I cannot overstate the need of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the church of Jesus Christ. After the Holy Spirit came upon the believers in the upper room, it was a far better place than the highest spired church is without the Holy Spirit.
And there are churches without the Holy Spirit in their midst. Church board meetings more often than not furnish glaring examples of Holy Spiritless churches, resulting in angry and malicious small-mindedness as well as just plain cold-heartedness. Attention and energy is exhausted by concern for trifles.
How then do we receive the Holy Spirit? That is not really the question! The real question is, “Do we really want the Holy Spirit?” There’s the rub! Pulpit committees search for neutered peacemakers who will not rock the ecclesiastical boat or offend the ‘pillars’ of the church. Who anymore really wants a Spirit-filled preacher who faithfully wields the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God?
Speaking about the Holy Spirit’s Book the Bible – the Word of God, I recall the days when I could announce the Scripture passage to be read for the sermon, and the greatest share of the people could find Amos as easily as they could find John. They could locate a Bible verse as quickly as a blindfolded marine can disassemble and assemble his rifle. Today, you need to give the Bible page number if the church still provides Bibles, or otherwise provide verbal Bible maps lest the people make wrong turns and are never heard of again.
Equally sad is to have to admit that I have been in too many churches where if you preach on the Holy Spirit, the look on the congregation’s faces is like a dark, blank, lifeless, dead TV screen. When in fact, He is the only One Who can revive them. They are not only unfamiliar with the Holy Spirit’s best seller, they are not very interested in the Bible’s author either.
Today we continue our series on “Meet My Friend – The Holy Spirit.” My most fervent prayer is that we will once more hear the rush of that mighty Wind filling us and mustering us again into that mighty Army of God.
THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE GLORIFIER GOD
The contrast between the anti-christian, evil spirit-filled kingdom and the truly Christian Holy Spirit-filled kingdom is stark. It is not so much a stark contrast as it is a complete antithesis.
A. Glorying In Shame – Glorying In Christ
This antithesis comes into full view on many fronts, not the least of these being:
“THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN DEMON-FILLED WORLD GLORIES IN ITS SIN, WHILE THE
CHRISTIAN HOLY SPIRIT-FILLED WORLD GLORIES IN ITS SAVIOR.”
We are living in the day when spiritual and moral corruption of man has reached an all-time low, and causes one to wonder whether it could possibly go any lower. What are we talking about? Reprehensibly this, that we are living in the time when:
“SINFUL HUMANITY BOLDLY PRIDES, PLUMES, AND PRANCES ITSELF IN ITS
SPIRITUAL AND MORAL DEPRAVITY AND DEFORMITY.”
I am not only thinking of GAY PRIDE, but it does stand out in the midst of a host of other shameless and gloating sinners and sins. The vile gay community seems to have shaken off all conscience and reason, so as to proclaim their immorality and perversion upon the housetops and trumpet it down Main Street. It reminds me of Isaiah 3:9,
“The expression of their faces bears witness against them, and they display
their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it. Woe to them!
For they have brought evil upon themselves.”
Or again, Philippians 3:19,
“Whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in
their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.”
We have come to the time in the world and in America in which the vile is laudable, and the virtuous is denounced and booed. Such as the godless boasting on how many beers or scotch on the rocks they can pour down, how many men and women they have seduced and laid, and how much of their breasts they can proudly bare. But when the moral minority speak out on any issue, they are decried.
“IT MUST BE SAID ABOUT THOSE WHO GLORY IN THEIR SHAME THAT THE DEVIL
HIMSELF CANNOT BRING THEM LOWER.”
“IT MUST BE SAID ABOUT THOSE THAT GLORY IN THEIR SAVIOR THAT THE
HOLY SPIRIT HIMSELF CANNOT BRING THEM HIGHER.”
The Apostle Paul could not rise any higher than he does in Galatians 6:14 KJV,
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Now then, what the devil and the anti-God secularists are ultimately after in all of this glorying in sin and shame is:
“THAT THE VIRTUOUS WILL BE ASHAMED AND AFRAID TO SHOW THEMSELVES
AND PROCLAIM THEIR CONVICTIONS IN PUBLIC.”
