. For example, if you get a prompt to take someone to a movie that is ungodly, that’s probably not the Holy Spirit. That’s probably you being lonely and wanting someone to go to the movies with you. I was recently asked by a woman if she should allow her house to be used by a relative for a spiritual meeting. The relative asked her to use her home for a spiritual study. But the study implied that Jesus was just one of many manifestations of God and that we are gods ourselves. That is not a Christ-ward prompt. That’s a false-god-prompt. And I told her she shouldn't do it. 3. Is it SELFISH? God alone gets the Glory. A prompt from the Spirit will not be a prop to elevate your ego. The Spirit of God will bring glory to God. He’s not about making you into a celebrity (ie. someone who gets celebrated). He’s about giving glory to God. God gets the credit. That’s why I have a lot of trouble with many faith healers. You turn on the television and they're wearing extravagant clothing with rhinestones and have big hair and loud makeup and they’re running all over the stage drawing a lot of attention to themselves and I’m asking, “where’s Jesus in all of this?!” A friend of mine years ago had a health problem so he called up a faith healer. And just as an experiment, he wanted to see something. So he said, “I’ve got this health problem and I was wondering what I need to do to be healed.” And the person said, “well, you need to write a check for this amount and give it to this ministry and Brother Robert will pray over your need and you’ll be healed.” Then my friend said, “Well, there’s a good church down the road here that is struggling. Can I just write the check to them?” And the woman said, “No, it has to be written to this ministry.” That’s not a Christward ministry. That’s a celebrity ministry built for the ego of its founder. By the way, that faith healer ended up in the slammer for fraud! If you feel a prompt to do something, ask yourself, “Is this about getting attention, or is this about Jesus?” And by the way, one way you’ll know is that you’ll feel like you might look like a fool. If there is a chance you’ll look like a fool if you act on it, it may really be from God because God wants us to be willing to look like a fool for Him.
So, if the prompt passes the BCS test. If it’s consistent with the BIBLE, if it will move people closer to CHRIST, and if it’s not SELFISH, here’s my advice to you. Go for it! Take the chance! God blesses people who take risks for Him.