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Is there a balance between the word and the spirit? We hear this idea a lot, just like we also hear about a balance of law and grace. I passionately reject any balance or mix of law and grace. Does this hold true with the word and the spirit? Not a few good spirit-filled men and women of God have written that we should make achieving such a balance a top priority in our Christian walk.

Is too much spirit possible? Should it be equated with emotionalism? Should the word be equated with deadness?

Is this even the right question?

Perhaps the word and the spirit are the same thing, for they come from the same God.

My experience is that those who are truly baptized in and filled with the Holy Spirit are also constantly in the scriptures. The Holy Spirit makes them alive. Jesus leaps out of every page. Notice that I said the scriptures, not the word.

The Bible does not refer to itself as the word. Neither should we.

The Word is Jesus, and exists eternally, from the beginning, with the Father.

A further note: paganism emphasizes balance. Good and evil, yin and yang, body and spirit. I think there is a caution in that. Is balance something we should seek? Do the scriptures anywhere say to balance the written word and the spirit? I can’t find any. The only juxtaposition is in Ephesians:

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

This is not balance, but instead this passage says they are the same.

Here’s an insight from Bill Johnson of Bethel Church: ‎”Balance” was never meant to describe that place between joy and depression, between zeal and apathy. It is a useful term only when it describes equal measures of right things, like passion for the Word and the Spirit, passion for character and power. (emphasis added) From Paul Ellis, reviewing Bill Johnson’s book, When Heaven Invades Earth:

Few of us will doubt that the Holy Spirit can do great things, even through us. So why doesn’t He? According to Johnson, the main cause of the problem is found between our ears. We emphasize understanding over belief, reason over faith. This is fatal.

Often we are more convinced of our unworthiness than we are of His worth, or our inability instead of His ability. “The mind makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

God will never contradict His Word, but God is bigger than His Word. If we try and chart our way based on our own understanding of the scriptures, we will find ourselves living under law. That’s what happens when you prioritize boundaries over relationship.

Jesus never said, “My sheep will know my book.” Under grace we don’t get a road map, but a tour guide – the Holy Spirit. I love the way Bill Johnson said it at the  Manifest Presence conference:

“It’s difficult to expect the same fruit of the early church when we value a book they didn’t have more than the Holy Spirit they did have. It’s not Father, Son and the Holy Bible. No, this is the word of God, but you’ve got to understand… it is the Spirit of God that makes it living.”

God is more eager to invade this world than we are to receive the invasion. We sit and think when we could be praying and acting. We warn each other about the sin of presumption, while God warns us of the sin of unbelief.

We strive for balance and control and end up with the order of the graveyard. All this happens because we submit the things of God to the mind of man, instead of the other way around.  http://escapetoreality.org/2010/09/08/%E2%80%9Cwhen-heaven-invades-earth%E2%80%9D-by-bill-johnson/

What comes to mind is the passage in the book of Revelation:  Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

We are not to be mixed in our belief, as in mixing law and grace. Neither are we to leave our first love – which is the grace and truth that came by Jesus.

He is the Word, not the scripture. The scriptures tell of Him, but they do not contain all He is. He gives us the Holy Spirit without measure, and it abides. Can we balance scripture and spirit? Not really. And we certainly cannot balance Jesus and the Spirit. They are one.

What do we have then? Is the goal to balance the Word and the Spirit, as many say? No. They are intertwined. We dance with them.

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This is personal. It’s about that moment of truth that happens when you are totally unaware of its approach. You may have had glimpses of it, but dismissed it. Then suddenly there it is, staring you in the face and stabbing you in the heart.

This is what recently happened to me. I was coming home on the ferry, and saw the big screen that has video advertisements on it. An ad appeared for a seminar at my church, and then I remembered that something was said about there being an ad on the ferry for this event. But, I paled. I was suddenly glad that I was alone and no one knew I was connected to the church. Especially when my first reaction was an audible, “No way!” lost in the rumble of the boat’s engines.

Why, you might ask? Isn’t this a good thing? The answer for me is a loud and resounding, “No”! This is the second marriage/relationship seminar in less than a year. Everything in me wanted to scream, “I don’t want to be from a church known for seminars, but from one known for signs and wonders”.

It was bad enough when the bright red signs went up around town, for the first seminar. “Red Hot Marriage”, they read. And then every resident was mailed a bright red postcard advertising the seminar. It was held by a noted Christian author and counselor. When people asked if that was my church, I would just laugh and say I didn’t know much about it because I wasn’t married…..

Now we have this new seminar. It is given (but not free!) by a husband and wife team. They are Christian counselors, authors, and college instructors. They are highly renowned, and live in the area. The bottom of the screen on the ferry said they had appeared on many TV shows, including Oprah. I’m sure there will be a book table in the foyer. A smiling team of members are signed up to be hosts.

Did Jesus say to go and give relationship seminars, and therefore be happier, more spiritual, more dedicated to God, and spread the gospel and increase your membership? Did He say that books on spirituality tell of Him? Do we really need to learn to love, if we have the spirit of God, who is love, inside of us?

When I first believed, the people I fellowshipped with loved each other. We weren’t taught it. We did it because it was in us by grace, in our very hearts. It oozed out effortlessly. If it has to be taught, it isn’t grace!

What can be taught is who we are in Christ, and what we are called to do. Go, make disciples, baptize in Jesus’ name, announce the good news of the kingdom, heal the sick, liberate the spiritually oppressed, and raise the dead!

Another video by Bertie. I’m not trying to be lazy, but I have been busy with a lot of new material. These two videos are just a part of what I’ve been watching and reading. Taking time to digest it all…

The LAW of God

via Charis Bible School morning session.

Matt. 10:7: “As you go, preach THIS message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

I’ve been thinking that if we aren’t doing these things, maybe we haven’t freely received.

If we aren’t preaching the kingdom is here (Luke 11:20 “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God HAS come upon you.”) and are hoping for healing, telling the sick that God has a purpose in their sickness (and even that He gave it to them to make them better people) and saying death is the ultimate healing instead of the last enemy, and if we avoid the possessed and pity the unclean, just maybe we don’t know what we’ve been given. Maybe we haven’t been set free ourselves.

Too often we receive the gospel with gladness, but then get sucked into the morass of religion and lose not only our freedom in Christ, but our joy, peace, and true purpose. How does this happen? We are told in Hebrews that the message did not prosper some because it was not mixed with faith (Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.) Now, while it was the Hebrews (Jewish Christians) to whom this was addressed, the principle holds.

Jesus taught as much in the gospels (Matthew 13:19-23). Some do not understand what they hear, troubles come and they lose faith or are offended by the word, or they are deceived by the world. I submit they can also be deceived by the religious teachings of some churches.

This is short. I may add to it later.

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