And so the more heathen they can get to stand up for rot and against righteousness, the more they feel justified in their degeneracy and moral bankruptcy. That is why people in the spotlight who stand up for the Kingdom of God like Tim Tebow irritate them no end.
Now then, here comes the infinite canyon between the heathen, demon-filled world, and the Christian Spirit-filled world:
“WHILE SATAN INSPIRES PRIDE AND SHAMELESSNESS FOR SIN, THE HOLY SPIRIT
INSPIRES PRIDE AND SHAMELESSNESS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
“THE DEMON-FILLED WORLD IS THE FRIEND OF SATAN AND THE ENEMY OF
CHRIST, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT-FILLED WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF
SATAN AND THE FRIEND OF CHRIST.”
What makes the difference? No, rather, Who makes the difference? My friend the Holy Spirit!!! He as usual makes all of the difference in the world. We have already seen John 16:8,
“And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, He will convict the world of sin,
righteousness, and judgment….”
Mind you, without the Holy Spirit, there would be neither the conviction of sin nor the shame for sin. We can best put it this way:
“THROUGH FEAR THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES US THE GUILT OF SIN, AND
THROUGH SHAME THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES US THE FILTH OF SIN.”
B. Holy Spirit – The Christ Glorifier
Jesus tells us more, much more about the Holy Spirit in John 16:14,
“HE SHALL GLORIFY ME; for He shall take of Mine, and shall
disclose it to you.”
It is thrilling to realize what is taking place here:
“EVEN AS CHRIST GLORIFIES THE FATHER (John 17:3), SO THE HOLY SPIRIT
HE SHALL GLORIFY ME! What did Jesus mean about the Holy Spirit glorifying Him? Words that end in “IFY” are powerful, concise, and self-explanatory, such as:
-CLARIFY, which means to MAKE CLEAR
-RECTIFY, which means to MAKE RIGHT
-PURIFY, which means to MAKE PURE
-MORTIFY, which means to MAKE MORT (DEAD)
-SANCTIFY, which means to MAKE SANCT (HOLY)
-GLORIFY, which means to MAKE GLORIOUS
TO MAKE GLORIOUS means:
-To reveal Christ’s RESPLENDENCE
-To reveal Christ’s MAGNIFICENCE
-To reveal Christ’s AWESOMENESS
“GLORY IS THE HIGHEST TRIBUTE THAT JESUS CHRIST RECEIVES FROM HIS OWN
INFINITE QUALITIES, PERFECTIONS, AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS.”
“HONOR IS THE PRAISE AND EXULTATION THAT THE SAINTS AND THE ANGELS GIVE
TO JESUS BECAUSE OF HIS UNPARALLELED GLORY.”
“THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE GLORIFIER OF JESUS CHRIST AS HE REVEALS TO US
CHRIST’S MAGNIFICENCE IN HIS BEING AND IN HIS DOING FOR WHICH
HIS FOLLOWERS PRAISE AND HONOR HIM.”
If it were not for THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE CHRIST-GLORIFIER GOD, like the spiritually dead world, we would not realize in the least:
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S DIVINITY
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S SON-SHIP
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S ATTRIBUTES
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S NAME
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S SACRIFICIAL LOVE
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S SALVATION
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S CLEANSING BLOOD
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S REDEEMING GRACE
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S UNIVERSAL KINGSHIP
-THE GLORY OF CHRIST’S AUTHORITY
THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST
I have discovered about my Friend the Holy Spirit that he is obsessed with Jesus Christ and because of that He has a one track mind – JESUS-JESUS-JESUS! It is really something. For instance, I notice that in Galatians 4:6, the Holy Spirit refers to Himself in His Book as:
“THE SPIRIT OF THE SON.”
Hear the words of that text:
“And because you are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our
hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ ”
Hang in there with me now! So Christ-centered – so Christo-centric is the Holy Spirit that He refers to Himself in Romans 8:9 as:
“THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.”
