Who Is The Holy Spirit? - Who Is The Holy Spirit?

When we are living life in the spirit, God is leading us.

Chuck Martin
Mar 1, 2020    44m
In this sermon Pastor Chuck talks about the Holy Spirit and how it takes the Holy Spirit to come to the Lord. When we are living life in the spirit we are letting God come alongside of us and guide us through the good and the bad. So, who's guiding you? Video recorded at Frisco, Texas.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Holy-Spirit- -3-1-20.mp3

[00:00:33] All right, good morning! Man, I always say, if you don't like the weather in Texas, just hold your breath, right? I would have chosen yesterday over today, just for the record. And great to see you this morning, in case you haven't guessed, we begin a brand new message series today. We're going to be talking about the person of the Holy Spirit. And we just sang, 'Holy Spirit lead me on'. We're going to talk a little bit about what that means for us personally. If there's any member of the Trinity that is misunderstood, it would be the Holy Spirit. I remember a number years ago, Kim and I were visiting some former members of our church, that were missionaries in the Bahamas. I used to always a tease Ryan and Emily Flunker about what a place to choose to go, 'I feel called to the Bahamas'...Right! Not that that was an easy place to serve. So, we were visiting them. And their son, who is about six or seven at the time, was singing this little song about the Holy Spirit. And it was, 'I want Holy Ghost Power', 'Holy Ghost Power', 'Holy Ghost Power'! I said--I stopped him and said--"Who? Who is the Holy Ghost?" He said..."no idea!"

[00:01:49] Great. Great. That's great, Micah.

[00:01:52] But, you know, I think he's not alone. I think a lot of folks, when you think of—especially the word—'Holy Ghost,' and the King James is not helpful. Right? But a lot of folks have questions, 'who is the Holy Spirit, and what does it mean to be led by the spirit of God? I mean, what does that look like in my life?' There's a lot of confusion about that, a lot of false teaching about that. (If you've watched any 'Christian' television.)

[00:02:18] So what we want to do in this series is really clear up some of the confusion. And we're gonna give an overview of what scripture teaches, just briefly this morning. So the Bible describes God as existing in three persons. Right? We refer to that as the Trinity, God, the father, God, the Son and God the Holy Spirit. For most of us, we can relate to the concept of God being father because we we know what it's like to have a father, right?

[00:02:49] When we think of God, the father, we think of the creator. We think of the all powerful God of this universe. In a sense, the sovereign ruler. Right; God, the father.

[00:03:02] Now we can think of God, the son, because clearly we have a great picture of the person of Jesus. How he lived, how he treated people, what he said, what he did in all the four gospels. We have a clear picture. Here's who Jesus is. Here's what he did. Here's what he accomplished. Here's how he lives. We get that. God, the son. Yet when it comes to this, the Holy Spirit. We're like, "Oh. What exactly does that mean and exactly what effect does that have on my life, that God is spirit? I want to remind us this morning of a great statement concerning the Holy Spirit, a doctrinal statement from the sixteen hundreds (probably haven't read the Westminster confession of faith lately). But listen to what it says about the person, the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is the third person, the Trinity. In other words, when we speak of the Holy Spirit we're speaking of God.

[00:04:09] "Proceeding from the father and the son." You see, the Holy Spirit is eternal. He's God. He has always existed. We're gonna see that the Holy Spirit was operative in creation. Right? We're gonna see that in Genesis, when it says 'let us create man in our image'. The word, therefore, for the Godhead is a plural form and the spirit of God.

[00:04:31] We see it throughout the Old Testament. So the third person of the Trinity, he is God. "Proceeding from the father and son." When you see that Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit. We're going to talk about that briefly, when that happens, he's of the same substance and equal and power and glory to God, the father and God the son; he is together with father and son.

[00:04:53] There is a beauty in the concept of God being in community, isn't there? That God has eternally existed, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That God has created us as relational beings to relate to one another, because that's the essence of his nature, right?

