Suffering, Perseverance, Character
Today is the final day of our twenty-one day journey in pursuit of Holy Spirit. I have had numerous people tell me that these twenty-one days have been a time of spiritual growth for them. If you have a story to tell related to your spiritual journey over these last twenty-one days then click here to email me.
I know that it has been a meaningful time for me. It has been a time of spiritual and theological growth for me. I am not there yet….far from it. I have not reached the place where I want to be in my growth in Christ, but I am closer. When I said that this journey has been a time of spiritual growth – I mean that it terms of experience. I have experienced a deeper moving of the Holy Spirit in my own heart. Some people told me after church today that they sensed the Spirit’s power. It is important to know that all spiritual experiences are not emotional and not all emotional experiences are spiritual. Too often what charismatic-oriented Christians claim is the “moving of the spirit” is really just a moving of their emotions. The mark of the true activity of the Holy Spirit is the degree of change in our character, which is a far more of a lasting effect than the passing feeling of emotionally-charged euphoria.
This journey has also been a time of theological growth for me. I have done some good thinking and writing about spiritual transformation. I continue to think about the central nature of transformation. On the Sunday morning message that I preached entitled “What Does the Spirit do?”, I talked about the circles of truth. These “circles” are experiential truths that include some kind of work of the Spirit. Transformation was the center circle. I have added two more circles of truth, but I am sticking with the idea that transformation is central. Each circle of truth has a question that goes with it. Here are the circles:
Transformation: “Who am I becoming?
Doctrine: “What do I believe?”
Holiness: “How do I act?”
Devotion: “How do I worship”
Service: “What do I do for others?”
Mission: “How do I communicate the gospel message?”
Community: “With whom do I partner?”
Transformation is not only central, but first. If transformation is not experienced before the others, then the other truths go from works of the Spirit to human works.
I have bloged 21 days in a row, but I doubt that I can keep up this pace. I want to continue to blog, but maybe not every day.