22 October 2009

Why Would We Lay Down Our Arms? Holy Spirit & Will (1st of 3)

How do we do this “laying down of arms” as described by CS Lewis – a surrender of our will without extinguishing our personhood?  I would suggest that looking more closely into the nature of the Holy Spirit and His interaction with man’s spirit (our humaness), for it helps flesh out the picture of what it means to be “surrendered.”
This does not, however, create the desire or want to be "filled with the Spirit." Romans clearly states our divided desires. The Scriptures continually call us back to reality-and away from impulsive behaviors and reactions to our our inner or outer problems.  Let's look at how we interpret what it means to "surrender" (lay down our arms) and is the impact of this on us.

Saints are so dubbed because they were more God-obsessed than average "Joe" as a result was the “filling of the Spirit” was we can  translate as a “filling” of their own spirits with the Holy Spirit.
Right here we seem to stumble-for I think we have the impression that we are more "us" when we assert our wills than when we conform to God's desires.
Is that true? Dallas Willard said people who think like that were probably taught by "mean people." I cannot see God's picture of the Forgiving Father as being mean or grudging, I suspect Willard might be right.


What advantage is there to walking by the Spirit? I liken walking by the Spirit to a balloon. In this analogy, the spirit of man is the balloon itself. In its natural state it has a form and there are many forms of balloons, but without inflation, they are all flat. But, the person who is filled with the Spirit keeps the shape but becomes more himself, and not less.
Think about it: God has created humans as the most interesting and, exclusively, a creative being, in the flesh. How much more creative and interesting is this man who surrendered his will to be filled up by the Holy Spirit?

When I say “Party, cake, balloons.” in your mind’s eye, you see filled balloons, not uninflated ones. One would hardly decorate the party room with uninflated balloons! It’s the filling that makes them festive (recall Pentecost: the statement beginning, “These men are not drunk…” was made because of the festivities they were enjoying). When we enter the party room we appreciate the effects of the filling, though not consciously.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit filling Christians, we are the body of Christ, just as my (human spirit) makes me-the living me-me. Once the living spirit has left, my dead body has no purpose in sitting around.

The “work” of the Church is accomplished by the Spirit filling the believers, In his interview, Packer alluded to Sanders’ quote in “Spiritual Maturity” when asked about the Trinity. He may have been quoting Sanders when he explained primary need for the Holy Spirit is this: as the executor of the Great Commission, as the administrator of the missionary enterprise (and, Sanders calls each Christian’s life, in his book on the Holy Spirit, a “redemptive enterprise” of the Holy Spirit). ”

It has been said that life in God, indeed all human existence, is more than a sum of its parts. This is in direct contrast with many aspects of daily living-many are programmatic, often routine and mechanical/technical in operation. The tools to which accomplish our ends are things such as schedules, routines, and calendars. While like a donkey, which took Paul on many a missionary journey, are merely aids to the organic Body of Christ-they ought never block or hinder the possibility that God would ‘transport’ one, as he did with Phillip to the eunuch.
  • Charity Johnson