Some people might think that in talking so much about being filled with the Spirit that I am touting an overly personal, mystical, and esoteric Christianity, but no, I am preaching about Biblical Christianity, and it is those who want to live outside the experience of church life that are actually having their own brand of experimental Christianity, and they count their personal experience as somehow equal to God’s design. It seems more holy to them, and so they think they are being godly, but they are becoming their own God. Their will is to do sanctification their own way, but we don’t have the right or the true freedom to do that, because it isn’t God’s will. It may look shiny but it is actually selfish.
Think about it, and how many people who think they are saved are counting on some experience or something they think is deep inside them that is good, and they talk about God when you are near, or they send you religious emails and all that, or they will come to church once in a blue moon and they will relate to you of some experience they have had, but they haven’t had the born again experience! It’s obvious.
Now I am not saying all religious emails are bad, but more often than not they are just promoting the American civil religion, the pick yourself up by the bootstraps, rugged individualism ideal that has nothing to do with the Spirit of God exalting Jesus Christ in your life. Again, I am not against people talking to me about things that inspire them, but this doesn’t justify them from their sin in God’s sight! You don’t need to prove to me how holy you are.
How many times have you heard, “well, God knows my heart”? This happens so very often with people who want to justify themselves from the fact that they are blatantly ignoring the teachings of the Bible. Now if someone is actively longing and looking for committed fellowship and discipleship, well their intentions are indeed known to God, and He will help them, and I am not criticizing them at all. However, most are not trying and wanting that, they are trying and wanting to get out of having to be a vital part of a local church. They say, well God knows my heart, and I say yes, He absolutely does, they are right about that. The problem is that while God knows your heart, YOU don’t know your heart, and let me prove it to you. You say God knows your heart, and God says the Bible is how you know what He is thinking about your heart.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
His Word reveals the condition of your heart, and this passage in Ephesians tells you what God says being filled with the Spirit looks like. So no matter what you think your heart looks like, God says that if you aren’t speaking, singing, sanctifying, and submitting to others in a community of believers, then you are not filled with the Spirit. Yes God knows your heart, and He uses His Word to reveal to you the condition of it.
Proverbs 28:26 (KJV) – He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Proverbs 21:2 – Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.
Perhaps it is time to pray Psalm 19:12-14 / Psalm 139:23-24, and then ask God to show you from His Word about that “heart surgery” you need.