There is a term that has intrigued me since early in my walk as a follower of Christ. No one seems to know who coined the actual term, but it is bandied about by mostly (though not limited to) those of the charismatic and Pentecostal persuasion. However, before I heard about it from them, I first heard it in the Baptist church by going to non-denominational training seminars.
It is the term, “mighty in spirit.”
Have you heard it?
Do you know what it means?
The only succinct definition of being mighty in spirit that I could find online, though it is limited, was by ATII, the Advanced Training Institute International: “To be mighty in Spirit is to know God intimately and to experience the power of the Lord Jesus Christ in daily victory over the power of sin.” Read the full article here: http://atii.org/becoming-mighty-spirit/
There were a few books available online, if you want to purchase and read an entire book on the subject. Other articles seemed to take many paragraphs to speak about the glorious, powerful, self-focused outcome of being mighty in spirit, but failed to define it, or explain where the term came from. It seems that many today who espouse developing this spiritual trait focus on gaining power for power’s sake. However, after reviewing some of those articles as well as my earliest training and related scripture, I have come to a different conclusion.
We are called to grow spiritually so we can grow up spiritually. We are expected, as humans with the eternal Holy Spirit of God living inside them, to progress in our walks and mature; in other words, to imitate and live out the life of Christ and grow up.
…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. 2 Peter 3:18 NASB
It doesn’t mean we become perfect or never make any more mistakes. I love this Will Rogers quote: “We get good judgment from experience. We get experience from bad judgment.”
When we begin to grow in Christlike character, obedience, understanding, love, and faith, we mature. We are then demonstrating evidence of Christ’ life inside us and developing spiritual muscles that will make us mighty in spirit.
Becoming mighty in spirit is critical for all believers, even us single ones, for the following reasons:
1) When we are mighty in spirit, we will be able to better discern truth from error. This could be in doctrine, a weighty decision, something in the social media, a financial investment, a rumor you’re hearing at work or at church. Something may sound good on the outside, but “something” tells you not to go along with it. A new theory or doctrine may sound plausible, but a scripture might pop up in your mind that informs you something about what you just heard is off. It might be a simple “check in your spirit” that stops you from joining someone or doing something you otherwise might not have thought about refusing.
Listen to that check in your spirit. God might be keeping you out of a fatal accident!
When you’re Christ’s single, you need to have discernment about everyday things. He’ll show you how to stay out of trouble if you learn to pay attention and obey Him. This might include who to befriend and who to avoid, where to shop, to catch when a teacher in your church or on the radio spouts bad doctrine, and who to stop listening to.
A while back, I revisited a singles group in another church I’d been visiting off and on for many years but had not for some time. The instructor was the same, but he’d begun working under a liberal professor at a Christian university and started teaching bad doctrine. I was shocked. I returned once more to test the doctrine and the spirits and yep, it was bad. I never returned, but several months later, I brought this up with the senior pastor. He told me he would have dismissed what I was saying except that a few days ago, someone else approached him with the same concern. That group was disbanded, the leader was dismissed, and the singles who remained were folded into safer Bible studies.
2) Being mighty in spirit will train you to live victoriously in personal lifestyle and character issues. When you’re Christ’s single, you will best prepare for marriage and/or ministry by bringing your entire being under the submission, authority, and power of Christ. I think you can see why getting rid of addictions and other strongholds (think: pornography, food, overspending, social media) as well as an inability of manage moods (think: angry outbursts, anxiety, depression, jealousy) or character defects (think: lying, stubbornness, selfishness, laziness) could only improve your future marriage by creating a safe and emotionally/spiritually intimate atmosphere bolstered by trustworthiness.
This will take time. You will need to obey Him long enough to see the results of your obedience. Areas of your lifestyle and character will begin to transform into something completely the opposite of what you may have struggled with your entire life.
For example: You who are overweight and unhealthy, fighting sugar and other food addictions, may find the motivation, wisdom, power, and persistence to do something about it. This will involve some research and prayer, asking for prayer and accountability from family and close friends, being honest about your reasons for unhealthy eating, consulting with your health practitioner, changing how you grocery shop, substituting unhealthy for healthy choices, joining an emotional eaters support group or gym, or exercising on your own, getting a trainer, improving your sleep patterns, and finding ways to drink more healthy water throughout the day.
