Saturday, 9 October 2010

Biblical Mandate for fellowship with God’s Spirit

Biblical Mandate for fellowship with God’s Spirit

"...when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won't draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you...” (John 16:13 - The Message).

I am glad you are with me again for today’s Truth for the Journey as we continue with our third and final part of this topic “Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit.” During the last study we looked at “Cultivating a deep and daily fellowship with the Holy Spirit” and we will start where we left off, knowing that when it comes to fellowship with the Him, it is vitally important to have a firm understanding of just whom we are relating to. He is not a mystical being for instance, but a distinct person, namely the third person of the trinity.

Let’s go deeper now as we look at what the Spirit does – this aids us in our grasp of who He really is and how we can relate to Him in our everyday lives. I have continual mentioned, “everyday” or “daily” throughout these studies, simply because our fellowship with the Holy Spirit is something that we should pursue daily. Actually there is much about the Lord in scripture that is “daily” such as; “daily bread,” (Matt 6:11) “fresh manna every morning” (Ex 16:21), “mercy is new every day” (Lam 3:22-23) “take up our cross daily” (Luke 9:23) and so forth. Why? Because when something is “living” it is always a “daily experience.” Keeping it “daily” helps keeping it FRESH! Bread is predominantly associated with scripture and is something, which for the most part, goes particularly stale after just one day! Same too concerning our relationship with the Holy Spirit, we must keep it fresh. In fact everything about our relationship with God must be kept fresh - not stale, stuffy or religious! We achieve this by approaching Him and welcoming Him afresh - every single day.

This daily pursuit is a journey of discovery that changes our personality in the process. So why don’t more people in general try it, what is their cramp? One obvious hurdle that folks have grappled with is the fact that unlike Jesus (who we saw dwelt amongst us), people can’t see the Spirit of God with “flesh and bones” (Jn. 1:14; Lk 24:39). This single difficulty throughout church history has led some to either ignore the Spirit completely in their day-to-day Christian lives or keep Him as some kind of spiritual “spare tire” for emergencies only.

However it is only a sheer lack of understanding that can be the culprit here, for such neglect of this significant member of the Trinity. For example scripture certifies that we are born of the Spirit (Jn. 3:6) and that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit - who indwells us, (Rom. 8:9, 11, 14-16) and that His witness gives us assurance that we are children of God. Also as mentioned in the previous Truth for the Journey, we are baptized by one Spirit into the body of Christ and we have access to God by the same Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:14). So… with all this in mind – who would willingly dare to be so casual or caviler in their attitude towards the Holy Spirit? Ignorance can be the only cause; including deception and false teaching that has always dogged and hindered believers in their perception of Him. Our adversary works over time to ensure this “dull perception” knowing better than we just how “potent” we would be if fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit.

There is a huge difference throughout church history between Christians who walked with the Holy Spirit and those who didn’t - quite simply they lacked essential power! Still today we have a choice whether to be “thrilled, filled, or spilled.” In other words, mere “excitement” (being thrilled) counts for nothing compared to being fully “surrendered” (filled) and “used” (spilled) by Him!

Nevertheless those who struggle to know the Holy Spirit personally are chiefly those who struggle to see Him as a “personality.” It is usually the religious folks who have the most difficulty with this! Nevertheless a definition of “personality” (on a human level at least) refers in general to a complexity of attributes such as; behavioural, temperamental, emotional and mental - that help characterize the uniqueness of an individual. Whereas a more simple definition of “personality” refers to “person-like-qualities,” such as: the ability to talk and to listen (a.k.a. “the ability to communicate”) to think and to reason; to feel and to have emotions; decision making and free will. When broken down like this - especially in reference to the Holy Spirit - it becomes abundantly clear that He does indeed have a “person-ality” – that of which is unmistakably verified throughout scripture.

For example: Jesus and Paul both continually referred to the Holy Spirit as "He," not "It" (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 8, 13, 14). Then our opening scripture refers continually to His “personage” John 16:13; “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me..." To continue Luke 2:26 sees Him “speaking” to man, " was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost" and in various scriptures from both Old and New Testaments, specific qualities of His character are well pointed out; 1). Goodness: (Nehemiah 9:20; Galatians 5:22, 23.) Holiness: (Romans 1:4). Truth: (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). Grace: (Hebrews 10:29; Zechariah 12: 10). Comfort: (John 14:26; 15:26). Patience, love, gentleness, etc: (Galatians 5:22, 23).

Most significantly the Holy Spirit is “one with God” (Is 48:16; Matt 28:19; Acts 5:3, 4; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; 12:4-6; 2 Co 13:14; 1 Jo 5:7). Therefore He has all the attributes of God - He is eternal (Heb 9:14). He was present with God in the creation of the world – (Gen 1:2, 3; Job 26:13; 33:4; Ps 104:30). He is “omnipresent” (Psalms 139:7-10). He is “omniscient” (Isaiah 40:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11). He is “omnipotent” (Psalms 104:30). Yet He is a distinct personality apart from both the Father and the Son besides that scripture uses many types of symbols to describe His many functions and responsibilities including many Old Testament scriptures that identify Him (Isaiah 11:2; 42:1; 48:16; 61:1; 63:9; Ezekiel 36:26, 27). So as far as scripture is concerned the Holy Spirit is undeniably a “personality” and a very powerful one at that!

