WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
He is the most important person you will meet. He counsels, comforts, directs, equips and empowers us to live above our circumstances, outside of our limitations and over our expectations. He is the great gift Jesus promised to send us and He is God by our side.
"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 25:49
This was an awesome promise. Jesus, for the first time in history, was making the very Presence of God available to all who ask. This promise wasn't exclusive, just for rulers, pastors or Bible teachers. He was making this gift available for everyone from the least to the highest. The great prophecy in Joel had arrived:
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people." Joel 2:28
It's not surprising that most of us have at one time have failed to grasp the importance of this person of the Trinity. When we live without an awareness of God, or choose not to walk in obedience to His word, we are living within the confines of narrow walls. We are unable to see truth and even have no awareness of where to look.
“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!" John 14:15-17 (MSG)
NEW LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
When we've chosen to respond to the invitation of God and to put our hope and trust in Him, the walls come down, our eyes are opened and our new life starts. This new life can be challenging, we are required to leave the old and familiar to venture into life in the Spirit. Peter explains:
“Change your life. Turn to God and be baptised, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.” Acts 2:38-39 (MSG)
To be baptised means to be completely immersed in something. We need the Holy Spirit to fully in us to live the Christian life; it is too hard without Him and God doesn't expect it. We are provided with help.
Imagine driving a car for the first time and finding yourself on a large highway without any guidance or direction. We'd never get where we needed to go. The Holy Spirit is here to help us. The same way an awesome warrior would come to the aid of a weak or weary recruit. Yet He doesn't just defend us, he strengthens, trains and forms us into the image of Christ and to be carrier of His presence to a hurting world.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free." Luke 4:18
GIVER OF LIFE
The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus. The devil will do all that he can to disable us from believing in and following Jesus. If he can stop us believing that God wants to empower and refresh us, he will do it.
The Holy Spirit brings a quickening power. He brings fire and passion into our soul. It is the provision of God and great empowerment to achieve the work that he has called us to do. This same power is available to each of us today. The Lord promises we will do great things by the power of the Spirit working in and through us.
"Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the miraculous signs that accompanied it." Mark 16:20
The Holy Spirit comes like a fountain, bubbling up within us. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, she had been gathering water in the heat of the day, alone and desolate. Her life was barren and full of disappointment - failed relationships and outcast from society. He offered her life giving water that only comes from His presence. When we are filled with this water and keep this water flowing, we will thirst no more. Dry places are refreshed and things we imagined were dead are restored to life.
"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked and he would have given you living water." John 4:10
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
With the infilling of the Holy Spirit we receive boldness, faith and expectancy. The snares that held us captive in the past loosen their grip and control over us. We are given a conquering power and the closer we draw near to Him the more evident this transformational power and fruit is in our lives. A tree cannot produce fruit different to the seed inside it. When the Spirit lives in us His work is manifested in our speech and actions.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22
As followers of Christ we are not all called to be identical, cookie cutter Christians. We have been made creatively and uniquely, each with God-given talents and purpose. There are teachers, pastors, healers, helpers, worshippers, intercessors and evangelists..... The positions we are assigned are wide and varied but we are supernatural help to accomplish anything asked of us. The gifts are assigned by the Spirit as needed and include gifts of wisdom, knowledge, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues, prophecy, miracles and supernatural faith.
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work." 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
We are encouraged to stir up these gifts, to ask for them and seek them out. They are not a goal unto themselves, but in order to receive empowerment from the Spirit to live the large expansive lives we are called to.
We are given a spiritual language. It is not a language in any earthly sense. It is a means to communicate with God allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through us. It bypasses our understanding and connects our spirit to God. It empowers us to co-operate with God.
In 1 Corinthians 14:18 Paul says ‘I thank God I speak with tongues more than you all’. Paul understood he needed the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues to build himself up in God for his own life and also to do the things that God was asking him to do. God has given us a mechanism to enter into a spiritual world. Ask the Holy Spirit, invite Him to come. He will.
Seek it out: Download a Bible reading plan here. Luke 24, John 14, Luke 4, Acts 1-2, Galatians 5, 1 Corinthians 12
We recommend: Moving in the Spirit by Pastor Phil Pringle www.c3store.com
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