author=PeterTheAleut If God wants to speak through me in a charismatic way as He did through the Apostles at Pentecost, who am I to resist? After all, He has done it before.
And He did say, that greater things than these you will do.But it seems from my reading of Fr. Seraphim Rose and St. Ignatius Brianchaninov that those who actively seek such exalted spiritual experiences usually open themselves up to demonic delusion.
Just to share a little of my experience with you, I was not actively seeking an exalted
spiritual experience. Rather I was yielding myself to the Holy Spirit, to be filled in the sense of allowing Him to pray through me, as Scripture says,
"We do not know what we ought to pray for but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Romans 8:26,27
"While meeting with them, He enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts 1
(Bestowed in answer to prayer)
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Luke 11:13
And because this gift was given to empower to serve I also asked for prayer to receive it:
"And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high." Luke 24:29, John 7:39, 14:16, 16:7
"But you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses for Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."My task is to submit to Christ and follow His Gospel teachings through ascetic struggle, not to seek exalted spiritual experiences for which I am not ready.
Just an observation on this idea; there were so many baptised in the Holy Spirit in the early church,
and they had less recourse to teachings and experienced believers than we do in present time. I don't believe that God will give us a gift that He promises to us in the Scriptures, unless He is willing to back it up with the graces necessary to help us in our weakness. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Even the Samaritan believers were given this gift:
"Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." Acts 8:17
And the Epehesian Believers
"And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied."
I believe that just as Mary and the True Presence, are a major threat to the kingdom of darkness, the enemy plants slander, by taking them out of context and gives non-Catholic/Orthodox believers a wrong idea, mixed with lies; so has the enemy succeeded in doing with many Orthodox/Catholic that have not had solid, well rounded experiences with the Holy Spirit and tongues.
I also believe that anytime we walk in the Spirit, demons are assigned to lead us astray. When I was first learning how to type, I made lots of mistakes. But I didn't give up, I kept on trying. Sometimes the embarassment of making mistakes in discernment, causes people to withdraw or call all spiritual experiences like that demonic or bogus.
Rick Joyner, in his book The Torch and the Sword, talks about those who have been taken captive by the army of Fear. They have been disarmed and immobilized by fear and ridicule. It has been my experience that serious errors in discernment in my life have been allowed and perhaps even engineered by God to treat my serious sin of Pride. But after the humiliations are over, He lifts me back up on my feet, brushes the dirt from around me and gives me the courage to have another try.
This is a Scriptural reference on this very dynamic:
3. PRIDE: If we are in pride, denial or judgment the Lord may allow us a deceiving spirit and all our readings (Bible, Liturgy, Saints readings) will line up in a direction that will cause us to fall flat on our faces. God deliberately sent a deceiving spirit to Ahab when it was time for him to die.
(In I Kings 22 verses l9-23) the prophet Micaiah said, "I saw the Lord seated on His throne, with the whole host of Heaven standing by to His right and to His left. The Lord asked, 'Who will deceive Ahab, so that he will go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?'
And one said this, another that, until one of the spirits came forth and presented himself to the Lord saying, 'I will deceive him.' The Lord asked, 'How?' He answered, 'I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.' The Lord replied, 'You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go forth and do this.' So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours, but the Lord himself has decreed evil against you." ( The king believing the false prophets went into battle and was slain. )
When He wants to move us onto higher ground and out of deep seated counter productive patterns He may allow this deception to go on for months, or years, in order to give us a better grounding in humility.
"I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets."http://www.ourladylightofthewoods.org/discernment.php
In conclusion, all I can say is that some priceless gifts have been given to me and to others while worshipping in the Spirit; understandings of things that broke serious oppressions, and shed a great deal of light on situations that were in deadlock, gave new hope, encouragement and direction.
I believe that after, charity and obedience, discernment is one of the most necessary skills for one who is serious about following God's will for their lives, and the gift of tongues, especially in the context of worship, while the heart is seeking to worship, entering into the holy of holies, the Spirit is released within us and out of our bellies flow rivers of living waters, and a new understanding is imparted not to satisfy our curiosity, but to address what God is focused on in that present moment.
One final note, just as a true monk is threatening to the enemy, so the Devil assigns demons to torment and test him, with great spiritual battles, so is one who is seeking to mature in their love for God and neighbor, using the gifts of the Spirit and tongues, so the Devil also assigns to them demons to torment and test him.
These are just a few of the things I have experienced. Hope they take some of the mystique out of this gift. www.stsymeon.org
(This is an Orthodox link that might be informative.)