The Three “I’s” Against the Holy Spirit
I remember desperately wanting to get saved because I was miserable from the constant thought of going to Hell. As a sixteen-year-old kid, I would come home late from partying and climb into my bed only to lie awake for hours. I knew I was living in sin, and my mother’s prayers for me each night only made me feel that much worse. The Holy Spirit was dealing with my heart right up until I couldn’t take it any longer, and I finally asked my mother to call the preacher. I accepted Jesus because I needed Him to get me out of Hell, but it wasn’t until later that I realized how much I needed Him to get the Hell out of me.
My salvation experience was real and I meant every word of the prayer I prayed, but I didn’t wake up the next morning free of all my bad habits and sinful behaviors. It took God one day to get the Israelites out of Egypt but it took Him forty years to get Egypt out of them. And I had a lot of Egypt still in me. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight; it is a continual process. We will all learn, grow, and develop in our walk with Christ in unique ways throughout every stage of our lives. The key is surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit.
The problem: everyone has a tough time surrendering to what they don’t understand. People who are not saved as well as Christians with no relationship with the Holy Spirit often find themselves having one or more of the following attitudes that contribute to the common disregard of the Holy Spirit: ignorance, indifference, and indulgence.
I certainly do not mean to offend anyone by using the word ignorance, but it simply means to be unlearned or uninformed. When it comes to the Holy Spirit, a large percentage of people are not knowledgeable and haven’t been taught the truth about Who the Holy Spirit is. Those who have never asked Jesus into their hearts have no true understanding of the Holy Spirit at all. To most people, Christianity is about God and Jesus: God created the world and Jesus died on the Cross.
The Holy Spirit often gets talked about only as a symbol for God instead of a separate person who dwells within every Christian. 1 Corinthians 3:16 teaches that Christians are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within those who have accepted Christ. This concept can be quite confusing for both Christians and non-believers who have not been taught biblical truth concerning the Holy Spirit and His continual presence in their everyday lives.
The attitude of ignorance has kept many people from realizing the daily access they have to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. If you currently have or have had an attitude of ignorance, it’s not a reason to beat yourself up or to feel shame. I lived many years as a Christian and preached many years as a pastor with an attitude of ignorance. I didn’t know the truth about the Holy Spirit, so my ignorance and fear kept me from learning for myself and sharing with others.
The second attitude concerning the Holy Spirit is one of indifference, which means a person has a lack of concern or sees something as unimportant. A large majority of people - Christian and non-believers - see the Holy Spirit as weird, strange, or mystical. He is talked about and described as a force or energy instead of being understood as a person which causes people to see no need for understanding or even acknowledging the Holy Spirit as part of their faith.
The third attitude many people have about the Holy Spirit is one of indulgence. This attitude is developed when people have an experience that is overly excessive and not based on biblical truths concerning the Holy Spirit. Today’s technology makes it so much easier for this attitude to spread because people can post and share anything on the internet that fuels misconceptions and false beliefs. It is common for someone to say something like, “I saw this crazy video online and I don’t want to be a part of anything like that.” While the internet can be a great tool for sharing the gospel, it is also used often to encourage sin and spread false teaching.
I know firsthand what it means to have an attitude of indulgence. Part of the reason that I avoided learning or preaching about the Holy Spirit for so long is that I had several bad experiences early in my salvation. Even before I got saved, my mother was in a relationship with a man who wasn’t at all godly but he talked about the Bible often. He would say things like, “the Holy Spirit will knock you down.” I can remember being extremely uncomfortable with the idea of the Holy Spirit working in my life because I didn’t want Him to knock me down. I was afraid of what that meant or how that would feel. Don’t let the actions and beliefs of others keep you from experiencing the wonderful power of the Holy Spirit working in your life. Without a fresh filling of His power daily, you will continue to feel drained and depleted. Knowing Him and surrendering to Him allows you to fully live by a power greater than yourself.
To read more from Benny Tate’s ‘Unlimited,’ visit MyCharismaShop.com