Sunday, February 8, 2009

Please, what is meant to be Spirit-filled?

So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom (Exodus 28:3a)

Many have made the condition of being filled with the Spirit, spooky: If you are filled with the Spirit of God you will speak with tongues, raise the dead, heal the sick, caste out demons, and perform miracles on a daily basis. Anything less than this, and you are not filled with the Spirit. However, this is not the testimony of Scripture. Here God says that to become a gifted artisan, you must be filled with the Spirit. Elsewhere, the fruits of the Spirit, evidences of the Holy Spirit's presence in a person's life, are defined as character qualities such as: love, joy, peace, patience, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and such like.

To become a skillful artisan, a person must possess the fruits of the Holy Spirit; you cannot become skillful in a craft if you have not learned patience, long suffering, obedience, faithfulness and like character qualities. There have been skillful artisans who have left their craft to become very poor ministers of religion; they have taken on a calling that is outside their gifting. On the other hand, there are so-called spirit-filled ministers of religion who do not manifest the character qualities of the Holy Spirit, but who claim the power manifestations of the Spirit.

We must be very careful in what we call manifestations of the Holy Spirit. It is the Bible which is the objective measure of what is of the Spirit, and what is not. In whatever vocation we are called, we should continue in that vocation with the view of becoming a Spirit-filled artisan/craftsperson/professional. Wives and mothers, who become artisans in homemaking, hospitality and childcraft, are Spirit-filled ministers of the Gospel in their sphere of calling.

My craft is with words, not with wood or steel. May the Lord help me to be a Spirit-filled wordsmith. Amen!