During Bible class recently I was seeing one aspect of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in a new way. The Bible says that God the Holy Spirit is our helper, mentor and teacher. When we sit down to listen to the Word of God and we have God the Holy Spirit in control of our soul, He takes what we hear and makes it a part of our understanding so that it is usable, it becomes the wisdom of God and not just knowledge gained by human effort. The word of God heard apart from God(or fellowship with God) is misunderstood and useless. We have been taught that what I’m describing is known as spiritual I.Q. and every believer from the stupid to the highly intelligent have unlimited spiritual I.Q. There is nothing that we cannot learn spiritually(about God and all of His plan and wisdom) under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
The thing that really popped out at me was that the reason for unlimited spiritual I.Q. could be that God the Holy Spirit is the spiritual I.Q. keeper. I saw it as us being able to plug into Him and He acts on our behalf as a second spiritual super brain that expands us beyond our normal ability to perceive. Essentially He is the I.Q. He stores and files in our minds what we are willing to learn and believe that is true. He reveals to us The Lord Jesus Christ who is the Word made flesh John 1:14. This is all just speculation but fun to think about anyway. It is grace no matter how you add it up that we have been given God to know and the opportunity to have His thinking inside us.
I’ve been focusing a lot lately on getting ready for our upcoming move in April. It’s the perfect time to clean out all the clutter that we’ve been hanging on to over the last 11 years. I’m not a pack-rat, so this process is relatively easy for me. I’m just surprised at the amount of things that we’ve held onto. It feels very freeing letting go of old junk that contained just a hint of sentimental value but had no real purpose or beauty . Or the old pot that I’ve been swearing I was going to need someday but never have. It’s amazing what you don’t realize you have been keeping in boxes that never get opened. It’s funny to think that I’ve been moving trash from house to house for years and years when I could have just lightened the load a long time ago. All this was a very visual reminder of the secret rooms we hide in our souls that God must go through looking for the trash we don’t want to part with in our minds, and how the word of God carefully sorts through each and every dusty “box” slowly over time as we take in the mind of Christ day by day. It’s nice to know the Holy Spirit is doing all the heavy lifting of renewing our minds! This also makes me think of “Buy truth and sell it not” How much of my time and money was spent on things that were ultimately useless and needed to be thrown out? In the same way, we do that with our thinking as we go through the day. We pick up mental trash with our time in the cosmic system and each day in Bible class the word of God pinpoints it and throws it back out.
Another aspect I see is how we get rid of the stuff that weighs us down so that we can make room for valuable useful items that will be needed in the future. That makes a great analogy too. We need spiritual capacity for spiritual treasure.
We had a lesson this week that helped open my eyes more clearly to the purpose of this life or more exactly what isn’t the purpose of this life.
I am admittedly a romantic. I’ve always held onto this desire for a certain kind of lifestyle. For some it might be living in an urban setting or fulfilling a certain dream of their own but for me, it’s always been the tranquil country life with rolling green hills, farm animals and the old country house with the fireplace and the warm quilts, cozy kitchen and the soft loving cat. Well, while there is nothing wrong with my desires they have nothing to do with God’s plan for my life. As a military wife it’s my job to be ready to move when-ever or where-ever the Air Force sends us. This means not getting settled in one place, this means, that particular dream is not a part of God’s plan for my life at this time.
In class, when Pastor was teaching about our lives being patterned after The Lord Jesus Christ’s on earth, and the fact that He always knew and welcomed that the Father’s plan was the Cross and never tried to live in any other plan during his life on earth, something clicked! The Lord knew that a crown was His destiny but in order to receive the crown, He had to fulfill the Cross(The Father’s particular plan for His humanity). I have also been promised a crown and a destiny that is wrapped up in His and I have also been given now and in the future, my own set of circumstances which constitute the fulfilling of a “cross” in my lifetime. How can death bring life? How does disaster bring prosperity? In God’s plan everything is opposite. It really truly is. Suffering and happiness are inseparable on earth. Without the Cross Jesus Christ’s crown would have ended when He died and all that we could hope for would be bottled up in life on this planet. Because He endured the Cross and did it the Father’s way, He gets a crown that lasts forever and we get eternity.
The world tells us to hold onto our dreams and reach for them relentlessly The Lord was also offered the world and all it’s kingdoms by Satan as a temptation to abandon the plan of the Cross. The insidious thing about the world is that the system knows what it offers has no lasting value, it’s empty and will leave you wanting more. God offers you His plan which guarantees contentment and satisfaction but it also includes a measure of the “cross” individually tailored with suffering that brings blessing and it doesn’t make sense if you don’t understand what it’s all about. The perfect loving God with a plan to give you all that He is.
