Open to interpretation? Part 4 A Spiritual Entelechy

The definition of entelechy—pronounced "intelli-key"—is not too far a cry from the definition of its pronunciation. Forgive my wordplay and circular definition here. An entelechy is like an epiphany. An entelechy happens when you begin to see something, for yourself, as more than just someone's opinion. You see it as necessary, integral. Actual as opposed to optional. Do you see where I'm going with this? For the believer in Jesus Christ, it means God has opened your eyes. Somewhere in the near or distant past, you humbled yourself and as it says in 1 Peter (5:6), God exalted you. "He gives grace (His ability, His sight, His insight) to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).

I say all of that to say this: The default state of a Christian should be one of humility and meekness, or teachability. Gratitude and worship, yes. But without humility and meekness, those actions can be hollow and insincere. And if we are truly humble, then God can show us what we don't know. Growing up, it's one of the things my dad would say: "God is always showing us what we don't know". Keep this in mind as we move on.

 "As for the extraordinary operations of the Holy Ghost, such as working of miracles, or speaking with divers kinds of tongues, they are long since ceased." George Whitefield (emphasis mine)

I quote him Mr. Whitefield here but feel this attitude prevails under different wording and translation to this day. Perhaps this is because the idea diffused down through American history like some sort of thought-strain inherent to church vernacular? Yet I don't know how this could be, maybe some elaboration is in order? Tell me when, in the 2000-plus year history of Christianity, did this gift cease to be, not only given, but needed? Are things any better now than they were in the time of the Reformation? What about first century Asia Minor? Are we as effective a cohesive body as were they? When did the gift of tongues—let alone any gift that has made itself scarce in our modern, conservative churches—become obsolete? I have a feeling this is just someone's opinion. Wouldn't the slow, steady and subtle moral and social decline the world over be enough to cause us to cry out to God for anything we could be missing?

I firmly believe God never dares anyone to do anything. So if you've ever felt like you've been forced to do something out of pressure or torment or threat, I can assure you it's not Him. He doesn't work that way; He's gentle, oh so gentle. The key to experiencing all that God has and wants to give us is to be willing. "How shall He not with Him (Jesus) also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) Are we even willing to be willing? If you're not sure but you're open, then God will lead you. Spend time in prayer and worship, fast if need be and it doesn't have to be from food. The Holy Spirit will let you know. And if the gift of tongues is for today—and I believe it is—then God will make sure you get it. Just don't let doubt turn into unbelief. Because unbelief is sin. God can only do so much when someone is an, uh, unbelieving believer. Does this make sense?

Another way to define entelechy is to see the Body of Christ become "endued" with this "power from on high." (Luke 24:49) But didn't that already happen on Pentecost? It did (see Acts 2:2-4). So now it's up to us to seek it out anew. Did we just misplace it? How do you misplace the Holy Spirit?

Open to Interpretation? Part 5 The Body In Motion and at Rest

Open to interpretation? Part 3 Quantity and Quality