Possession Of The Holy Spirit
As Christians, many of us wholeheartedly believe in demonic possessionâ€¦ we see it on tv, we see it on the faces of people in public, we even see it in the eyes of family and friends who live without Christ at different timesâ€¦ Itâ€™s a frightening and dangerous fact of life that those in the know deal with every single day.
Yet in this article, I want to talk about something quite similar in effect â€“ but completely different in natureâ€¦ and that is the divine kind of possession that only comes through the Holy Spirit. Now I know â€“ most Christians are taught that the moment we accept Christ the Holy Spirit enters usâ€¦ and I know some even teach that one needs to speak in tongues as a demonstration of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but these do not describe the possession I am speaking of, nor can they truly define the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit in us.
Consider Matthew 10:18-20 where Jesus says:
â€œOn my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.â€
This isnâ€™t just a suggestion that the Holy Spirit will hint to us, or whisper guidance in our earsâ€¦ it is a statement that says He will be speaking for us and through usâ€¦ now imagine if you heard a statement like this concerning the devilâ€¦ if someone told you Satan was speaking through them â€“ you would consider them possessedâ€¦ would you not?
Yet, Christians have been taught that we are in control and its up to us to imitate Christâ€¦ even Paul taught us thisâ€¦ but I think we can grow even closer. I think God in us can not only be greater than us â€“ but He can completely consume the entity we call â€˜usâ€™, if we truly sell out to Him. He must increase and I must decrease, to paraphrase John the Baptist.
I recently saw images of a Christian hung in Egypt for his Christian faith. The photos followed the Christian along his walk to the spot where he would be hung. For some, it was stunning, because this man smiled and looked relaxed all the way to the noose. It drove some to want to take up arms against those killers, but to others, it spoke loud and clear that this is what we are called to be. We trust in Jesus Christ even unto death.
Could you die for your faith in Christ? Without protest â€“ without threats? Many have, but it sounds like a daunting taskâ€¦ I mean â€“ what would be the harm in momentarily denouncing a faith in Christ so we could preach another day? Surely we would be forgiven just as Peter was, yet we know the ultimate testimony requires us to stand firm in Him even if we are to be killed for Him.
When I look at the sufferings of the early Christians; from Stephenâ€™s stoning, who prayed for his killers despite being pummeled to death; to SaintPolycarp who died while bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him; and beyondâ€¦ to all those who died for the name of Jesus since. How do you think these people stood as they did â€“ or stand as they do? HOw do you think God supernaturally worked through them and around them?
While we might feel uncomfortable with the term, I have to believe this kind of sacrifice of ourselves is only possible through possession of the Holy Spirit. I am not talking about Jim Jones or David Koresh here. I am not talking about people with a Messiah complex who insist they are Jesus or God here on earth as I donâ€™t think the Holy Spirit would share His glory with a man in that fashion. If that was the plan we would have read about it in prophecies of the New Testament. However, if we give ourselves over to God, and amazing things happen and if we are called to a point we personally canâ€™t handle, I believe He will take control so to get us through it, one way or another â€“ even if it means we will be possessed by the Holy Spirit.