Consequently those who lack revelation of God’s Word will be the ones who struggle to relate to Him. They will posses limited perception of who the Spirit of God is; for example an impersonal “power” or “force” such as electricity! This impersonal view of Him is the crux of their problem. And while there are “mystical” and “ancient philosophies” that present a plethora of “counterfeit-personalities” for folks to “relate to” – they are no more than cleverly designed plans that appeal to the “spiritual curiosity” of millions who are completely distracted and beguiled from the real McCoy. Every believer however must eliminate “any” obstacle that hinders their fellowship with the Holy Spirit and not be duped by religious doctrines or the infiltration of worldly philosophies – which are equally misleading! For instance it could be said that mainline evangelical Christianity has no problem with the doctrine of the Trinity but their challenge comes with this issue of relating to the Holy Spirit on a “personal” level. Until this is resolved, fellowship with Him will always be disputed; meaning that many will fail to give Him the place that He truly deserves. The Word and the Holy Spirit must be working in conjunction in our lives, without which we have no revelation and our endeavors will be Godless!

To continue both Old and New Testaments report the work of the Spirit extensively. “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6 NKJV). “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29 NKJV). Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38) and led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan and returning in the power of the Spirit. (Lk 4:1-2, 14) Jesus cast out evil spirits by the Holy Spirit, (Matt. 12:28).

In fact, it would not be incorrect to suggest that the entire ministry of our Lord, was influenced by and “one” with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself qualified this by saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19 KJV).

Once we master this continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit, as believers we will also enjoy the intimate bond of fellowship which binds us together in Christ. There is also fellowship with the Father and the Son as seen here in 1 John 1:3 AMP “What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah).” Then also in 1 Corinthians 1:9 it speaks of specific fellowship with the Son; “God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” However as ONE yet THREE - Father, Son and Spirit - remain very distinct personalities. Even though our fellowship is with all of them our emphasis remains the Holy Spirit and the following list of sins that are directly hostile to the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit, must be avoided by anyone seeking to cultivate a genuine fellowship with Him.

Grieving Him: (Eph. 4:30) by adopting behavior contrary to the fruits; bitterness, unforgiveness, etc.
Quenching Him: (1 Thess. 5:19) by disallowing the gifts and anointing to work through our lives.
Insulting Him: (Heb. 10:29) through deliberate sin even after receiving knowledge of truth.
Resisting Him: (Acts 7:51) Going in the opposite direction to the definite guidance of the Spirit.
Vexing Him: (Is. 63:10) through intentional rebellion against His leadership.
Lying to Him: (Acts 5:3) by speaking untruths to His anointed men and women in order to
Testing Him: (Acts 5:9) by provoking Him into action – not out of faith but out of fear.
Blaspheming Him: (Matt. 12:31, 32) by attributing the things of Him to demons
Striving with Him: (Gen. 6:3) by walking in the flesh continually against His promptings
Rebelling against Him: (Ps. 106:33) by refusing His instructions.

As believers our lives are supernatural. Our fallen natures continue to rage against us (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 7:14-22) and therefore we continually need to be empowered from within and above in order to live and walk worthy of our calling. Our Lord explained that the Spirit will guide us into all truth and give us ability to cope with life and its stresses. With a cultivated lifestyle that is one with Him, we can avoid doctrinal pitfalls and the trickery of our adversary by trusting our “Paraclete” to outwit him (1 Pet. 5:8; Jn.16:12-13). Sensitivity comes via spending time in His presence and is the only way that we can gain firsthand knowledge and gain the skills of detection that we need (concerning what grieves and pleases him moment by moment). Gradually we experience growth in all these areas, the awkwardness flees and a fluent relationship emerges with maturity.

Finally possibly most importantly, as we have an “abandoned devotion” towards God’s Word - devouring scripture and making it the final word on every issue - also means that we will always respect the authority of the Spirit who never speaks or gives instruction contrary to the Word. All in all we eventually find ourselves enjoying His company above all else which finally determines that we have cultivated such a passion for Him, that counts the passions of this world as dung! (Phil 3:8).

Father today I dedicate myself to walking and talking with Your Holy Spirit. I know that I can trust Him to lead me into all truth so that I can serve you better. Thank you for equipping me with Your Spirit, and allowing me to enjoy such enriching and life changing fellowship with Him. Amen

Today is my day; a day where I know You Spirit of God. I dwell with You and You dwell with me. I am Your Temple and know Your presence intimately. I am equipped for life. You are my Paraclete - my divine stand by. I am never alone. I am radically secure and not easily moved. You are the One who moves me. I move in obedience and never in rebellion to Your Word. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries


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