The exact words of that text are:
“…But if anyone does not have the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he does not
belong to Him.”
And again in I Peter 1:11 the Holy Spirit calls Himself:
“THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.”
The words of that text are:
“Seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was
indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and
the glories to follow.”
But now listen! One thing you will never hear the Holy Spirit referring to Himself as is this:
“THE SPIRIT OF THE SPIRIT.”
He could do that of course, and He would be within His right. After all, He is God and not at all less than God in any dimension of His being. I mean to say, He is God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God. He could call Himself THE SPIRIT OF SPIRIT, but he does not, not even slightly close to that.
“A TRULY HOLY SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN AND A TRULY HOLY SPIRIT-FILLED
CHURCH WILL BE JESUS CHRIST CENTERED BECAUSE THAT IS THE
HOLY SPIRIT’S DIVINE OBSESSION.”
“THE TRULY SPIRIT-FILLED PERSON IS ONE WHO GLORIFIES JESUS CHRIST
IN HIS THOUGHTS, WORDS, AND DEEDS.”
When the Holy Spirit fills you, praise to Jesus just flows out of your innermost being. You just cannot help but being a Jesus fanatic. And in conversation, it is hard, very hard, to converse for 1 or 2 minutes without a “Praise You Jesus” bursting forth. I mean, speaking without praising Jesus for 60 or 120 seconds is like being silent for an eternity. In fact:
“WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT FILLS YOUR HEART, YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO GET
WARMED UP TO PRAISE JESUS – FOR YOU ARE ALWAYS
HOT WITH HIS PRAISES.”
Some people are beach people and some people are mountain people. But for the Spirit-filled Christian, Mt. Rushmore with its presidents, fades away before Mt. Calvary with its Savior.
And right here is where the rub comes! Modern churches don’t really threaten or bug the world, except those that are fanatical about Jesus. Hey, most everyone believes in a God, even the demons of Hell do. Many do not mind so much the idea of a God up there somewhere, but the thought of God the Son – Jesus Christ arriving on earth in human flesh and invading our world, then is when the sparks of resistance begin to fly.
The vast majority of university professors feel it is ignorant to treat Jesus Christ with any more respect than any other great teacher. There is no longer an institution of “higher learning” where Jesus would be esteemed higher than Buddha or Mohammed.
But the fact is, there is one ultimate and overriding reason why the Bible was ever written, and there is one ultimate and overriding reason for reading it and believing it. And that is found in John 20:31,
“But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
The entire Word of God would be irrelevant unless:
“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE SANCTIFIER GOD
We saved the closest denominator until last. This is the Holy Spirit’s calling card! This is His deepest and most powerful ongoing work in the hearts and lives of Christians. It is strongly indicated in His name – HOLY Spirit! Holiness! Here is where He really goes to work and is constantly on the job. It is His specialty and His forte.
No one can do holiness like He does. It cannot be done without Him! No one can take His place. It is the heart of His friendship with us and in us, for no one gets to Heaven without this work of the Holy Spirit in us.
What are we talking about? You read of it for instance in II Thessalonians 2:13,
“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the
Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation
through SANCTIFICATION BY THE SPIRIT and faith in the truth.”
And again we read of the Holy Spirit’s major work in Christians as we read this time in I Peter 1:2,
“according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the SANCTIFYING WORK
OF THE SPIRIT, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with
His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.”
A. The Meaning of Sanctification
Before we get into this, Grandpa and his granddaughter were enjoying cider and doughnuts on Reformation Day. Grandpa said to his granddaughter, “Sarah, I wish that you didn’t have school tomorrow so you could go to church with me and Grandma.” Sarah asked Grandad, “Why are you going to church tomorrow, Grandpa?” Grandpa replied, “Because tomorrow is All Saints Day.” “But Grandpa,” said Sarah, “we’re not saints, were Lutherans.”
No Sarah, believers are not first of all Lutherans, or Baptists, or Pentecostals etc. All believers are first of all saints the moment they give their lives to Christ and are set apart by the Holy Spirit as God’s holy people. You will find the words of Ephesians 1:1 throughout the New Testament,
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the SAINTS who are in
Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus.”
