This is a question I have been thinking about. I know someone who received the Holy Spirit several years ago, and their walk in the Spirit has been very up and down. There are times when this person believes they were freed from a sin issue, just to later have that same sin take them over. There are times when this person feels strong in the things of God, and there are times when they wonder if the Spirit has been so grieved by their sin that he left.
This person believes that the gospel promises a life of freedom through the power of the Spirit, but for some reason that freedom never seems to come as it should, or as they think it should.
I wonder if this has to do with how isolated this person is from other Christians who are of the same mind and Spirit.
As Christians, we are supposed to be a body in Jesus Christ. There is no single Christian who has received the fullness of the Spirit of God. Only Jesus was given this, as far as I know. How can one single Christian attain the promises of Jesus in this present life without edifying fellowship? There is fellowship, but it seems lacking.
There are Christians who are serious about keeping their outward lives clean and seem very judgmental of others whose lives aren’t as bright and shiny as theirs, but they don’t seem to take much thought for deep issues of the heart. There are Christians who value relationships, but in a kind of soft way that is resistant to speaking about sin, so they do not want to talk about the hard things for fear of upset. There are Christians who have a kind of zeal for Jesus but are caught up in the cares of this life. There are many churches, but doctrinal disagreements lead to division.
There has been online fellowship, but that is not the same as face to face. We need connection. We need to live alongside one another in a real way. It seems we are so content living in our own little worlds that we do not gather together in meaningful ways.
Is this person missing something? Is it just a kind of tragic lot in which this person landed or was placed in by God—to be surrounded by unbelievers and other Christians, but none who seem to really add to them? Is it pride for them to feel this way? It’s hard to tell for sure.
This person so badly wants to live an upright life, but there are things for which real healing never seems to come. And I can’t help but wonder if this has to do in part with a lack of Spirit-filled relationships. How can one stand alone and not have their light go out when there is no one there to fill them, but they keep trying to fill others so that the world around them is not so dark?
I don’t know. I do know that God is not limited and His will is done in all things. I do know that through Him all things are possible. If you can relate, please do not lose hope.
There is a great multitude of zealous Christians who we are connected with, though we do not see them. Let us pray for those lonely brothers and sisters so that they can know that the body of Christ alive and well. Perhaps the Lord will send fellowship. Perhaps the Lord will be more gracious with His Spirit so that the lost sheep can be made stronger.
It is said of Jesus that “a smoking flax shall he not quench and a bruised reed shall he not break.” A little faith is good. A little fruit is good. He can bring forth more. Sometimes we have an uphill battle and we get tired of trying, but we can be glad in knowing that God has His grip on us and nothing can take us from Him.
When we are surrounded by unbelief or bound to “unequal yokes” we cannot break that seem to drag us down and quench the Spirit, replacing Him with spirits of unbelievers because “evil communication corrupts good manners,” we can trust in the mercy of God. Trust in His timing. Trust in His power to do something about it for His Name sake so that we do not dishonor Him. It is true that we are to be lights in a dark world, but the darkness hates light and will overtake it. Yet, He who is in us is stronger. Though the pain can be unbearable at times, He will come through. We can trust in this.