[00:05:12] And part of that, we see in the doctrine the Trinity, in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is to be believed and loved, obeyed and worshipped throughout the ages. That's what Westminster confession says. So what I like to do is take a moment to run through a few things, just touch on just very quickly some points of misunderstanding and truths about the Holy Spirit, some foundational truth, if you will.

[00:05:39] The first of those is, he's described as a person, not a force or a power, matter of fact. As you see, the Holy Spirit described, escpecially in the New Testament, you see in terms of him having a mind and a will. You know, Ephesians 4:35, that you can grieve the Holy Spirit. So there are emotions associated with the Holy Spirit. Those are all elements of personhood. The Holy Spirit is not like, well——a lot of us have kind of a 'Star Wars' theology when it comes to the Holy Spirit..."I sense the force great within you, young Skywalker, right? No. No.

[00:06:14] The Holy Spirit is not in it. Not a force; the Holy Spirit is a person. He's not a ghost. Although that word in the sixteen hundreds was applicable when the King James was was written. English has changed since then. He makes it possible for us to experience God in a personal way. That's huge.

[00:06:37] The way you experience God and know God or sense his presence, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. You would not sense God's presence apart from the Holy Spirit in your life.

[00:06:50] Ok. No one is saved or comes to know God in a personal way, apart from the Holy Spirit's work in your life. John 6:40 says, "no one comes unless the father draws them." He draws them through the Holy Spirit, where we're going to see it is the Holy Spirit to convince us of sin, and righteousness, and judgment. It's the Holy Spirit. He draws us to that saving knowledge and faith and relationship with him, with God, through Jesus.

[00:07:17] Is the Holy Spirit who reveals that, and applies the truth of scripture to us. Second, Timothy 3:16, says "all scripture is God breathed." That is inspired. You see, it's a message from God. And God takes his message, and when you read, then go, "man, I need that," or, "wow, that applies to me." Then that's the work of the Holy Spirit, taking the truth of God and making it personal. Very, very important, you understand?

[00:07:47] He prompts to pray. Romans says we don't know how to pray as we ought, but the Holy Spirit intercedes. If you think, "man, I should pray about that." Where did that thought come from? Where did the thought originate? He prompts us to do the things consistent with the will of God, including pray. So if you have an idea, "should I pray about that? I feel led to pray about that." We'll just assume it's the Holy Spirit, and pray.

[00:08:10] We're gonna see he convicts the world of sin and assures us of our forgiveness and Christ. He instructs, encourages, directs, comforts. He empowers us to resist temptation and live a God honoring life.

[00:08:21] In fact, Paul refers to the Holy Spirit as you 'have the mind of Christ'; the mind of Christ. In other words, the thoughts that align with who God is in his direction and will for your life. Those come from his Holy Spirit. Right? In other words, what scripture says is, God has given us a personal guidance system, which is his presence in us. There's a mystery involved in that.

[00:08:47] But what I want to do is kind of demythologize that for a moment. The Holy Spirit is not some 'wooooooooo'[ghost]. The Holy Spirit is an abiding presence of God.

[00:08:59] I think we all realize that you can live about three days without water. Right? We all need water, right? We will all die if we don't have water. Right. You may not know, but every single cell in your body consists, at least to some degree, of water. It is an essential for life. In a similar way, the Holy Spirit is the essential for your spiritual life.

[00:09:24] You are not spiritually alive, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. And so what I want to do in just a few minutes, and this is, hey, tall task. So just bear with me, okay? I want to give you an overview of the Old Testament/New Testament, what the Bible says about the person of the Holy Spirit, are all up to go to class for a moment? Ok, not sure you are, but we're we're gonna try it. All right.

