The Holy Spirit Never Seems To Do It “My Way”
The old crooner Frank Sanatra use to bellow his famous line, “And I Did It My Way.” Isn’t that the tune almost all of us like to sing, for we love being in control; we love to do the rational, the well thought out, what we consider as “normal” or even “safe”. We often shy away from allowing the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ to lead our lives because he never seems to do things the way I would like him to do them, rationally. Most of the time he seems to choose to do it irrationally, not the way I think is “normal” or “safe”. This is how we often get in the way of revival by stifling the Holy Spirit’s lead.
For example, let’s look at 3 examples of how he has chosen men for leadership:
Old Testament – Moses would have been my choice too to lead the Israelites out of hundreds of years of bondage because he knew the Egyptian hierarchal system. He knew how to work their politics as an insider. Shoots, he was a C.E.O. at one time! He knew how to work their economics for he was in charge of overseeing their economical work force, the slaves building Egypt’s phenomenal building program. In my rational thinking as an American, he’s the man to “lobby Pharaoh”. God chooses to work differently. He allows Moses to be ostracized from “the Egyptian system” of hierarchal leadership and begins to teach him relational leadership among, of all things, sheep and nomadic sheepherders all leading to a relational confrontation with God himself manifesting himself as a flaming talking bush. What becomes important for the rest of his life is his relationship to the bush. He cannot build a relationship with pharaoh nor the Israelite people for they always pose opposition. Only his continual fellowship with God, going into the Holy of Holies, is the key to his success. What at first looked like an irrational move now looks very rational to us. God is irrationally rational.
The Gospels – Rationally, if I am about to start a “kingdom of God” campaign I need a Public Relations Department who will get the word out: audibly through a radio campaign, visually through a television campaign, in print through all the local papers, through the internet with a social networking campaign, etc. As an American I know, advertising is the key to the success of this campaign. So God is about to launch his “kingdom” on earth, so he sends someone to “prepare the way”. He does not do an advertising campaign to get the right person; he does not take resumes. He chooses instead the town “hippie”, a man in sheep’s skin that eats a diet of locust and honey. All he says is, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” That alone creates a stir like none other that will eventually, literally, make him his “lose his head.” People respond and he baptizes them, thus John the Baptist. He is only the message bearer, for he even sends his disciples to Jesus to ask if Jesus is the messiah, the fulfillment of the message John is proclaiming. Because of this doubt, Jesus refers to him as “least in the kingdom.” So God chooses the “least in his kingdom” to proclaim one of the most profound kingdom proclamations in history; how irrational is that? But in order for Jesus’ influence to move forward, John had to decrease in order for Jesus to increase. Now the choice seems more rational. Again God proved that he is irrationally rational.
New Testament – The early Church has a new leadership crisis: one of the 12 is a traitor, has committed suicide, and has tainted the leadership image of this new Church from its very beginning. In one of the early chapters in the book of Acts, the eleven decide they need a twelfth. Rationally they should announce the vacancy to the existing Church, take resumes, form a committee to conduct interviews, and have the 11 vote on the replacement or maybe meet in the upper room for a “church council”. Wrong! The Holy Spirit leads them to “cast a lot”! What! Take two straws, one short, one long, and have one of the candidates pull it. How irrational is that? By the way, Matthias won! I wish the book of Acts would tell us more about Matthias and what he did after his “lot” was cast! He becomes an “apostle”, now one of the twelve, an equal, to anchor this new Church. We didn’t know it, but God knew that he was the man of the hour. It was another irrationally rational decision.
The Old Testament priest use to make godly decisions through the Urrim and Tummin, which today we are not really sure what they were, but basically it was like the method like casting lots to choose Mathias. We do not understand the Urrim and Tummin, nor the casting of lots to make key decisions, but that is how God works at times, irrationally rational. We think God thinks like man, rational, but God thinks like God and to us that looks irrational. Man needs the thinking of God, Godly thinking. The Church calls that righteousness.
But the bottom line is this: Can we trust the irrationally rational thinking of God, for that is how the Holy Spirit works? Can we trust the Holy Spirit? The answer to that questions is the key to unlocking true revival for the Church, for the Church, you and I who believe in Jesus Christ, will never see revival if we can not trust the Holy Spirit, nor expect the irrational to ever be rational to our way of thinking. We need to lay down our misconception and myth that the Holy Spirit will do irrational things to embarrass us if we chose to follow him. Moses, John the Baptist, and the 11 disciples did and look what it did: freed a nation, establish a kingdom, and provided leadership to a new born Church, that’s all. Is that weird, or is that awesome? Let’s look toward the awesomeness of the Holy Spirit, that which is irrationally rational and not only believe in him, but trust him!