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This post is speaking to Christians who have totally surrendered themselves to the Holy Spirit and are now experiencing conflict with other Christians and a lack of interest in going to church.
The knowledge of God is a very divisive thing. The more insights you receive from the Holy Spirit, the more cut off you will feel from the rest of the Christian community. This is because the vast majority of your siblings in the Lord do not have a deep knowledge of God, nor do they want one. They are not fully committed because commitment costs. To put it bluntly: God simply isn’t worth that much to them. But He is worth a great deal to you, which is why you surrendered yourself to the Holy Spirit and earnestly sought His wisdom. Now what you have gained is very precious to you—so precious that it’s worth what it’s costing you in fellowship with other believers. But this new sense of isolation does take some getting used to.
A DIFFERENT PATH
It’s a very rare day that souls are willing to leave the common path and follow the Holy Spirit away from the rest of the flock. For the fully committed Christian, the Church becomes like the world—a place in which we feel “in but not of.” We don’t feel at home in the Church because she wants to please her flesh and the world. We want to please God. We want to go deep. The Church wants to stay shallow, and the dribble she pumps out every week in her sanctuaries and home groups simply doesn’t feed us.
The nourishment of the Church is like trying to eat meatloaf filled with gravel. After we spit out enough rocks, we finally say, “thanks, but no thanks.” When you’re used to fine dining, you lose your tolerance for garbage, and a steady diet of the Holy Spirit’s illumination completely wrecks us for the slop we hear being doled out on Sunday mornings. If we could go to church and hear His Voice speaking to us through human lips, then we would enjoy going. But instead we hear the voices of demons and/or human egos talking to us. Why should we listen to such unedifying dribble? What do we want with watered down truth and a refusal to ever progress beyond elementary topics? We’re much better off staying home.
The fully devoted Christian often loses his interest in attending church altogether. Other Christians aren’t going to understand this, because to them attending church is what Christianity is all about. Consider how many times you’ve heard some Christian say how important church is to them. “Wow, I really need to come here and refuel every week. When I don’t come, I feel myself slipping. I have to be around my brothers and sisters in the Lord.” Such talk only shows how shallow their devotion is. If they must be near a religious icon to remember that God is important to them, what must be going on in their hearts? What kind of sense does it make for a wife to say, “When I’m alone with my husband in the bedroom, I lose all interest in our marriage. I have to get together with my neighbors every week to remember how much he means to me.” This is such foolish talk, yet this is what we hear Christians saying all the time. They talk as if other Christians are the glue that keeps them bonded to God. They shake their heads with grim expressions when they hear that some soul has stopped attending church. To them no church is a guarantee that a soul will fall away from the faith. And yet they forget that the goal of life is not to build a relationship with a building or a group of other humans, but with God Himself.
We each have an individual relationship with God, and other people can’t step in and do our relationship for us. Our soul’s bond with the Holy Spirit is a very private thing and if we don’t spend time developing it because we’re too busy hobnobbing with other Christians, then our relationship with God isn’t going to go anywhere. As a Christian who has a strong soul bond with God, you aren’t going to identify with souls who talk like He’s utterly forgettable the moment they leave bible study. You are devoted to God. You are the rare exception to the rule.
FRICTION WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
Don’t expect to feel comfortable with people who take God for granted and show very little concern for His feelings. Such attitudes irritate the Holy Spirit, and since that is Who you are bonded to, you’re going to feel irritated as well. The closer you get to God, the more other Christians are going to rub you the wrong way. Consider who was the biggest thorn in Jesus’ side when He walked around on earth: not the pagans, but those who claimed to be devout believers. Those with titles and positions of influence who are milking the Church for glory and accolades are going to find you especially threatening, for without even trying, you will expose the error of their ways. The devoted Christian doesn’t have to seek out conflict—just by walking around and breathing you are going to put other Christians on the defensive because you exude the aura of the Holy Spirit and they don’t like the Holy Spirit.
Here’s an important principle to keep in mind: when people sense God in you, they will respond to you the way they are already responding to Him in their hearts. So when you feel prompted to drop some unpopular truth about God at bible study and everyone jumps down your throat, you will get a good picture of how much spiritual stonewalling is going on underneath those sweet smiles. Don’t be surprised when the most warm and welcoming Christians suddenly turn on you the moment you point out some passage in which God lied or associated Himself with evil. Christians who claim to be wholeheartedly pursuing God will accuse you of being a microphone for Satan when you confront them with truths they don’t want to accept. Oh yes, they are following God—but their God is a limited Being who is only allowed to have Character traits which they approve of. And while Christians scoff at the insanity of relativism, they are practicing it all the time with this “create your own Jesus” doctrine. It doesn’t matter how many times you show them how rude and condescending Jesus was in the Gospels. They’ll still insist He was sweet, mild, and loving to all.