[00:09:54] I'm not trying to bore you, but there are two main words for the Holy Spirit in Scripture, 'ruach' in the Old Testament——always like clearing your throat. It appears about three hundred seventy times, and is often translated 'winds'. Ok, the Holy Spirit, the 'wind', the spirit, and it talks about God's movement, his power. There's a word in the New Testament, 'Pneuma,' P-N-E-U-M-A, is the transliteration. And that means spirit. You're probably familiar with that, if you've ever had pneumonia, right? 'Pneuma'. The spirit. So those are the two main words. Both of them appear about 380 times in scripture; 'ruach', about three hundred and seventy nine times the Old Testament 'pneuma' 381, I believe in the New Testament. Those are the primary words for the Holy Spirit. They'll be the words associated with The Holy Spirit. They'll be like for Old Testament, it'll be 'Kadesh Ruach', which means the Holy Spirit. OK, so those are the terms. So let's talk about when we see the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

[00:11:11] So first half of your Bible known as the Old testament. So if there's an Old Testament, guess what? There is also a New Testament. Testament means basically an agreement or a relationship. In other words, how people related to God before Jesus. Old Testament. OK. Now, three things to be aware of. The first is creation. So you go all the way back.

[00:11:38] First pages, the Bible, Genesis, chapter one verses one and two. Look and see what it says with me for just a moment. All right, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth first to. Now, the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep and noticed that word. The what? [crowd: 'ruach'] Okay, you're right! Good one. Somewhere we have an A student over here! And, the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. That is true,'ruach' is the word that is used in, "the spirit of God was hovering". The Holy Spirit there in creation, Genesis 1:26; the creation account of man God says let 'us' create man in 'our' image, is already mentioned. So we see, in creation, we see the Holy Spirit.

[00:12:33] Now, throughout the Old Testament, God primarily spoke to his people through leaders or prophets, right? And what you'll see, when you see a description of that, is the Holy Spirit "coming upon" prophets. That's the word, the Holy Spirit "came on," or the Holy Spirit "came upon" maybe, a couple examples: First Kings Chapter 18 says, "The power of the Lord 'came on' Elijah; a description of the Holy Spirit there. Judges 6:34, notice what it says speaking of Gideon, "And then the spirit of the Lord 'came on' Gideon, and he believes." So here's the idea. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was sensitive; usually described as being outside of the person, but the Holy Spirit would come at key terms and empower individuals. This was how people operated under what was called the 'old covenant'. OK. Now, in the old covenant, you would go to worship God in the Tabernacle and then in the temple. And the presence of God was something you would go to; you would go, and the presence of God would be associated with those places. So here's the concept. The concept is the spirit of God says would come upon people, but you would go to worship God in a place. And in that place would be the place where you would encounter God's presence or his spirit. That's the Old Testament, Old Covenant theology, if you will. OK, now we see that throughout the Old Testament. It points to what God will do in the future through the person of Jesus, but also through the Holy Spirit in what will be considered the new covenant.

[00:14:21] But let's let's let's see, for example, a prediction of that from a Ezekiel Chapter 36. Turn, look there for just a moment, Ezekiel 36 verses 26 and 27. Notice what God says to Ezekiel, he said, "I will give you a new heart (in other words, I'll do it some time in the future.) I will put a new spirit in you, our remove from you the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." And then notice what he's going to do and what God says is going to happen in the future. Verse twenty seven, "and I will put my spirit in you." That's new. That's different. "And move you to follow my decrees and be careful to to keep my laws." Here's what he saying, and what the Old Testament points to. When God, in the Old Testament, 'came upon' people, it was considered kind of external to individuals. But the promise was that God is going to do something different internally and place his spirit within us. That's good news. That's great news.

[00:15:20] So let's look at what the New Testament teaches related To the Holy Spirit. Just 10,000 feet for just a moment. The first thing let's look at, that would be the coming of Jesus. And let's focus for just a second on his baptism, all right? So with that in mind, look at Matthew chapter three for just a moment. Now, before I read that passage, I'll actually explain this. Throughout Jesus coming, you see the Holy Spirit. You see the Holy Spirit at work. Let me just remind you. Remember when God chose Mary and said, "Mary, through you, the Messiah, the promise one, the son of God is going to come", and there she was asking, "how is this possible, I'm a virgin?" Remember the response to that? The spirit of the most high will 'come upon' you. Who is the Spirit of the most high? This isn't difficult. This spirit of the Most High is another description of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is going to come upon you. God is going to come upon you. And you will conceive and give birth to a son.