What I’m getting at is, that I don’t want to miss out on fulfilling the purpose of my life in exchange for green pastures and chickens. I can now see why those things, pleasant as they are in my mind, don’t compare to my life as it is now(I already have an amazing and challenging life) and what I have the opportunity to live in. It would be wise to put those fantasies in God’s hands and let them go. He loves me and always gives me His highest and best in all circumstances.
God is faithful. Faithful to provide love, forgiveness, discipline, food, clothing, all things spiritual and to keep the world turning… and on and on. Yet so many Christians when they receive a blessing or personal deliverance or help from the Lord do not take it as proof of God’s faithfulness but instead their own. They see God’s hand in their lives as a stamp of approval from God on their spiritual lives. They may think to themselves “Wow, I’m not worthy of this blessing but I must be in the right place with God”
I can look around at all kinds of believers the lukewarm and the Hot, the indifferent and the faithful. Ask any one of them, and they will have many examples of how God has personally provided and led them. The caution here is to understand that God is not validating your life through His blessings.
Your spiritual life must line up with the word of God in order to glorify God. You cannot line up your spiritual life with experiences and call it good.
Beware the sweet, gentle, helpful individual in the local assembly who really only wants to “enlighten” you. They didn’t come to your congregation to learn. They aren’t wholly focused on working out their own salvation. They don’t really believe the Pastor Teacher has all the truth. Sure he has pretty good doctrines( he’s missing the vital ones of course) and they are just waiting around for the opportunity to “teach” you something they think you are missing. They truly believe that God has brought them to you or your congregation to give you “truth” and they think it’s noble, right, and their calling. They think they can possibly get the Pastor Teacher to accept their doctrines given enough time and if that doesn’t work they will be available to teach and be so nice and sweet and have just enough truth to wheedle their way in to a leadership position(so they can give the real truth to at least some). Or maybe hold an outside Bible study where they can work on the weak and searching. Then after the damage is done they leave feeling martyred for having their “truth” make them unpopular, after-all God must be calling them somewhere else to share truth with all those who don’t have it like they do. Beware! be on guard. Watch out for this attack!
Don’t become this person.
It’s never anyones job to be in a local assembly for any other purpose than to learn doctrine under their right Pastor Teacher and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. If it is indeed their “right” Pastor Teacher the teaching will be challenging and their personal study based upon the Pastor’s Teaching wholly absorbing. If you find yourself disagreeing with the Pastors doctrines you need to be absolutely certain you can back up your disagreement with scripture and then quietly leave. We have absolutely no business being in a local assembly where we think we know more than the Pastor. It is never ever our business what doctrines our fellow believers know or don’t know. It is certainly not our job to fill the deficiency even if there is one. Where in the Bible are we commanded to fix doctrines in someone Else’s congregation? Each believer in the local assembly is accountable to God for their own knowledge of Him and God will only expand that knowledge through the teaching of Bible doctrine under the filling of the Holy Spirit by their Right Pastor Teacher not Mr. or Mrs. congregational member(no matter how knowledgeable or gifted in teaching). I’m not saying that God can’t show you something through a friend, encourage you or have the doctrines you know echoed or expounded upon, or help to get a point across to you by another believer but when it comes to learning doctrines and being grounded in truth, or fixing doctrinal deficiency, that is the Pastor’s Job. If you are in the plan of God your face will be pressed forward like flint and you will be barely aware of anyone but you and God in the local assembly when it comes to teaching. After the teaching there is room for fellowship and service but don’t forget to mind your own damn business and if you just can’t help trying to “teach” everyone what they lack. Get your own church and leave everyone Else’s alone!
We are free to share doctrine with anyone and hope for others to know it (friends, family,acquaintances, co-workers etc) but not to go into a local assembly with that purpose unless we are the Pastor Teacher of that local assembly. If teaching corrected doctrine is necessary in a local assembly you are a part of… then you shouldn’t even be there. It’s not your right Pastor or the place God wants you to be.
I’ve seen this first hand and been confused by the sweet personality and sincere intentions and that is why I decided to write about it. It only recently became clear to me as “false colors” and worse.
I don’t want anyone to confuse what I’m saying with helping each other, encouragement, and sharing doctrine with all those around us in our everyday life whenever possible. Or having a discussion about doctrines with other members of our congregation and learning something from them. Or giving advice when asked. Hopefully what I was trying to say is clear. Don’t subvert the Pastor’s authority in ANY local assembly(good or bad) by your arrogance and good intentions. Go forward in the plan of God being taught.