You cannot carry on a rational conversation with a man who is living in a fantasy, and you can’t talk a rebellious Christian into seeing the light of truth. They know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to them, and their aggressive response to you shows you how they are responding to Him in the privacy of their own souls all the time. Most Christians do not want what you have. You know that what you have is a thousand times better than what they have, but don’t waste your breath trying to convince them. They love the land of compromise and they aren’t going to leave it. Now and then a sincere soul will come along, and those are always a joy to interact with. The sincere ones will be troubled by troubling truths, but then they will think about them, chew on them, and spring forward to a new level of maturity, whereas the rebels will just get huffy and aggressive. Now and then the Holy Spirit will walk a sincere soul across your path and He’ll use you to help them get a piece of what you have. But you don’t need to seek such opportunities out, and you’ll see plenty of the young choose the path of compromise after being exposed to you. Devotion is a very rare thing. You are now a member of a very small minority. Don’t expect to find a bunch of soul mates down here, because God spreads out the brightest lights on purpose in order to increase their sphere of influence. You won’t have a bunch of like-minded friends on this earth, but then again, you have God, so who cares? Communing with the Creator is far better than communing with mere creatures.
Don’t be surprised if God pulls you out of church for a good long while. Remember how rare you are to Him: He wants your attention. Communing with Him is going to be your source of growth, so who needs church? For the committed Christian, church becomes a mission field—a place where you put out, not a place where you are filled. Don’t even think about slogging through a Sunday service unless you feel specific leading from the Holy Spirit. When He wants you there, then of course you’ll want to go for His sake. But as soon as He cues you that He’s done, take off.
INTERACTING WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS
As far as other Christians are concerned, you talk like a deluded weirdo. Realize that they are all being brainwashed with the same lies over and over again. Even though you know the truth, you’re probably the only one in their lives who is saying it, and none of the leaders they fawn over are going to back you up. Rebellious Christians surrender themselves to their lying leaders as fully as you surrendered yourself to the Holy Spirit. It’s a very ugly situation, for even when you see some of them thinking for a moment about some insight they hear from you, after a week of influence by the title-bearers, they will have fallen back into the brainwashing pool. Souls would rather stay part of the back-slapping, ego-stroking in-crowd then join you in the pursuit of what really pleases God. But their rebellion isn’t your problem, so let them go. Remember that God wants us to have the option of rejecting Him. It’s not your job to make other Christians see the light. The Holy Spirit owns your mouth, and He will use it when and how He wants to.
THE SOLO JOURNEY
You don’t need church, you have God. You don’t need to hang out with other Christians in order to keep your personal soul bond with God intact. You’re not a spiritual baby anymore, you’re an adult. Your relationship with God is well established and you don’t need anyone else to assess it for you or advise you in how to proceed. Christians are taught to feel suspicious and threatened around renegade Christians, and that is what you are because you’re not going through all of the required religious rituals. Because you’re not letting the system control you, those who run the system will hate you as much as the scribes and Pharisees hated Jesus. You’re in a minority group now, and ironically you’ll be better received by the unsaved than you will by the saved. This is because unbelievers who are sincerely seeking God will be strongly drawn to His light in you—a bright light which is quite different than that murky stuff they see shining out of other Christians.
Under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, you are learning the real truth about who God is, and in the Church, God’s unadulterated truth is rarely heard. What a privilege it is to have your eyes opened by God! And the best part is that the education never ceases. When you’re still processing the thrill of one exciting insight, the Holy Spirit shows you another. Every insight brings you a deeper understanding of the heart of God. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you will find yourself yearning to treat God better and better and you’ll find the whole of idea of pleasing Him becoming more and more consuming. Let’s face it: God is addicting. The closer we get to Him, the closer we want to be. Whatever joy you’re already experiencing—you’re in for a whole lot more. It just keeps getting better with God. He is an endless Source of good news. His truth completely changes the way we view life and we find ourselves losing interest in all the things of earth as our minds switch over to an eternal perspective. “What does God want? What does He think? What would please Him the most?” become the questions our lives revolve around. Nothing satisfies like God does.
So then, forget about the brothers and church and daily devotions and all the religious trappings. You are on far too exciting of an adventure to be bogged down with man’s agenda. When the Holy Spirit wants you to hang out with other Christians, He’ll tell you. Meanwhile, there are far more exciting things to think about.
Think about where you are at in your walk right now. Are there any questions burning in your soul—things about God that you are intensely curious about? Remember that the Holy Spirit always initiates, and He will spike your curiosity on purpose to get you excited about learning the next lesson He wants to teach you. Being taught by the Holy Spirit is such a fabulous experience—to hear His Voice speaking to your soul through a thousand different channels. It doesn’t matter how crazy and bizarre the new insights are—when you are depending on Him to guide you, you do not need to worry about going astray. God’s truth will absolutely blow your mind over and over again. He is so incredibly deep, complex, huge, and intense. He is amazing. You have chosen so wisely to pick the path of full surrender. It doesn’t matter how many pastors label you as a heretic and how many Christians look at you like you’re a complete nutcase. You know in your soul who God is and the two of you have something very special together. Let other Christians make their own choices and pay the consequences. You have chosen wisely, and God is going to reward you with the greatest prize there is: intimacy with Himself. Ever-deepening communion with God is what you have to look forward to for all of eternity. It’s a sweet life, isn’t it?