[00:16:45] Ok, so what you see when you look at Jesus, if you want to see the clearest picture, in human terms, is God with flesh on him. Look at Jesus. He was full of grace and truth, full of the Holy Spirit. So many verses, so many things I could say about that. God in the flesh. The word became flesh. But look at what Jesus said. Look at what John the Baptist said. I'll start with John the Baptist. Matthew Chapter three, look at this for just a moment. As you know, prior to Jesus coming, the last kind of, in a sense, prophet was John the Baptist. He prepared people for Christ coming. And notice what he says in Matthew hapter three verse eleven. He says, "I baptize you with water for a penance. But after me comes one who's more powerful than I. Whose sandals I'm not worthy to carry." Notice what he says next!

[00:17:45] "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire..." And then notice the description of the baptism of Jesus, verses 13 through 17, "Since then, Jesus came up from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, but you come to me. Jesus replied, Let it be so now, for it is proper to fulfill all righteousness. So John consented." Now notice what it says next, it's very interesting.

[00:18:12] "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went out of the water" and notice, he was placed 'under' the water--He was immersed. "...coming out of the water at that moment," Listen to this, don't miss this, "at that moment heaven was opened," (which I can only imagine) "And he saw the spirit of God" [spirit of God, Holy Spirit, same description, a spirit of God, the Holy Spirit], "descending like a dove and alighting on him." So we have we have God, the son, Jesus, the promised Messiah. We have God, the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus. And then notice the next thing, verse 17, "and a voice from heaven saying, This is my son." (I'm sure it sounded like that.) "Whom I love; with him I'm well pleased." Who's saying 'this is my son?' God the father. So you have God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit--The Holy Spirit descending on Christ in the form of a dove at the baptism of Jesus; gives us a picture. Things are different now.

[00:19:13] You want to know what God's like? You want to come to a holy, separate, God? It's going to be through Jesus, ok? The promised one, the new covenant. God is doing a new thing in that day. Jesus has come. Full of the spirit of God. Able to work signs and wonders. Jesus Christ, fully God. But he also says, Jesus, 'Hey. After I bear your sin on the cross and after I rise on the third day, I'm going to acsend to my father and I'm going to send you the Holy Spirit.' And that leads to kind of the second point of the New Testament. You have Jesus, and the baptism of Jesus, the work of the spirit in that. And then you have Jesus' promise and his promise is for each of us. And his promise has to do with God's spirit and how God's spirit is going to work in our lives.

[00:20:27] I'm just gonna select a couple of verses. And look, on each of these, there's more than I could say, but look at Acts Chapter one for just a moment. Acts, Chapter one, verses four and five, some last words of Christ prior to his ascension. This is following his resurrection, by the way. Notice what it says, verse four, "And on one occasion, while he was eating with them, (that would be his disciples) he gave him this command. 'Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my father promised'." What is this gift? Who is this gift?

[00:21:04] So the Holy Spirit, "...which you've heard me speak about, (verse five, remember Jesus predicted this) verse five, "for John, baptized with water. But in a few days you will be baptized...[in other words--there will be a--in the sense of baptism, meaning immersed in-- there will be a new relationship that you'll have toward God because of this Holy Spirit] "...in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." In other words, this Holy Spirit that we saw in the Old Testament, that was outside of people that occasionally came 'upon' prophets and others, is now going to in-dwell you! That's the promise. The promise that Jesus says is going to be for each of us, is God's presence--don't miss this--with us.

[00:21:49] You see, God was with us in Jesus. But as long as God was with us in Jesus, Jesus could only be one place, one time, right? (We don't have multiple Jesuses.) He was limited to one body, one place, one time, with fullness of God but in one locale. What Jesus is going to say in John Chapter 16 which is the passage we're going to look at before we wrap up today. He's going to say it's actually better for you and for me that we live in this time of history after the Holy Spirit has come, because we're not limited to one person, one body, one place, one time.

[00:22:26] But he's going to place his spirit within you--within me--and everything's going to change. If you want to know when that happened in history, read in Acts chapter two, the day of Pentecost, when the church was praying, they obeyed what Christ said, "stay in Jerusalem" and the Holy Spirit, and, the description is that the Holy Spirit came and there were like 'tongues of fire' that rested on each of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, in other words, God, in-dwelled his people for the first time, all believers that were present. So the promise was fulfilled in acts.

