Psalms 1:1-2 ESV
“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Who are the wicked? They are not just those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Many wicked are those who profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior with their lips, but their hearts are far from the Lord. They are following man-made religion, but not God himself.
And they are offering much counsel to the saints of God that is not of God, but is of the flesh of man, which is leading many away from pure devotion to Jesus Christ to following the flesh of man, instead. And their counsel is often causing confusion in the minds of the saints when that counsel contradicts the counsel of God.
So, this calls for much discernment of the Spirit of God and much testing of the spirits to see if they are of God. And we test these spirits in prayer and against the word of God (in context). And context is essential, for many false doctrines are created from taking Scriptures out of context to make them say what they want them to say.
And it isn’t just that the wicked are pushing a diluted gospel which denies Jesus as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and which refuses to repent of sin and walk in obedience to his commands. But they are twisting the Scriptures and are creating all kinds of doctrines of men which are leading God’s people down many “rabbit holes.”
Now, it isn’t just the wicked who pass along these false doctrines, though, but they are Christians who have been convinced of these false doctrines who then spread them to others, and who even try to force compliance to them because that is what they have been taught to do.
I am certain there are more false doctrines out there than I am aware of, so I am going to name just one. That is this forcing of Christians to speak in tongues as the only evidence of having the Holy Spirit. First off, it is the Holy Spirit who gives gifts as He determines, and not all of us have the same gifts. Secondly, tongues is not THE evidence of having the Holy Spirit.
Much of this doctrine is based off historical situations and it is not coming from actual doctrinal teaching on the subject. And much of this, too, is taken out of context and twisted to say something not intended. For, they use the day of Pentecost as proof that speaking in tongues is THE evidence of having the Holy Spirit.
But the Lord that day gave his followers the supernatural ability to speak to the people in their own languages so that they could hear the gospel and so that they could be saved from their sins. And there were added that day about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).
And Peter said that this was a fulfillment of the prophet Joel’s prophecy regarding the last days, that God would pour out his Spirit on men and women and some would dream dreams and have visions and they would prophesy and all kinds of wonders would take place. So, this wasn’t just about speaking in tongues, and the tongues were the people’s languages.
But know this: Since it is the Holy Spirit who gives gifts as he determines, if you try to force people to speak in tongues, and they do, and it is supernatural, this is not of God but of Satan, and what they may be uttering may be demonic. So, we need to leave to God which gifts to give us, and we need to be those who test the spirits to see if they are of God.
And we must be students of the Scriptures, but we must study them in context, for many false doctrines come from Scriptures taken out of context. And we must seek God’s counsel and wisdom and discernment and delight in the word of God and test the counsel of other humans.
Psalms 1:3-4 ESV
“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”
The receiving of the Holy Spirit is of God, not of man. So, how do we receive the Holy Spirit, and what is the primary evidence of having the Holy Spirit living within us?
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, and we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are born again of the Spirit of God, and are given new lives in Christ to be lived to his righteousness, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. For, if we do not have the Spirit of God, we do not belong to God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
So, the evidence of the Spirit of God living within us is the same evidence as having been saved from our sins and having been born again of the Spirit of God. And that is a regenerated life which is no longer enslaved (addicted) to sin but is now enslaved to God and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).
For, we are slaves to the one we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and its end is eternal life with God (Rom 6:15-23).
Now we walk (conduct our lives) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness (Rom 8:1-17).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Gal 5:22-24 ESV
There are many people who are claiming to have the Holy Spirit who are relying on externals or on what might be considered showy as evidence of having the Holy Spirit, but their lives do not bear the fruit of the Spirit. They are still fleshly, still walking in sin, still under the control of Satan.
So, it is essential here that we know the evidences of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit so that we don’t get caught up in the lies thinking we have the Holy Spirit while we might be under the control of demonic spirits, instead. For one, if we are being led to do something out of our control, it is not of the Spirit of God whose fruit is self-control.
Psalms 1:5-6 ESV
“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”
Mainly, if we have the Holy Spirit we are going to be walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. It doesn’t mean we will never sin, but that we are no longer under the control of sin. Now Jesus is our Lord, and we are under the control and influence of the Holy Spirit.
If we are still living to the flesh, deliberately continuing in sinful lifestyles, feeling as though we don’t have to obey God or submit to his Lordship, then we do not have the Spirit of God, which means we don’t know God, we are not saved from our sins and we don’t have eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
When in The Stillness
An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.