You see, the Holy Spirit is so gracious that He calls us SAINTS – HOLY ONES when as yet we have a long, long ways to go on the road to holiness. If you will:
“THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GRACE FIRST CALLS US HOLY AND THEN BEGINS
THE PROCESS OF MAKING US HOLY. “
If you will:
“HE GRACIOUSLY DECLARES US TO BE HOLY IN CHRIST AND THEN POWERFULLY
HELPS US TO LIVE UP TO WHO WE ARE – SAINTS.”
Now the verb SANCTIFY! Let us quickly remind ourselves of the “IFY” words, in this case SANCTIFY, which literally means to MAKE SANCT. That doesn’t make much sense, unless we realize that the Latin word SANCTUS from which we get the words SANCTITY, SANCTIFICATION, SANCTIFY etc. means HOLY. Therefore the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification means:
“THE HOLY SPIRIT HOLIFIES US – SANCTIFIES US TO MAKE US HOLY
INWARDLY AND OUTWARDLY.”
If you will:
“THE HOLY SPIRIT ALONE CAN MAKE US HEAVENLY/HOLY/GODLY IN OUR
THOUGHTS, DESIRES, WORDS, AND DEEDS.”
B. The Desperate Condition of Man’s Heart
A fountain of water may be said to be pure when there is no dirt or germs that discolor and defile it. There are all kinds of water purifiers and water filtration systems today that are purported to give us sparkling, clean water – EVER PURE – Aqua Pure, Pure Stream Purifier, and the list goes on. However, just how purified the water is, only our immune systems really know.
What we do know for certain is that all men by nature are filled with sin and rot in their hearts. That is why we read about the human heart in Jeremiah 17:9 KJV,
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:
who can know it?”
There is so much inherent sin, so much filth and foulness – unholiness in man, that we can without exaggeration say about the body and soul of man by nature:
“THE BODY OF MAN IS DUST, AND THE SOUL OF MAN IS DIRT.”
Wow! Every man’s heart and soul is stained by sin of every conceivable sort. None of us come into this world as clean machines. All kinds of critters and vermin are crawling around in our hearts dropping their filthy excrement all over the walls of our hearts. Frankly our hearts are so stained and polluted by sin that you cannot tell where sin begins and our hearts end.
That is why the Psalmist David, realizing that his heart was and infested with sin, cries out in Psalm 51:10,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God….”
And the Person Who alone can disinfect and purify our hears is the Holy Spirit, which is why David goes on to say in that same Psalm, Psalm 51:11,
“And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.”
There may be some who are saying right about now, “My heart isn’t perfect, but it surely is not as bad as you say it is.” But you see, we are dealing with the HOLIEST STANDARD – GOD HIMSELF. Solomon said this in Ecclesiastes 10:1,
“Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier
than wisdom and honor.”
“GOD IS SO HOLY THAT TO HIM EVEN A LITTLE SIN ON EARTH IS WEIGHTIER THAN
ALL OF THE CLEANNESS OF HEAVEN.”
If we don’t understand this, we don’t have a clue as to the unimaginable holiness of God. Sin is not measured by human standards of relativity, but by God’s standard of ABSOLUTE HOLINESS. That is why we read in Isaiah 64:6,
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous
deeds are like a FILTHY GARMENT.”
Think about it! Mull that over in your mind for a while. Compared to God:
“EVEN OUR CLEANNESS IS DIRTY, AND OUR MOST RIGHTEOUS ACTS
ARE LIKE FILTHY RAGS.”
If you will:
“GOD IS SO HOLY THAT EVEN OUR HOLINESS IS UNHOLY, AND EVEN OUR
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS UNRIGHTEOUS.”
So then, when the Apostle Paul says to young Timothy in I Timothy 5:22 KJV,
“Keep thyself pure,”
Paul means to be kept untouched by the least tinge or taint of sin inwardly and outwardly. You see:
“THE REASON LOTS OF PEOPLE GO TO HELL IS BECAUSE THEY THINK THAT
THEY ARE MOSTLY AND THEREFORE SUFFICIENTLY CLEAN.”
