First, the answer is Yes. The next question is, “Just how do you do that?”
Let’s get over this argument that they must first meet a certain dress code. Too many of us agree that there are a lot of people all dressed up for Church, who are nothing about Christ.
They don’t manifest the fruit of the Spirit and they are simply not pleasant to be around. They are often argumentative and full of condemnation of others. They are one thing at Church and another thing at home. So let’s just leave that be for this discussion.
This is not about the gift of Discerning of Spirits, but perhaps it should be.
People with that gift can see straight through you. They see with the eye of the Spirit. They actually see what the Spirit sees, not just what’s manifested on the outside.
We won’t argue that point either, because we’d have to talk about whitened tombs on the outside with dead, dry bones on the inside, or cups that are cleaned on the outside, but full of dregs on the inside.
Nonetheless, all Christians who are full of the Spirit have a built in radar that can discern what is good, what is bad, what is real and what is phony.
You see, the Holy Ghost has a certain sound and it’s clear to those who have an ear for it.
In the spirit world, He does not sound off-key, confused, flat or uncertain. There is a wholesome ring, a specific vibe if you please that accompanies the Spirit.
Even if the Spirit issues a warning message, there is no mistake who is speaking, no doubt as to the validity or authority of the Power behind the message.
The Holy Spirit does not fumble or stutter and He certainly does not give different interpretations to different people.
Even in someone just learning to use the Gifts, someone who is just beginning to exercise what has been given to them, you will recognize the author of the Gift.
Something very unusual happened to me yesterday.
I attended a local Mass with a friend of mine and there was a visiting priest who was a missionary. He was blind. He was led to the pulpit and he quoted the scripture passage for this particular weekend by heart, which included the beatitudes.
When he began to speak, I distinctly heard the Holy Spirit began to speak through him. The wisdom and anointing that came forth from this man was absolutely riveting and I could not help but grin from ear to ear.
I just love it when God does something our finite human, religious minds say He cannot do. I couldn’t help it. I just had to say “Amen” out loud and slip out a praise.
The old gentleman talked expressly how God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and just how powerful and omnipotent God really is.
The man’s traveled all over the world. He said God has a dream for everyone’s life, a plan for their good and how God desired to design a life for us that would make us happy beyond our wildest dreams.
He said it has not even entered into our minds, the things God has planned and wants to do for us and how much He really loves us.
Well, there was a gentle move of the Holy Ghost all over that group of folks. You could see it touch them as they smiled and nodded their amen.
We who say we are so knowledgeable about God’s Word and His ways have thrown down a lot of good people who were actually full of the Spirit, some even more so than we, because they did not meet our criteria.
I remember working in 33 African American Churches in my community and just how they loved me and treated me with respect.
I had great hopes of introducing them to the Holy Ghost and telling them about His Spirit. You will never know how shocked and humbled I was to find that the Holy Ghost had already beaten me there and some of those men and women had had the baptism of the Holy Ghost before I was ever born.
Watching His Spirit move among and bless those wonderful people was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I remember going to a local “denominational” Church close by and listened as those folks took turns, one at a time standing up in the congregation and quietly saying a prayer.
As they thanked God for their families, their Church and how God had blessed them, the sweet, quiet presence of the Holy Ghost was all over that place.
Chills were actually going up and down my arms and the back of my neck. I, thought it couldn’t be that way.
Many of you need to surf the internet. You see, God has not waited for us to take the message to others. It’s really very arrogant and a bit ignorant to think the Holy Ghost has just sat around waiting on us to reach and touch people.
There are people everywhere whom God is anointing to sing the way we once did. You simply cannot deny the Holy Ghost you feel and hear.
Simple testimonies given in an honest and sincere voice are moving entire congregations to worship and tears of refreshing are sweeping over them.
I hear country people singing the exact same songs we laid down years ago for the new age, contemporary, more dignified and educated music and seeing them have victory marches and white handkerchiefs waving in an offering to the one and only Holy Spirit.
They don’t look like we think they should; they don’t dress like we say they have to; but I challenge you to say they do not have his Holy Spirit!
One of our biggest camp meeting and conference preachers said he dared never say these people did not have the Holy Ghost, lest he blaspheme against the Holy Ghost in doing so.
Maybe we could have helped teach them and lead them at one time, but I’m afraid they don’t need us now.
Instead of recognizing what they had and celebrating that, we denied them everything, because they did not meet our stamp of approval. Many of us could rectify that, but we won’t.
We can quote scripture, but there are some we choose to ignore. We were told not to be heady and high-minded, that we were adopted, grafted-in and that if God would turn from his own people for shunning Him and His ways, He would also turn from us, if we did the same.
This is not the way I intended for this to go.
You don’t always know which way the LORD wants to lead you when you start something. Oh I know, God isn’t supposed to use me, because I also don’t fit many people’s pattern of whom God can use either.
But I asked Him to use me, wherever, whenever He would. I seek His guidance before I open my mouth.
If some can’t handle that, then perhaps you need to understand that if you’re were speaking expressly what the Spirit wants to say to the Church, instead of worrying about your peers, and who might get offended and not pay their dues or label you as ‘too liberal’ and having too much to say, God might not have to speak through a donkey or use a harlot to help Joshua and Caleb escape over the city wall.
But the Spirit is not waiting for you or me to get ourselves fixed just so, or meet the approval of some elected board with an ear bent toward the people.
We need to recognize the Spirit in others; see what God sees in them and take their hand.
We might learn some things together and who knows, they might just teach us some things we don’t know.
God will work. Who will let Him?
First published: January 31, 2011.
~ Robert Blackburn