Freewill and the Holy Spirit
[Theological Disclaimer: It is not the intent of this article to lay down a definitive exposition of the doctrine of the free will. There is little agreement throughout the Body of Christ in this theological arena. Please read it with this in mind. The primary point that is being made here is simply this: God is a respecter of our choice to move forward in a ministry session or not. He is very involved, but also allowing us the freedom to choose to take ownership, feel what we feel and look to Him for truth.]
The Holy Spirit and Free Will
- The Spirit is not guiding the ministry session, providing direction, taking the person anywhere, recovering anything hidden, opening doors, breaking down barriers, or driving out demons anywhere along the way. All of these things are directly related to the person’s own free will: belief and choice.
- The Spirit’s role in granting us the truth is the most important one, but our role to position ourselves to receive His truth is vital as well.
- The Holy Spirit is NOT needed in order to know where to go in a ministry session, to remember a memory, to expose and identify a belief, to tear down a wall, to drive out a demon, or to be rescued from anything. To think otherwise, is to assume a victim status.
- When we start asking the Holy Spirit to do that which is our own responsibility, we are attempting to provide ourselves a way of escape that God did not intend for us to take.
The Holy Spirit entirely respects the person’s free will. Every decision that is made and step that is taken in a ministry session, is accomplished by the person. None of these things are the Holy Spirit’s job. The Spirit is not guiding the session, providing direction, taking them anywhere, recovering anything hidden, opening doors, breaking down barriers, or driving out demons anywhere along the way. All of this occurs as the person freely chooses to move forward in the session based upon his freewill: belief and choice.
Some people will be aghast by what may appear to be “limiting” the Holy Spirit’s involvement. The truth is, other than granting a person the truth, the Holy Spirit does not need to do any of these things since they are all accomplished by the person’s willfully choosing each to occur. The person does not need guidance to identify beliefs, since they are following their own emotion to lies and associated memory.
There are no “doors” keeping the person from moving forward since any door that stands “in the way” was established by them as an outcome of their belief. Nothing is hidden from the person, rather, the person is simply choosing not to look. Any inner wall or barrier that might appear to be standing in the way of the person’s forward motion is not a problem to be eradicated, but is actually the person’s solution, supplying them a way of escape from having to remember, feel or move forward. Even demons are not a problem since they cannot violate a person’s will and therefore, are only present and doing what they are doing by permission.
It may be important to recall an obvious, but fundamentally important, fact: the successful outcome of this process is entirely dependent upon the Holy Spirit’s role and involvement and Him granting us the truth. If you were to remove the Holy Spirit from the process of TPM (as if that were even possible), the process could accomplish nothing more than help us to clearly identify the lies that we believe. That’s it. We would simply become more aware of our problem with no way to fix it.
We can choose to connect to our emotions, remember things from our past, identify and own what we believe, and even tell ourselves the truth; all without the direct aid of the Holy Spirit. However, if He does not illuminate our hearts with His truth, displacing the lie and making the truth feel true, we have no hope for freedom. His role is the most important one, but it is not the only role in the process. We each have a part to play in our own faith-refining journeys. Even though “… it is God who is at work in [us], both to will and to work for His good pleasure…” we must still “… work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling…” (Phil. 2: 13, 12)
I believe that I can say with relative certainty (oxymoron) that whatever part the Holy Spirit plays in a ministry session, He is careful not to cross the line of free will. If a person is choosing to stop and not move forward, it is not because he needs to be rescued from anything by the Lord. Jesus will patiently wait until the person is ready to take the next step and will take it with him, but will not forcibly push him in any direction. Therefore, we can be assured that the Lord is not stepping out ahead of the person’s free-will choices.
Again, I say that He indwells all of it, but not dictating any of it. We are called to walk in His grace and strength and to “… be strong in the Lord and in His might…” (Eph. 6:10) So as we move along through the ministry session we should be operating in the power of His might. Nevertheless, though He offers grace and power to do all that He has before us, the decision to move is still up to us. His power to move is the gas in the tank, as opposed to a tow truck in front of us dragging us along. He is also waiting on us to press down on the gas peddle.
To think that the Holy Spirit is needed in order to know where to go, to remember a memory, to expose and identify a belief, to tear down a wall, to drive out a demon, or to be rescued from anything is to ascribe to the person victim status. The Holy Spirit does not need to do any of these things since the person is fully able to do so when he chooses to. The reason he chooses not to do so is because of what he believes and the consequential choices he then makes.
I believe that it really is that simple. Anything that appears to “get in the way” of the recipient is rooted in his own belief. And the Holy Spirit’s focus is on addressing that lie-based belief; not on forcing the person to move forward. When we start asking the Holy Spirit to do that which is the responsibility of the person we are providing the person a way of escape that God did not intend for him to have.