Of course, none of us in this imperfect world and flawed state can do this. Only the HOLY Spirit can go to the inner recesses of the soul, and He will not rest until He disinfects it of all ungodliness and unholiness, and replaces it with holiness in the deepest depths of our hearts. You see:
“MY FRIEND, THE HOLY SPIRIT, WANTS DEEP FRIENDSHIP WHERE NOTHING
IS HID. NO SURFACE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.”
Yes, that can be painful, but no pain – no gain I always say, even though I don’t always like it either.
And it will go on until we die! Sanctification is a lifelong and constantly reoccurring housecleaning of every nook and cranny of our inner selves. Just as dirt and dust have a way of collecting in our physical houses, so the same is true in our spiritual houses. Frankly, each Sunday morning in church, there are people sitting there whose hearts resemble fish tanks that haven’t been cleaned in months. The Holy Spirit is the HOUSE CLEANER OF OUR SOULS. No one less will do or can do the job!
Welcome the Holy Spirit into every place and recess of your inner self. When asked, He will sanctify the dining room, the living room, the bedroom, the recreation room, the workroom, the closets, and the smallest areas of your souls. One by one, He will purify each room leaving a fragrance of holiness that fills the entire house where Jesus can feel right at home.
People today who go to FUN CHURCHES wearing FUN BADGES will never experience the deep cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, they will never know the agony and yet ecstasy of an extra-big Holy Spirit wave, let alone a small one, carrying them away into deep-cleaning holiness.
C. Sanctified Thoughts and Desires
Well then, let’s get down where it all happens, and where the sanctifying graces of the Holy Spirit must be applied.
It is right here where the spirit of man grates against the Spirit of God. Here is where man resists the Holy Spirit and His sanctifying influences. In 2006, Elton John was was interviewed by the BBC, and he said, “I would ban religion completely. I think that religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people. Religion promotes hatred and spite against gay people.”
How wrong he is! The Holy Spirit knows that filth and dirt and impurity in our spiritual blood stream can and will destroy us even as infection in the physical blood stream can and will kill us. In fact:
“THE HOLY SPIRIT’S SANCTIFICATION OF OUR LIVES IS ONE OF THE GREATEST
EXPRESSIONS OF GOD’S LOVE EVER GIVEN TO SINFUL MAN.”
Why? Because there is no depth of unholiness to which perverted and vile thoughts and desires will not take us. So it was that Elton John blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ when in an interview with Parade Magazine he said, “Jesus was a super-intelligent gay man.”
FIRST, our thoughts! Where in the world did that thought come from? Did you ever have that, and you were embarrassed to admit to yourself that you could even think such a thing?! It flitted across your mind like a swooping bat out of hell. You really had no idea that such a bad brain wave would even register on your spiritual encephalogram. And since it first appeared, it keeps on coming back with even greater longevity. What in the world is going on here?
But then we might say to ourselves in such a scenario, “Well, I don’t know where that came from, for it is not really me. It is just a fluke.” I wish that were the case, but it isn’t. Why? Because of what we read in the Bible in Proverb 23:7,
“For as he (man) thinks within himself, so he is….”
Our thoughts, in other words, define who we are deep down. Why? Because they put us on God’s candid camera every time! For you see, the strange thing about thoughts is that they are so quick and sudden, they prevent masking. They don’t allow tampering or hiding or camouflage. And according to the Proverb, they are the truest litmus tests for the condition of our heart and for the indicators of what makes us really us. If you will:
“WHERE OUR THOUGHTS ARE, THAT IS WHERE THE AFFECTIONS OF OUR
HEARTS ARE, AND WHERE THE AFFECTIONS OF OUR HEARTS ARE,
THAT IS WHERE WE WANT TO BE AND WHAT WE WANT TO DO.”
Now follow this! There are those who would say that if we do not act on and carry out bad thoughts, that must then still qualify us for holiness. In other words:
“AS LONG AS OUTWARD ACTIONS DO NOT CARRY OUT THE EVIL INNER
THOUGHTS AND DESIGNS, WE QUALIFY FOR HOLINESS BEFORE GOD.”
