Pat is a very good friend of mine who operates prophetically. This a word he posted today.
So much of the teaching and expounding in the church regarding the moving of the Spirit and spiritual gifts comes out of 1Cor 12 and 14. The problem with this starting point is that the backdrop for these passages is the exact opposite from what most of the church here deals with. We are not experiencing wild, unbridled expressions of Holy Spirit manifestation where people were literally competing with each other to use their gifts. If we were, then Paul’s words in the above passages would carry a lot more weight and become very effective in curbing a mosh pit mentality within our local church expression.
What we are dealing with is subdued gatherings where the Spirit, for one reason or another, does not manifest in the way the scriptures describe. Our reality in America is more like what the Thessalonians were dealing with. Within that fellowship there was an overabundance of control, both within the hearts of the people and from the leadership, that was limiting or downright stopping the Spirit (quenching is also translated “extinguish” in Eph 6:16). So why do we think that in order to correct a lack of Holy Spirit activity we need to teach out of the passages that brings constraint?
We can blame a person or group of people, but that would be unproductive and only serve to reinforce the pattern of powerlessness. Paul didn’t do that. What Paul did to remedy this situation is give them a command that they could carry in their hearts anywhere they went that would help them break out of their slump. He simply said, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1Th. 5:19).
This can seem like such a benign command, so if I may, let me see if I can modernize it and make it easier to grasp.
TEAR IT UP!
BE THE GAS, NOT THE BRAKE!
DO NOT HOLD BACK!
BE EXPLOSIVELY EXPRESSIVE!
This is not a time to tap into the conservative roots of the church but to tap into the power and life-giving flow of the Spirit! Some of those roots need to die! Leaders need to return to demonstrations of the Spirit and power if they hope to see the people do the same. Did Stephen arise from a powerless, inexpressive church? Or Phillip? No, they had a continual expression of Spirit power and manifestation by the apostles within their community and it so enticed them that it eventually caught! This is the way with any fire – it catches the available fuel on fire by being in proximity to it. And who is fuel? We will know because they will ignite in the presence of a spark!