I love a good question.
I love questions so much, I wrote a book full of them. What’s so great about questions? As I say in that book,
Questions are stepping stones to revelation and doorways to discovery. A good question can take you places. It can free you from unhealthy mindsets and set you on the path to wholeness and abundant living. A good question can change your life.
Sometimes my kids will ask a question that makes me marvel. I think, how did they come up with that?
I get asked more questions than I can answer. Which is fine. The act of asking is itself a healthy exercise, and I feel no pressure to position myself as the Answer Guy. I’m not the Holy Spirit.
Besides, a true teacher doesn’t dish out model answers like a penguin regurgitating food. A true teacher teaches others how to learn for themselves. They point people to Jesus in whom are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3).
Sometimes when someone asks me a question, I will say in all sincerity, “That’s a great question. I have no idea. Please tell me what the Holy Spirit shares with you.”
That may look like I’m giving the brush off, but I am encouraging the seeker to bring their question to the greatest Teacher of all.
Want to know which question I get asked the most? “Paul, have you written anything on this tough scripture?” My response used to be, “Check the Archives > Scripture Index.” But now I would say, “Check the Grace Commentary.”
The next-most asked question is, “Have you written anything on this subject?” Check out the Subject Index.
People often ask me for tips writing or publishing. Since I get asked that question a lot, I have compiled some practical and easy-to-follow guidelines.
Sometimes I get asked ambush questions. An ambush question is like a box of chocolates with a rat trap inside. Ambush questions make me feel special because Jesus got them too.
Occasionally I get asked questions that are interesting or inspire me to pray for wisdom. Below are four questions I’ve been asked in the past few weeks. If these are questions you’ve been asking, I hope my responses encourage you and strengthen your faith.
How to wait for revelation?
“It takes a revelation from God to open the eyes of our heart to truth. What can one do while ‘waiting’ for this awakening?” ~Randall
I wouldn’t wait in a passive sense. I would find something God has said on the subject, ruminate on it, and declare his word over myself. Do it as an act of faith. Every time doubt creeps in, kick it out and call to mind what God said.
God’s word is creative. It changes us. Soon you will find your reality realigning to his word.
Being drunk in the spirit
“_____ people are known for being drunk in the spirit. Just curious what your thoughts on this state are? Is it a kundalini demon like many evangelical charismatic types say it is?” ~Jason
There are two ways to get this wrong: (1) attribute to the devil that which is of the Holy Spirit, and (2) attribute to the Holy Spirit that which is of the devil. Both errors are serious, but the first one is more serious than the other.
I would be hesitant to go around saying “that’s a demon.” Over the years I have encountered many people who have been drunk in the Spirit and the fruit has usually been joy, peace and sometimes healing. Draw your own conclusions.
Why aren’t all healed?
“Isn’t laying hands on the sick and confessing our healing and continually thanking God and all that still just the same old works – a mixed law and grace message? The ‘you are blessed but here is what you need to do to be blessed’ message that is preached in faith circles. I feel like we are just following a formula all over again when we are saying this is what we must do to receive healing.” ~JM
Sadly, it is possible to turn healing into a works-thing and nullify grace. The intellect craves a magic formula, but if there is one I haven’t found it. And blaming sick people for their lack of faith is unkind and unhelpful.
Why do people remain sick if we pray for them? I don’t know. I don’t know why some of the people I pray for are healed while others aren’t.
I don’t know why Jesus healed 100% of those who came to him, but I hit less than 100%. But I do know that more people are healed when I pray than when I stay silent. Love compels me to pray.
In my own life I have experienced instant healings, but not always. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure this out, but so far I don’t have any good answers. (I have some answers.) In the meantime, I’m going to run with the revelation I’ve got and keep praying for whoever asks for prayer.
How do we know which bits of the Bible to trust?
“If God does not give and take away like it says in Job 1, how can we know which bits of the Bible are true and which aren’t?” ~Matilda
That is a great question. There are many verses in the Bible that should not be read out of context. For instance, Solomon said, “Money is the answer to everything” (Ecc 10:19), but it isn’t.
David prayed that bad things would happen to his enemies, which is inconsistent with what Jesus said about loving our enemies.
And there are many strange sayings in the law. For example: “You may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you” (Lev. 25:44, NLT)
In some of these examples, we are hearing from men (like Job) who were in great pain. If you have been in pain, you may have said things you did not mean or which proved to be untrue (like Job). I am glad these statements are in the Bible because that’s how real people talk.
But how do we know which verses are good for us?
It’s all good provided we read everything through Son-glasses.
The whole Bible is useful for training in righteousness, even the bits that sound unrighteous, as long as we filter everything through Jesus the Righteous One.
Bonus materials: More questions I’ve been asked (Patreon)