Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you (2 Corinthians 5:13).

We had a PastorTalk last night in our service where people ask spur of the moment questions and I answer them. I want to address more thoroughly a question that was asked about manifestations of the Spirit. From some of the response I’ve gotten via e-mail, I think that some have misunderstood my answer.

First of all, let me say plainly that I ENJOY MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT WHEN THEY COME! I am open to the Holy Spirit showing up in our services. I answered the way I did because the way the question was asked brought to my immediate memory things that I had to deal with in order to bring correction. I tried to balance my answer by saying that I am definitely open to the Spirit of God manifesting in our services!

With the Baptism with the Holy Spirit comes a heightened awareness of the Holy Spirit and a stronger sensitivity to Him. Over the years, I’ve had the Holy Spirit manifest in me quite strongly, at times more than I felt that I could personally bear. I’ve had manifestations of the Spirit that made me “weak in the knees” and I felt as though I couldn’t stand; I’ve manifestations of the Spirit that prodded me to dance the way David did; I have manifestations of the Spirit when I laughed seemingly uncontrollably. We have had manifestations of the Spirit in our services where portions of the congregation were on the floor under the power of the Spirit. So again. Let me repeat, I’m open to the moving of the Holy Spirit.

Where we need to be careful is when we try to force a manifestation of the Spirit that just isn’t there. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, the way He wants to do it!

Let me also mention this. It’s important to keep priorities in order. God’s Word should be primary and first place in our lives and in our ministries. Then, with the Word as priority one, we should encourage and yield to the moving of the Spirit as He wills, not as we will! If the anointing is not there for the Spirit of God to manifest, just flow with God and His Word!

I lived in Tulsa for 8 years or so during the 1980’s and during that time I attended many of Kenneth Hagin’s meetings. He would frequently have manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the meetings. I noticed a pattern during that time. One night the Holy Spirit would manifest in a strong way, and the crowd would be stirred. The next night we would have another meeting and it would be standing room only! Everyone invited their friends to come and see the moving of the Holy Spirit. And guess what happened! The Holy Spirit would urge Kenneth Hagin to just preach the Word that night, and there would be little to no manifestation of the Spirit! I believe the Lord was seeking to emphasize at that time the importance of putting God’s Word first in our lives, and not seeking manifestations of the Spirit first. To do so is to encourage error!

We have those today who feel as though we not “having church” unless there are numerous manifestations of the Holy Spirit at every single meeting we have. In my view, that thinking is out of order and encourages excess and error. Our thinking should be, Lord, I’m at this meeting to receive from your through your Word. And I covet and desire manifestations of the Spirit as you will them. I open myself to you, to your Word, and to Your Spirit to move as He wills, not as I will.

Back in the 1950’s Kenneth Hagin was interviewed during the height of the healing revival that was strong at that time. Many ministries were advertising miracle services and great demonstrations of the Holy Spirit. He told a group of colleagues: “When all these other things are gone, I’ll be out there. Because the Word never fails. I build on the Word and they build on some kind of gift.*”

Let’s honor the Lord by putting His Word first, and trusting Him to provide manifestations of the Holy Spirit as He desires. Pray with me for a moving of the Holy Spirit among us.

Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain…
(Zechariah 10:1)

* All Things are Possible by David Edwin Harrell, Jr. (Indiana University Press, 1975) p. 186

5 thoughts on “Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

  1. God has moved wonderfully at times in my life. Frequently in private times only between He and I. I highly value the giftings and graces of the Holy Spirit, God. God has even granted me understandings that have spared my life. However, I know that knowledge of the Word as well as relationships with other Christians, and commmittment to a local church authority are part of God’s provision for protection from excess or deception that we as human beings can fall prey to at times. These are meant to help balance us in our “Spirit” walk, as we learn to cooperate more and more with God and His Ways.

  2. I thank God for wisdom and balance concerning His Word. Though manisfestations are great…if the Word does not hold first place in our lives, we can end up with a shallow relationship with God. He manisfests Himself the strongest in His Word. I believe we must be careful to not get into the, needing to see something mode. His Word should manifest in our lives at all times…and we will see all the manisfestations we need.

  3. Amen. Heaven and earth shall pass away but His Word will never die! I believe my desire and prayer should be for more of Him. When manifestations occur I praise him with appreciation but not expectation. That being said I do expect more of Him. I, too, have experienced some of the manifestations you have described. They are wonderful when they are from Him!
    “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. Matthew 6:33
    God bless you my brother!

  4. Great post Pastor!

    As “Sons” of the KING we walk in the blessings of God (we are the sons of Abramham, Isaac and Jacob!); the miracles and signs are a testimony of His goodness and also used as a sign for unbelievers. Seeking to be “entertained” at church is a sure sign of immaturity in the Word.
    It’s like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, even if the Lord did not manifest Himself in ways that our finite minds expect, we are called to still know that He is the great I AM!

    Thank you for taking on the “elephants” in the room!
    God Bless you Pastor,

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