Thursday, February 23, 2012

God the Holy Spirit

This week Dr. Pete Deison taught on the Holy Spirit.  Mark and I had the pleasure of picking him up from the airport and taking him to dinner Monday night.  It’s so incredibly encouraging to see a man his age with all of his experience and how God has used him in so many ways.  I really enjoy watching and learning from individuals in an older generation than myself.  A friend of mine recently pointed out to me that it seems the older people get the more bitter and hard they become about life or the more gentle and kind they become.  This depends on whether that person has given their life over to the Lord.  Dr. Deison is one who has tasted and seen that the Lord is good and has trusted in Him, thus he had a very tender spirit, and that’s exactly what we saw this week, the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life for many years. 
The Holy Spirit is a co-equal of the Trinity with the Father and the Son and has always been.  He is God, although God is not only the Holy Spirit.  After salvation, the Holy Spirit manifest himself in every believer.  How often are you aware of the Holy Spirit in your life and all that God the Spirit does in and through you?  If you were anything like me, not near as much as we should; I think we take the indwelling of the Spirit for granted.  The Holy Spirit came upon people for a time in the Old Testament (Bezaleel, Saul, Samson) but in the New Testament and today, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell at the moment of conversion and indwells and seals the believer until the day of redemption. Jesus said it was better for Him to leave and for the Spirit to come.  As both Son of Man and Son of God, Jesus submitted himself to be limited to time and space, yet the Spirit can be in believers at all times in all places.  
The purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to sanctify us to be more like Christ.  When Christ was on earth, He said He came to bring life abundantly.  When the Spirit lives inside of believers to makes us more like Christ, there is growth.  Without growth and living up to what we are called to, life is not lived in the abundance that God desires for us; therefore, indwelling and sanctification go hand in hand.  Someone can be in-dwelt by the Spirit yet quench the Spirit’s leading, which would decrease growth, the abundant life, and sanctification.  Paul warns us in 1 Thess 5:19 not to put out the fire of the Holy Spirit.  The more we follow the leading of the Spirit, that still small voice, the more the fire flames.  You could think of it as each time you listen to the Spirit’s leading and you follow it, you are adding more wood to the fire, and each time you don’t follow the leading of the Spirit, you are throwing water on the fire of the Spirit.  Oh, that we would trust His plan for our life and make a decision each and every day to walk in the Spirit.  As well as being quenched, the Spirit can also be grieved.  Paul warns again in Eph 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God of whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”  When we sin, we choose not to walk in holiness and this grieves the Spirit of God.  Because He can be grieved, this shows that God is a person and our relationship with Him is personal. 
Unlike the individuals in the Old Testament, believers now have the Helper, the Holy Spirit who leads, guides, guards, sanctifies, reveals truth, and so much more.  When we are trusting the Holy Spirit to lead us, we should have no fear of the future, for we cannot be out of God’s will when we are trusting God and walking by the Spirit.  He knows best and if we knew what was best for us, we would follow His lead relentlessly.  

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