[00:23:07] And now we have, as a result of the Holy Spirit coming, for those of us now, we live under a new covenant, a new relationship. And notice how it's described by Paul in Romans chapter eight verse 15. Listen what it says in the New Living Translation, "So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves, but you received (notice the past tense) since you received God's spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him AABA Father." That's the most intimate term, ABBA, daddy. What he's saying is, you received God's spirit when you trusted in the person of Jesus.

[00:23:58] And so here's what I want us to see. This get a little clearer in just a second. Turn to John Chapter 16. What I want to do, just wanted to kind of give an overview--but in John Chapter sixteen, he's going to say really four key truths about how the Holy Spirit works in each of our lives today. More than four, but for our purpose, we'll barely mention four. Four Things the Holy Spirit does in our lives today: John chapter fifteen let's begin in verse five, we'll read through verse fifteen. Notice what Jesus is saying, "But now I'm going to him who sent me." (This is Jesus preparing them; this point in history is right before the crucifixion, and he's saying 'now I'm going to him who sent me'.) "And none of you asked me, where are you going? Because I've said these things to you. Sorrow has filled your heart." In other words, 'I'm going to leave you,' and they were they were upset about that. Verse seven, "nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away the helper," In other words, describing the Holy Spirit, "the helper will not come to you." Beautiful word, that word 'helper'.It's a word in the Greek. 'Para...' 'Parakaleo' is the compound word para means 'with' or 'in', and 'kaleo' is to call, so 'para' with, in or alongside to call 'kaleo'.

[00:25:42] Here's what he's saying when he says there's going to be a helper. This is so cool, don't miss this! What he's saying is God is going to come alongside of you. In other words, as you live life, you don't have to wonder, where is God? He is there, alongside of you. That means whatever you're facing in life, good, bad or otherwise, when you are at your best and you say, "man, God, Thank you." He's right there with you. When you're at your lowest. And you're struggling and you're going, "I don't know if I can carry on." He's there alongside. To call to you, "I'll never leave or forsake you. I'm here. Call to me. Don't give up."

[00:26:45] So that notice what he said, I love this. "I tell you, to your advantage I go away, for if I do not go away the helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you, which we see happen on the Day of Pentecost. Verse eight, "and when he comes," ('he' notice again personhood, third person of the Trinity. When 'he' comes, not in it. Not a force. 'He,' Holy Spirit.) "He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. Concerning sin because they do not believe in me, concerning righteousness because I go to the father and you will see me no longer, concerning judgment, because the ruler of the world is judge."

[00:27:23] Verse twelve, "I still have many things to say to you, but cannot bear them now." He's talking to his disciples then, knowing they can't fully understand or appreciate this. They couldn't at that point. Verse 13, "for when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth." That's key, "for he will not speak on his own authority. But whatever he hears, he will speak and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take (notice this) He will take what is mine and declare it to you." In other words, 'The truth of who I am, and my sufficiency, and what I've accomplished for you on the cross.' He's gonna take that, and he's going to declare it. He's going to remind you of that, and remind you and teach you of the truths of God.

[00:28:04] Verse fifteen, "All that the father has is mine. Therefore, I say that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." Now mentions just a few things. First thing he mentions may sound like a downer, but it's not. He says he's gonna convict of sin. Look at verse eight for when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness in judgment. And he felt conviction over your wrongdoing? Things you said? I you thought? Things you've done; where as soon as it's come out of your mouth, soon as you thought that thought, and soon you're like "uggh. uggh." And you just felt kind of... a heaviness. Where did that come from? Now there's granted--there are various sources of guilt. Sometimes it may be the voice of a parent. That oftentimes is the voice of God. It is the Holy Spirit saying, "mm mmmm, you're not. No. No. That's not how you're going to live. That's not honoring to me. That attitude stinks. And what you just said was unkind, you need to apologize. That thought is impure, you need to turn from that." You see the Holy Spirit, is God's personal guide. You do know that, don't you?

