Saturday, August 13, 2016


I am not sure where or how to begin this short article... the reason being, the moment someone brings up the topic of the Holy Spirit, there tends to be an automatic resistance.  

The best I can do is offer my journey and see if it resonates with anyone out there.

I became a Christian at the tender age of 12 while attending a camp in the mountains of Southern California.  During that summer I came to hear about a Savior, Jesus, who loved me unconditionally and was my path to everlasting life.  

Because I believe what the Bible teaches, I know that the moment I accepted Jesus as my Savior, He placed within my His Holy Spirit, to work in my life in a variety of ways.

So - in a sense, I "had" the Holy Spirit within me the moment I became a Christian.

In some ways, this would be similar to how a house has plumbing for water already built in.  In most cases, you buy a home and there is no need to install plumbing.  There is water in those pipes.  It is in the house.  

We'll come back to that later.

As I grew in my faith, I became aware of a fuller expression of the Holy Spirit.  I would relate this to how being in a relationship with someone over time will lead to more in-depth knowledge and experiences with the person.  A brand new relationship will exist at one level.  A relationship of, say, 3 years (if it is truly growing) will have knowledge and experience at different, new or deeper levels. It is still the same relationship - but there is a new-found depth, the longer the relationship is nurtured. 

And so it was with me and the Holy Spirit.  As my relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit grew - there was new-found depths and levels in the relationship.

I grew up attending a main-stream denominational church where not much dialogue was given to the topic of "the power of the Holy Spirit."  Over the decades, much confusion has come about because of some who chose to create "extra-biblical" expressions and teaching related to the Holy Spirit. This left a bad taste in the mouths of logical believers.  I have come to realize that this has been a classic example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  

The reality is that the Holy Spirit is only as "crazy and mysterious" as the pages of scripture allude to. My personal view is that, when it comes to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, if I don't see it plainly, or very strongly implied, in scripture, then I usually don't align with the particular expression. If, on the other hand, I DO see it, or I CAN justify the expression based on scripture, then I grab it and run because why wouldn't I delight in and enjoy ALL that God has for me in that area?

Remember the plumbing in the house?  

My home has pipes running through every wall in almost every room.  And those pipes contain water.  But that water does not automatically flow out of those pipes without me making a decision to open up the faucet.  When I turn the handle on the faucet, water comes rushing out.  Before I do that, there is water present but it is not flowing.  After I decide to turn the faucet on, that is when the water actually flows.

It is like that with the Holy Spirit.  He is always there, ready to flow.  He is "in the pipes" so to speak. But only when I decide to "turn on the faucet" will He flow in a more profound manner. 

What does "turning on the faucet" look like?

That question required a very long answer. In a nutshell, we open up the faucet when we do any or all of the following:

> Enter the time of corporate worship with an expectancy to MEET GOD, not just sit together with His children.
> In our singing - when we allow ourselves to be immersed in what the LYRICS actually say and let that truth massage us with His glory.
> When we choose to LIVE the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.)
> When we allow ourselves the FREEDOM to express our devotion and passion for God outwardly with our bodies, arms, hands, etc.
> When we are NOT RESISTANT to the power of the Holy Spirit being made manifest in our assembly - for example: healings, or spontaneous song, or dancing, or weeping, etc. 

For me, the Holy Spirit is all about restoration and relationship.  It is not a "magic" add-on to our faith as some tend to view.  Rather, the Holy Spirit is the life force - the water in the pipes - that MUST be freed in order to do what it is intended to do.

You open up the faucet, water comes out, things get wet.
You open up the Holy Spirit faucet - his power comes out - and you are impacted.

Now - why did I title this blog post, "Ruined by the Holy Spirit?"  Glad you asked...

In my times of private or corporate worship, when the Holy Spirit faucet is opened and He begins to flow, something happens that transforms me.  Honestly, I lose track of time and even locale.  I find myself immersed in His presence - the presence of God, the presence of Jesus, the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It is joy and beauty and delight and awe - it is a nearly unspeakable reality of "one-ness" with the God of all creation.  It is both a deep reverence and, at the same time, a deep longing to know my God at a deeper and deeper level.  

My times of corporate worship singing transcend the mere "singing of the songs" and become more of a musical, joyful and reflective meditation.  The words I am singing move beyond the level of "narrative" and into the realm of "proclamation."  I move away from focusing on HOW I worship (meaning song styles, instrumentation, harmony, musical excellence) and, instead, I focus on WHO I am worshiping (the Almighty God of all creation, Jesus Christ, His glory, His honor, His wonder.) 

Because I have encountered that type of "Holy-Spirit-infused" worship, I find it difficult these days to simply sit in a room and sing a collection of well-rehearsed "God songs" without personally diving in deeper and encountering His presence in those moments.  

Therefore - I have been "ruined" by the Holy Spirit. 

And because I have experienced that, I want ALL believers to experience that.  Reason being, there is something TRANSFORMATIONAL that occurs when we open up the faucet and let the Holy Spirit freely flow during our times of worship.

This lines up with what we see happening in the early church - when they worshiped, they did so with gusto, freedom and expectancy.  This, along with other key practices such as devotion to the leaders and to one another, is what led to the Lord "adding to their number daily" those who were being saved.  Churches GROW when they allow the Holy Spirit to flow freely in their assembly. 

Are you ruined by the Holy Spirit?  If not, I invite you to open up the faucet and see what happens.

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