This is Part 3 of a series on fellowship with the Holy Spirit. In Part 1 we saw that God is an invisible Spirit, but his nature is revealed through people in communion with his Spirit. Part 2 demonstrated that we must have something in common to have “communion,” thus the only way we can have communion with God is receiving God’s gift of righteousness. To have communion or fellowship is to share joy in the same things.
What Spirit Are You Communing With?
Colossians 3:1-5 (NIV) Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Matthew 12:30 (NIV) “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
My thought when I read these verses is that we are always communing with something. If our minds aren’t set on things above, they will be set on earthly things.
I’ve learned how real the spiritual realm is because I’ve seen so many miracles triggered by words or even thoughts in agreement with God. But I’ve also seen people hurt by “fellowshipping” with the wrong spirit. That often happens through rejoicing in music or movies that are full of darkness.
I worked with the youth group at our local church for several years, and we were always concerned when one of the youth got heavily into music with dark, angry, depressed, or even suicidal lyrics. I can’t tell you how many times a young person said “I’m only listening because I like the music.” Yet we soon saw the torment that was in the lyrics end up manifesting in their lives.
Michael Van Vlyman shared a story of watching a werewolf movie that he found flipping through the channels. He wasn’t really planning to watch it, and he didn’t feel good about it, but it caught his attention. Maybe some of you can relate to watching something on TV that you don’t really feel good about but you’re curious. You intend to turn it off or change the channel but keep watching instead.
His little girl was on the other side of the house with closed doors between them, and she couldn’t hear what Michael was watching. But she woke up screaming “Daddy, there’s wolves in my room.”
I mostly learned about the reality of the spiritual world through positive experiences, but it works both ways. It’s not that I haven’t gotten hurt by communing with the wrong spirit, but at that time I was mostly blinded to the nature of what was happening and why. Many Christians might think I’m really picky about what I watch on TV, but I think more people would be if they were more aware of the spiritual realm!
Walking in the light is walking in love, which is God’s nature. When we participate in God’s love, we are communing with God. We are always fellowshipping with something. What are your thoughts, the meditations of your heart, in harmony with? That’s the spirit you’re fellowshipping with.
You Have To Know Who God Is To Commune With Him
We have to know who God is to commune with Him. Many Christians have a hard time communing with God because their image of Him has been distorted.
2nd Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Jesus is the image of God, yet many Christians have a perception of God which looks different than Jesus. Although the verse above is talking about unbelievers, it also applies to “unbelieving believers,” meaning Christians who are walking in unbelief. Wrong beliefs about God give a distorted perception of who He is.
2nd Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
If we have a perception of God that looks different than Jesus, we must find and recognize the arguments that are raising themselves against the knowledge of God. For more on this, check out the article I Know God’s Will Because Jesus Came In The Flesh.
Going From Sin-Consciousness To Christ-Consciousness
Another issue which hinders many Christians from communing with the Holy Spirit is guilt and condemnation.
When we are young Christians we often get caught up in trying to become light by doing what’s right, but the truth is that we walk in the light because we understand by faith that God has made us light. If we are caught in sin-consciousness we will keep struggling with the issue. The fact that you care so much about righteousness and desire to manifest Christ’s character demonstrates that God has changed your nature, made you light, and made you righteous. Instead of focusing on your failures, keep focusing on what God has done in you. Then since He has made you light, walk in the light.
Todd White was a drug addict for 22 years. He was going to end his life, but God led him to find a church in a phone book. He met Dan Mohler. Dan taught him about righteousness and life in Christ.
Todd would come to Dan burdened with guilt and condemnation, saying “I messed up again. I got high.” Dan was excited! He said “Todd, you used to not care if you used drugs. The reason it bothers you now is that God has changed your nature!”
The free gift of righteousness was what empowered Todd to get free from drug addiction, even though he stumbled along the way. Received God’s free gift of righteousness which joins you to Christ, and you will fall out of sin and into righteousness!
Romans 8:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
We read the exhortation in Colossians to put to death things that belong to the earthly nature, such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. Remember that communion is sharing joy in something we have in common. Walking in immorality certainly isn’t communing with the Holy Spirit, because it isn’t in God’s nature.
But think about this: is wallowing in guilt and condemnation sharing anything in common with God? Does God have guilt and condemnation? No! Does God have a sense of sin-consciousness? No! Does God walk in shame? No!
Guilt, shame, and condemnation is still communion with the wrong spirit, which is why the law brings death and causes sin to multiply. That’s why we must receive God’s righteousness, based on Christ’s sacrifice, as a free gift. It doesn’t do any good to keep wallowing in shame until we have changed our external behavior by sheer will-power. Contrary to what some of us have been taught, guilt and condemnation are powerless to make you holy or help you get your life right! They aren’t our friends!
Going from sin-consciousness to righteousness-consciousness changes the spirit you are communing with. It puts you in communion with the Holy Spirit. Communion with the Holy Spirit is where the life, the love, and the power flow. It’s also what changes our behavior. No matter how many times you have messed up, freely receive God’s righteousness now, purchased with Jesus’ blood! Don’t wait another moment! Keep returning to communion with God, and your habits and desires will change.
I hear so much about our failures and our sin in many prayer meetings, in many sermons, and in some Christian songs. I consider this sin-consciousness to be one of the primary causes of powerlessness and frustration in the church. Too many Christians rarely experience intimacy and sweet communion with God because guilt and condemnation are not something we can share in common with God. Get sin-consciousness out of your prayers and meditations, and start to focus on what the Holy Spirit is doing in your life. You must know that God has given you His nature if you are to walk in communion with Him!
Preachers who continually remind Christians of their failures are interfering with the very source of life for the believer–communion with the Holy Spirit. Instead of preaching sin and failure, we must preach righteousness, holiness, and participation in God’s nature. Righteousness means that you are in Jesus, the Father loves you with the same love he has for Jesus, has given you the same glory he gave to Jesus, God is not ashamed of you but rather He delights in you as he delights in Jesus, and you have the same boldness as Jesus himself does to approach Father God!.