There is an odd paradox people bump into about the time they begin discovering that there is a grand eternity of mortal blessings suddenly available to them through an inspired personal quest. When someone teaches their spiritual ears to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and their bodies to yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, then these blessings flow. What seems to happen next is that they usually mention their new joy to several people, including people they admire spiritually, and they receive skepticism, doubt and are told to be careful. Then begin the feelings of aloneness, isolation and pondering why there must be a paradox between two true things: their unfolding spiritual heights and the spiritual platform they were standing upon to reach it.
A paradox is something that appears impossible, yet is nevertheless the case. We naturally want to be supported in our new quest, and we want to know that this is where we are supposed to be and not off on some tangent. The paradox is that some don’t feel encouraged – they feel dissuaded.
Here’s the key: I’ve written about it several times on the Un-Blog, but I don’t mind restating it because it is so important. They Church IS true and it IS functioning exactly as Jesus Christ intends. Nothing is broken. The Church administers the ordinances and bestows the gift of the Holy Ghost. From there, most of what we receive spiritually is a result of a personal quest to fulfill ordinances, keep covenants and to claim promised blessings. When we do, then vast and eternal things begin to happen. This is the correct order of things, and it is in harmony with what the scriptures teach, and what the church teaches.
The scriptures are replete with witness to the validity of this type of spiritual pursuit. Every prophet recorded in scripture, every single one of them, was isolated, persecuted and rejected, and yet triumphed personally by weathering every hazard. We don’t experience any degree of institutional opposition today – only the words and acts of persons of limited spiritual perception.
These gifts and spiritual happenings are spiritually discerned, and people arrive at them at their own speed and on their own timetable. Saying them from the pulpit wouldn’t make people understand them, because that understanding is only derived through the Spirit, not by words. In a perfect world, one where pornography wasn’t more common than prophecy, these principles would be shouted from the rooftops. For now, they are deeply held within the hearts of those who seek and find.
If someone attended a university and obtained a PhD in some field, it would be illogical to look back at someone still taking basic courses and wonder what’s wrong with them, or what’s wrong with the university. Nor would it be logical for someone in an airplane lifting off the runway to glance back at the airport, and wonder what’s wrong with the people still milling around in the airport. The very fact that you are in the air proclaims the validity and correctness of the airport.
As I said in the beginning, it is paradox, albeit one that faith easily unravels.
© February 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.