“IF THOUGHTS RUN IMPURE, AND ROVE OR EVEN FLIT OVER FILTHY, UNCLEAN
SCENES AND OBJECTS BUT DO NOT ACT OUT, THE THINKER IN THIS CASE
IS ONLY MORE RESERVED AND RESTRAINED, BUT CERTAINLY
NOT MORE HOLY.”
Why? Because, what really defines us is what we think in our hearts!
Think of it in this way. The thoughts of the heart do not always show themselves in outward actions. If they did, the world would be a zoo without cages or bars. In a pool of water, you and I may look upon the upper water level and determine by it that the entire pool is pristine pure. But if we could look to the depths, which we cannot, we would see dirt and mud, flotsam and jetsam. Listen:
“TO RATE A MAN’S INTERNALS BY HIS EXTERNALS IS A MOST FALLIBLE
AND MISLEADING RULE.”
I mean, who of us would really want the deep places of our hearts at any given moment paraded in public? Just the thought of it frankly makes me nervous.
Alright then, when the Holy Spirit checks a thought or thoughts and plunks your conscience strings, be thankful that He is busy at work to sanctify your heart, your brains, and your hands. That is a good sign and a critical moment. Don’t let it go by. Plug fully into your friend the Holy Spirit and ask Him to pull that “rogue thinking” out by the roots and sweep it away by His cleansing stream. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Don’t delay or procrastinate, reasoning that it was simply a rare exception. It wasn’t. It is who you and I are. There is a text in Hebrews 4:7 that has gripped me over and over again, where it begins with these words we:
“Today if you will hear His voice….”
Today! The expression there of the Holy Spirit refers to the DAY OF GRACE. It is the sun of God’s grace shining in our hearts for a few hours, and as surely as the sun rises, the night comes when the Spirit will no longer work His sanctifying grace. Never forget:
“PROCRASTINATION IN NATURALS IS DANGEROUS, BUT PROCRASTINATION IN
SPIRITUALS IS OFTEN DAMNABLE.”
SECOND, the Holy Spirit’s sanctification of our desires! The order is intentional, because desires flow from our thoughts. If the thoughts are clean, the desires will flow pure. But if the thoughts are unclean, given enough time and consideration, the desires will flow dirty from them. Thought-fed desires then become raging tsunamis, and there is no external force in the world that can stop them.
When it comes to EVIL THOUGHTS AND DESIRES, we are talking here about the Bonnie and Clyde of the inner world. They are married and partners in crime. Hear it:
“THE FIRST STEP AND ADVANCE OF THE EVIL HEART IS THE EVIL THOUGHT.
THE SECOND STEP AND ADVANCE OF THE EVIL HEART IS THE EVIL
DESIRE.THE THIRD STEP OF THE EVIL HEART IS THE EVIL ACT.”
1. It was David who said in Psalm 119:97,
“O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”
This is where it all begins! We must prayerfully and carefully avoid anything and everything that dirties and defiles our thoughts. That includes books and television/movies/videos, for the mind not only reads and has a good memory, but it takes high hi-def pictures. There are some things of long ago that I regret having ever read and seen. Listen:
“HE WHO WOULD KEEP HIS MIND FROM TRADING WITH THE DEVIL MUST STAY
AWAY FROM THE DEVIL’S SHOPS.”
The psalmist learned the very hard way not to stand on palace rooftops and watch neighbor ladies bathing in their back yard saunas. Rather, he determined to fill his mind with the holy laws and words of God. The Apostle Paul wrote these words in James 3:17,
“The wisdom from above is first pure.”
Well then, just as powerfully true:
“The wisdom from below is first impure.”
We on a daily basis need more than a Holy Spirit mind purge. We need daily a Holy Spirit-Word of God mind deluge. In a world that is satanically designed to fill our minds with Hell, we must saturate our minds with Heaven.
2. The man who meditated on God’s law all day went on to reveal what happened to his desires. We read his words in Psalm 73:25,
“Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire
nothing on earth.”
