HOLY SPIRIT

SPIRITUAL PROGRESSION

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”(Titus 3:3-5 ESV).

This renewing by the HOLY SPIRIT comes to Christians daily; it is a progression.  The SPIRIT’s actions do not surprise the believer. They do not just suddenly appear. Our Helper is not about shock and awing us.

Over a log period of time, at least for me, I have grown into an understanding of spiritual things. The more I submit myself to You, FATHER, the more I am privy to Your spiritual kingdom.

As I submit the SPIRIT moves me ahead in learning.  From faith to faith He moves me forward.  He begins to become clearer to me—becoming more of a Person I can embrace.  He moves me to the point where He can direct me to do something and I am ready to do it because He has strengthened my faith before He asks.  In this way He successfully constrains me.

He doesn’t constrain me by jerking me away from what I’m doing and make me do His will.  He prepares me beforehand so I am willing to do all He asks.  The process flows.

“Listen for the Holy Spirit to speak…to prompt you toward certain people and situations, to caution you against certain decisions and behaviors.  Choose to be aware of His presence with you and His directives to you” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p67).

“…we can’t live off what God did in our lives last week, last month, or last year. We need continual infillings of the Spirit to meet the strong, ungodly tendencies of the age.  There must be deeper enduements of power to meet deeper challenges” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p90).

A person who has spent many hours in Your presence and developed a burden to contribute to the development of the church and to the evangelizing of the unchristian world resides in spiritual progression.

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT AS A GUIDE

“The Holy Spirit is our Guide, not only to show us the way, but to go with us by continued aids and influences.  To be led into a truth is more than barely to know it; it is not only to have the notion of it in our heads, but the relish, and savour, and power of it in our hearts” Matthew Henry (ref#18, [John 16:7-15]). 

“…the Helper, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things…” (John 14:26 ESV).

“The abiding Indweller…the Spirit, is perpetually admonishing, leading, drawing, and constraining the soul…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 9th).

“It is the Holy Spirit who guides us into the right path for us to walk and convicts us of our sin if we stray from that path.  It is the Holy Spirit who reminds us of the truth of God’s Word and teaches us how to apply God’s Word to our daily lives.  It is the Holy Spirit who works in us to conform us to the image of Christ Jesus, and who works through us to minister the presence and power of Christ to others” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p ix).

“And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”(Ezek 36:27 ESV).  “God does this by combining together invincible might and gentle inducements.  God works upon us morally, not physically, because He will preserve our nature…He does not force us against our wills, but sweetly draws us.  He presents weighty reasons, casting into the mind one after another, till the scales be turned and then all is made efficacious by His Spirit. Yet this is not a work which He does in the soul once and for all, but is often renewed and repeated; and that because the ‘flesh’ or sinful nature remains in us, unchanged, even after regeneration.  Therefore do we need to ask God to continueinclining our hearts toward Himself” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p120).

“…there are many…people who do that which is grossly dishonoring to God under the plea that they were ‘prompted by the Spirit’ so to act.  To be ‘led by the Spirit of God’ does not mean being influenced by unaccountable suggestions and uncontrollable impulses which result in conduct displeasing to God….There is a safe and sure criterion by which the Christian may gauge his inward impulses, and ascertain whether they proceed from his own restless spirit, an evil spirit, or the Spirit of God.  That criterion is the written Word of God, and by it all must be measured” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p121).

FATHER, I must ask daily for the SPIRIT not because I don’t have Him or He is elusive but I ask for Him to constrain me—to move me—to stretch me that I might, by experience, live in fellowship with CHRIST—that I might benefit from His presence—enjoy Him—revel in who He is.

HOLY SPIRIT

THE SPIRIT’S MOVEMENTS – EXAMPLES

“…God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient…” (1 Pet 1:1-2 MSG).

“Can you work yourself up into being an automatically loving person in every situation, to all people, consistently over time?  I doubt it. Can you try and try and try to be a joyful person to the point where you suddenly become joyful always, no matter what is happening?  No.  It is only as we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us—opening ourselves continually to His power and presence—that our very nature is transformed…”  Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p62).

So, how do I know if flesh is moving me or the SPIRIT?  I can get up on Sunday morning and go to church; did the SPIRIT move me to do that? Maybe, but probably not.  I (flesh) just decided to do it (probably because it is a habit and expected of me).

Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes the moving of the SPIRIT this way: “…you are aware of the power of God dealing with you, surging and rising within you, and you are amazed and astonished….a wonder-working power active in you, moving, disturbing, leading, persuading, drawing you ever onward” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 19th)?

I know the SPIRIT resides in me:

When a command materializes in my head and I don’t default to rationalization.

When my thinking is clear and my will is willing.

When I can observe clearly the enemy’s activity.

When I easily confess my sins and forgive the sins of others.

When I know the preacher is speaking directly to me.

When I possess the boldness to witness.

When GOD’s will becomes easy to perform.

When my prayer is answered before I am done praying.

When I write blogs and don’t get hungry or tired.

