The Holy Spirit will Guide if We Listen
Ok… This morning I had a plan but that all changed. I was going to talk about Prayer, but now it is more about the Holy Spirit.
I had prayed this morning for friends and family. And one of my friends Facebook comments from somewhere this last week just troubled me. This person said, “all I can do is pray”.
I had it all figured out. I was going to talk about prayer and how powerful it is… how it is not a spare tire you pull out in times of emergency, but a life vest you wear all the time. But as I started working on this my PC got slow… sluggish at best. So, I looked at the Task Manager to see what was devouring my resources.
Dilemma? Or God’s Plan?
I found that one of my programs was still running in the background and I had shut it down yesterday. That was puzzling to me, but the only thing I could do was restart the PC. So, I clicked the restart in the menu and began the wait for reboot.
While that processed, I picked up a devotional that I had not read yet. It was a book by A.W. Tozer, 'Tozer on Christian Leadership'. I turned to the devotional for today, February 18. The title for the day was the “Power that God Recognizes”. The verse was Isaiah 30:1.
1 “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
“who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin;
and my focus changed. I want to quote the part of this devotional that changed my heart this morning.
” The continued neglect of the Holy Spirit by evangelical Christians is too evident to deny and impossible to justify…
It is not, however, the frequency of the Spirit’s mention in the Bible or in other writings that matter most, but the importance attached to him when He is mentioned” A.W. Tozer, “Tozer on Christian Leadership”
Testing Against the Scriptures
That set me to thinking so I did a word search in my ESV Bible to test what Tozer had said. I found that the Holy Spirit was mentioned 112 times in the New Testament, but like Tozer said… it was the importance attached to Him when He was mentioned that blew me away.
Starting with John 16:4-15 (ESV), it was amazing to read what Jesus gave an explanation to the disciples.
“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
All this passage burns in my heart. But I was shaken by 12-15. Jesus was with the disciples. He told them so many things. But in verse 12 he says… “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” That shook me… the disciples could not bear what he had to tell them… But then He says when they will be ready. in verse 13-15. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
In verse 13-15. He explained, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
As I finished typing this I had goose bumps… This gift Christ gave to the disciples after His death, burial and resurrection at Pentecost He gave to me… and everyone who believes. What an amazing gift that we must not squander but cherish. I read Ephesians 4:30-32 in my word search.
“30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
We are “sealed for the day of redemption”,(Eph 4:31b), by the Holy Spirit. What an amazing gift that is. And the Holy Spirit is our strength.
As I kept going through the list from my word search I came to Romans. I love what Paul says in Romans 8:26-27
“26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
As I meditate on this and consider this amazing gift, the indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ, how can I not cling to Him in my weakness… How can I not draw on this gift that God Promised?
The power of Acts 2 and the close of Peters sermon and the crowd’s response in 37-39 is amazing
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
What an awesome God we serve. I am without words to describe Him. And this Gift He has given us to strengthen us and guide us in thought, deed, and prayer… How could we grieve Him? He is our strength and our intercessor. He Is our strength and our courage. The indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ. I am breathless…
Something Else to Consider
As a postscript to all this… Why do you suppose the computer slowed so just as I was starting to write today’s entry? Coincidence? I no longer believe in coincidence… I believe and trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit in ALL things! I give ALL the Glory to God!