Do you remember?
This one is for those who have fallen away from a charismatic faith.
Do you remember the days?
The days the Holy Spirit was an intimate force in your life that spoke to you. Sometimes it whispered for you to approach a stranger and bless them with a few dollars. Other times it quietly, but firmly asked you to turn off the TV and intercede for someone you know.
The days the presence of Jesus felt so strong during worship, you could almost taste him.
The days you saw breakthrough, or the release of spiritual bondage. The days you put demons in their place with your heaven-quaking spiritual language.
The days you believed with all your heart that with faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains.
Those were the days, weren’t they?
Oh, but they came with a price.
They were the days you lived in constant fear of grieving the Holy Spirit. You needed to do everything that voice said, lest you fall away from God.
They were the days you lived for those euphoric moments with Jesus, those emotional connections with the divine. You chased after them while your other friends were getting drunk and high. You were addicted to spiritual experiences – the tingly feelings of the Lord’s presence, and cathartic sobs at the altar. All those spiritual breakthroughs and tingly feelings and cathartic sobs got exhausting after awhile.
You remember the price. You get worked up talking about it. You know how damaged this kind of theology left you, and you’re still working through all the junk. The rest of your life may be a process of undoing what was done during those Holy Ghost years.
Yet lately, out of nowhere, you have this kind of longing for those days. It’s probably just nostalgia popping up out of nowhere to gloss over the sickness of those years and paint them as romantic, as nostalgia always loves to do.
Or is it a little more than that? Nostalgia is at play, you’re sure, but is it something else? Your old charismatic friends would tell you it’s the Holy Spirit prodding you back into the fold.
You know you can never go back.
So what, then? Do you keep talking about the damage and denying the way you used to know God? There was a time you could explain almost all of it away as emotionalism, brainwashing, and psychological plays by those in control. You thought by now you would be able to explain all of it away and 100 percent reject it with a clear conscience. That was the plan.
But that tiny bit is still there, pulling at you, and you are beginning to wonder why.
Don’t run back into the arms of your old dysfunctional faith because of that one stubborn piece, whatever it is for you. But don’t try to dig it out, tear it apart, and dispose of it either. Just let it be. Answers will come when they come, or maybe they never will. In the meantime, just breath deep in the grace with the rest of us who have fallen away.
Those were the days. Oh, but they came with a price. Do you remember?