Monday, January 9, 2012

The Holy Spirit - the breath of life

There are many people who will only believe in and of that which they are able to see, to touch, to taste, to feel, to smell.  Yet they live in a world where the single most important  element to their existence remains unseen, they know it is there yet they can not see it, they can not taste it, they can not touch it, or smell it (okay they maybe you can  in Los Angles, Beijing,  Mexico City).  It can demolish a landscape, or ravage city in a matter of minutes when pushed by a hurricane or tornado.  Yet when harnessed it can lift airplanes (which is a good thing as I live in Hawaii and the only way anywhere is an airplane),  stop a train or a speeding truck in a matter of feet, break concrete, loosen the lug nuts of the wheels of your car, or lift an acre of granite ten inches thick ten feet in the air as easily as I lift a piece of paper.  It keeps you alive every moment of your life; we can not live without it.  It is an amazing, and powerful thing - this that we can not see, but can not live without – Air.   

Never think that because you can not see something that it does not exist or that it is weak.  The Bible talks a great deal about it, the breath of life, the Holy Spirit.  Much of what I write about is impossible for us to do on our own.  Jesus knows this, God knows this, that is why Jesus had to go away (in life, He could only be in one place at one time), so that the Holy Spirit could come and dwell among and in all of us. Where Jesus came in the visible form, the Holy Spirit comes in the invisible, for no faith is required to believe in that which you see.  But can you imagine the hell that this earth would be if the invisible Spirit of God were suddenly removed.  

I do not have to moralize to those who are immoral, they know they are immoral; I do not have to tell unbelievers that they lack faith, they know they are faithless, I do not have to do this because that is what the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit does not merely accuse men of sin he brings them an inescapable sense of guilt.  For some it is that guilt that brings us to God, for most they do everything in their power to hide from that guilt; and hide beneath a layer of alcohol, drugs, career, good works, or church. 

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  “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.”  John 16:7-15

The Holy Spirit is available and desires to be with us all, but not all desire Him, because to desire Him means to turn from your own desires and follow Him. Many want some of Him but not all of Him; they want to reap the benefits of the Holy Spirit without giving up their own desires.  The Holy Spirit will not force Himself into your life, you must seek Him, you must truly ask Him to dwell in you, if you truly do desire Him, truly desire to repent from your sins He will come to you.

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you...”  John 14:15-18

Imagine what it means to have the presence of the living God within you. Pause and ponder this, the third member of the Godhead, the invisible, yet all-powerful representation of deity, is actually living inside your being.  His limitless capabilities are resident within you, since He indwells you.

Just before Jesus’s ascension back into heaven, He met with a group of His followers. To give us good news, Jesus’ last words to us was the crucial news regarding the Spirit who would soon come to take His place. 

“Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8
You think you can’t handle what life throws at you? You think you can’t stand firm or, when necessary, stand alone in your life?  You think you can’t handle the lure of life’s temptations?  You are right, you certainly could not if you were all alone.  You—alone—can’t do that anymore than I can fly from Hawaii to South America alone.  But with the right kind of power put into operation, the very power and presence of God, you can handle it.  You can do it.  As a matter of fact, all the pressure will be shifted and the weight transferred from you to Him.  It’s a radically different way to live, and because He is God, He can handle it.

The Holy Spirit will either empower you or convict you.  He leaves the choice up to you, but every single day of your life you move closer to your own personal day of judgement.  The reason I write, the reason I do what I do is to encourage you to cross the bridge to His side of eternity.

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