It seems that in Christianity as I see it at times, we have lost our “edge” and perhaps lost our way, being defensive many times as we speak forth truth in Christ. Are we aware that an offensive strategy is more powerful than a defensive strategy? At least to me it is.
We often use our words to:
Try to prove something
Try to justify our belief
Attempt to qualify our belief in why we are right in the face of opposition
Explain and explain our belief, stripping it of power
Defend our belief, almost sounding as if we don’t believe what we are saying
Excess words, which many of us are guilty of, can often stem from insecurity within ourselves. Do we really believe what we are saying or through excess words are we trying to convince ourselves? Jesus spoke words that were spirit and life, infused with eternal glory and power. It is time to speak less but to speak with power. Speak the truth that is in Christ or say nothing at all. Say what needs to be said, be quiet, and let the Holy Spirit do the work.
Have you ever watched what typically happens during an altar call at a church, assuming there even are altar calls for salvation anymore? The leader wants the atmosphere just right – darkened lights perhaps, people put at ease by soft music. Then inevitably, words flow forth something like this:
“Close your eyes everyone. Now don’t be embarrassed and don’t look at anyone else. Relax, Jesus loves you. With every eye closed, Jesus is calling to you today. Do you want to receive Him as your Lord and Savior? Lift a hand right where you are sitting. Come on – just lift those hands. (After a few minutes of silence with gentle music) It’s your day. Just lift those hands. There I see one, I see another. I’m waiting. Do you know that today is your day? This is the day for you to meet Jesus Christ. I’m going to take five more minutes – I know there are more of you out there.” (Then at this point in the waiting, there may be words, words and more words.)
I dislike this for many reasons. To me it seems contrived at times, like a bad script that is played out without any thought of revelation being in the mix or resting in the power of God, without excess words, allowing Holy Spirit to do His work in the hearts of those listening.
Excess words can erode spiritual authority. I am not saying that we should just be quiet. What I am saying is to allow Holy Spirit to direct the course of our words – knowing when to speak and when to be quiet. I am saying that we have the reality of Christ in us. Therefore, being sensitive to His Spirit, through the gifts of the Spirit, accompanied by discernment and wisdom, fewer words can do it and in the process glory is given to the Lord. Paul says:
And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NKJVS)
Sometimes we just give too much information after the initial revelation. Silence is wisdom. Why is this so deep in my heart today?
It goes back years ago while ministering in a church in Finland. I remember looking out at the congregation, thinking to myself that Jesus’ words held power. Sometimes, all He said was “Be healed.” Healing flowed into the reality of His words. He did not explain, justify, prove or qualify His actions. In effect, many times He was enigmatic and completely misunderstood. But, He did and said what He saw the Father doing and saying.
In this service, I walked up to a person, laid hands on them and without one bit of fanfare or Pentecostal excess, I laid hands on their back and said “Be healed.’ I don’t remember all that happened that day. For me it was not the point. What was important to me was that when faith is strong in my heart, I just speak, simply believing in Christ. Faith in Christ, not faith in my ability to do anything. My focus shifts entirely into Christ and I just do what I see the Father doing in Holy Spirit. I speak. I sing. I prophesy. I focus and just walk in the Spirit, responding to the Spirit and God receives the glory.
In Africa, we lined people up at the altar, turned down all the excess noise, and sang over people, not even touching them. We stripped the atmosphere of any attempt to take attention away from God’s glory at that moment and let eternity flood in, flowing and powerful. Words of wisdom flowed, words of knowledge and prophecy and in the presence of eternal words, healing, restoration and renewal flowed.
My purpose in writing this today: Just to remind us, as carriers of His glory – we hold this treasure in jars of clay. Christ in us = reality. Quiet down, release control and allow Holy Spirit to flow in and through our lives.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJVS)