Meeting the Empowering Presence of God
Pastor Daniel Schreck
ILL: POOR MAN ACTUALLY LIVING ON OIL FIELD (Dr. Bill Bright: a famous oil field called Yates Pool)
During the depression a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates.
Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.
And Mr. Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief. A multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem? He didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.
Many of us can live feeling we don’t have enough to make it… that we don’t have enough to meet all the needs and challenges of life…. when there is another whole source of provision and power at hand…… The Holy Spirit, the presence and power of God.
This Divine Encounter Retreat focuses on the filling of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at Christ’s introduction of the Holy Spirit. If the title “Holy Spirit” has become too familiar and perhaps overlaid with connotations and correlations… set them aside… hear afresh.
John 14:15-18, 22-26 (NIV)
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
…Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 16:6-7, 12-15
Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
…"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
Jesus opens up the God-head… expands the fullness of God.
Jesus introduces us to the Holy Spirit as…
1. A person
May seem common enough… but it can still be missed in our actual relationship… especially in an age that has fashioned so many ideas about impersonal spiritual power.
> Your relationship to the Holy Spirit is a relationship to a person.
a. He thinks – Acts 15:28
Acts 15:28 (NIV)
It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
b. He speaks – John 16:13
John 16:13 (NIV)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Acts 1:16 (NLT)
"Brothers, it was necessary for the Scriptures to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided the Temple police to arrest Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David.
1 Cor. 2:13 (NIV)
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
c. He leads – Romans 8:14
… those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
d. He grieves – Ephesians 4:30
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
(lupeo, -loo-peh’-o; from Greek 3077 (lupe); to distress; reflexive or passive to be sad :- cause grief, grieve, be in heaviness, (be) sorrow (-ful), be (make) sorry.)
e. The Holy Spirit:
1) Is Not an impersonal power or force…
2) Is not something you have…
3) but is someone… GOD !
2. A full part of the one personal God manifest in three persons
Notice how Jesus introduced him in relationship to the Father and himself, the son…
v. 18 – “I will come to you..’
v. 23 – ‘the Father and I will make our home with you.”
Often the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the “Spirit of God’ or the ‘Spirit of Christ.”
a. He is:
1) Omnipresent – Psalm 139:7-8(NLT)
I can never escape from your spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
2) Omniscient – 1 Cor. 2:10-11
But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God’s deep secrets. No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.
3) Included in identity of God – Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
4) Equal in relating to God – Acts 5:3-4
Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
a) This is Critical to grasp if we are to fully know God… to relate
fully to Him.
b) I can’t presume to fully understand the mystery of God as one God in three persons – Father, Son, and Spirit.
c) Yet I realize that as I consider the longings of my soul… my inner being… that only in such a triune God do I find the fullness of the relationship I long for:
The Father – establishes who I am
The Son – identify with who I am… provides the substitute for my death
The Spirit – empower and enable who I am to be… provides a pervading presence
3. An empowering personal presence
a. Convicting us of our need; prompting repentance (John 16:8-11)
When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
b. Confirming our position as children to God the Father (Rom. 8:15)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
c. Changing our character (“fruits of Spirit” Gal. 5:22-23) to Christlikeness
d. Counseling us in truth; guiding, instructing, and prophetically revealing (John 14:17; 16:12-14)
e. Comforting us with peace (John 14:27; Acts 9:31), as a deposit from heaven (2 Cor. 5:5-7)
f. Gifting and empowering us (Acts 1:8)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
4. In Building a positive relationship with God
a. It is critical for us to see… the same things that the disciples saw
b. they had found that they mattered to God…
c. As Jesus appears to be leaving them… He speaks for all to hear…
“I will not be leaving you as orphans”…
e. Many of us can relate: we feel like orphans…abandoned … left on our own.
NOTE: BUT WAIT……. Jesus said:
John 16:7 – “It is good…” = better
> It is the fulfillment of God’s greater outpouring upon human flesh.
a. An outpouring that is…
1) often missed … or misused..
2) mysterious in nature…
a) not containable…
b) not controllable. …
b. An outpouring of the same Spirit who
1) brooded over creation….
2) Who unleashed the power of God…throughout the OT and NT
3) Who formed Christ in an unexpecting virgin…
4) Who anointed Jesus … at His Baptism!!
5) Who fell upon those at Pentecost to empower them to complete the work of God.
5. In trying to grasp the Holy Spirit… we must recognize that He is like the wind and “blows where he wills.”…
a. As such, some traditions, denominations, and /or personalities may be prone to leave him out of their focus … perhaps less welcome… for He is less containable and less controllable than they desire to understand.
b. For some he’s been prominent… but perhaps always used….
1) The Life of the party…
2) A presumption of presence…
3) a mental deduction to reduce God to our experience…
4) or just a spiritual high.
NOTE: The Holy Spirit is not a high… He is God on high who sovereignly works with us. He is not an experience… He is God!
How is the Holy Spirit to be received ?
1. As new Life birthed within us… by receiving Christ (John 3:1-8)
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Who originally gave life? > God took the dust… raw materials that form human life… and breathed His SPIRIT into it…. life from himself… which, when mankind turned away in autonomy… was lost. So it is the Spirit gives life again.
2. As new Life reigning within us… by replacing control
Baptized… immersed… overwhelmed… something else replaces the governing and guiding forces within us.
The Spirit wants to fill and re-fill us with His presence
(Eph. 5:18 - NLT) - Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.
3. As new Power filling us… being filled with the Spirit of God Almighty
ILL: GETTING THE AIR OUT
In one of his meetings, D.L. Moody was explaining to his audience the truth that we cannot bring about spiritual changes in our lives by our own strength. He demonstrated the principal like this:
“Tell me,” he said to his audience, “how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?”
One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.”
But Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter it.”
Finally after many suggestions, he picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing Christ to take full possession.
-A.W. Tozer, "The Divine Conquest re: The Spirit as Power
"Ye shall receive power."
“ This was and is a unique afflatus, an enduement of supernatural energy affecting every department of the believer’s life and remaining with him forever.
It is not physical power…. nor even mental power though it may touch every thing both mental and physical in its benign out-workings.
This power from God operates on another level and affects another department of His wide creation. It is spiritual power. It is the kind of power that God is.
Now how does this power operate?
At its purest it is an unmediated force directly applied by the Spirit of God to the spirit of man.
The wrestler achieves his ends by the pressure of his physical body upon the body of his opponent, the teacher by the pressure of ideas upon the mind of the student, the moralist by the pressure of duty upon the conscience of the disciple.
So the Holy Spirit performs His blessed work by direct contact with the human spirit.”
Let’s pray for the Presence of God
in this place,
in our community
in our lives,