Sunday, June 11, 2006

An Issue of Control

There is quite a debate raging on another blog that I frequent. It is a discussion board that is primarily focused on folks with some sort of connection to the Church of the Nazarene. The thread began when someone posed the question: "Are we scared of the Holy Spirit?" It has meandered through several sub-topics. And one of those is about control.

I won't belabor that thread here. But, it has prompted me to look deeper into my own life and look at the issue of control within my own spiritual life. And then there is the recent series that we have been involved with in both Sunday School and through Worship that has dealt with the issue of Sanctification in the life of a Believer. Again, I won't belabor that.

But I am reminded of the great evangelist and missionary to India, Dr. E. Stanley Jones. Upon being elected as a Bishop in the Methodist Church he declined the election. His reason... He felt a calling on his life and heart to go to India. Dr. Jones said that he heard, "I want you in India." Is that "control" of is it a "sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit?" I certainly prefer to think of it as the Holy Spirit leading me versus the Holy Spirit controlling me.

How easy it would have been to assume that an election to the highest office that his church could confer upon him was the leading of the Holy Spirit. But that was not God's plan for Dr. Jones. Some of us are running ahead of where God is leading us. Some of us lag behind.
My goal is to walk hand in hand with Him as we travel life's journey.

He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be
Still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Joseph H. Gilmore