Father, Son and Holy Bible

The title if this blog is how I used to describe my evangelical friend‘s faith. His church meetings were all about the Bible and long sermons. My Pentecostal meetings were far more ‘spirit-filled’, with people receiving messages from God. Sure, the Bible was used, believed and preached, but God kindly sent us lots of extra bits to make life more interesting. We would raise our arms during particularly significant parts of a song, and some of us would walk to the front afterwards to allow more of the Holy Spirit into our lives.

I don’t mind people raising arms- I sometimes do it myself. I've also heard many a prophetic word given at Salem Chapel, by which I mean timely, bible-based sermons rather than random utterances given in a quivering voice. I admire classic Pentecostal worship for its vibrancy and freshness, but the loud and the gyrating have no automatic title to God’s Spirit.

1 Kings 19, we read of God speaking to Elijah:   

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

I’ve more often felt the Spirit of God in our quiet old-fashioned chapel than I have in the loud and spectacular meetings held elsewhere. The winds, fires and earthquakes feel powerful and look dazzling, but the Holy Spirit’s gentle voice has more force and majesty than all of them combined. If you wish to hear His dulcet tones, seek not modern prophets and givers of words, but read His own in Scripture. He may have spoken through men, but the words are His, and He still honours them.