Thought for the Week - 21st May

John 16: 12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come,
He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 
He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 
All things that the Father has are Mine.
Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Ephesians 4: 30

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

When the He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth.

Many of us can cast our minds back to an occasion or occasions where we remember moments in our Christian experience when we had an encounter with God.  Think back to the occasion of your conversion.  You may not remember a word that the preacher spoke, but what you’ve been left with and what has been built upon and grown since, is the atmosphere and the presence of God the Holy Spirit who made you aware of the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.  How we need the Holy Spirit!

These are the words of Jesus to His disciples, who had up until this point had seen a lot.  They’d been involved in a lot with Jesus.  But He know there was something they were short of in their Christian experience.  That was the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  Later on in John 14: 17, Jesus says: “ye know him, and have seen him”.  This is the Pentecostal message!

This is the divide within the Church of Christ.  There are many good men and women throughout the world who believe in a one experience; that it all happens at conversion.  Then there’s those of us who believe that there are two distinct experiences – the experience of conversion and that of baptism in the Holy Spirit!

When the Spirit of Truth is come!  Whatever we need, whether it be physical, circumstantial or spiritual… when the Spirit of Truth is come, it all begins to happen!

It’s the atmosphere of the presence of Jesus Christ that makes all the difference!  I’ve heard many preachers who can preach very well, and what they’re saying is correct, but their words aren’t backed by the Holy Ghost.  When the Spirit of Truth has come it convicts of sin and convinces of judgement.  People get churned up and things that are wrong are brought to the surface, despite not much being said.

We sometimes come and know a job is to be done, but we don’t have the backing of the Spirit of God nor the covering.  We think we have to do the job ourselves!  The motives are right, but there’s a more excellent way!

The atmosphere comes and people become aware of the presence of God.  It’s not always to deal with sin.  That’s one aspect of it.  But it’s when there’s seeking souls that come in… they just want to see Jesus!  That is what the Spirit of God will do for us.  That is what I have watched throughout years in awe – God moving.  We as ministers of Jesus Christ have got to find a place in God where we become transmitters of this power and of this glory.

When the Glory of God comes down upon an assembly!  There is an access to God and there is a river of life flowing!  God moves by His Spirit in the midst.

Those who have been truly successful workers for Jesus Christ learn very early in the things of God how to get it.  Charles Spurgeon was man that knew God, and still today his writings bless us and brings through his writings the presence of Jesus Christ to souls.  He didn’t have any theological training.  He learnt one thing on his way to a meeting.  He had his notes ready and knew what he was going to talk about… when a text came into his head: “God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).  He was going to preach that morning to a very large congregation.  God was saying to Him that He was in control!  If Spurgeon wanted these people to be blessed, He had to follow God.  Spurgeon said it was a great step of faith – his sermon was in his head and he had his notes.  But like Peter, he stepped out of the boat onto the waters, and spoke on the words God had given him.

Among the great congregation was one man who became one of his foremost ministers – Archibald G Brown.  He had been taken there by his mother as a fourteen year old lad.  He said that in that massive auditorium and with no PA system, the Spirit of Almighty God was on that man.  There was not one person in that hall who couldn’t hear what was being said, for God had come in power!  God is coming in power again!  God will visit this nation again!  God will not leave this nation destitute.

It was a time of revival.  By the time the service was finished, Brown said that all he could hear was sobbings all over the great hall.  These people weren’t all Christians, but also unconverted people!  They were all gripped by the power of God!  When the He, the Spirit of Truth, is come!  We have to allow the Holy Spirit in for these mighty signs and wonders to be wrought amongst us.  Brown said he could hear Spurgeon sobbing too… “God be merciful”.  Like a wave it passed over.  Multiple people – Brown included – were swept into the kingdom that morning!

He has come!  Glory to God ever more!  This beloved land of ours has experienced a mighty shaking of God through the centuries.  There are times when the heavens are as brass to us.  But there comes that moment from God, that divine moment!  We are to be channels open, ready to receive from God, and give it to whomsoever He would send us to give it.

Jesus lays out for us in the New Testament what the Holy Spirit will do for the Church.  The main teaching of the Holy Spirit is taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  Think of what the Spirit of God has done from the very beginning.  The great sovereign Spirit of God!  In the beginning, this earth was void and without shape.  There was darkness over the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the surface.  There is no life and never shall be any life, until the Holy Spirit breathes life.  Until He moves, nothing substantial and lasting will happen.  When He moves, thing happen and the things that happen are the things that remain!

We see Christ in the river Jordan.  Jesus’ whole ministry was by the power of the Holy Ghost outworked.  He could have, but did not, perform miracles on the grounds of His Deity but instead by the Holy Spirit’s power.  The same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  He was involved in it all – the Spirit of Truth!

It is for Him to do the work.  We can achieve of ourselves nothing.  Jesus said “without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) and that is so true!  We are totally reliant and dependent on God.  He also goes onto say that we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit; sensitive that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit.  There are times in our lives when we make mistakes, and that beautiful river of God that flows through us, we suddenly find is not flowing like it normally did.  It’s at that point that we should stop and look in.

The Apostle Paul speaks of some of the things that cause the Holy Spirit to be grieved.  We must take the things of God very seriously.  If we really want to be channels of God, and we want to bring the blessings of God consistently, we have to listen to what God is saying to us.  We read in Ephesians 4: 31-31:

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor,
and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God in Christ forgave you.

It is so important.  These things can bring a halt to the move of God in our lives.  It can bring death into us.  Some of us are not sensitive to understand this and realise it.  We might dress it up in many other ways – that perhaps we’re just having a hard time – that it’s nothing to do with us.  But stop for a moment and look around.  Let God show you the things that have caused blockage and caused you to be out of touch with Him.  Thanks be to God that it can be sorted very quickly!

We all want the Glory to come down and the power to come down consistently.  But there’s not one of us who doesn’t find ourselves in this sorry and pitiful state at some time or other in our lives, when we know we’ve made a mistake.  We know we’ve been bitter, we’ve been malicious, and we’ve been unforgiving.  The Holy Spirit will hold us to this high standard.  He won’t allow us to move an inch forward if there’s any of these things in our hearts and our lives.  He wants us to sort it.  If you want to make progress, you must sort it!

We want to see God move!  Let us take stock of things in a daily way, as each day dawns.  Let us walk behind God as circumspectly as we can.  As carefully as we can.  This is what is expected of us.

The environment is so hostile.  It’s a truly amazing miracle that people can be saved from such deplorable past lives and walk the world in a clean state before God.  Oh that we might adopt the attitude of Elisha.  When he was with Elijah he wouldn’t leave his side because he knew there was something for him with this man… and the two went on together.  Like Billy Graham said when his organisation hit some difficulties and people started grumbling, “I don’t know about you, but I’m going on with God!”

Is that your attitude?  The people who make it are the ones who are determined.  If I’m the last man standing, glory to God I am going on!  God will be faithful to such who are determined in their hearts to keep to it to the very end.  The reward at the end:

1 Corinthians 2: 9

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

For those who have been faithful to Him in this life.  What lies beyond, that glorious day when you will pass out this world to be with Christ forevermore.   As Murray McCheyne wrote:

When we stand with Christ on high,
Looking o’er life’s history;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.


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