Thursday, September 08, 2011

Come Holy Spirit !

In the Old Testament, the general population did not know much about the Holy Spirit. They knew about God, and they knew about the promised Messiah, but the Holy Spirit played a role that caused Him to hardly be noticed. His role was to come upon certain individuals, or circumstances at God’s direction to perform a miracle. He had an important role in creation. The Spirit guided Moses in leading the people though the wilderness. Numbers 11:17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. The Spirit came upon Gideon to destroy the enemy. Judges 6:34 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet,….. 7:22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The Spirit came upon Saul as he was anointed to be King  by Samuel. I Samuel 10:6 The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. The Holy Spirit just came upon them for a moment for a temporary anointing. We know this because of the continual failures of men like Saul who eventually lost his favor and position because of his failings. We would all love to have a prophecy spoken over us as Saul had—to be a different person….to be able to do what every our hand finds to do and have God with us.  The key here was to remain that ‘different person’—one under the holy influence of the Spirit.
In the New Testament, things began to change. At the coming of the ministry of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came upon Him at the river Jordon as John baptized Him. John 1:32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. From that point forward, Jesus began to teach them about the Holy Spirit.  John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. The 14th chapter of  John is full of teaching on the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. For the first time here in Jesus teachings we see a changing role for the Holy Spirit. He had been ‘with them’ but now He will be “in them”. This speaks of a holy intimacy much like Adam and Eve knew with the Father before the fall. A Holy Spirit would soon live inside of any believer who was willing to let Him guide their life.  He would be a teacher, an   advocate, a helper, a guide, reminding the disciples of every word Jesus had spoken.  When Jesus left them, they would not be alone. The Spirit would indwell them. With the presence of the Spirit in their daily lives, life would never again be the same. Like Saul, they would be ‘different people’. The Bible even calls believers  a ‘peculiar people’. As you read through the book of Acts you see miracle after miracle in the daily lives of the early church. Yes, they suffered persecution, death, and hardships of every kind, but the miracles flowed freely. When the people of God see the miracles of God, nothing else seems to matter. Miracles confirm the literal presence of God in the lives of ordinary people. As miracles flowed, the churches increased in number. When a fire burns, people come to watch it. They learned the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit freedom to guide both them and their activities. There is nothing more beautiful than to have the power of the Holy Spirit flowing freely in church services and in the everyday lives of believers. Come Holy Spirit!
Today, there is a vacuum in many churches. Just as the time in the Old Testament when the Spirit and glory of God lifted from the temple, He, the Spirit has been wounded by the frivolity and careless attitude towards the holy and the divine. I was thrilled to listen to a radio broadcast the other day, in which the guest speaker challenged the churches. He said we have done our youth a disservice by dragging video games and entertainment into the church instead of feeding them on the powerful Word of God. In school they can learn calculus, and trigonometry, but in the church we dumb them down and instead of teaching the powerful truths of Ephesians or James, we entertain them in the hope of keeping them in the church. As they mature, they leave. They leave the church, and they leave the faith in which their parents raised them. They declare themselves to be agnostics and atheists. How did this happen to a generation? They had questions of faith, but no one took the time, the energy, the prayer to give them the answers they needed. They don’t need more entertainment. They don’t need more video games. They don’t even need more fellowship. They need God. They need the power of the Holy Spirit filling their lives, leading and guiding and teaching them as the Word comes to life. I am calling all grounded believing adults, to build a bridge with some person in the younger generation, talk with them (don’t preach) about spiritual values. As them questions like “ How is your spiritual life today?” Let them talk. Let them know you care. Let the Spirit guide your lips and change a generation one person at a time. As a spiritual mentor, you will need an extraordinary relationship with God. Come Holy Spirit!
We in America are such controllers. We want to have everything just right. Usually that is our pride showing. When we step up and try to do what we think is the right thing, we often discover we have failed to ask God what He wants. Both Abraham and David failed God miserably when they failed to seek God first before attempting to do anything. Abraham listened to people and ended up with Ishmael and Hagar. David failed to go off to war and ended up in bed with Bathsheba, and an unwanted pregnancy. Problems fill our lives when we listen to man or to self instead of seeking God. Henry Blackaby states “Why are Christian leaders burning out from overwork and exhaustion? Is God responsible? No. When people become overwhelmed by the commitments and responsibilities, they are operating on their own agenda.” There will always be more things to do. There will always be people telling you how and when to do them. But Jesus set the perfect example—He got up early to pray and seek the Father’s will. Maintaining that intimacy was mandatory. It should be no different for us all. Take time to invite the Holy Spirit into your day, to guide you and lead you and show you when to say “no” and when to do what demands your time and energy. The Holy Spirit will always be there to help you through each and every challenge. He is in you—now let Him flow out through you! Come Holy Spirit!
We all face challenges in our lifetimes. Sometimes it is the loss of a loved one, or a financial set back, the loss of a job, breaks in family relationships, unexpected illness, or even the pain from church conflict. No matter what the challenge you are facing today, God is able to see you through. There is no mountain too tall, no valley so deep, that He is not there. As I personally face my own challenge this month, having surgery, and not knowing the end result, I have a deep settled peace in my heart that only the Holy Spirit can give. We don’t know what our tomorrows hold, but we can trust the One who holds us in the palm of His hands, who fills us with His Presence and helps us look to the future with hope. Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!       (Romans 15:7 TMB) We don’t know how God will meet our needs, but we know that He is the God who can, the God of the impossible, the One who sees the future, and the One who has a plan we can trust. We just need Him! Come Holy Spirit!
The moment you gave your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit came into your life. You have all of Him you will ever get. He is a person and you do not get to enjoy little pieces of have ALL of Him.  Now He wants ALL of YOU. He fills you to overflowing when you yield yourself fully to Him. Let Him use you as He desires. Walk daily in the Spirit. Listen to His voice. Learn from His guidance. But it is all up to you to allow Him to flow out freely. Don’t seek the guidance of man and then ask for God to bless it. Go to the top and ask the Spirit to guide you first. You will discover a blessed way of serving God. Make this your daily prayer:
Father, I yield all that I am to you today, that the Spirit may flow freely in my life. Lead me and guide me by your Spirit to those who need your touch. I give you all my tomorrows, and work through me today. Come Holy Spirit!
J. Johnson
Praise reports and prayer requests…..
Pray for revival!  Pray for those who are struggling with forgiveness,  anger and doubt.
Pray for the Johnsons as they seek a new place of full time ministry...a church that needs strong leadership. Pray for grieving families who have lost loved ones....(L Gardner family, Elizabeth Hawes-Schulz family) Pray for Evangelists, Missionaries, and Teachers. . Pray for US Army Chaplain Steve Maglio.
Pray for those needing a healing touch in their bodies:) Jeanne Deike (cancer-stage 4)  Dave Barth (cancer),  Joyce Johnson (surgery for hysterectomy Sept 14th) Pray for those dealing with chaos, anger, abuse, temptations and carnal sinful habits.  Pray for the nation, for the President, for our service men and women, for Israel, for Christians in Muslim countries, for the unsaved,  and don’t forget to Praise and thank  the Lord! Come Holy Spirit

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