I once heard William F. Buckley say that at swinging Beltway parties you can get away with mentioning "God" once, or maybe twice. But try it a third time and you'll never be invited back.
That's in a company of unbelievers, of course. In a company of believers the shibboleth is the words "Holy Spirit." I know this is true because there was a time when I would walk across the room to avoid a person who had too much to say about the Holy Spirit.
Nevertheless, the Scripture still stands that tells us to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14), filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), and pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). So the Spirit must be worth talking about now and then.
Even the walk-across-the-room type of Christians have all had the experience of the Holy Spirit speaking to them. Whenever you hear a voice in you telling you, "Don't tell that joke," or "Don't make that remark," or "Keep your mouth shut," or "Speak up," you have probably heard from the Holy Spirit.
One principle in Scripture is the "use it or lose it" principle. This is much more nicely put by the evangelists:
"One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much" (Luke 16:10).
"For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have in abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away" (Matthew 13:12).
That is to say, keep ignoring that little voice and don't be surprised if after a while it goes away. Keep listening to it and obeying it, and not only will it grow clearer and louder, but you will hear it more often and in more circumstances. It is very possible that some people who are just a bit too mystical for your taste are people with a highly developed sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's direction.
In the Welsh revival of 1904-06, Evan Roberts went around Wales with four messages from God.
- Confess all known sin.
- Get rid of everything doubtful in your life.
- Obey the Spirit's voice immediately.
- Proclaim Christ publicly.
It's very likely that he was led by the Spirit when he said that.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.