The Spirit of God allows us to live with character and power.
What’s up guys I am so glad that you’re hanging with us. What we’re doing during this time is taking a look at the weekend message for how we can apply it to our lives as students. And we as a church are in a series called The Essentials, asking the question “what do I really need?”.
Which is a good question because while the world says we need a lot of things, and we might want a lot of things, what does God say truly is essential for our lives? Well if you look at history through the bible, there’s only 5 things that we find that we really need (and already have) – The Grace of God, Spirit of God, Word of God, People of God, and the mission of God.
So when Phil 4:19 says that “God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” he’s talking about these 5 things that are a promise to everyone who puts their faith in Jesus.
So right off the bat – have you built your life around these things? My guess would be that for a lot of us, these things might be in there, but they’re not the main thing.
And that makes me think about a parable Jesus told in Matthew 7. He said that if we build our lives on what he says, we will be like a man who built his house on a rock, and so when storms come, it doesn’t fall apart. But if we don’t build our lives on what he says, it’s like a man who builds his house on the sand. Think of sand being a bunch of different things, when the storm comes the house falls over.
I would bet that your life has looked like one of those houses in the past few months. If you’ve been steady, it’s a good sign you’re building your life on the right stuff. If you’ve felt pretty wobbly, maybe it’s time to re-look at what you’re building on.
Today we are talking about the Spirit of God. And hey, if you haven’t watched the weekend message yet, please go back and watch them before Wednesdays so you can get the most out of our time together!
But when we say the Spirit of God, we’re talking about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift and privilege of our lives because catch this, Garden of Eden – we lived in perfect relationship with God. It says that God walked in the garden with us. Then we fell, sin separated us from God, and so God was in heaven and we were on earth, and his presence lived in a small room at the temple in Jerusalem, and only one person once a year could go into his presence. But God wasn’t satisfied with that, he wanted to be reconciled to his people, so he sent Jesus to be God with us, he walked alongside us and showed us who God really was. But God didn’t just want to be beside us, confined to one geographical location. That’s why in John 16:7 Jesus says “it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” So Jesus gave us his right standing with God, so that now God could dwell richly in us, so now there is no separation between us and God.
Just catch that – God wanted no distance between you and him. He has given you the gift of himself, his perfect, his vastness, his character, his power, to live in you. And that’s not just whatever, that’s something to steward, that’s humbling, it’s honoring to think that God took dirt from the ground, made us, and delighted in us so much that he would make your human form his home.
When was the last time that you acknowledged that the God of the universe doesn’t live in some church building, but in you? God wants you, just the way you are now, and then he wants to transform you from the inside out. Here’s what’s crazy – when we accept Jesus as Lord and are given the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit empowers us to live with the character and power of Jesus.
In everything, the person of Jesus in the gospels is our example for the life that we can now live. And there’s no denying that he had character and power. Jesus was kind, honest, he valued God’s voice over the world’s voice. He healed the sick and raised the dead and WHAT’S EVEN CRAZIER is that in John 14:12 Jesus says “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (thus sending the Holy Spirit).
So think about it – whenever you need the character of Jesus and man you can’t create it yourself, God is in you, and can supernaturally give you what you need. Gal 5:22-23 says “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” All of this is a promise that the Spirit will create these things in you. So when you need patience to not go off on your siblings, be aware that God is with you, and let it change how you respond. When you need joy in the middle of hard circumstances, be aware that God is with you, giving you what you need, changing you from the inside out. When there’s a temptation the Holy Spirit can give you the self-control that you need. We can unlock the character of Jesus as we begin to go throughout our life aware that we carry the fullness of his presence with us wherever we go.
Once we walk in the character of Jesus, we can begin to operate in the power of Jesus. And we can heal the sick and raise the dead, the bible tells us that clearly, but maybe we start by praying boldly over people, being generous with our money, or in faith going into a hard convo to speak grace and truth into someone’s life. Really, we grow in his power as we become more aware that we are hosting the powerful spirit of the living God inside you that whenever something comes into contact with it it can never be the same.
Close your eyes with me.
So even right now, if you’ve never invited the Holy Spirit into your life, can I encourage you, invite him in. Invite the Spirit of the living God to draw close and let him change you from the inside you. Something as simple as saying “Holy Spirit, I invite you into my life”. Or maybe you’ve done that before, but somewhere along the way other things became more essential, let today be a reminder of just how essential the Holy Spirit truly is in your life. And your invitation today is to invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with the fruits of the spirit. Say something along the lines of “Holy Spirit, I need you and invite you to fill me afresh today with your presence”. Holy Spirit we are so graceful for you and we are excited to see where you are leading us next. Amen.