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Session 28

Does structure limit the Holy Spirit?

Read: 1 Corinthians 14:26-40

When we wake up in the mornings, we do certain things to start our day.  When we go to sleep at night, we have another routine to help us wind down.  

In all things, there is an order.  For instance, we would not go to work and start giving orders to people we are not in charge of. We do not get up and start talking in class when we are not supposed to. We also do not interrupt people while they are talking.  

Just like there is order in our lives and order in our world, God desires order in the church. Having structure to a service creates a welcoming environment for outsiders, but it’s also a reflection of the heart of God. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).  

Structure is not about stifling the Holy Spirit, but about allowing more people to benefit from His voice. 

The problem in Corinth was that people were talking over one another and speaking in tongues without an interpreter. This made it hard for everyone to hear or understand what God was saying through them. There should be enough order in the church for everyone to hear and benefit from what God is doing, but enough freedom to allow the Holy Spirit to move.

Structure is not about stifling the Holy Spirit, but about allowing more people to benefit from His voice. Just like refusing to take control led to disorder in the Corinthian church, refusing to listen to God and adjust our plans also prevents us from benefitting from what He would have us hear. As long as God is in the midst of everything that happens in His church, the church is and will be in order.  

Reflect:

  • Do you have a morning routine? How do you respond when your routine gets busted?
  • When it comes to personal ministry — talking to people about Jesus, encouraging other believers, spending time with Jesus — how much of a stickler are you for routine?
  • Is there anything you need to change to be more receptive to what God might want to say to you? Any routines you need to let go of? Or, are there areas of your life that could benefit from some structure?

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