The early Church was comfortable in Jerusalem. They were one big happy family – united in loving God and one another. But then persecution broke out against them after the stoning of Stephen, and they were forced to scatter. Would the Church have ventured out on their own to spread the Gospel if it hadn’t been for this persecution? Was this possibly the Lord’s way of saying, “I’ve given you the Great Commission, now go do it!” For the most part, Believers today are just as comfortable in our square box Churches…we’re one big happy family, loving God and each other. But we rarely go outside the walls, and never think about venturing to unknown places with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We’re basically too comfy to care. But the same Great Commission applies to us… the same command to proclaim the Gospel Message to a lost and dying world pertains to us too. And it may take the same kind of persecution of the Church to get us off our backsides.
Jesus told His disciples in John 14:26 that after He left them His Father would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in His place…”and the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot began to fathom the mysteries of God’s Word. But with the Holy Spirit’s help we can become enlightened, and with that wisdom is given and Spiritual truth revealed.
“Following the Word of the Lord…” Though sometimes, that still small voice of the Holy Spirit is almost drowned out by the incessant noise of the world. Romans 8:14 tells us that, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” But following the Word of the Lord takes practice… it takes listening carefully, and obeying immediately when prompted, without hesitation…for when we stop to debate if it’s of God or not, we’ll usually not move on it…and His work stops there. By attuning our ears to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit, we are being led down the correct path of life and accomplishing God’s work for His glory.
The Holy Spirit is there as an intermediary when the words won’t come. It might be devastating news from a friend, or maybe it’s a bad report from the Doctor we’ve just received …either way, we sit numb and silent before God. It’s during those times of infirmity of the body and soul that the Holy Spirit intervenes, imparting the knowledge of divine truth on our behalf. For we may not have the words to pray…but He does.
The Holy Spirit is God’s pledge, providing Believers with the assurance of eternal life. In legal terms, the Holy Spirit is like a down payment or earnest money that secures a claim to something…like when we’re buying a car or a house. For when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within…thus sealing us for eternity through the redemptive work of the Lord.
Our mind is a battlefield. Our new nature under Christ Jesus is ever struggling with our comfortable old nature. Romans 8:4 tells us not to live according to our sinful nature…but that’s easier said than done when our old self keeps tugging us back to what’s easy, and familiar. But that’s when we need to memorize I John 4:4 and recite it out loud…” the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” The Holy Spirit indwelling within you is mightier than the devil…and more powerful than anything you are battling today. For it tells us to resist the devil and he must flee. So when your old and new self are clashing, look to the Lord for strength and victory.
We’ve all been there. That deep moan of grief or pain escapes our lips…but that’s all. No words are spoken…because there are no words. Our mind is a confusing jumble of our frail mortal condition. That’s when the Holy Spirit can express for us the unutterable, inexpressible words we can’t find. And that’s when the Holy Spirit can step in and make intercession for us according to the Will of God. (Romans 8:27) The indwelling Holy Spirit is always there to pray…when we can’t.