This morning we continue our journey into this new year with a focus on making “Intentional Progress.” I shared with you six steps to intentional progress and I will walk through them over the next few weeks. As a reminder, here are the six steps.
Here are the steps again:
3. Wait/Discern God’s Timing
4. Execute/Measure Progress
5. Wait/Faith & Patience
6. Receive When Harvest Time Comes
After studying our way through passages in John, chapters 5, 6, 8, and 12, we are taking our time in chapter 14. Yesterday I told you that God is looking to use you like He used Jesus. God knows you are not perfect, and He does not require you to be used. God is just looking for you to be submitted. If you submit and surrender, God will provide you with the words, and He will do the work! Today we take a closer look at how God does this. The answer: the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:17-20).
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity, and He is FULLY God.
Jesus said, “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.” The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” He is the third person of the Trinity, and He is no less God than the Father or Jesus.
— He, the Holy Spirit, God Himself, has come to you to take up residence IN you. Please acknowledge and appreciate His presence.
— Don’t say things like, “Something told to do this,” or “You know what? Something told me that I had to do that!” The Holy Spirit is not a “something”. He is a “someone”. He is God. He was there at creation. He has been there throughout the annals of time. He is here now, and if you are Born-Again, He lives IN YOU!
— For whatever reason, some Christians cannot wrap their minds around the fact that God HIMSELF lives inside of them. If you are Born-Again, you are a God-carrier. You are taking God with you every day, everywhere you go. Please acknowledge Him, allow Him to lead and guide you, and the ultimate goal is to allow Him to LIVE THROUGH you for His glory!
2. Jesus lived WITH the disciples, but the Holy Spirit lives IN us.
— When Adam sinned in the Garden, he died spiritually, and the Holy Spirit was removed from him and Eve. This meant that every person born with the inheritance of Adam was born devoid of God’s Holy Spirit and with an empty hole in their hearts that was created when the Holy Spirit was taken away. People try to fill that hole with sex, drugs, alcohol, money, fame, etc. But this hole can only be filled by the agent who occupied it in the first place, the Holy Spirit. We are born with this void, and we must be Born-Again to fill it!
— Jesus came to restore all that Adam lost in the Garden. Jesus said the following to His disciples about the Holy Spirit, “You know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” The Holy Spirit lived WITH the disciples because He was IN Jesus. But there was coming a day (on the Day of Pentecost) when the Holy Spirit would be restored to mankind.
— While we don’t get to walk around with Jesus in the flesh, we do get to walk around with the Holy Spirit IN us. The Holy Spirit provides for us, internally, what Jesus provided for the disciples externally.
— Please enter this day knowing that God’s Spirit lives IN you!
3. Part of the Holy Spirit’s role is to lead us.
Jesus said, “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”
— Have you ever attempted to lead someone who refused to follow you? Isn’t that frustrating?
— I am sure the Holy Spirit is equally frustrated when He tries to teach, lead and guide us, day after day, only to find that we are not paying any attention to Him at all.
— The Holy Spirit will do the leading, but you must do the following.
— Are you giving the Holy Spirit your attention? Or are you so busy that you rush into your day and then rush through your day without taking any time to hear from the Holy Spirit?
— The Holy Spirit is always speaking, but we are not always listening. This is why people say, “Oh yeah! Something told me that I should have done this or that.” That something is a person. He is the Holy Spirit, and He has been trying to lead you all your life. Jesus said that He would lead us into all truth.
— The Bible likens us to sheep and likens Jesus to a Good Shepherd. Sheep have a terrible sense of direction. But sheep don’t need to know where they are going if they know who they are following. Just as long as sheep can see their shepherd, they are okay. Like sheep, our life is so much easier when we simply follow the Good Shepherd.
— You can either live a life that is driven or one that is led. You can be driven by self-ambition and the pressures of this world, or you can be led by God’s Spirit concerning what to do and say. Jesus was not driven. He was led. When you know you are being led, you have peace. You are not worried. Stress has no power over you. You will still have to deal with the challenges of this world, but you don’t take on any pressure to perform because you know the Holy Spirit is leading you every step of the way. He lives in you, and He will do, through you, what you could never do without Him!
4. The Holy Spirit is the key to becoming ONE with God.
Jesus said, “Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
— Jesus was clearly ONE with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus also wanted us to be ONE with Him and them.
— Jesus said that there would come a day when we would be IN Him, and He would be IN us. That day has come.
— The Holy Spirit connects us to the supreme nature of the Father, the Lordship of the Son, and He gives us direct access to His wisdom and power becuase He has chosen to literally LIVE IN US!
— Jesus was WITH the disciples. The Holy Spirit is IN us! There is a huge difference there. We get to live like Adam lived before the fall. We get to live like Jesus lived when He was in this world. We get to be filled with God Himself. Once we are, our life then becomes a journey of discovery. We allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us, on the inside, what God already planned from the foundations of the world. At this point, our life is not driven by external pressures. Our life is led by an internal presence. Our life becomes an outworking of the internal. The more we die to self, the more the life of God flows freely through us. Not because we are good, but because God is good. Only because of His amazing grace!
I will close with a question Paul asked the believers in Corinth: You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? (1 Cor 3:16).
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for Your amazing and undeserved grace. By grace, You love me with an everlasting love, and You made plans for me before the foundations of the world. Your Son Jesus operated in grace towards me. Jesus willingly took on the penalty for my sin, paying a debt He did not owe for a price I could not pay. The Holy Spirit also operates in grace towards me. He took up residence inside of me, and He tirelessly offers to lead and guide me, even though I have ignored Him more times than I want to acknowledge. By grace, the Holy Spirit keeps trying to work in me, and He even sticks with me when I take Him places He should not be, and I cause Him to hear and see things He should not be exposed to. The Holy Spirit lives in me, going with me everywhere I go, chipping away at the hardness of my heart with His kind love, until I get to the point where my heart is soft towards Him and ready to allow Him to lead me and guide me into all truth. The more I study Your grace towards me, the more unworthy I feel, but the more appreciative I become of who You are and what You have done for me. By faith, I declare that I die to self, I yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and I allow Your love, light, and power to flow through me for all the world to see. I minimize ME to maximize YOU through me to make the impact You desire to make in the earth. This is how I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.