Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Rayola Kelley

As I discern the struggle that Christians have in their spiritual life and growth, I have striven to discover the secret to the victorious life in Christ. Obviously, Christ is the source of all real victory. However, all Christians claim to have accepted or received Christ as their Savior. Therefore, why does victory elude some of them, while others seem to ride on the waves of victory?

When examining this issue, I could see that the real matter involves the type of arena in which people consider the situation. For example, some people regard all matters from an intellectual or rational perspective. Some trust their emotional state to tell them what is going on around them. Others develop a perception of how things must be and try to get reality to adjust around their image of it, while some work out an ideal, and strive to get others to come into line with their ideas.

The problem is that in these different examples, individuals are settling for their personal reality, rather than connecting with God’s perspective. Although their conclusions may seem logical and right, they are limited, and will fail to reach the ways and thoughts of God. AsIsaiah 55:8-9 declares, God ways and thoughts are higher than man’s most intelligent conclusion, deepest emotion, perfect image, or strong idea. Even in spite of these Scriptures, man cannot imagine how he could not be in the way of truth and righteous in his thoughts(Proverbs 14:12; 16:2, 25).

The question is how do we connect God’s ways and thoughts to our finite, limited realities? The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 2:12-14: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Upon being born again, the Father gives the Holy Spirit as a gift. The Spirit of God serves as a seal that will identify those who possess eternal life as heirs of salvation, until redemption is fully realized. The Holy Spirit not only resides in us, but fulfills the promise that God will not only walk among His people, but He will reside in their midst (John 3:3, 5; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 1:11-14.)

It is the Holy Spirit who makes all the necessary connections in the spiritual realm. Without this connection, all a person manages to do is roam around in his or her conclusions, feelings, images, or ideas. Roaming around in the mind only results in despair. Allowing emotions to determine reality ends in depression. The best that images can do is leave one dissatisfied, frustrated and angry. Those who are limited by ideas can eventually become indifferent, harsh and fearful.

The Father gave the Spirit to spiritually connect to man in fellowship. The Spirit of God connects the spirit of a person to the soul to establish the foundation of truth. The Son of God baptizes believers with the Holy Ghost to connect them with power from above, in order to be effective witnesses. Do we completely understand this connection? In most cases, we get small glimpses of this heavenly connection in Scripture, but the reality of this connection is eternal in implication and comes in various ways.

The Holy Ghost is often considered a silent partner in the work of salvation. Granted, His main responsibility is to lead people to the source of salvation. But, He is not a silent partner. He is very active, but the problem is that some Christians ignore Him, while others use Him as a platform to counterfeit their “so-called righteousness, and exalt religious experiences and activities.

Recently, I encountered a person who was caught up with the supernatural. Apparently, she attended a meeting that recognized the 100-year anniversary of the events that surrounded Asuza Street. She dropped the names of the popular TBN personalities who were present. However, every name she mentioned is considered a heretic by mainstream Christianity. As we silently listened to her, she strove harder to impress us with the fact that she had received various prophecies during this meeting. Finally, she mentioned the Holy Spirit, but there was one name and person conspicuously missing from her overrated excitement, fleshly testimony, and “so-called” spiritual insights. That name was Jesus (Acts 4:12).

Clearly, the Holy Spirit was tacked on to all of the activities to give them credibility, but the Holy Spirit does not give matters credibility. He simply confirms them as being of the right spirit, and of being in line with truth. What gives spiritual matters credibility is Jesus Christ. The Word tells us that one of the main responsibilities of the Holy Spirit is to lead people into all truth about Jesus Christ. If the Jesus of the Bible is not lifted up and honored, people cannot be saved. If Jesus is not preached, the light of the Gospel will never penetrate the heart of those who are lost and backslidden. If Jesus is not the main focus, there can be no real agreement or unity in the Spirit among those present (John 12:32; 15:7, 16; 16:13-14; 2 Corinthians 4:2-6; Ephesians 4:11-16).

