Our spiritual condition is very important because it reflects who we are, how much we are overcoming, and what is going to be in the future, based on our choices and our decisions. Are we properly using the Spirit of God? Are we being led by His Spirit?
[Ken Martin] This afternoon, everyone, I want to take us through a very important avenue of thoughtful analyzing of our spiritual condition. Our spiritual condition is very important, because, again, it reflects who we are, how much we are overcoming and what is going to be in the future, based on our choices and our decisions. We know that, as individuals, we have had a unique calling by the grace of God. We have been called and given an opportunity, or a chance of a lifetime, in which we have the opportunity to become the first fruits in the great plan of salvation of Almighty God, working with human beings. We know that when He calls us He does something. In Romans, chapter 2, it says, “He leads us to repentance.” because His word shows us what is wrong with us. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God – that there is a need to repair this damage. You and I don’t have the wherewithal to repair this damage of our transgressions against the mighty law of God – 1 John 3, and verse 4. That law is the law of God defined as love – God’s love – written in stone for the benefit of mankind – the Ten Commandments – defines the marvelous love of God’s character. What God is doing now is replacing the love written in stone and writing that love in the hearts of sons and daughters to be in the Kingdom of God. This is a very important thing to God, so He has provided a way that our sins can be forgiven. We are led to the place where we realize we must repent, we must be baptized, and we must have hands laid upon us, and then receive a precious gift from God that opens the door to marvelous things that God has in store for all of us, ultimately.
What God has done once He gives us His Holy Spirit, because that is what we must do – we must receive the Spirit of God. It is critical to our transformation and are becoming the sons and daughters of God that He wants us to be. So, as it has been said sometime in the past, just receiving – I am talking now to baptized members and those who are contemplating baptism – you should think about this clearly – just receiving God’s Spirit in one’s life is not enough. Just receiving that Spirit is not enough. Once that Spirit has been given, one must be – listen carefully – led - led by that Spirit. There is a very important analysis here. God’s Spirit must be active and flow in your life. Jesus likened it to rivers of living waters. If water is living, it means it is on the move – like a stream. You see the stream going down, and the waters, and it is just beautiful. But, if you were to go to the Dead Sea, over in the Middle East, what would you see? Nothing. It’s dead. The waters don’t move. No fish can survive in those waters. They’ve become salty. God wants us to move with His Spirit, but He wants us to move by following His lead. Just as Moses, who was a type of Christ, led the Israelites out of Egypt and took them into the wilderness and into the Promised Land, so God has provided Jesus Christ, the Son of God – the Lamb of God – to lead us out of spiritual Egypt, as well as Babylon, and to bring us to the Kingdom of God, for which we were created men and women in the image of God.
God has shown us many wonderful things, many precious promises recorded in the word of God. Here are some things God wants us to understand. I’ll quote these scriptures to you – read them to you. Please jot them down for your own benefit. They’ll be something to help you very much. The first one is Proverbs 23, verse 17. In Proverbs 23, verse 17, we are told:
Proverbs 23:17 Proverbs 23:17Let not your heart envy sinners: but be you in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
American King James Version×– But you, be you in the fear of the Lord all day long – not just some of the time, not just on the Sabbath, but all day long each and every day. It is important that we walk under the umbrella of that awareness – that God’s hand is upon us each and every day – every moment – and upon us, as we live, move, and have being.
1 Thessalonians, chapter 5, and verse 17. We are admonished from the word of God, which we are to remember we are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. And here it is told, in the book of Thessalonians, that we are to:
Now we all understand formal prayer. We all have moments where we get off to the side – to our spiritual war room – where we get down on our knees, and pray and talk – or maybe your favorite place – you just sit and talk to God. But what does it mean without ceasing ? It means you live each and every moment with an awareness that God is in every aspect of your comings, your goings, your risings, your sittings, and you sing songs in your mind and in your heart, praising God. You are aware of God’s hand in living life. And that’s why you must pray without ceasing. Otherwise, if you stop and cut that element off, you are now living under the influence of a different spirit that is in this world. It will dominate. It will try to get into your thoughts and into your mind and take you far, far away from the things that God has commanded.
In 2 Corinthians, chapter 10, and verse 5, we are told that you and I have a responsibility to:
2 Corinthians 10:5 2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
American King James Version×– bring every thought – now this is quite a challenge for all of us, because we think many things – our minds are busy all the time – we are to bring every thought into captivity – now when it says captivity , it means you have to surround it and lock it up – in captivity to what? – eve ry thought…to the obedience of Christ. So every thought that takes you away from Christ, you don’t want to mess with that one. Every thought that brings you to a closer awareness of your relationship with God and His word, you want to embrace that one. That is why it says, “He will keep us in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” If you keep your mind on Christ, you walk on water. Take your eyes off of Christ, and you will start to sink. This world is like quicksand. You can sink very, very, quickly.
Now, this brings us to the essence of what we want to talk about today. (That’s the prepping introduction.) It brings us to the important key scripture that I want to focus on. And that is Romans, chapter 8, verse 14. Here is what it says:
Romans 8:14 Romans 8:14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
American King James Version× – …for as many as are – listen – led – led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. And that means sons and daughters as well. So, here we have a scripture that makes it very clear that the Spirit of God was intended – once it is given to a man and a woman – to be on the move in your life. It is not something you hang on to, like the example the man who buried his talent. You don’t want to bury the Spirit of God, and stick it in the ground, and do nothing. God intends you to move with it – to live, and move, and have being. He wants you to rejoice in the gift of life He as given to you, and rejoice even more so for the hope of eternal life that is promised to you for faithful obedience and loyalty to God. This, the scripture confirms.
