Before I begin, I do believe in humility but not so that it gives an inaccurate view of the person’s ability (whether that be over or underestimated).
I do believe in angels but not so that I occupy myself thinking about them and wondering if they will be involved with my life today.
I do believe in the experience of seeing things that others haven’t in terms of visions but not so that others will think of the one having visions as someone special and to be adorned with fame or money.
The Apostle is into the nitty gritty of the Colossian problem. Is Christ enough?
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. (Colossians 2 v 18-19)
During this pandemic when Christians have not gathered in their buildings it has exposed something which we have held to as very important: the experience.
- Before the pandemic one minister told me how a member met him at the door to say goodbye and said “we are not feeling God in this place anymore.”
- Many years ago a member in my Church would stand with her hands in the air lost in wonder and praise and then without moving the position of her hands would look around the congregation (I still don’t know whether she was being nosy or wanting people to look at her).
- When members of my church began to be ‘slain in the Spirit’ (an uncomfortable term!) others would come forward for prayer asking not for anything else except that all blockage be removed so that they could also be slain and experience what their friends were having.
- In the 90’s I was privileged to attend a conference in Toronto and experience the Toronto Blessing. Afterwards in comparing notes with friends who were with me or had been before the big question was did the Arnotts pray for you (these were the Pastors).I remember feeling the pressure to say yes in order to fit in. I didn’t. I told them of a very small grandmother figure who prayed for me but that I did indeed meet with God.
Why do I mention all this? It is because during this pandemic what has been dented in Church the most is not the finances, the attendance figures, the fellowship but the supernatural experience/feelings of God, especially if that was an important part of going to Church prior to this.
I am not saying we should not have them. Of course not!
But as we have been told many times for many years: it is His face not His hands we seek. Who He is and not what He gives are more important than anything.
The Church has been and stripped back and maybe that is a good thing.
For Paul he could see the dangers, “they are puffed up”.
The Church doesn’t need to declare how good it is or build their ministries. A Church who is trying to attract people (especially Christians) by an experience or some supernatural activity has lost its mission. The Church needs to reach the lost.
And importantly: the Church needs to keep connected to Christ by faith. There is nothing else whether some activity or experience that will bring the necessary growth and discipleship than basing our whole lives on a walk with Jesus Christ. He is enough.