In conversation with my new friend the other day we were discussing a nation where the church were not only in the minority but they were persecuted and seen as second-class. He described the Church as a tiger with a collar and lead, tamed, held back, not being what it is, not realising that it is a tiger and not a domesticated pet-cat! If only they knew who they were!
That can be said of the Church in many nations I am sure. Can it be said of us?
Have we become tamed? Are we held back because we have become timid? Do we just continue to make excuses for what has happened? Have we not understood who we are? Are we blinded to our potential?
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5 v 18
In contrast to the instruction on not letting the drunkenness of wine effect you the Apostle says instead I do want you to:
- Lose control – let the Spirit impact your decision-making, taking those opportunities that come your way and understanding what the Lord wants you to do.
- Lose confidence – let the Spirit edify, encourage and strengthen you not your self-confidence or any other stimulant.
- Lose context – let the Spirit have the last say over your life not the evil days that the Apostle says we are living in.
We don’t have more of Him. He has more of us!
Paul uses the present tense and says ‘go on being filled to the brim, continually, be completely taken over, let every aspect of your life be invaded and ultimately possessed by the Holy Spirit without ceasing, ongoing, keeping on being filled again and again, daily and throughout the day.’
Oh and the Apostle means this also, ‘this is a command not an option but the work is God’s not yours, you cannot fill yourself, He does it, but your role is that you must give permission, allowing yourself to be filled, that is the area the command sits.’
A tiger can be kept in captivity but that doesn’t mean it is domesticated. Being ‘tamed’ which is usually done by way of abuse, fear or starvation is what the enemy of our soul has done to the Church. The persecuted Church and the pandemic-affected Church may look like it has been tamed. However, there is a new desire rising to being filled with the Spirit of God, recognising who He is and where He is, here with us His Church.
I don’t see persecution or pandemic I see followers of Jesus, the Church, being agitated by what has held them back, seeking to give all to the Spirit and to be continually filled with the power of God. Open the cage the Church is coming!