I was given inspiration for this post when I heard a comment that went something like this: “There is too much teaching (in the church) about receiving and not enough about holy living.” I remember thinking, “I learned about holy living from the Holy Spirit and not from a man.”
While I agree that holy living needs to be taught, I also see that we need to be taught how to receive from the vast array of the riches of the Kingdom of God, both spiritual and physical. 2 Peter 1:3 “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” God desires to prosper us, spirit, soul, and body (health, provision). “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper, even as your soul prospers.” I have talked about this scripture in another post. We see God’s provision for the godly throughout the entire bible, so I don’t believe it is prudent to omit that part. Learning to receive God’s provision in all things is part of learning from the Spirit. And in order to believe that God WANTS to give to us, we must be free of a sin consciousness. We must believe in our right standing before God, and I have written extensively on that at this blog.
On the matter of holy living…the bible says in 1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you…” This scripture has always raised questions for me, because I don’t believe it means that we never need teachers! I receive so much light from the teachers I listen to. It shows me that I absolutely need others. I can’t get all the understanding I need all by myself. I can get plenty from God in my own study and relationship with Him, but I also need spiritual food from these people who are specifically gifted members of the Body of Christ, of which we are all members collectively.
I think the scripture may speak to the fact that the Holy One Himself lives inside of us and He is the “Main Man,” the main teacher. He is the “…umpire in our hearts…,” the book of Colossians says in the Amplified version. The umpire in the ball game makes the calls, whether you are in “in” or “out.” That’s what the Holy Spirit does in our hearts. He lets us know if something we do or say is “in” or “out.” I hate being “out”! We really do not need anyone outside of Him telling us what is right and wrong all the time because He is right there!
I had little need for man to teach me about holiness because the Holy Spirit was constantly on the job! I was so ungodly, so worldly, when I got saved. I used to tell God, “It feels like You are trying to pour me into a pair of pants two sizes two small for me!” He was always pointing out to me where I had gone wrong. This was to help me, not to hurt me. “For whom the lord loves, he chastens,” Hebrews 12:6 says. Holy living enables us to keep a clear conscience…then we are better able to RECEIVE from God, because we have security in His love. When we sin, our conscience is bothered, as it should be.
A pastor can’t teach on the basics every time he enters the pulpits…we must have our own relationship with the Holy Spirit, Who is the Teacher. He lives is us and is always there, instructing us, if we listen. The Holy Spirit taught me more than what a man could ever teach me once or twice a week. I believe God meant our relationship to be that way. Recall, Adam and Eve hid themselves from God after they sinned. (Gen. 3:8) They no longer had confidence in their relationship with Him.)
I also had a mentor, an older woman who was a spiritual mother to me. I called her a lot. She helped me immensely. I suggest everyone have a mentor, especially for those who are spiritual babies. We don’t expect natural babies to raise themselves, do we? Why would we expect spiritual babies to not need more direct care and assistance?
This need to know how to receive, I believe, is amplified now because our generations are father-less. Our children and grandchildren are having an identity crisis. To know the Father’s love is ever so crucial. Many children today have not experienced much in the way of a natural father’s love. (I was one of those.) Drugs, alcohol, gambling, and broken homes have accelerated this loss of a father’s love, as men abandoned their families, many of them also not knowing the Father’s love. Hurting people hurt people, it is said.
When I was a child in the fifties, no one had broken families. I graduated in a class where there might have been three families who had broken homes. I was one of them. My father disappeared from my life and my mother could not raise children on her own. My grandparents raised my brother and me, and then later, were major caregivers to my sister when she came along.
Today, everything is reversed. Finding an intact family is difficult, and most children have parents, and step parents and 4 sets of grandparents, etc. Many grandparents are raising their grandchildren today, but in my school days, it was rare.
Most of us have also not seen the love of God demonstrated in His people as represented by the church, and have not experienced a real true encounter with His love. We have known only legalism. I remember as a child, I was taught the ten commandments. I was taught what not to do, but I was never received instructed about the power and love of God and how He took my sin in order to give me right standing with Him. The thing that stayed with me, though, is the determined love of my grandparents who made great sacrifices to see that my brother and I were not lost. That was valuable.
Our younger generations need to know the God Who loves them supremely. They need to know that He created them for a purpose and they have reason to live and to hope. They need to get their identity back. They need to RECEIVE the great love that He freely gives. That’s why learning to receive is important.
Pray: Oh Jesus, help us, Your church, reveal Your great love to the hurting generations. Help our lost young people find their way back to Your great, unconditional love. Your desire is that they would all return and experience all that You have for them. Only then will they find true happiness. For those of us who do know You, show us each day our place in the plan by revealing Your love and bringing all the father-less children home. We love You and thank You for all You have done for us.