“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…” - Ephesians 5:18 The Holy Spirit is a controversial issue, as I have discovered right in my own church.
Recently I was approached by a man who asked, “Isn’t this supposed to be a church that believes in the gifts of the Holy Spirit?”
“We do!” I replied.
He said, “Well, I didn’t hear anyone speak in tongues or anything.” I explained that the gift of tongues is only one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There are other gifts in operation: Prophecy when the Word of God is taught. Wisdom, because there were things I had not prepared in my sermon notes that the Spirit inspired as I was teaching. The word of knowledge as the Lord gave me specific things to share that applied to specific circumstances.
Five minutes later someone else told me they didn’t know if they could handle going to this church because it’s so charismatic!
Some people had raised their hands during worship.
Our desire is to worship in “Spirit and in truth.” The truth, I believe, lies somewhere between two extremes. One extreme denies the work of the Holy Spirit and the gifts operating today, the other side goes to excess.
We need the power, the charisma of the Holy Spirit.
That’s why Paul told the believers in Ephesus not to be “drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.” He contrasted being filled with the Spirit to drinking wine, which is often used in excess.
Pastor Chuck Smith explains, “Charisma is a beautiful, natural anointing of God’s Spirit upon a person’s life, enabling him or her to do the work of God. It is that special dynamic of God’s Spirit by which a person seems to radiate God’s glory and love. Charismania is an endeavor of the flesh to simulate charisma. It is any effort to do the work of the Spirit in the energies and abilities of the flesh…it is a spiritual hype that substitutes perspiration for inspiration.”1
Let’s pray for the real thing. No substitutes, no pretending, no hyping. Just the Spirit of God, falling upon us, filling us, empowering us to live for Him.
- Smith, Chuck, Charisma vs. Charismania (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 1983), pp. 9-10.
[Photo: Danny J, CreationSwap]