We Can’t Be Selfish Charismatics

A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires.

Galatians 5:17

Feeling dry is a feeling I have to typically manueaver as a Christian.

No one likes to be spiritually dry. I know the feeling of being alive, of being blessed with God’s presence, blessing, and power. It is a gift that Charismatics enjoy pursuing. And then I know pain of spiritual dryness and drought, feeling distant and unengaged with God.

A couple of weeks ago I felt this dryness but I couldn’t figure out why.

I feel like I say the correct Charismatic things: “God fill me with your presence! Fill me your power!” Still I felt this way and didn’t know how to pivot my life to feel alive again.

One morning I was reading this Scripture and it dawned upon me–the vessels that God fills with his Spirit are those who are bent on His will, not theirs.

I feel like as Charismatics, we tend to delight in the presence of God, which is great. But this delight is done, as I read, not in the context of selfishness, but selflessness.

The passage in Galatians says that God’s Spirit is actually against my desires. That they can work in opposition to each other. And so therefore the environment the Spirit thrives in is a human who loves the desires of the Spirit. God was calling me to not just hunger but surrender.

It is easy as Western individualized Christians to make the Christian experience about me. It is about me, but the Christian life is about God first. The Christian life isn’t addition, as in we are simply adding God on top of our life. No rather, it is displacement, where God becomes our all in all.

We who love the Spirit should be wise to not mix our love for God’s presence with our selfishness. I am assured again and again, living in America, with all its emphasis on self, it is easy to be selfish in our charismatic expression.

The filling of God’s Spirit brings joy and power to our lives, but with it, a heart and mind that longs to seek the things that God seeks, to do the things that God does, to pray the things that God prays, and to love the way that God loves.

We cannot be selfish charismatics. For that is not our distinction. Rather, let us be reminded that the filling of God’s presence is done on surrendered and selfless ones.

God, make my life, like your Son modeled, about your will, not mine. And I know that as I ask for your presence, then I will experience the power and blessing of your presence.

Posted by Phillip Chan

Phil has been writing in the Black Box for 10 years. His passion is to grow in his love for Jesus to obey his purposes in our generation.

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