Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Charismatic Trigger

Those of us in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement revere the "moving" of the Holy Spirit. Moments where God's presence is palpable, where signs and wonders arise unbidden and lives are transformed in a flash is the chocolate we crave. A chocoholic is not satisfied to wait with baited breath in hopes of the next chance to indulge her taste. She figures out how to ensure a ready supply of her desired confection.

There are all kinds of books, videos, conferences, and training schools advertising their ability to inculcate the necessary skills and understanding to replicate whatever example or model of Spirit visitation they're promoting. In fact, every time so much as a whiff of revival wafts on the air[waves], folk rush to the scent hoping to get a taste of the chocolate. If they're fortunate, they might just get some to take home with them.

Generally, what people learn from such things are techniques, or in other words, works. If they fast for so long or they pray so long, in concert with so many; if they confess all known sin and even the sins of others; if they clean up their acts to such and so a degree; if they begin to do this or that... you get the picture: Spiritual visitation comes in answer to works! What does the Bible say about such a construct?

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? Galatians

The Galatians didn't do anything in order to prime the pumps of the heavenly anointing. They just believed God's promise. That is the pattern of Abraham, it's the pattern of grace. We keep looking for that ever elusive, ever changing trigger that will launch the next Charismatic tidal wave, and we always end up looking at ourselves for the answer. The truth is that God wants to anoint us, wants to bless us, he promises to do so. If the target is a new season of the Spirit moving, the only trigger that needs to be pulled is faith.