When we first began All Things Restored, my husband and I, because we had both experienced control and authoritarian leadership in the church, had a passion to create an atmosphere where people had complete freedom. We assumed that if people had such freedom, they would follow Holy Spirit, who would then divinely orchestrate our gatherings. We did have some amazing moments. But we also had some messes. Messy messes. Finally, after several agonizing years, I cried out to the Lord, and He began to show me how He parents us differently as we grow in Him. I began to realize that mature believers can steward more freedom than spiritual babies and that providing loving boundaries for the immature is not control; it is appropriate and necessary. He then took me on a little walk through His written word, showing me every instance where a natural or spiritual father did not properly govern his children. Our journey ended in I Samuel 2:12, where the sons of Eli the priest were called sons of Belial. The word belial is Strong’s #H1100, which basically means “worthless.” But many scholars believe the word is more related to one who is “without yoke” or who is rebellious or lawless (the rebellious will). I began to understand that leaders not only err by controlling people, but also err by not providing proper boundaries for the immature or rebellious. Both extremes are serious in the eyes of the Lord because they damage people. Both extremes are manifestations of improperly functioning will gates. Control quenches the Spirit of God, while lawlessness grieves Him.
Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. –I Thessalonians 5:19, AMP
We quench Holy Spirit when we have trouble with our YES. Some of the things that quench Him are:
1. Trying to control or manipulate people
2. Trying to be people’s Holy Spirit
3. Not giving people freedom to learn, grow and make mistakes
4. Not allowing messes that come simply from immaturity
5. Not giving Holy Spirit room to move
6. Choosing man’s “order,” man’s thoughts and man’s ways over God’s
7. Striving, “good” works, trying to earn God’s approval
And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.
–Ephesians 4:30, CSB
The Holy Spirit of God has sealed you in Jesus Christ until you experience your full salvation. So never grieve the Spirit of God or take for granted his holy influence in your life. –Ephesians 4:30, TPT
We grieve Holy Spirit when we have trouble with our NO. Some things that grieve Him are:
1. Blatant sin and defilement
2. Selfish motives and agendas
3. Demonic infiltration
4. Failure to walk in godly authority and neglecting to bring loving correction
5. Failure to submit to godly authority
Though no one knows for certain what ended the Azusa Street revival, it appears that one key factor was that spiritualists and palm readers began to sneak in, exerting demonic influence over the meetings, and William Seymour did not stop them. One of his greatest strengths was his willingness to keep his hands off and to allow Holy Spirit to have total freedom in the meetings, no matter what it looked like. But his corresponding weakness was his failure to properly correct those who persisted in operating lawlessly and who were grieving the Spirit of God. It seems that similar issues have quenched many other revivals, including the Welch Revival. Many leaders throughout church history have either erred by quenching the Holy Spirit through heavy-handed control or by grieving Him through allowing people to exploit His presence for selfish or occult agendas. We can only avoid these two opposing pitfalls by depending upon Holy Spirit, as He flows through our fully functioning will gate… through both our YES and our NO.
Next week, you’ll learn how to cleanse and restore your will gate so you can keep a big, beautiful YES in your heart to God and an unwavering NO to all that opposes Him.
Have you been blessed by this excerpt from my book, Miracles Are Normal: Co-Creating Through Oneness With God? You can purchase paperback or digital copies from my website here: Miracles Are Normal. And you can purchase from Amazon here: Miracles Are Normal on Amazon
Until next time…