I. Something Better for Us
Did you know that God is jealous for you? He wants to be with you more than you want to be with Him. Looking into the writings of the O.T. you can see just how jealous God was for His people. He wanted their worship, time and obedience.
“Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
They played the harlot with other gods. Is it any different today? It is all packaged very different today but the same idolatry still exists. But He has something much better for us!
On this side of the cross Jesus has given us the very best so that this does not have to happen. God has not designed us to live by a list of things to do but to live through relationship with Him. This is not relationship with God where He is distant in heaven but rather we are created to be dwelling places of God Himself – even by His Holy Spirit. We have access to the most intimate relationship with God by the Spirit He has given to us.
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me.”
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.”
We need to make room for the Holy Spirit in our lives. Realize that He is not a side item option – He is GOD. Not only that Jesus did NOT “highly recommend” the Holy Spirit. He gave a command to His disciples to go and wait for the Spirit to come – ordering them to do nothing until then. What Jesus was saying is that you don’t have the ability in yourself to be my witnesses but that you must have the Holy Spirit to do so. Why is this the case? Jesus said “He will testify of Me.”
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
In order for you to give glory to God the Holy Spirit is essential. Even in the context of local churches it is important to MAKE ROOM for the Holy Spirit. It is easy to have all the right words and have no substance at all. If God is not in the house what is the point?
II. No Replacement for the Holy Spirit
One of the worst “replacement theologies” is to replace the Holy Spirit with entertainment. Some will only let the Holy Spirit go so far but when they begin to lose control they shut Him down because they would rather “play it safe”. After all, it is important for man to have control right? The Holy Spirit messes up the nice tidy little box religion creates – those things created by the natural mind and not Him. God no longer dwells in a box. He is the ultimate box breaker.
Some will justify not allowing the Holy Spirit to move because it makes them uncomfortable – calling it creating a “safe place”. Offending people might be a reason as well. We need a safe place but a safe place should not be oppressive. There should always be peace, joy and freedom in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is needed to have these things – it is the “fruit of the Spirit”.
Some may think they have experienced the Holy Spirit but truly never have so when He actually comes they don’t know what to do with it. Or maybe they’ve only experienced Him to the degree that they are comfortable with then “flick the switch off”. What about “order” in the church? Man has his version and God has His own.
III. The Organized Mess
God thinks totally different than a man does. God creates organized messes when the Holy Spirit comes. It can look a little “out of order” but then people are healed, delivered and set free. People discover life – even a party in God because He is not as boring as religion has made Him. God is the creator of joy, fun and life!
It really is sad for people to live in such deception their entire lives, in religious zeal, then only in eternity to realize that they had fallen for the same deception that religious leaders in Jesus’ day fell for. Those religious leaders did not recognize Jesus but were totally offended by Him. They had a spirit of murder – to kill Jesus and what God wanted to do.
They could not stand the atmosphere of the Spirit’s Presence that Jesus carried also being offended by His words – and ended up crucifying Him. No one carried the atmosphere of heaven like Jesus did. You would either love it or hate it depending on what your heart was in alignment with.
“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.”
Man has created this sterile version of Christianity that in no way represents the Lord. Jesus rejoices over us with singing. Jesus jumped for joy. (The Greek word is agalliaō – to jump for joy and rejoice. ) Not a highly “religious” thing to do. David danced before the Lord – the man after God’s own heart.
2 Samuel 6:14
“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.”
Michal despised David in her heart when he rejoiced and danced before God. In Michal we see a picture of the detrimental affects of a person who loved the world and reputation much more than an abandoned devotion to God.
2 Samuel 6:16
“Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”
Michal was worldly and had no love for God. Do you have to leave the church to go have fun? Or if the entertainment is taken away is God of any interest? That might be a clue that religion has taken it’s toll. Time to discover Holy Spirit life.
IV. A Dab of Oil Won’t Do
People caught in the rut of religion become like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz – very stiff and rusty. What helped the tin man? OIL! Lots and lots of oil! That is a great picture of the Holy Spirit’s oil. It loosens you up, brings you to life and makes you flexible again. That is what Jesus does. That is what the Spirit does.
Did you know that you can sum up everything Jesus said in just a couple of hours – if even that. There are four gospels with much cross-over content. Most of what Jesus did was DEMONSTRATION of the Kingdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Teachings are a dime a dozen. We need more demonstration. Teaching is good, important and needed but faith is action. The church is far behind in this area that Jesus most represented. An awakening of the Spirit is needed. The Welch Revival brings to mind that which is missing in the Church – of the simplicity of heart being given over to the Holy Spirit:
“The extraordinary thing about these meetings is their unconventional character. There is no organization, no program, no precentor, no pre-siding elder! Everything is left to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Preaching, in the usual acceptation of the word, has, for the time being, been entirely discarded, and is superseded by singing, prayer, and general testimony.”(quote from “The Great Revival in Wales by S.B. Shaw)
The Holy Spirit is essential to bring about the true renovation and reformation that the Church needs today. If you say you want more of the Holy Spirit in your life or church then MAKE ROOM for Him. Remember that Jesus did not RECOMMEND the Holy Spirit but told us that He is what we need – even Christ in us the hope of glory.
Seek the Lord for more of His Spirit in your life and church. The mandate is to be a people of His glory, fulfilling the prophecy, that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. That people would know Him for Who He really is.