“Through many dangers toils and snares.” This line from the song Amazing Grace captures perfectly the current conditions that Christians everywhere are enduring. In this line, John Newton wrote of three areas that each of us are presently facing.
•When he wrote about “many dangers,” he was writing about
times of treachery.
•When he penned the words “toils and snares,” he wrote
concerning trials and traps.
Treachery, Trials and Traps seem to be the norm on every front of our human existence. This is no less true on the spiritual front. There are many dangers that Spirit-filled believers must navigate through, as well as traps that must be navigated around. These dangers and traps are designed by Satan to leave us stripped and robbed of our spiritual power. Satan does not want us to live a Spirit-empowered life. Such a life is a detriment to his agenda. We must be alert and cautious so that we do not become a victim of his snares.
Here are three traps that threaten to rob us of our spiritual power: These are traps that must be seen as immediate and ongoing threats to Spirit-filled believers.
Believing False Suppositions about the Holy Spirit: We live in a time when false suppositions regarding to the Holy Spirit are too numerous to count. It is a time when it is supposed that…
- We can have the Holy Spirit without Him having us.
- The Spirit can be at our disposal, but we do not
have to be at His.
- We can have His tongues, but he does not get ours.
- We can have His fullness, but it is okay to give
Him just a small fraction of ourselves.
- We can have the Holy Spirit without the Holy.
- We can have the Spirit's teaching, but learning is
- We can have the Spirit's guidance, but following
Him is only for when we are out of other options.
- We can have the Spirit's truth without saturating
our self in God’s Word.
- We can have the Spirit's gifts without His fruit.
These are all false suppositions. Even worse, they are lies! The dangers of these suppositions are that they place self in the driver’s seat. We are in control of the Holy Spirit and He can be called on and managed by our every whim and command. It promotes human wisdom and power above that of the Holy Spirit. It trades what the Holy Spirit can do for that which human ability can produce. In the end, it leaves us spiritually bankrupt and powerless.
Accepting A Counterfeit Spirit: To keep you from the real Holy Spirit, Satan will introduce you to a counterfeit Spirit. Here are a few ways to detect a counterfeit Spirit.
- It will not live up to the claims of Scripture.
- It will be powerless to do the job of the real
- It will not transform.
- It will not conform into the image of Christ.
- It will not glorify Jesus.
- It will not energize or endue.
- It can babble, but it cannot battle. It can
rattle, but it cannot wrestle. It can talk, but it
cannot walk. It only works on Sunday when the
band is playing, but on Monday it falls flat on
its face. Like Dagon, it falls to a superior
power and is broken. A counterfeit Holy Spirit
will be no match for the flesh or worldliness.
Living An Unsurrendered Life: The lack of power in one’s life may not be the result of false suppositions or a counterfeit Spirit. It could simply be the result of a lack of surrender. There are many things to which one can surrender; but, are we surrendered to Jesus and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit? Though it may be true that at one time some were filled with the Spirit, it is also true that many have not surrendered to the ongoing working of the Spirit. Therefore, their lives do not reflect the empowerment of the Spirit. The Spirit may very well be resident, but He is not precedent. His power has been exchanged for the self-life. When we silence the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit and close our ears to the preaching of His inspired Word, we rob ourselves of the power that comes through obedience and holy living. Satan wants to convince us that it's okay to give Jesus just a little bit of ourselves to God. It's a trap that leads to a powerless and ineffective life.
What Can We Do?
To free ourselves from the dangers and traps of this age, the Church must go back to the Bible to rediscover the real Holy Spirit and what it means to live out a Spirit-filled life. At least two questions must be asked:
1. Who is the Holy Spirit?
2. What has He come to do in the believer and Church
Once we know the biblical answer to these two questions, we must seek the fullness and the reality of the real Holy Spirit. We must be open and receptive to His voice and His leading.
Will we do it? I pray that we will.