Friday, September 23, 2011

Hi, I'm an Extroverted Spirit Quencher?

BSF, my favorite bible study of all time, has started up again for this year.  We are studying the Acts of the Apostles.  And let's just say that week two, as we delve into Acts 2...I'm not super comfortable with the study of the Holy Spirit.  Turns out...I think I'm an ESQ...Extroverted Spirit Quencher.

Considering that to most people I am bubbly, energetic and VERY outgoing...I'm not so comfortable with showing the Holy Spirit's outpouring in me...at least in times of worship, public displays of, etc.  I was raised in pretty, proper uptight New England...in a very conservative church.  I just don't communicate with God that way, ya'll.

I'll never forget one time in college, when Jim Cymbala came to Cedarville University.  My Dad happened to be there for a pastor's conference.  At one point, Cymbala encouraged commanded people to literally raise holy hands.  I was like, "Nuh, uh...nope"...then my Dad lifted his hands...and I yanked on his sleeve and hissed, "Put your hands down!"  He said, "Why?"  We've had many interesting discussions about it since.

And I guess this study is bringing that all back up for me.  Although I'm becoming pretty outspoken in my evangelistic quests--trying to encourage others that it can be indeed be done and we live to share another day...I don't get the expected response.  Instead of encouragement and joy, I feel like many fellow believers look at me like I'm crazy.  Maybe it embarrasses them...or they wish I'd shut up...who knows...but I do know that it's not comfortable being different...and yet I've never been more okay with it. 

God sent His Spirit so that believers could sustain a right relationship with Him.  He's not satisfied with mechanical obedience.  I should know, cuz I'm really really good at mechanical obedience.  But that's just it...I don't ever want to be afraid to share or express what God is doing in me.  God's Word is meant to set our hearts on fire in a way that we can't possibly hide...so why do I spend so much time worrying about what other people think...and what He thinks last? 

"What the disciples wanted was not numbers but an essential quality that would keep them BEING the church God intended. Boldness can only be imparted by the Holy Spirit."  ~Jim Cymbala

4 comments:

Barbara H. said...

I'm not a very demonstrative person in general, and that certainly translates into my worship. I don't have anything against lifting of the hands, and it's certainly in the Bible, but as I haven't seen it commanded (I think the lifting holy hands has more emphasis on the holiness), I feel comfortable not doing so. I'm more comfortable with "Be still and know that I am God" although I know that as well is talking about a heart attitude more than physicality. As we have visited churches each time we moved, we've come across a great variety of styles even among those whose statement of faith, constitution, etc. was everything we were used to, and I've had to acknowledge that there's nothing wrong with styles that are more "lively" and loud than what I am personally comfortable with. I'm glad God created us with variety and that all churches (and individuals) don't have to be cookie-cutter reflections of each other.

Jen said...

I so get this. Always thinking about how others see me first as opposed to God. Good thoughts here, Bobbi!

Beverly said...

Me too! key there is "spirit quenching" ... we (those raised a lot like you) are so worried about confusing spirit-led and emotion-led. If we are emotional and bubbly people, it may even be harder. I have been taught to control those emotions so have also controlled pretty much anything that would draw attention to myself during worship. Because I sign, my worship wants to come out in my hands but unless I am interpreting, I can't seem to let it go very often. I LOVE attending Women of Faith conferences because I can let go a little bit more there (that is unless someone I know is with me and then I hold it in again). WHY??? For me it has a lot to do with being accepted by others. Something I consistently and working on. I am totally fine with those who prefer their worship more quiet (Uncle Don is one of those). But I wish that I could respond more to what is happening inside of me where the Spirit lives.

Michelle said...

I'm excited that you love BSF. My BFF is a group leader. I haven't been able to attend the last few years, so I live vicariously through her. :)

I love lifting my hands and moving where the spirit moves me, but I attend a pretty conservative church and I am unsure sometimes if I should or not. I usually put them half mast. I need to work on being ok with being outspoken about the Holy Spirit.