Jesus is the Head of the Body and not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who connects the Body of believers to the Head. The simplicity of the heart of the Spirit is to attract a bride to Jesus Christ. He does this in various ways. For example, He convicts people of sin to show them their need for salvation. He reproves people of true righteousness by glorifying Jesus, and He reproves those of judgment who continue to walk in the ways of sin and death(John 16:7-11; Colossians 1:18).

   In believers, He is an active influence in every area of their spiritual life. If believers ask for more of God, the Father gives them more of the Spirit. He must be present to ensure acceptable worship. He is the one who does the inward work of sanctification. He guides believers in the ways of righteousness, He leads people in doing the will of the Father, and teaches the Word of God by unveiling greater revelations or depths about the Person of Jesus Christ. He inspires, impresses and channels effective prayers through the saints. He is the one who edifies or builds up the Body (Luke 11:13; John 4:23-24; Romans 8:14-17, 26; Ephesians 3:3-5; 6:18-19; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 2:27).

Although controversial, one of the ways the Holy Spirit clearly manifests or makes His presence apparent is through gifts. However, these gifts are not for entertainment, nor do they exalt or honor certain people who are used in them. These gifts have one purpose and that is to edify the Body (1 Corinthians 12:4-14). However, people have used this supernatural platform to exalt and glorify themselves.

Everything associated with the Person, move and work of the Holy Spirit is being counterfeited in some way. This counterfeiting points to the unhindered moving of seducing spirits, and the work of the antichrist spirit among those who call themselves Christians. The results are devastating. Although many claim they have the Spirit of God, the spiritual connection is clearly missing. Some would accuse me of judging, but in reality the fruit of the Spirit is clearly missing in these people’s lives (Matthew 7:20; Galatians 5:22-23). In fact, the greatest identifying aspect of the Christian life, that of God’s love, is nowhere to be found.

The person who was caught up with the supposed supernatural activities clearly was not in love with the Person of Jesus. In fact, she does not even know God. She wants to swing from one spiritual experience to another. She wants to live on prophecies, rather than live according to the Word of God. She wants to feel good about herself, rather than come to terms with her daily need for God’s intervention, mercy and grace.

You might be wondering what my point is in this article. In these precarious days, we need a healthy spiritual connection to God. We cannot afford to trust in religious doctrines, experiences and activities. We need to love the truth and be able to discern the times we live in, the spirit that is in operation, the Gospel that is being preached, and the Jesus that is being presented. We need to be sensitive to the throne of God to ensure that we are prepared for the challenges ahead of us. We need to be sure we are not being spiritually dulled-down by all the fluff that is being presented in the name of Jesus. We must make sure we are not being deceived by all the counterfeits that are at large in the Church.

The greatest indication that we are in the last days is all of the deception that is prevalent. There are so many different gospels and Christs being presented, that if you do not know how to discern, and you do not know the real Jesus, you could find yourself being dragged into this tsunami wave of delusion and destruction (2 Corinthians 11:2-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Clearly, we need that spiritual connection to heaven. I, for one, desire to be realistic and sober about the times we live in. We must not ignore the warnings of the Word of God. We must heed them as we honestly examine our fruit, test the spirit that influences us, and make sure we are in love with the person of Jesus. Our greatest battle in these days is to keep grounded on the foundation, make sure we are lining up to the cornerstone, and guard our heart, ears and life against the many thieves and counterfeits that want to rob us of our faith towards God, kill our testimony of Jesus, and destroy our life in God.

What about you? Do you have that connection to God or is there a vacuum between your spirit and heaven? If so, consider whether salvation is simply a matter of the mind, while Jesus is missing from the heart. Such a gap can imply unbelief, pride and idolatry. Perhaps that connection is not as sharp as it once was. Cease from all activities and flee into the secret place with God, and make sure the connection is restored. After all, sin and indifference towards God and His Word can undermine this spiritual connection.

I have learned a long time ago that my connection to God is my responsibility. It is up to me to keep the channels of that connection clear and sharp. I have also realized that I need that clarity if I am going to find my way Home, as I walk through this present, dark world.