Holy Spirit 5
Well, did anyone get stretched last week? If not then I'll see what I can do about stretching you a bit this morning. :o)
He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.
As we talked about last week, God has really had me buried in this verse. Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit's role in making us more like Jesus is to reveal more of Jesus to us. The Holy Spirit is showing us that our part is to give glory to Jesus above all. To give glory to Him and take non for ourselves, for Him to move to the front and us to move out of the way.
There are obviously many ways for us to give glory to Jesus but I believe the bottom line in giving glory to Him is simply to become more like Him.
I'm involved in prayer/study groups on Tuesday and Wednesday nite. They are a huge blessing to me. God is moving in these groups. He is moving in a new and fresh way. God is showing up in these groups more and more and bigger and bigger. I have talked to some of the people in those groups that are involved in other groups and they all say the same thing. There seems to be a theme going on. God is getting us ready for something big. God has it on my heart that we need to move to the next level, to move closer to Him, to seek more of Him and I am not alone. God is saying it's time to move to the next level to many people in those groups.
There is a move of God coming and He wants us to be ready. We have to put aside the half hearted Christianity that we have practiced. We have to put aside the notion that what we have is enough, that where we are is good enough. We have to get outside of the comfort zone that we have built for ourselves. We are satisfied that coming to church on Sunday is enough and it's not. God wants to be first on every day not just Sunday. God is trying to pull us closer to Him. We have to go the extra mile for God. We have to put Him first, and I mean really put Him first. We talk about doing that all the time but do we really do it? Do we even know what putting Go
d first really means?
Those of you that were here last week have had a week to let God speak to you about committing to this level. Total commitment to the Lord is what is expected, and I donít mean expected by me. I mean expected by God. if you are not ready to commit to this level then you need to be praying and seeking God about it because I truly believe that this level of commitment is what God requires of us. He put us here to praise and glorify Him and if we are not doing that then we need to take a look at what we are praising and glorifying.
Let's look deeper into this concept of glorifying God by becoming more like Christ.
The Bible tells us that we were created by God to praise and glorify God. We were put here to please God. When you really break it down, that is our only purpose for even being here, to please and to glorify God. What else would God have created us for? He doesn't need us...He wants us.
Let's look at a verse...
Isaiah 43:21 (NIV)
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
Let's stop for a second here and read that verse again. Are you getting it now? Is it hitting you between the eyes like a sledge hammer or am I the only one that God is pounding on? We were created FOR God's praise, not the other way around like we wish it was. We have such an easy time going to God with a ton of requests but how often do we just go to him with praise. How often is our mind set on pleasing God simply for His glory? How often do we just pray praise and not request? Do you think that maybe that is really what He wants us to do? Don't you think that this might be the place He's trying to take us? The place that we were created to go. A place where praising and glorifying Him is the first thing on our minds and in our prayers and in our very lives. A place where we take a step back from ourselves and from our wants and desires and just concentrate on getting closer to Him.
Getting close to Him is done by putting our wants and desires aside and focusing on what He wants for us to do. Not my will but YOURS be done!!! And yes, I know that preaches easier that it lives!!!
I'm going to tell you something not that I'm not real proud of. As all of you know there are 50 or so of us going through the Masterlife study. I have not really got it up to now. I have been so blessed by the people in our group that I look very forward to our meetings but for the fellowship, not for the study. I thought that I wasn't really getting much of anything from the study itself until God showed me this whole covenant/created for praise deal. I realize now that the Masterlife verses and principles are coming to light in this lesson. It is all about glorifying God!!! Life is about pleasing God. I know that may sound funny to you but i really don't think we are anywhere close to truly understanding what that means...and I'm talking to me just as much as I am any of you.
Luke 9:23 is one of the first verses that we learned in Masterlife. It says...
Then He said to them all, if anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
We don't like that verse. We don't want to deny ourselves and we certainly don't want to think about having to do it every day. Look at the amount of prosperity preachers there are out there right now that would never touch that verse with a 10 foot pole. We want to be told that God is there for us no matter what and all we have to do is believe in Him and He'll come running to us with health and wealth beyond measure. It's amazing. What we want is for God to show up and make us rich and skinny and then let us alone so we can live our lives that way. God has other plans. God has something BIG coming. I don't know what it is but I do know that God is working in too many people and telling all of us the same thing....be ready. Deny yourself and get close to Me. I have plans for you. I have something that I want you to do and you HAVE to be ready.
Another verse from Masterlife that really took on new meaning for me is..
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Y'all know that I like to look at different translations and this week I have to share from the message bible.
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)
1So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Is that awesome or what? Does that sound familiar? Are you getting it? Is it making sense to you now? Is that not what the covenant says?
Let's go back to the spot where we ended last week...
28 "And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
In the verses in Joel it says our sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. When the Spirit comes to live in us in Acts, people speak in every language. We see references about people seeing visions, healing the sick and lame and so on after the Spirit came to live in us. Why we don't see these things now. Why don't we see these sorts of things in our everyday life? Could it be that we are not close enough to God to make these sorts of things happen? Could it be that we are not doing what God intended for us to do? Could it be that God is trying to get us to submit our entire lives to Him? Could it be that God wants every single one of us to be more than just casual Christians? Could be that God has something for us to do for Him that we simply can not do if we are in the half-hearted relationship with Him that we are so accustomed to? I think that is the deal. God is seeking more praise and glory form us. He wants us to be committed to Him and committed to living the way He says for us to live. As I said last week, there are only 2 parts to this equation, us and God. And as I said last week, I'm pretty sure that God is still the same God He was in Acts 2 and the same God He was in Joel 2 so that leaves us. We need to get to the next level. I don't expect to be doing faith healing any time soon but I do expect to be able to get closer to God. Closer to what He expects me to be. Closer to what He expects us all to be. Closer to whatever it is that He as planned for us.
Earlier we looked at Isaiah 43:21. Let's look a little deeper into some other verses in Isaiah 43 ...
Isaiah 43:18-21 (NIV)
18 "Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
Isaiah 43:18-21 (MSG)
18"Forget about what's happened;
don't keep going over old history.
19Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
20Wild animals will say "Thank you!'
-the coyotes and the buzzards--
Because I provided water in the desert,
rivers through the sun--baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
21the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.
God is doing a new thing. I feel it in my soul that God is trying to speak to us in a way that we will finally get it, in a way that we will finally obey Him. That is what this level of commitment is all about. Obeying God by honoring Him by doing what He put us here to do....praise Him. I also believe that if we can get to that place then God has something big waiting on us there.