There is a difference in having a form of Godliness, but not the power thereof!
Allow me to opine; years ago after getting out of street ministry, and moving out of the big city where I learned how to walk in the Holy Spirit of God, and fight with Satan and his counterfeit spiritual movements, I fell prey to the flesh and social pressure in not wanting to move in the Spirit for fear of what others thought of me!
I can remember going into my prayer life, in that still quiet place in my room, and suddenly having the window shade spring up while cats battled just outside my window, to spook and discourage me from praying! Being a young man, I yearned for social acceptance, and cowed never to pray that way again for fear people would think me a loon!
In the late 90s, I finally would meet my wife to be, giving direction towards Christ in her battered world in a way that I was never able to function in the Holy Spirit before, and to a certain degree, it scared me very much walking in the Holy Spirit of God almost daily, for about 18 months!
During this time of dating, I knew I needed fellowship, so I tried very hard to gain acceptance in the established “church system” with their systematic theologies. I had even passed the Presbyterian’s course for Elders with flying colors, but only to experience more rejection from a formally educated bunch of stuffed shirts!
This deeply discouraged me, and I vowed to return to my first love, walking in power in Jesus Christ!
Little did I realize, I would stand to lose everything, my Army career, and even my very life!
The church still expected my offerings, and building fund money, plus my service as a Deacon, on an increasingly tight budget, enough so we thought we might lose our house due to medical expenses incurred through a line of duty heart attack in training, just after a year of returning home due to my orders under Operation Enduring Freedom, but ended up spending my time at Ft. Bragg, NC.
Jesus was pressing shoulder to shoulder next to me that day, my heart stopped, as my eyes rolled back in my head! I was defibrillated about a half dozen times, and at one point looked down upon my own ambulance in perfect clarity of mind and vision, I pleaded with God to let me live!
I was not expected to survive the night, and a week later after my emergency stenting, my proximal lad started to clog up again, as they rushed me back into surgery! Not only that, but I thought I was a goner as I told the nurse to tell my wife, she was the best thing that ever happened to me!
The nurse then repeated back to me my private prayer said in my car while driving over the Bay Bridge… She said, “Mr. Dell”, the enemy knows who you are, but this will not stop what God has planned for you!” I was shocked, as I had prayed to be effective for Christ, like Paul and Silos, in that the enemy would know who I was!
I left the organized church and its bunch of “yes men” in my estimation for about seven years, partially because I could not give my testimonial publicly from the church stage, and because the Lord had moved me to walk away from their money-making operation, oftentimes devoid of His leading!
Furthermore, I then spent about 6 years online with a group of Armenians who thought they had a better handle than most in walking in the Holy Spirit, while rejecting others who didn’t fully agree with their methodology and slanted beliefs of being Holy. I, too, would be rejected after 6 years of continued friendship with the leader of this small group, primarily because of my political views, as being “chastened of God” when I needed emergency surgery for an infection of vegetation growing on my (two) defibrillator leads to my heart, which the hospital didn’t want to try and remove!
Praise God, I ended up with the Surgeon, Dr. Love, at Johns Hopkins who had invented laser surgery to the heart! I could go on and on about the small miracles within my life, but will only share but a few more recent ones while one again walking in the Holy Spirit of God.
I finally was led by the Lord to join a small Baptist Church on the Island, who did not reject the leading’s and power of the Holy Spirit, as not conducive to their doctrines and legalisms!
As I strive to “get back” with the Lord after some serious rejection in my life, he has slowly moved more and more in power, by placing items in places I could see them!
One of these events was with my cell phone, I had misplaced it from the table I normally sat it on, and decided after much searching to retire to bed and look for it in the morning. The next morning, as I entered my office to search for it again, it was placed back in the center of the table which I normally kept it upon!
Another event was in not being able to locate the chute key for my small 3/8th inch drive drill, and I had to use the ½ inch drive instead. The next day, it was also at the center of my workbench in my shop!
Then a couple of days ago, I was doing the tedious task of sorting out hardware to shelve in my shop. I just knew I had a bag of deck screws I had just seen to go back into the carton, but I could not find them, so when I turned my back to shelve what I had just sorted; when I turned back around they were on my workbench immediately!
I must say, that spiritual events such as these are scary to the natural understanding, and we will tend to think it was only us who simply overlooked them, but the spiritual reality is that they were not there just a moment ago, and then instantly appeared! You see, this is the reason I didn’t want to walk in the Holy Spirit years before; because the natural mind does not accept the things of God, and to put it bluntly, people will think you nuts, or an emotional cripple!
I have also watched small screws appear when I needed them for a project, and as a former Marine Engineer, I am well aware of the amount of hardware I counted for a job! Furthermore, my mental capacity and brain function was thoroughly screened by the military after my minor brain injury after my heart attack!
The real problem is that most Christians are scared of what they don’t understand, and some don’t have even the faith of a “Mustard Seed” to be willing to acknowledge the moving of God’s power within their relationship with him! It takes a lot of courage to move in faith in this manner, and in no small part as it is often not understood, or even acknowledge by the church establishment for being too mystical, emotional, or even unbalanced!
In today’s world science is god, yet in the times of the past, God was God, and science was just a way to gain an understanding of what God had created! This is only one more reason that people of faith, and particularly Bible believers, are so hated nowadays. Then the question becomes, how willing are you to follow Christ, and at what point will you sell him out towards a hostile world run by Satan?