[00:29:29] So when you and I are living in rebellion, you're just going your own way, and you're not caring about anybody but yourself and you feel kind of miserable? Have any of you ever been there? You go like, "uggh," you disappoint yourself. You disappointing God. If you're convicted by that,that's a gift. It's one of ways you know that you're his child--because if you can sin without impunity, well, your might just not know him.

[00:30:04] But when you sin willfully, and it bothers you? Ding, ding, ding, ding. Evidence to the Holy Spirit. It's a good thing; a gift. Well, let's look at the second one. He convinces of our need for Christ. Says, "not only are we convicted of sin but of righteousness and judgment, he's going to point out who Christ is. Verse 14, "He says he will glorify me." In other words, he will make much of me. In other words, no one really comes to see who Jesus is apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember when Jesus in, I believe it's in Matthew Chapter 16, remember when he was talking his disciples and he said, "Who do people say that I am?" Remember that conversation? 'And some said. Some said you're like Elijah, one of the prophets, and then he said, what about you? What do you believe? And Peter spoke up and said, you are the Christ, Son of the Living God. And what did Jesus say? Blessed are you, Peter, but flesh and blood did not reveal that to you.'

[00:31:00] In other words, that revelation was the truth of God. It was revealed to you by his spirit. Understand, if you see Jesus rightly. It's because the spirit enables you to see Jesus as God in the flesh. God's son, your savior. You've had that moment where it's like the blinders came off and you said, wow, Jesus was not just an important person in history, or the one that defines history, He was God! That revelation is the work of the Holy Spirit. Second Corinthians four four says the god of this age has blinded the mind of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.

[00:31:46] Paul says in First Corinthians chapter one, verse twenty three, "but we preach, Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews, folly to Gentiles, but to those." (Listen to this.) "But to those who are called," verse 24, "called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, the wisdom of God." Here's what he's saying. If you believe and trust in the person of Jesus, if he is your savior, if you believe that he's the son of God. You didn't get there alone. You got there because he called you. You got there because his spirit spoke in your heart. You saw him rightly.

[00:32:27] Third thing is, the Holy Spirit creates spiritual life in your response to faith in Jesus. He he comes to in-dwell you. Look at what Ephesians one, 13 and 14 says, I love this, and he says, "and you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation." And notice, 'when you heard the truth', next statement, 'when you believed you were marked in him'. In other words, that one belongs to me. You were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. I love this, don't miss the importance of this. "Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who were God's possession to praise of his glory!" In other words, what are you saying when you believed in him, he did something in you. You're not the same. You have been bought with a price. You are in-dwelt with his spirit.

[00:33:23] That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Nicodemus. Buddy,friend, you gotta be born again. Born of the spirit." Let me ask you, has that happened to you? Have you come to see Jesus rightly? Was there a point in time in your life where you said, I need Christ? That moment of faith was the moment in which God took up residence in your life. I going to say, certainly none of us live perfectly, following Christ, but things changed. Things change. Things bothered you, they didn't bother you before. You felt motivated to do things, that you would not have done otherwise. That is is evidence of the spirit's work in your life. But he also, finally, fourth thing, is he guides us. He guides us by his in-dwelling spirit. Look at Romans eight, 14 and 15. "For all who were led by the spirit of God or Sons of God, for you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear," and those who might be afraid about God not to fear your relationship with him. It's been paid for by Jesus. "But you've received the spirit of adoption as his sons by whom we call ABBA." Father, I love that. Who led by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit leads us. John, 16:13 says he'll lead you in all truth. The Holy Spirit is your personal guide.

[00:35:15] Now that that leads to an important question. The Question is this: are you willing to be led? Are you willing to be led? Here is the scary thing. Let's be honest. If I'm being led that means I'm not in control. Let me tell you, if you're led by the spirit of God, you're gonna be led to do some things that you would not otherwise do. You were led to be generous when you're not by nature generous. You're going to be led to pray for people you wouldn't otherwise pray for. You would be led to forgive those that you want to hold a grudge against! You will be led to do that which is against your flesh, guaranteed. And one of the indications of the Holy Spirit presence, friend, is the struggle of obedience. Because if there's no struggle, there's no leading.