When I have endless patience while waiting for the LORD.

When I try to express inexpressible joy because I understand now that He lives to order me aright.

When His words are so hot on the page I’m reading I lift my hands in submission and praise.

 “…the gift of the Spirit always sets the heart singing. Its confidence is unwavering, its power is invincible, and its joy unspeakable” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p34). AMEN!

HOLY SPIRIT

UNSEEN WORKINGS OF THE SPIRIT

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!  He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.…” (Eph 3:20-21 MSG).

“The Spirit is the Author of everything in us which goes out after God” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p129). “The Holy Spirit not only gives us the power from time to time to function in miraculous ways for the benefit of others, but He gives us the enduring, persevering, lasting power to withstand any persecution until God defeats our enemies” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p24).

“…the Holy Spirit imparts to us the divine energy of God to enable us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to do what God calls us to do.  This power is not only a burst of power to accomplish a given task, but a sustaining power that gives us the ability to persevere and to overcome. The power of God at work in us over time brings us to a place of great inner strength that others may perceive as confidence or boldness” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p72).

The SPIRIT’s work is continual.  And much of it in us is not recognized.  There are incidences in Scripture where GOD appears to erupt and surprise.  For instance Matthew in his gospel tells about JESUS calling His disciples.  Peter and Andrew’s reaction was: “…they immediately left the nets, and followed Him” (Matt 4:20 NASB). James and John’s reaction was: “…they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed him” (Matt 4:22 NASB).  And Matthew: “…and He [JESUS]said to him, ‘Follow Me!’  And he rose, and followed Him” (Matt 9:9 NASB).

One does not immediately give up his livelihood and follow someone he doesn’t know.  The SPIRIT had to be working in them beforehand.

Doesn’t He work the same in us?  He does not slumber or sleep therefore can surprise us by what He does through us.

Another great example of His unseen workings is the moment we commit to trusting CHRIST.  Where did that faith enough to do that come from? It certainly was not from our flesh deciding to love CHRIST for flesh is hostile to spiritual things (Rom 8:7). The answer has to be that the SPIRIT works, unknown to us, in our hearts until we possess enough faith to believe.

FATHER, thank You for the SPIRIT’s activity—that constant activity that I am unaware of.  SPIRIT, thank You.

HOLY SPIRIT

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A SOMEBODY

“…you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified…by the Spirit of…God” (1 Cor 6:11 ESV).

“…the Holy Spirit…is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, all-loving God” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p16).  “All the promises of God are made possible by the Holy Spirit.  All our needs are met in His supply.  He is the all-inclusive gift” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p33).

“By His gracious aid the believer is preserved from being totally submerged by his doubts and fears….the…Christian is kept from sinking into complete skepticism, abject despair, and infidelity.  By His quickening power hope is still kept alive…” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p142-143).

FATHER, the SPIRIT certainly is Somebody—Somebody with power to accomplish all His will and Your will (Heb 2:4)—to save me from myself.  He strengthens me inwardly so I have the ability to obey You outwardly. If the SPIRIT would not influence me I would always fall to satan’s temptation and faith would be nonexistent.  The SPIRIT “silently, invisibly, yet sympathetically and effectually” moves me.  Without Him my soul would be without CHRIST.  I would hear no whisper of His love, my grief would be magnified and courage suppressed. A. W. Pink (ref#269, p143)

“The Holy Spirit is the very essence of God…The Holy Spirit is the living personhood of God,not manifested in a fleshly body—that manifestation was Jesus—but manifested nonetheless as the full personality and identity of God resident in us as believers….He is a Somebody” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p14-15).

THE SPIRIT AND THE FATHER AND SON

“…I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”(Ezek 36:27 ESV).

“The Holy Spirit helps us to obey God quicklyand fully. The Holy Spirit gives us the desireto obey God, even when His commands to us are not what we desire in the flesh” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p42-43).

“It was the Father’s work to plan, to purpose; it was the Son’s place to purchase; and now it was the Spirit’s work, in the exercise of the same love and sovereignty, to apply the purchased redemption” Charles Ross (ref#241, p173).

“…the Spirit was to succeed the Son with increased effectiveness and enlarged dominion” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p86).

“While each ‘personage’ is distinct in function, each shares together in the same deity and each reflects the divine attributes of the one living God” (All About GOD, Holy Spirit, https://www.allaboutgod.com/holy-spirit.htm).

The SPIRIT is not the FATHER and SON’s vending machine.  He accomplishes their will because the Trinity (all of them) has the same agenda and goals.  From this viewpoint, the SPIRIT is on the same level as the FATHER and SON.  The SPIRIT does as He wills (Eph 1:5) to complete the FATHER’s objective and the SON’s desires.

FATHER, the SPIRIT deserves as much praise as You and JESUS.  He knows me as intimately as You and JESUS—and loves me just as fiercely. I praise You, SPIRIT!

“Let us rejoice in…confidence…because the Holy Spirit is working all the while with secret but divine power in the soul that does not hinder Him by its unbelief” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p116).