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Scared of the Holy Spirit?
- Jacob Ninan
Many Christians are scared of any experience with the Holy Spirit because they don't want counterfeit experiences. Many of them thus decide to keep a safe distance from the gifts of the Spirit rather than get into dangerous situations. They are right in wanting to have it safe, but very much wrong in missing out on the genuine.
The Holy Spirit is the Comforter and Helper whom the Father has sent us after Jesus went up to heaven after His resurrection (Jn.14:16). The Holy Spirit helps us to repent (Jn.16:8) and to pray (Ro.8:26), reminds us about the things Jesus has taught us (Jn.14:26), makes Jesus more and more attractive to us (Jn.16:14), gives us power to be witnesses for Jesus (Ac.1:8), transforms us into the character of Jesus (2Co.3:18), gives us gifts to serve and bless the others with (1Co.12:7), guides us in the way we should go (Ro.8:14), comforts us (Ac.9:31), etc. What a great loss for us if we miss Him! However can we live a proper Christian life without Him!
Yet it is true that there are many counterfeit experiences that we need to avoid. We are not to believe every manifestation that looks like coming from the Holy Spirit (1Jn.4:1). Not everything that is supernatural is from God, because the devil also has some such powers. The devil even pretends to be coming from God in order to fool us (2Co.11:14). We need to look at the the end result to see if something is from God (Mt.7:20).
Not all counterfeits are from the devil. We ourselves can imitate the gifts of the Spirit to get into the club of Spirit-filled Christians or to impress people with our spiritual power. Some experiences that people have in large meetings may be due to psychological and emotional influences.
But, as someone has said, the very fact that there are counterfeits shows that the genuine thing is really valuable. That is why we should not miss the genuine baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Are you afraid you might end up getting a counterfeit? Remember it is our Father who gives us the Holy Spirit, and He has promised that if we ask for bread He won't give us a stone, and if we ask for fish He won't give us a snake (Mt.7:9-11). If we seek Him honestly and sincerely for the Holy Spirit and we are not looking for cheap thrills, we can trust Him to give us the genuine experience.