[00:36:26] So what does it look like to be led by God? What does it look like for you? I guarantee the degree to which you allow God to lead you is going to move you outside of your comfort zone. If you're comfortable in your life, not to be judgmental, but I know when I'm comfortable. It's usually a pretty good indication, I'm the one leading rather than him. Let me tell you about the first time I remember being led. My sophomore year college, I started doing a Bible study called the 29-59 point. It's basically so that you would pray and have 30 minutes of quiet time a day. One of the things that was--I know I've told this story before, but it's just it's one of those things that marked me, okay? One of the things in there is that pray for church leaders. And that was like one of the days, I remember. Don't remember if it was Tuesday or whatever, it was like, you had this thing and you were supposed to pray certain things. You're supposed to read and see, and take notes. And so I was doing that, I was being good disciple, in that regard. Listen, pray for church leaders. OK, who's the church leader? OK. I know brother Al, ok I'll pray for him. Ok. And I thought of Alvin Stuart. Alvin Stuart was minister of Education, First Baptist Church, Montgomery. I went to school with his son. Our senior year in high school, he tried to get a group of us together to help prepare us for college. On a Wednesday night, he did a little Bible study with us. And I went, and I to be honest, I was not completely into it and I was somewhat disruptive, was not the best student. But I engaged and I thought Alvin Stewart. I hadn't thought about him. Wow. Wow. OK, I'll pray for him.

[00:38:48] And then, I sense God saying, alright, "Why don't you write him?"

[00:38:59] "Why don't you write him?" Why? I don't really know him that well?

[00:39:04] All the little excuses came in, right? Well, what am I to say if I'm going to write him? Right? And I'm just having a little discussion between me and God. Right?

[00:39:14] So I didn't do it. I did not do it.

[00:39:18] The next day, I came to my old journal, flipped over, ok. And there the page flipped again to people you could pray for. And there his name. And I'm like, "ugh..." Ok, I'll write him. I don't have any paper. And then, of course, I had paper. You know how it goes. Now, I don't know the address! And, I kid you not. I kid you not,'three oh five South Perry Street, Montgomery, Alabama. I heard it all the time; that was the address of the church. I wrote it down, put his name on it. I don't really remember what I wrote him, really. It wasn't--it was nothing. It was not eloquent--just a 19 year old kid.

[00:40:14] I said, Dear Reverend Stewart, I know I didn't pay very attention my senior year when you did the Bible study with us. Thank you. It helped me. Thank you for making a difference in my whole life. Oh, four or five days later after I mailed it, I got a phone call.

[00:40:53] "Chuck!"

[00:40:55] 'Right. Yeah?'

[00:40:58] "Alvin Stewart!"

[00:41:00] 'Reverend Stewart! Good to hear from you.'

[00:41:07] "I got your letter. Did you know what's going on with me?

[00:41:17] 'No.'

[00:41:21] He said,"Chuck, I've been diagnosed with bone cancer. The day I got your letter. I came back from a doctor's appointment. And I did not get good news." He said, "I was at a really low point in my life, and I was questioning God, 'Have I made a difference in anyone's life?' and I got your note...You have no idea what your note meant to me."

[00:42:23] That, my friends, is the Holy Spirit. And here's what I've discovered. I mean, we're talking. thirty years later. All right, here's what I've discovered.The more I respond to the promptings of God, the more frequent I receive those promptings from God. The more I'm willing to say, God, here is my day, my agenda, would you guide me today? The more often he does. Now, those kind of stories are few and far between, to be honest. But those are the benchmarks, the give me the courage to live by faith in obedience to him.

[00:43:27] So here's my question. Who's guiding you? What's the Holy Spirit doing in your life these days? If your answer is, I have no idea. I have no clue. Why don't you ask God that? Why don't you invite him into your day and ask him to lead you, and trust that he will.

Recorded in Frisco, Texas.
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Frisco First Baptist Church
7901 Main Street
Frisco, Texas 75034