This is the third part series on uncovering what i used to believe when i was in the Word of Faith movement and what i now have discovered by what the Word of God says.
I used to believe that sanctification was experiencing the miraculous and the rule and authority in my life where emotions. Let me explain.
In sanctification, (that is, the work of the Holy Spirit after our conversion to separate us from sin and to conform us into Christ likeness), I used to believe that my authority where the feelings that I experienced. I was taught that receiving experience after experience of supernatural encounters, my faith would grow and I would know the will of God and see Him in action. I would even put so called ‘Christian rock music’ and try to identify what His will was for my life, through the emotions that the music was giving me. I did carry my Bible and I read it sometimes only when I wanted to see if God said something encouraging (I searched for self-esteem). But I did not meditate, nor read, nor study diligently. As far as I knew, I was never taught that I need to study that much or read it. Because everyone who were considered mature spiritually, where getting all kinds of messages from God through personal revelation. Through speaking in tongues, through receiving healing and experiencing miracles. And through countless personal prophesies.
I was told not to think but to switch as it where my mind and let my feelings guide me. I was told that God wants to humble us without feeding our minds and using them, so that we would not become proud intellects like the Pharisees.
But this teaching is clearly unbiblical. The Scriptures teach that the Word of God is sufficient for our sanctification. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God as a means for our sanctification. In Isaiah 1:18 God said “come let us reason”. In Romans 12:2 we are commanded to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” why? So that “ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God”. We are encouraged to use our minds and build rational biblical thinking in order to identify the will of God. For if we believe that God desires to humble us by switching off our minds, how then will we identify His truth? By our inner senses? With our subjective views? God said that the heart, which is our feelings, the will and even the intellect of man, is deceitful above all things and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9). We can’t trust in our own feelings and make our own theology based on it. And so that is the reason why it is unbiblical to believe that God desires not to use our minds to think and be sanctified with His word. The Lord prayed “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Also see (Colossians 3:10, Philippians 4:8, Ephesians 4:23).
Christian’s grow in faith not seeking experience after experience. The Apostle said “For we walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Those who walk by sight and not by faith are like those in John 6 who only wanted miracles from the Lord, but denied His deity, that He is the bread of life. They are like Philip in (John 14) who asked the Lord to show him a sign, because he was not convinced that trusting in God’s Word alone is enough for our sanctification. We trust in God’s promises to finish the good work that He began within us (Philippians 1:6).
Can a believer have joy in Christ by the things that are unseen even though it may not feel good at the time? Off course. Peter wrote to suffering believers “whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”(1 Peter 1:8).
True communion, being in the presence of God begins with thought, knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, which is found in His Holy Bible. I am not saying all emotion is wrong. We respond to truth with our feelings, however, we must first understand it with our mind and submit to it with our will.
We must base all our teaching from the Word of God if we are to live as Christians. All experience must be tested by the sure and sufficient Word of God. We don’t need carnal means to receive as it where God’s will or experience the presence of God. Our theology cannot be built on personal experience alone or by someone else is experience. We have the Sufficient Word of God (Luke 16:16-31, 2 Timothy 3:15-17).