The Holy Spirit never puts the word aside; he makes full use of it. God can lead us in many ways, but his word is always the crucial guide and benchmark. If we think we can draw solely on the wind of the Holy Spirit, we are like a sailboat without a solid rudder.
Personal experiences, regardless of how special they may be, are not the basis of our faith. At the birth of Christ, God gave the wise men from the East a strange phenomenon: they saw the star of the birth of a special king. The star brought them to Jerusalem, where they received scriptural confirmation and specification. Only after gaining this scriptural information did the star bring them to Jesus (Matt 2:4–6).
The shepherds saw an impressive angelic host praising God. But the issue was not the special visual experience itself. The angels delivered a clear message, confirming the biblical prophecies, and it was that message that led the shepherds to Christ (Luke 2:10–14; Isa 9:6).
We must—especially in spiritual warfare—never be driven by excitement, enthusiasm, or pragmatism, thinking to ourselves: “It is not entirely in accordance with the principles of Scripture, but I have faith, and it feels good” or, “It seems to work, and many are convinced, so it must be the right path!” No, we must continue to build on the reliable word, regardless of our convictions or level of maturity.
The Holy Spirit is not a lively, colorful fountain, with the word as a contrastingly dry source of information. Only together do word and Spirit form an inexhaustible source of beauty, strength and wisdom. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as well as allow the word to dwell abundantly in our hearts (Eph 5:18; Col 3:16).
But since God’s word and God’s Spirit can both be misunderstood, and we humans tend to bend everything in our favor, we must remain vigilant. Jesus tells us that a wise man hears the word and acts upon it (Matt 7:24). A mere passive receptiveness to the word and the Spirit is not sufficient. Only when we accept them with a correct attitude will we prosper. There is a constant struggle between God’s truth and human error. But those who passionately seek God in his revealed word, willing to put it in practice, find in that word “a lamp to [their] feet and a light for [their] path” (Ps 119:105).
Text is available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Farsi.
For a general treatment of the theme of spiritual deliverance, see
"Light In Our Darkness, Essentials of Spiritual Deliverance" – Bruno Sebrechts.
Humble Joy Publishing ISBN 9789083136400.
Spanish Edition ISBN 9789083136417
Bruno Sebrechts is a counselor and Bible teacher with over twenty-five years of pastoral experience. He saw God at work, especially in the healing and deliverance of the most damaged believers. His writings are the result of his extensive experience and continuous study. www.LightInOurDarkness.net
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