I'll let you in on a truth of which my kids are very
much aware - I'm old.
I can still remember how excited we were at my school when I was in 6th grade; the administration had let us bring a turn table out beside the building at recess a couple of days a week and play records. We thought we were so cool out there grooving to the music. Some of the stuff we listened to was really cheesy. One such group was the Osmund Brothers. They had a hit song entitled One bad apple. The basic premise of this song was that one bad experience in a situation (in the case of the song the situation was being "in love") does not mean that the entire situation is bad.
I was reminded of that song this week as I was thinking about the second chapter of Chan's book Forgotten God. He points to the passage in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 that commands Believers to not quench the Spirit and to not treat prophecies with contempt. The questions and thoughts that he brought up in that second chapter have been bouncing around in the back of my mind for the past week.
One experience that Chan relates in his book is similar to my own; he talks about how, when he read those words in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, he basically assumed he wasn't quenching the Spirit and moved on. That's been me; since I love God and want to live for Him I kind of assumed that of course I wasn't quenching the Spirit. Yet I've been extremely closed off toward most prophecies.
You see the problem is experience. When you have good experiences that sets you up toward something favorably, but when you have bad experiences it has the opposite effect. I spent 3 years in a charismatic church where I observed and experienced many abuses of prophesy and the supposed power of the Holy Spirit. Initially attending that church had been fun and exciting. Every week we believed we'd hear from God. There was always something fresh and new. Unfortunately as I got more involved, and because I was privy to many behind the scenes happenings, I began to realize that much of what was going on had nothing to do with God. Things ranged from well meaning Believers who, simply because of that charismatic culture, made "power of the Spirit" things happen, to downright misuse of situations to manipulate people.
So I took that one "bad apple"/bad experience and let it make me, to quite an extent, give up on participating with other Believers in settings where they practiced all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
What about you, have you ever let one bad experience sour you on experiencing all God has for you?
Growing Old - Disgracefully
2 hours ago