You’ll feel so grateful to God, and so good personally, when you begin to see results and receive compliments in an area where you never used to have victory.That self-discipline and spiritual focus will help you keep healthy when your spouse wants to eat unhealthy right in front of you because they can, without gaining an ounce.Or, to generalize: when you need to keep your mouth shut when your spouse wants to start an argument.Or you want to desperately buy something out of budget without consulting your spouse. See how that works?
3) When you’re mighty in spirit, you will gain, utilize, and give true wisdom which comes from above. When you’re Christ’s single, you need wisdom—seeing things from His perspective and applying legitimate knowledge—for all sorts of decisions. That might, for you, include what major or degree to acquire and where to get it, which ministry to spend your time in, whether to apply for a particular transfer or promotion, or who to marry despite your own flesh or everyone’s insistences. When you’re willing to honor the Lord no matter what He says, He will start giving you more wisdom.
4) When you are mighty in spirit, you will more consistently win in spiritual warfare through prayer and personal disciplines. As Christ’s single, you must learn to intercede and engage in spiritual warfare for your spouse, your children and grandchildren, and anyone who comes into their lives. The enemy of our souls hates churches obedient to the whole counsel of God. He hates followers of Christ who are actually following Christ (the converse is also true—he loves powerless, ignorant, lazy, carnal believers who put little effort in following/honoring/obeying the Lord).
He hates godly dating, Christlike marriages, and children trained and honed to pierce the forces of darkness with mighty prayers saturated with faith. Be prepared to fight on your knees, by fasting, by tithing and sacrificial giving, by continually reading great Christian articles and books on the Christian life, and y sacrificing, pouring into, your future marriage and family.For you to start seeing more answers to prayer and seeking Him through spiritual disciplines, you will have to do more of this on your own, before you even get to the friendship and dating stage. Be prepared!
5) Being mighty in spirit will enable you to send forth light instead of propagating darkness for the salvation and deliverance of many. As Christ’s single, we are to represent Christ in such a way as to dispel the darkness around us with the light of truth and love. As others see how positive and different we are in every category of our lives, the holy light of Christ will shine through us. People will then generally have one of two reactions: either they’ll become agitated, hostile,mocking, and persecute us, or they will become curious, interested, respectful, ask for prayer, and ask how we overcame the same barriers they encounter.
“How do you stay celibate?” “Why don’t you just move in together, it’d be cheaper!” “How can you raise those kids by yourself?” “What are you going to do about that big bill you can’t pay?” “Why do you go to boring church?” “How can you understand the Bible? Isn’t the Bible an old-fashioned, outdated book written by humans?” “Thanks, that was really nice. Why did you do that for me? I didn’t deserve that.”
You never know who’s watching and pining for the hope that you have in being forgiven, being right with God, and living in eternity in His blessed presence. You might even lead a neighbor, coworker, family member, or classmate to Christ!
Let’s hope and pray for the second reaction, but be prepared for the former.
Of course, these are unearthly goals. You can’t do any of this without God’s Holy Spirit rising up within you. Therefore he told me, “These signify the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength and not by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord who rules over all.” Zechariah 4:6 NET
Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10 GNT
Remember, the battle for your soul was already won by your faith in the completed work of Christ on the cross. That faith was proved to be a living faith by your obedience; see James 2:14, 17-20, and 26.
The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defence that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 PHILLIPS
Read the Bible, read good solid Christian books, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to become (not just “how to become”) mighty in spirit, so that you may effectively live your life for Christ and others and make a difference in this world the short time you are here. Don’t be Missing in Action, being short-sighted, concerned only for yourself and the things of this world. Become Mighty In Spirit and make a difference for eternity and the kingdom of God!
Be blessed, my single Christian friends, and, look for my daily memes on Facebook. God willing, I will share something else He puts on my heart next weekend.
Advanced Training Institute International. What does it mean to be mighty in spirit? http://atii.org/becoming-mighty-spirit/ accessed 10/29/16
Cole, Steven J. Lesson 16: Grow up! (Hebrews 5:11– 6:13). Article for Bible.org. 2004. https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-16-grow-hebrews-511-63 accessed 10/29/16