19 June 2015

Developing your spiritual senses

By John Ollis

I have written previously on the fact that we have 5 natural senses in our body and when we are born again, we must learn to develop these as spiritual senses too. They are:
HEARING The Bible is replete with verses about hearing the voice of God. This is another important reason why discipleship is so important for the new believer to learn to discern clearly what is God’s voice and what isn’t.
SEEING Again the Bible records so many stories of people “seeing” the Lord. May we all have our eyes opened regularly to see the Lord in all His glory, and fall down and worship Him.
TASTING The Psalmist boldly declared “O taste and see that the Lord is good”, we must learn to eat the Word, not just read it, and study it, but daily meditate on the Word. Why not pray “Lord increase my hunger for your Word” it is a prayer the Lord is very willing to answer. May we become spiritual gluttons, and be fat and flourishing believers.
TOUCHING It is not a scripture, but we used to sing “reach out and touch the Lord as He passes by”. With the hand of faith we must learn to constantly touch the Lord.
SMELLING There is a ‘fragrance” about the Lord’s presence, we sure know when He is manifesting His presence, and we also know when we cannot “feel” Him. We must learn to live in His presence by daily spending time in His presence and His Word, and walk in surrender and obedience and we will continually discern the fragrance of His presence.
Just today, I read the medical profession has declared that we actually have anywhere from 9 to 21 senses, many of them are medical type senses but one stood out.
I sure relate to this as for around 3 years I have had to use frames, or arm crutches, or a walking stick. One needs to be always careful when walking, as you can’t help but develop a fear of falling.
I want to write today about developing spiritual balance, it is something that is not learned quickly, but should develop as we mature in Christ.
You know I love Church History, especially since the Reformation, and I have mentioned previously that every time God restored truth, there were 3 reactions:

  1. Some embraced the truth
  2. Often the majority rejected the truth
  3. Some took the truth to extremes and caused the truth to be unbalanced.

These reactions have happened in every generation since the first century. Paul had to correct the “Carnal Charismatic Corinthians” for their unbalanced practices and interpretations of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Having this in mind I think one of the reasons Paul states in Acts 20:27 “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God”. As in the 21st century there were preachers who seemed to only have “one string in their bow” and all they seemed to preach was their pet hobby horse, that was extreme and unbalanced.
PERSONALITIES Some people got caught up with the person God used to restore the truth and even named denominations after them, e.g. the Lutheran Church, the Wesleyan Church.
CHURCH GOVERNMENT We may feel a particular form of government is the closest to scripture, but some named their denominations declaring this. The Episcopal Church, The Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church.
A PARTICULAR DOCTRINE We must see that any truth is only a part of the total message (the whole counsel of God) and not make it the centre of all that we believe and practice. Again, some named their churches around their particular doctrine, The Baptist Church, The Pentecostal Church. The Charismatic Church etc.
In this last century I have personally seen many expressions of unbalanced truth e,g,
Some Pentecostals said you are not a Christian unless you speak in tongues. WRONG.
Some Evangelicals said if you speak in tongues you were of the devil WRONG
When the Pentecostal thing settled down, and God began to bring a “time of refreshing” Acts 3:19, many Pentecostals rejected this and said “we need more teaching”. WRONG, we need both refreshing and teaching.
In the 1970’s a fresh emphasis on deliverance from demons came, some said “everyone has demons” others said a Christian can’t be effected by a demon, both positions are WRONG.
Again in the 1970’s came a fresh emphasis on Discipleship, again it was unbalanced and authoritarian, so many threw the “baby out with the dirty bath water” and totally rejected this important essential truth. WRONG.
In this last decade a fresh emphasis has come on the truth of grace especially in the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, that seems to have the seeds of the heresy of Antinomianism or lawlessness or simply cheap grace. That a believer can live the way He likes as all his sins were dealt with on the cross, and God sees him as righteous. WRONG.
Grace is NOT a licence to sin, but the ability NOT to sin, and to be able to live a holy, victorious pure life.
In hindsight, like a child in my immaturity I have run with truths and taken them to extreme, I am sorry for that, by the same token,now the Lord helping me I want to always do the Berean thing” Acts 17:11 and when a fresh emphasis comes by the Holy Spirit I will not reject, neither will I become unbalanced, but will search the scriptures, and see that it is truly of God, and embrace it, and add it to all the other truth the Lord has given me.
I can’t change the past and neither can you, maybe you never took truth to extreme, but you can now see that in the past you rejected truth, and because thankfully “The Word of the Lord came a second time: later you embraced it.