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 AS A GUARANTEE

“In him you…were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it…” (Eph 1:13-14 ESV).

“…in this word ‘sealed,’…is a message of safety and security in God’s love and power.  God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship, and as a protecting seal to keep out destructive forces. The point is that God wants us to feel secure and safe in his love and power” (ref: John Piper, Sealed by the Spirit to the Day of Redemption, https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/sealed-by-the-spirit-to-the-day-of-redemption).

“…By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete”(2 Cor 1:20-22 MSG).

“…in most cases, the sealing of the Spirit is a…gradualwork.  It is a work of time.  The soul is placed in the school of deep experience and is led step by step, stage by stage.

The knowledge of self and of Christ increases,

deeper views of indwelling sin are discovered,

the heart’s treachery is more acutely felt,

the devices of Satan are better known,

the mystery of God’s gracious and providential dealings with His children are more clearly unfolded and better understood—

and all this may be arrived at through a process of deep and painful, yet sanctified, discipline…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, April 14th).

FATHER, how precious it is to possess the SPIRIT.  For I know I need Him every minute of my unstable, always-changing life.  Move me to realize each trial You craft for me is so I might grasp the SPIRIT and find security only in You.

“How independent of outward circumstances the Holy Spirit can make the Christian” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 8th, PM)!

 

 

 

HOLY SPIRIT

THE SPIRIT, THE REMEMBRANCER

When I know too many spiritual facts they get in the way.  I begin to ask GOD too many questions because I forget facts I once knew.  I end up depending on Him to answer prayers He’s already made provision for.  Facts tend to make me think I have all the answers. I fall easily into the responsibility to succeed because I know so much.  It causes pressure.

But, the “fact” is spiritual truth leaks out of me and I find myself in the pages of Andrew Murray’s book, “Abide in Christ.”  “You forget again; and instead of beginning each morning with the joyous transference of all the needs and cares of your spiritual life to the Father’s charge, you again feel anxious, and burdened, and helpless” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p85).

I forget again and again and again.  I forget I’m a new creature—one who will always be spiritual even as I default back to my natural anxious, burdened, and helpless state. But GOD has already made a provision for my lapses—the HOLY SPIRIT, the Remembrancer.

The SPIRIT causes me to recall it is GOD who works in me to will and work for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13).  I only need to yield myself to His working.

I have been soundly clued to get back to “yielding” instead of “doing.” The more I abide in CHRIST the less I will question anything.

“…abandon all anxiety about your growth and progress…trust…the Holy Spirit ever to remind you of this your blessed relation to Him [God]” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p86, brackets mine).

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

BE FILLED

“…be filled with the Spirit,” (Eph 5:18 ESV).

“…we are leaky vessels, and have to be kept right under the fountain all the time in order to keep full…” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p110-111).

“…Be filled”…literally rendered “be being kept filled.”…a command demanding conscious, continual action on our part (ref#228, p74).

“…it is one thing to have the Holy Spirit dwelling away back of consciousness in some hidden sanctuary of our being, and quite another thing to have that Holy Spirit taking entire possession of the house” R.A. Torrey (ref#223, p115).

“The fullness of the Spirit vitalizes natural powers, quickens dormant faculties, and reinforces capabilities…The brain gets a new quality of alertness, endurance and effectiveness.  The mind receives new powers of perception, intelligence and understanding.  The heart finds a new clarity of vision, a new simplicity of motive, and a new intensity of emotion.  The impossible becomes capable of achievement in the sanctified powers of the natural man” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p143-144).

“…seek to ‘be filled with the Spirit’!  Then your thirsting’s for God will be deeper, your breathings after holiness more intense, your communion with your heavenly Father closer, and your faith in Jesus stronger.  The indwelling of the Spirit is the root of all holiness; but the communication of the Spirit in the fullness of His gracious, sanctifying, Christ-transforming influence is the secret of a higher degree of heavenly-mindedness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 13th).

“The work of God cannot be accomplished without the fullness of the Spirit, and everywhere God waits to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.  It is His will that every believer should be filled with the Spirit, overflow in the power of the Spirit, and in all things prevail through the Spirit…God waits to fill ordinary people with extraordinary power, and to turn a baffled faith into a rapturous conquest” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p161-162).

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13 ESV).

HOLY SPIRIT

ABUSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS

“Gifts are liable to abuse. In the Early Church they appealed to unspiritual men who desired them for carnal purposes and thought they had a commercial value.  They are still commercialized” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p147).

“…I…[Apostle Paul]could not speak to you as to spiritual men…for you are still fleshly….since there is jealously and strife among you…” (1 Cor 3:1,3 NASB).

“…carnal people were in possession of spiritual gifts and used them for carnal ends.  Spiritual gifts are no proof of spirituality…the gifts were…perverted to wrong ends or exercised in the wrong spirit….” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p148).

All Christians want GOD to move more and faster than He does.  We pray for spiritual gifts to help GOD.  We focus on spiritual success.  But we cannot override GOD’s will.

Pushing the issue of spiritual success pushes the HOLY SPIRIT behind us.  The great spiritual awakenings of history have fizzled out in a matter of years—even months because the pride of man thinks he can help the Spirit of GOD.

The truth is well-meaning Christians yearn for spiritual gifts so they can be viewed as great successful Christians.  They use GOD’s gifts to make themselves look successful.  It’s about them and not about GOD at all!

We all need to review why we desire spiritual gifts.   May I be loyal to the Lordship of CHRIST and loyal to the Word, for the “Word of Truth attests the Spirit of Truth.…the Spirit interprets, corroborates, verifies, and confirms the Word” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p148).

NOTE:  Genuine spiritual gifts may even appear as unsuccessful to our human minds.  GOD’s will is not our will.  It is so frightening how deluded we are!

HOLY SPIRIT

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”(Gal 5:22-23 ESV).

“They refer to character, and set forth the kind of man the Spirit produces rather than the things He inspires him to do.  The nine elements have been divided into three sections of three each. (1) In relation to God: love, joy, peace. (2) In relation to our fellows: longsuffering, gentleness, goodness. (3) In relation to ourselves: faithfulness,…meekness, self-control” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p138).

“In newspaper English, the passage would read something like this: The Fruit of the Spirit is an affectionate, lovable disposition, a radiant spirit and a cheerful temper, a tranquil mind and a quiet manner, a forbearing patience in provoking circumstances and with trying people, a sympathetic insight and tactful helpfulness, generous judgment and a big-souled charity, loyalty and reliableness under all circumstances, humility that forgets self in the joy of others, in all things self-mastered and self-controlled, which is the final mark of perfecting” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p139).

“…fruit…grows by abiding and is perfected without noise or fuss, without anxiety or care.  God glories in fruit” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p138). “…Paul… says that they are to be regarded as the proper result of the Spirit’s operations on the soul” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Gal 5:22]).

“Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual fruit is produced from within; spiritual gifts are imparted from without.  Fruit relates to Christlike character; gifts relate to Christian service….Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that spiritual gifts without spiritual fruit are worthless….” (Kenneth Boa, The Gifts of the Spirit,http://bible.org/article/gifts-spirit).