17 January 2007

things that freak me out... a little

I'm stealing this phrase (things that freak me out) from my friend, Cindy. And in my case, it's not a quick explanation. But I'll offer a beginning. I grew up in a Christian environment, with parents who love the Lord. They prayed for me and grew me up in the Lord. Part of that provision included education in a church and school setting. I was taught wonderful truths from the Bible.

That said, (with much gratitude for what was taught to me), I don't recall much guidance about the Holy Spirit. Oh yes, in the sense of a comforter, as one who teaches, guides, corrects, etc. But as to the more "mysterious" side of the Holy Spirit, well, I'm not remembering much emphasis.

So my journey, and perhaps growing hunger and awareness, has provided some incredibly rich and yet, sometimes "freaking-me-out" type of experiences.

For instance, the first time I "fell over" to rest in the Spirit.
I know what happened.
I'm not one who can really be "pushed" to the ground.
Yet, it's not that easy to describe how or why God uses this way to "speak."

I remember the first time someone said, "Diana, I can see the Holy Spirit all over you..." (Please, I mean no disrespect, but I remember thinking, really? would I see that, too, if I had a mirror?)

Several years ago I was introduced to the Dunamis project, which teaches about the Holy Spirit. I attended a conference on the healing power of Jesus and witnessed ways God continues to heal now.

People argue this type of gift ceased, and some might argue about some of the ways healing may be "exploited" in our media saturated world. I merely testify to what I saw and what I've experienced.

And then, there's the whole prophecy area--including the word of knowledge, word of wisdom, word of prophecy "family." Yes. This can perhaps conjure up horrible memories or even fear of condemnation or judgment. I'm not an expert, but what I've learned and been reading about in this area insists that God's plan for prophetic words is that they are words of comfort, edification, and for the purpose of building up the body of Christ.

And I'm thinking, don't we need that??
Any opinions about any of this out there?

Regardless, for me personally, the journey, exploration, adventure, and learning continues.
So much mystery. So little time...


White Rabbit said...

i am really thankful for my pentecostal background and education. i still don't know what to do with some of the giftings, or how to "verify" them. Yet i am thankful for the understanding of the closeness and comfort the Spirit brings and his ability to work within and without.

Willis said...

Don't we need this? Absolutely.
I wonder if part of why this seems so mysterious (freaks me out)is because these gifts are given to the community for the common good, even if they are made manifest through individuals. North Americans, though, are deeply disposed against communal constraints in favor of the rights and priority of the individual. If this is at all correct, then two implications might be: 1. These giftings really do need to be anchored in community--so where do we find communities (not just congregations of individuals)? and 2. since not many of us are willing to submit (anchor) ourselves to the authority and boundaries of a community, should we expect such gifts to be poured out among us?

White Rabbit said...

Excellent point. It is this issue of community that has really been bothering me lately. Not just with the spiritual gifts either. It is simply the lack of community among the body of believers in the local church setting. This separation or might we say "privitization" of various aspects of our life. We have a certain group that we practice spirituality with, another group we serve along-side, and another group that is actually our friends, but whom we don't do either of the first two practices with. Argh!!!

We need to integrate

Gracie said...

Yes!!! to both, And...
does that mean "we all" move to be community in Baldwin?? or somewhere to at very least bring some of the circles together?? And without forcing something in these various "communities," how do we integrate in an organic, Spirit-led fashion?

cindy said...

i'm learning to embrace the things that "freak me out" in part because of your willingness (and jordan's) to share your experiences with me. so thanks for that, my friend.