Wow! That is saying something. All of his desires are for God in his life, and he desires nothing on earth. When you arrive there:
“YOU ARE NO LONGER IN THE STRUGGLE FOR HOLINESS, BUT BY THE
SANCTIFICATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD AND THE HOLY
WORD OF GOD, YOU ARE IN THE STATE OF HOLINESS.”
It is amazing what happens when the Holy Spirit falls upon people! So it was with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Welsh Revivals of the 19th century. As people sought the infilling of the Holy Spirit they did all they could do to their confess sins and clean up their lives. They unexpectedly created severe problems for the shipyards along the coast of Wales. Suddenly whether at work or at home, they were standing on holy ground.
Over the years workers had pilfered all kinds of things. Everything from wheelbarrows to hammers had been stolen. However, as people sought to be right with God they started to return what they had taken, with the result that the shipyards were overwhelmed with return property. There were such huge piles of returned tools that several of the shipyards had to put up signs that read:
“IF YOU HAVE BEEN LED BY GOD TO RETURN WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN, PLEASE
KNOW THAT THE MANAGEMENT FORGIVES YOU AND WISHES YOU
TO KEEP WHAT YOU HAVE TAKEN.”
“WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT GETS A HOLD OF YOUR HEART, FACTORIES BECOME
HOLY TEMPLES AND TOOLS BECOME HOLY INSTRUMENTS BEING
HELD BY HOLY HANDS.”
3. If you want a sure reading on holy and unholy desires in your life, apply the following guidelines and you will get the true pulse beat of your hearts desires:
-When you are in the holy actions of prayer, worship, praise, and meditation on God’s Word, do your desires want more, or do they constantly want all spiritual activity short and sweet? If it is the former, you are progressing well on the Holy Spirit Highway of Sanctification, but if is the latter, you are still on Flesh Turnpike.
-When there is seduction and allurement of a sinful pleasure or a sinful picture, do your desires and fantasies stay with it and reach after it, even though your hand dares not. Or is your holy desire deeply repulsed and offended so that you turn away from it like a stomach vomits food poisoning? This is a good measure of an unsanctified or a sanctified heart and mind.
-Finally, when presented with righteous or unrighteous objects and scenes, what are the firstborn thoughts and desires of your heart? Whatever the firstborn is indicates the holiness or unholiness of our true inner selves. Be honest with yourself and God the Holy Spirit, hide nothing, and say to God what David said to God in Psalm 38:9,
“Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my sighing is not
hidden from Thee.”
Well there is so much more, but for now, we have come to the end of the series, “Meet My Friend – The Holy Spirit.” Is He your most intimate and faithful friend, and are you His faithful and intimate friend? The answer to that question will either save or damn our souls. He surely loves us, for why else would He be and do all of this for us and in us? You will not find a better friend anywhere in the world.
I know that we have only begun our friendship study on the Holy Spirit. We have not even touched on:
-THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE GUIDER GOD
-THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE INTERCESSOR GOD
-THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE INSPIRATION GOD
-THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE FRUITFUL GOD (though we did touch on this)
-THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE CALLING GOD
–THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE ADOPTER GOD
On and on it goes, and I leave it up to you for the moment to make up for my deficiencies and incompleteness.
But in conclusion, I am deeply concerned with something that will not let me go. Have you in any dimension of His being and doing and giving, scorned and rejected the Holy Spirit’s friendship? Worst of all, have you said in essence that some or any of what He is and does and gives is of the devil? God forbid!
When it comes to your attitude toward and treatment of the Holy Spirit, have you been the treason of an Absalom, the betrayal of a Judas, or the stab of a Brutus? If so, would you please ask Him for forgiveness in the blood of Jesus, and express your deepest pain for having grieved or resisted Him in any way. Begin your friendship with Him today, and totally open your heart to Him. Repair the breech, because:
“GIVEN THE DIVINITY OF THE ONE WE OFFEND, THE MORE SERIOUS IS
THE OFFENSE, AND THE GREATER THE GULF.”