One of the great beginner . . . junior varsity . . . sophomore mistakes in spiritual seeking . . . is in not distinguishing spirits/The Spirit. . . . It is common when a person has a "spiritual" experience . . . that they immediately assume it is THE Spirit--instead of perhaps being a different spirit, while "spirit" nonetheless. This is how and why so many get caught up in cults or the occult . . . or sold on mystical practices . . . because these things seem to actually produce "spiritual" experiences. And they do produce real "spiritual" experiences. . . . But almost always it is the wrong "spiritual" experience to be pursuing. The wrong spirit is influencing the subject.
Often, in the relatively early days, after the initial awakening, the Way of the Lord doesn't produce much or any "spiritual" experiences for long periods of time. Yet, it is still the Way to go. KNOWLEDGE of the Truth is preeminent over a FEELING of the Truth. Repentance, "metanoia" . . . is a "change of mind" . . . a change in the way of THINKING and . . . then living, as the heart becomes transformed by the new outlook and attitude. It is also a gift from God and cannot be successfully manufactured, or self-willed without it first being granted by Him.
Tests of faith, which prove the change of mind (wrought of a truly repentant Spirit), are shown when the fledgling disciple continues along the path, the Way, even when feelings or Spiritual experiences are not so much there to buoy one's trek. The disciple presses on, "waiting on the Lord" . . . through the deserts and valleys. Eventually, sooner or later, a break comes and the Spirit reveals Himself to the sincere seeker who has once seen the Light . . . and Spiritual experience . . . Spiritual feeling arrives to give blessed confirmation, relief and strength and vision to go further, deeper, purer.
Now, the Enemy also has his own version of this and, if a seeker falls for a false "spiritual" experience, the devil, usually through his unseen agents, presented as "spirits", "spirit guides", "ancestors" etc., (which are actually just deceiving demons) will increase "spiritual" experiences, "miraculous" events, uncanny synchronicities etc., to keep the deluded seeker on that route. Most caught in this trap assume they are hearing from and communicating with God . . . because otherwise, "how else could all these supernatural, mystical, 'spiritual' experiences be happening!" They think ANY "spiritual" experience . . . is a good and "Godly" experience.
So, just a warning, when talking about demonic "spiritual" versus (Holy) Spiritual power/feelings/experience . . . about the importance of discernment and learning how to distinguish between the two; and saying it is better to wander through dry times, desert walks, valley crawls NOT Spiritually feeling or experiencing much of anything . . . THAN to take the bait and yearn for and follow false "spiritual" feelings and experiences. . . .
So . . . getting back to The Master's DISCIPLIC path and obtaining real and sanctified--anointed--Spiritual power. . . . One of the ways is to learn how to pray in such a way that you connect with the Holy Spirit; that you experience and feel His presence. There is EMPTY praying, which is just words and half-hearted yammering at God, asking for this and that, throwing it "out there". . . . AND THEN there is real, repentant-led, intimate praying where you don't bother praying unless you are committed to connecting to the Spirit, feeling His presence, hearing His message or His silence, knowing you are properly approaching Him in humility, faith and awe, taking the matter seriously with reverence and respect.
Sometimes, even when you are not necessarily so pursuing Him or even praying at all, He will arrive and you will feel/experience His presence. It is at these times, either way, (whether He just arrives or from your prayerful pursuit) that you should talk with Him about the things in your life you need to rectify.
This is very important. This is a fulcrum move which can shift the world--can transform YOUR world! This is where sanctification and Spiritual power start imbuing you with new Spiritual strength, deftness, ability, growth. . . .
You see, while yes, you may be saved--all your sins past, present, future forgiven, yet there is work to do. Here is where you find the meaning of " . . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him." --Phil. 2:12-13
This verse also shows the importance of realtisonship with the PROPER Spirit. Evil (demonic) spirits will entice YOUR desires and actions that YOU want pleased, and will tempt seduce you into pursuing those. Holy Spirit "produces in you the desires and actions that please" God!
[Note, this also further confirms God's sovereignty in the Believer's choices, will, life. . . .]
But back to the fulcrum moment. . . . You have unfinished business, and this can act like a block to your Spiritual growth and power as it operates in the means of grace. It is as if you get more grace when you address and attempt to rectify, confront and restore some of the mistakes and outright sins you have made in the past. For instance, if it is possible to find the person you have once (or more times) wronged . . . you should try, and ask for there forgiveness. They may or may not respond. That part is not the issue. Your part is for God. Because it is not that you have wronged that person--sinned against THEM--but that you ultimately sinned against GOD! The Spirit will put on your heart which of the things you are suppose to address. This is why having an actual, authentic connection to the Spirit first is so important, versus hearing from a lying spirit who will just try to confuse and harm things more with destructive rabbit trails.
Also, there are certain sinful habits you have. We all do. When the Spirit is present and you are feeling His power and presence, as you look for these things, He will show you which areas of behavior you are to clean up. As a Christian, you are meant to grow and get better. You are to actually transform, sanctify, become more and more righteous--become more and more like the Lord Himself, as He lives in you. So, there are bound to be areas in your life, in your habits and behavior, where you can improve.
As you DO start to rectify these drags on your sanctification . . . you will increase in Spiritual power. Because, in effect what is happening is that it is becoming, in your reality, in your soul, your space . . . "MORE OF HE, LESS OF ME". . . . Which advancement is bound to produce greater Light, strength, ability, power, and is operating more and more within the will of the Father, in willing obedience. This pleases God. Blessings follow. This starts getting you to the place, where, you will Hear instructions, commands, advice, promptings, which flat-out will produce miraculous results at times. Also, the angels, who serve the will of Father, increasingly can become your allies "on the ground", so-to-speak, the more in tune you are with that Holy will. This can give you access to their (the angels) supernatural power and abilities as well, in very practical and "earthy" ways sometimes. . . .
For the times we live in, surrounded on all sides by God-hating rebels, the demonically influenced and outright possessed--with entities, psychopaths, organizations, gangs, lying spirits and governments ALL gunning for Believers . . . it is time to get Spiritually prepared.
People say this--many so-called "watchmen" . . . who urge, "FIRST you must be SPIRITUALLY prepared, then . . . go ahead and get your 'preps' ready." But usually, they don't explain what this means, as many of them don't really know what it means or know how to actually get "Spiritually prepared". It's just something to hurry up and say before they then start selling people their products that are helping THEM get MATERIALLY prepared.
But it is true and vital. Real, authentic, effective Spiritual power and ability . . . is what will help you most in the coming days. It will help you deal with the good and the bad--with all the challenges, whatever they may be, so that, regardless of boon or bust, escape or imprisonment, health or sickness, either way it goes, you, as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ--The Master--will continue to Spiritually grow and glorify Father God, walking steadily the Way that goes right into eternity, taking step upon further step . . . into your eternal life, which has already begun and will not end.
God bless you in this, and I urge you to regroup and press on now with added intention and vigor, a soldier in God's army, a disciple and ambassador for God Himself.
BROTHER THOMAS BLOG