“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3 HCSB
Our text from chapter IV of Andrew Murray’s The Holiest of All will be brief this time:
There He lives, opening up and keeping open the blessed access to God's presence and fellowship for us; lifting us up into and maintaining us in its enjoyment; and in the power that prevails there, making the kingdom of heaven a reality within the heart.
It is the great object of the Epistle to bring home to us the heavenly glory of Christ as the ground of our confidence, the measure of our expectation, and the character of that inward salvation He imparts.
Murray mentions character in today's text. Character is a set of qualities that make somebody or something distinctive; their nature, and disposition. Of course, he is talking here about Christ and the Holy Spirit whose being is of the highest character of all.
Galatians 5:22 gives us a clear overview of the fruit (character) of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith [or faithfulness], gentleness, self-control.
After careful examination of this verse, these fruits “are to be regarded as the proper result of the Spirit’s operations on the soul.” (Albert Barnes)
A while back, I came across a video of a popular Christian worship group. As much as I wanted to participate, I sensed that something was wrong. The Holy Spirit clearly warned me by the absence of peace. I did not give it much thought at the time, other than that it was odd.
Later I noticed that my favorite worship leader had released a song that was co-written with this particular group. Now I was getting red flags. While I was grieved, I was not sure how to proceed. I listened to the new song many times, and it seemed as if it were true to the worship leader’s style that I was used to. I committed to praying about it.
Before I could come to any conclusions, things started going wrong in my life. Right and left, it seemed that the “heavenly life” that I was accustomed to (peace and joy) was becoming chaotic. Even my dreams were not peaceful, which meant that somehow my heart was affected. I stopped listening to this new music.
Instead, I began to research what has recently been coined as “strange fire.” While I have not had the time or energy to research this in depth, Frank Viola has done so, and you can find many articles about it on his website.
I found evidence to confirm that this particular group is, in fact, a problem for the Kingdom. They are demonstrating qualities that are clearly not of the Spirit. And their influence is spreading like wildfire through worship artists to many, including our youth.
I for one am deeply concerned and equally sad. Do you believe we should be concerned with where the lyrics to our worship songs originate? Write to me and give me your thoughts.