Ok friends, I’m writing this blog knowing that I’m stepping into some very serious controversy. In the past several weeks there have been lots of feedback on John MacArthur’s book, “Strange Fire”, a book that takes a critical position of the Charismatic movement in today’s world. There are more than enough brilliant people taking sides on Mr MacArthur’s position – in both opposition and support. Whatever your thoughts or opinions are about Charistmatics or Mr MacArthur’s beliefs, let’s keep in mind what Paul says about the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Such works include not only immorality and idolatry, but the works of the flesh also include: enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions and factions. Let’s remember that Jesus prayed that we, His followers, would be one like He is one with the Father, John 17:21-22.
No matter if you agree or disagree with Mr MacArthur, if we are followers of Jesus, then we don’t need to be disagreeable with a fellow follower of Jesus – smile 🙂
Now that the Superbowl is over, we get to look forward to March Madness and the NCAA tournament, with MLB right on the heels of March Madness. For me, I totally love March Madness – I even got engaged during half time of one of the games during the tournie. So when this time of year rolls around, I get a little excited.
What is getting me more excited, lately, is something that I’m feeling in my heart with God. To me, it feels like God is working on something behind the scenes and is displaying smatterings of His glory in various locations and at various times. While I can get semi-excited about sports, I get CRAZY EXCITED about God and what He’s doing in our world!! If you watch and listen for God, I think that you can find Him moving all around us & even in our lives!! 😀
I totally love the fruits that we get during the Summer – I love peaches, strawberries, cherries, rhubarb, apricots, figs, blueberries, . . . . I LOVE these fruits!! I love to use them in pies, tortes, grilled, fresh, with cream, . . . . . There have even been a few occasions when I’ve eaten so many of these that I’ve gotten sick Nevertheless, Summer fruits are delicious!! These are season fruits that can be harvested in the Summer. So I try to eat as many of them as I can while they’re available.
But I also think about these fruits in relation to the fruits of the Holy Spirit that Paul discusses in Galatians 5 – fruits like patience, love, peace, self-control, joy, gentleness, goodness, kindness and faithfulness. I LOVE it when I have these fruits in my life – seems like life is more enjoyable & effective. But here’s my challenge, I’ve tried to make myself be patient & boy was that a disaster! I’ve tried to be more loving, only to find myself venting on someone who was undeserving of such wrath. I’ve tried to be gentle, only to find myself bumbling through emotional land mines. I’ve come to this conclusion – these things are the fruit of the SPIRIT, not the fruit of Sarah. With this flash of brilliance, my main objective now, is to live increasingly sensitive to the Holy Spirit. You see, the more I’m around the Holy Spirit, the more these consequences / fruits become observable in my life and the Fruit of the Spirit far surpasses any peach, strawberry, cherry, rhubarb, blueberry, apricot or fig ,)
We had a completely jaw-dropping service at church on Sun. It blew me out of the water & Jesus was probably the only one happier than me. I had the privilege of speaking about the Holy Spirit – the 3rd member of the Trinity that can sometimes be overlooked. When i began looking at the Holy Spirit, it quickly became apparent to me that as a human there are 3 things I’m not supposed to do, as i relate to the HOly Spirit. I’m planning to briefly talk about these 3 things & would be interested to get your feedback as to what we should do instead.
The 1st thing we should never do is blaspheme the Holy Spirit. In Luke 12:10, Jesus says that sins against the Son of God will be forgiven but blaspheming the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. This is a REALLY scarey thing to me – its even more scarey when i think about how often i’ve heard blasphemy discussed. When i looked up what blasphemy means, its a compound word (blapto – injure; feme – fame, reputation). In its simplest form, it means to defame or injure the reputation of someone. Also, in Matt when Jesus is talking about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, its in the context of people accusing Jesus of doing the work of Satan. Let’s be super mindful that we honor & preserve the Holy Spirit’s reputation & that we also honor His work in our lives. I pray for both you & me that we would be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit in our lives on a daily basis. 🙂
In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking lots about the Holy Spirit. Paul says that we should NOT grieve the Holy Spirit – so what does this mean? How do we grieve or even blaspheme the Holy Spirit? I don’t want to do either of these, so I’m interested to know what you think it means to grieve & or blaspheme hhe Holy Spirit. Pls leave a comment 🙂
While this might be simple, it helps me to connect with the Holy Spirit by what He does – He relates, communicates (see the preceding 2 posts) & He demonstrates. The Holy Spirit demonstrates in many different ways – in 1 Cor 12 you can read about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophecy, speaking in tongues & interpretation of tongues – communication gifts; discerning of spirits, faith, miracles & healing – power gifts).
It is my sincere belief that the Holy Spirit wants to demonstrate Himself through us as believers in Jesus. Not only do i believe that He wants to demonstrate His Gifts through us, but i also believe that He wants to demonstrate His character through us – as listed in the Fruits of the Spirit in Gal 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness).
I think, however, that the key to His demonstration comes full circle back to our relationship with Him. Perhaps the demonstration of the presence of the Holy Spirit is lacking in our lives, or maybe minimized, because we lack a vibrant relationship with Him. Just something to consider 🙂
The Holy Spirit is the master communicator – massively huge communicator. When i started to think about this, it just totally amazed me. When Jesus was introducing the Holy Spirit to His disciples, He talks about how the Holy Spirit will
- convict &
- guide us, among other things.
Jesus also tells us that the Holy Spirit will speak to us what He hears from our heavenly Father & that the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus.
It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is communicating with us perhaps more often than we realize. I pray that today, you & i would be sensitive & receptive to the Holy Spirit speaking to & communicating with us – beyond our biases & limited understanding. 🙂
Can you think of some times when the Holy Spirit has communicated w you? What was the outcome (s)?