Tom McDaniel, at What’s Next God? is blogging through Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit (David. C. Cook, 2009). He’s doing a good job too! In three separate post he does a series “Theology of the Holy Spirit.” Part I; Part II; Part III. In Part I covers some attributes of the Spirit and one point stuck out to me:
Again, Mr. Chan does a brilliant job describing the Holy Spirit. He is not a lessor or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son. The Spirit is God. When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God.
Ouch. This bears repeating: When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God!! This is a very serious assertion – but one that needs to be considered and taken to heart. I think even sometimes Pentecostals, and more so those in the Charismania and Third Wave movements, how we treat the Holy Spirit often reflects our understanding of his diety and role within the Triune Godhead.
When we abuse the gifts (use them for selfish gain or attention, or to control others) and prance around and crawl around barking like dogs, laughing like Hyenas claiming it is a manifestation of the Spirit – whoa, that is serious and, frankly, I am surpised more haven’t been struck by the hand of God for their irreverence. But we are in an era of grace and God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that it might be saved through him, I guess that’s the scandal of grace.
But, when we respect the person and work of the sovereign Spirit of God in the life of the believer and in the community of faith, the proper response is to give room for the Spirit to move and manifest his presence in our hearts and in our midst. Usually, the most powerful way this is done is in quiet reverence, a waiting upon the Spirit, both individually and corporately. Certainly there will be some emotion such as tears (not mournful) or a sense for the need to be solemn or joyful yet not boisterous or loud. When this happens there are times when one can literally feel his presence – sometimes its a lightness, sometimes its a heaviness such that one can hardly stand – it can vary. Other times, it is in the midst of worship and joyful celebration with shouts of praise and some dancing in the aisles, even some laughter but not the outofcontrolyouthinkyou’reRodneyHowardBrowne junk.
All that to say, let’s take this to heart: When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God.