Basic 3: Holy Spirit: Francis Chan-May 2, 2012
When out His disciples to continue His mission on earth, He told them that they couldn’t do it without the Holy Spirit. And the same is true for us-we simply cannot follow Jesus apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.
We all have room to grown, and we all have times when we rely on ourselves rather than the Spirit.
Read Acts 2
Sometimes we don’t experience the Spirit’s power in our lives because all we’re looking for is a spiritual experience. When the Spirit arrived, He immediately moved and empowered the disciples to act. They didn’t have to ask each other if this was what they had been waiting for-they knew it was, and the immediately did what the Spirit moved them to do. The Spirit does not always move as visibly as He did in Acts 2, but when He leads us to do something, we need to step into action.
There’s no way the disciples could have planned Pentecost. And that’s the point. Jesus called us to follow Him, He has given us a specific mission and specific commands, and He has sent the Holy Spirit to enable us to do what He calls us to do. The call to follow Jesus and the power of the Spirit go hand in hand. We simply cannot think about following Jesus apart from the Holy Spirit, and we cannot think about the power of the Spirit apart from actively following Jesus.
He will begin to change you from the inside out. You may not be a naturally loving person, but that’s the point: The Spirit works supernaturally to accomplish the impossible. We need the Spirit to transform our hearts. He is the one who produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23), and many others.
As you open up your life to the Spirit, you will begin to see Him working. With every moment of victory and obedience you will know the power He has given you. No longer will you be “quenching the Spirit” in your life (see 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Pentecost was great but when the Spirit changes my desires for money, comfort, and safety into desires to love other people, care for the needy, and make disciples for Jesus, and that is a very tangible witness of the work of God in my life.
Perhaps another way of thinking about following Jesus involves walking with the Holy Spirit as we follow Jesus no one was born walking we all had to learn and if ever someone has had to do physical therapy or regain the ability to walk, it requires a lot of effort and can be frustrating. It is a process of putting one foot in front of the other as muscles are retrained. Galatians 5 says “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (v.25), and, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (v.16).
It can be frustrating if the think the changes will be immediate, or trying to follow Jesus but have failures and setbacks. In reality it may have been an easy decision to follow Jesus but it is actually harder to follow moment by moment in our daily lives. An example may be you begin praying that the Spirit would increase your love and joy, but after a while you forget, and instead you begin to find joy in your circumstances, and then if things turn bad you may be tempted to think that walking in the Spirit failed. Rather it was us getting off track.
Romans 8:1-16 specifically 8:11 about the Spirit that dwells in you. One of the most important things to understand about the Spirit is that He has the power to change us. You won’t follow the Spirit’s leading in your life unless you believe that He has the power to transform you. And if the Spirit really has the power to bring us to life, then there really isn’t anywhere else to look. We need to be constantly opening up our lives to the Spirit, constantly submitting ourselves to Him. It also requires patient listening. Often times we see the work of the Spirit not in the moment but in looking back. The Spirit has been working powerfully, but sometimes gradually, over time.
Be faithful every day in the little things. As you wait for the Spirit to show you the next step, don’t forget to follow Jesus. A step in Jesus’ footprints is always a step in the right direction.
1 Cor. 12:7-11
2 Tim. 1:6-7