One common mistake many people make when they talk about the Holy Spirit is that they almost always only associate him with speaking in tongues and all the weird stuff that come with it. The extent of their knowledge revolves around a controversy and that’s about it.
In Victory, we are unapologetic about our belief and continuous practice of the spiritual gifts articulated in 1 Corinthians 12. I know that some people might disagree with me on this. They would point out to me the excesses of the Spirit-filled crowd. I am aware of some of those but that is a post for another day.
What I hope to accomplish in this post is to point out that there is more to the Holy Spirit than the manifestations of gifts. While the Holy Spirit continues to do miraculous things today, he also does many other things in our lives that we are barely aware of. The most commonly neglected among us charismatic types is the Spirit’s long, tedious work of making us holy. Theologians call this sanctification. Regular folks call this the process of slowly becoming like Christ.
Sanctification and Ordinary Living
Here I make a very important practical distinction. Whereas the operation of spiritual gifts is loud and fantastic, sanctification is often silent and unseen. This is the reason why sanctification is so underrated among believers. Most of us have the propensity for fascinating displays of power while we relegate to the sidelines things that are ordinary and mundane.
But it is in the ordinary things of life that most of our maturation happens. We cannot live our Christian lives on a steady diet of miracles and mountain top experiences. Even Moses had to come down from the mountain of God and face the ordinariness of life with regular people. Our spiritual peaks must be followed by ordinary slogging in the trenches of discipleship and evangelism.
This is where it gets difficult. Like Peter, we’d rather build tents in the mountain of the Lord and spend our days beholding the unbelievable luminescence of God’s glory (Matthew 17). But God’s ordained way to mature us must happen in the context of ordinary living. Maturity has to happen in the thick of our demanding jobs, messy family dramas, and heartbreaks over failed relationships.