If you haven’t read the introduction to this series please read it here first.
One of the most common spiritual temperaments in Christianity today after the traditionalist temperament is the enthusiast. Even within the traditional church, spiritual movements and fellowships exist to nourish enthusiasts through charismatic practice that helps them grow spiritually.
Enthusiasts worship, love, and draw near to God with mystery and celebration. They feel closest to God when their hearts are soaring and they feel like they want to burst, worship God and His love all day long, and shout His name.
Enthusiasts love God with gusto; they like to let go and experience Him on the cliff of excitement and awe. While other temperaments may not focus much on the supernatural, the enthusiasts thrive here. Some may try to ignore it, but there’s no getting around the fact that we serve a supernatural God, and that Christianity has a mysterious side. The Holy Spirit we received empowers us in different ways that are, as it were, out of this world.
Even the enthusiast who has never witnessed a miraculous healing or some other display of God’s power still experiences the wonder of Him every day.
Has someone ever asked you a question to which you hadn’t thought of an answer, but when you opened your mouth you were surprised at how the Holy Spirit spoke through you?
Have you ever prayed, “God, use me to bless someone today” and sure enough, along comes that person you’re meant to minister to and you just know it’s not coincidence?
Have you ever had a dream, and later witnessed what was revealed come true, or not come true when it nearly did, because you prayed?
Have you ever lain prostrate as God’s glory washes over you in waves, unable to do anything but worship Him?
If these are things that happen to you regularly or that you would want to experience more, then you know that walking with God can be mysterious and exciting, and you may very well be an enthusiast.
Some tips to help you grow spiritually as an enthusiast:
1. Always be expectant. By being expectant, you will make every gathering unto God, every day, every week, and your entire life miraculous and supernatural. At the start of your day, and before any Christian meeting, know that God will meet and touch you in a special way. Every morning, ask Him to bring opportunities for you to encourage, love or share the gospel with someone, and then look out. You will see Him move.
2. Create pockets of prayer in your life. Learn to trust God in everything and make room in your life for Him to move by faith. Learn to trust Him in an unexpected way, and accept the leadings and answers He provides. When you pray, expect Him to answer and believe that He will do so in His own way and time.
3. Live a Bible-based life. Remain rooted in good, solid biblical training. Let the message of Christ dwell richly in you, and always look for immediate ways to practice what you read in Scripture. This way, your experience of the supernatural won’t be tied to special events, but you’ll see it in your everyday life.
4. Pay more attention to your dreams: Bear in mind that God often speaks through dreams. Not every dream is from God, so you should not be consumed by expecting that, but submit to Him and let Him train you to know “His” own- be sure to write them down.
5. Celebrate. Dance before Jehovah and sing His praises out loud. Be not silent, lest the rocks cry out! A life of praise and worship is a life filled with joy, and the joy of the LORD is your strength.
6. Spend time with children: A lot can be learnt about loving God by watching children and listening to them. In fact, Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” He also said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not bother them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 18:3, 19:14)
7. Create: When we use the life God has breathed into us to create other things, we celebrate Him. Whether it’s writing a poem, painting a picture, planting a garden or even growing a business, creating something can be a profoundly holy experience.
Some temptations to watch out for as an enthusiast:
1. Seeking experiences to get a “high: Beware of chasing after experiences for their own sake, instead of remaining true to seeking and loving God.
2. Being independent: Supernatural experience apart from the oversight of the church is a recipe for disaster. The devil is ever on the prowl, seeking whom to devour. Don’t isolate yourself, stay in the fold, planted in the family of God where individual believer are held accountable. Submit to the authority of the leaders and ministers God has placed to watch over you.
3. Equating “good feelings” with “good worship”: Feelings come and go. You shouldn’t apologise for enjoying them, but avoid becoming dependent on them. Pure worship is an act of our will in which we offer our allegiance, praise and thanksgiving to God. Just because we feel good during worship does not mean we have done this appropriately, neither does feeling “down” or “flat” mean we are not effectively worshipping God.
4. Getting mixed up in New Age meditation: There are Christians who deny the heart’s hunger for the transcendent, but the enthusiast is not one. Sadly, many have turned to New Age spirituality and meditation instead of fixing eyes on Jesus alone as Lord and Saviour. The best protection against this is biblically rooted Christian meditation. Instead of attempting to clear your mind and leave it open, the Bible teaches us to meditate on God’s Word.
As with every temperament, Jesus must TRULY remain at the centre of all acts of worship and devotion. As Gary Thomas says, “Enthusiasts have a precious gift and a special calling, and I hope they will never stop celebrating and never stop believing, even in the darkest night.”
This is the end of this series; thanks for sticking around! If this is the first one you’ve read, please click HERE to see the other eight.
To Him who sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb, be blessing, and glory, and honour, and power, forever!
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