So clearly, we are to be led by God’s Spirit. And where is that Spirit leading us? It is leading us to glory, honor, and immortality – eternal life in the Kingdom of God. You and I are told to seek the Kingdom of God first and His righteousness, which is the keeping of His commandments – Psalms 119:172 Psalms 119:172My tongue shall speak of your word: for all your commandments are righteousness.
American King James Version×, where it says, “ All your commandments are righteousness .” Now the question we want to go even further and examine, those of us who have been so blessed by the grace of God to have received the Spirit of God, and those of you who will be seeking to receive the Spirit of God in the process of time – remember that is your calling in life – to become converted and to become like Jesus Christ – if that is the situation, how can we know – now this is important – how can we know and be positively sure that the Spirit of God is leading us?
The scripture warns us, in 1 Timothy, that there are many seducing spirits out there, and those seducing spirits will lead people away from the truth of God. You and I can’t afford to go that path. That is one we say, “No,” to. We say, “Yes,” to God and we stay on that straight and narrow path that leads to life. So, how can we know and know that we know? Because, for surety, you will not go very far, if we are not confident in the fact that you know what you know to be true. If you just know it, but you don’t believe it, you won’t go very far with it. If push comes to shove, and according to what Dr. Ward is saying, it looks like the devil is going to be doing a lot of pushing and shoving in the years ahead. We need to know where we stand, and be able to stand in the gap, and pray for what needs to be prayed for, and say what needs to be said. I think this is a very important time for all of us.
So, how are we led by God’s Spirit? That is the title of this sermon. I want us to be able to look at it and see if these elements are at work in our life. Because remember, if the Spirit of God is there, it is not going to be static. It’s going be on the move. It’s going to be living waters flowing from you outward in your daily relationship with God and with your fellow human beings. This is very important, so let’s examine some of those ways. I want to take us through some of the ways. This is not all the ways. We are going to cover some of the ways that you can look, and check yourself out, and take your spiritual temperature, and see whether you are using the Spirit of God like you should, or are you burying it or just holding on to it? Remember, if it doesn’t bear fruit, it dies. You don’t want to lose God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit is what makes conversion and the transition to eternal life possible through the blood of Jesus Christ and your confidence and blessed hand doing the things that God has called us to do – meaning, being obedient. He gives His Spirit to those who obey Him, according to the book of Acts.
So let’s look at the first one that we want to cover here – this first point that I would like to give you. When the Spirit of God is active in our lives, we will know it by this. It keeps us in tune with God’s mind . It keeps us in tune with God’s mind. It’s not going to be a different mind. You’re going to start thinking like God thinks and acting accordingly. That’s why it is so important. The Spirit of God, as Romans 8, and verse16 – that’s Romans 8, verse 16 – gives us this admonition. It says:
Romans 8:16 Romans 8:16The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
American King James Version×– …the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit…. I think most of us understand, all of us, as human beings, were given the spirit in man. That allows us to communicate with fellow human beings. And that allows us, also, to communicate in prayers and talk to God. But, in order to know the things of God, something has to be added. That something added is the Spirit of God. And it does what? It says: the Spirit itself bears witness – or confirms - with our spirit that we are the children of God. That is how we know.That is very reassuring. That is very encouraging.
And in 1 John, chapter 3, verse 24 – that’s 1 John, chapter 3, verse 24:
1 John 3: 24 – And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He in him, and hereby – notice – we know… . So that’s something you can circle in your Bible. We don’t guess. We know. …we know this: that He abides in us – and how does He do that? According to the Scripture, it says: according to the Spirit which He has given us. So God’s Holy Spirit is giving us this reassurance. God’s Spirit dwells within us and communicates the knowledge and the things of God that are on His mind – that He wants us to know. And what does He want us to know? He wants us to know the truth – John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
American King James Version×.
He wants us to have confidence . The book of Proverbs, chapter 3, talks about:
Proverbs 3:26 Proverbs 3:26For the LORD shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken.
American King James Version×– The Lord shall be your confidence and keep your foot from being taken.
So, if you believe that there is a God – Hebrew 11, and verse 4,5,6, talk about this – in that area – and it says – if you believe in God, you know that whatsoever is not of faith is sin….
Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version× – but if you believe in God, you know that He is a rewarder of those…. First of all, He exists and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
So, God is our confidence and this contact with God is commanded to grow. This is why the scripture says…it compares us to items that grow – trees, fruit. God wants to see production in our life. He wants to see good things develop in our life. We start out as little children, but we grow through a process of maturation and we develop into grown human beings. Spiritually, God is doing the same with us. He wants us to grow and develop and bear fruit to His glory. It is an ongoing process. It is ongoing, and that means, again, the Spirit of God keeps us in tune with God’s mind and He does it through the power of His Holy Spirit.
A second consideration that we can look at to check ourselves out, is that it does impart spiritual understanding. The Spirit of God gives us spiritual understanding and the ability to grasp the scriptures – to grasp and understand the scriptures in a way that we have never understood before. We now come to a very important chapter. Join, if you would, please, in 1 Corinthians 2, and notice how the scripture is written. The Apostle Paul writes the following. He says:
1 Corinthians 2:9 1 Corinthians 2:9But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
American King James Version×– “Eye – the physical eye – has not seen. nor ear heard – so the ear has never heard – and neither has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them. Who? Who love Him. This is a love-hate relationship. God wants us to love Him as He has loved us. But, you study the scriptures carefully, and you will discover that there are many people who hate God. When they turn on God and hate Him, God says He has no love in His heart for those who hate Him. He says, for those that love Him, He does wonderful things unto the 3rd and 4th generation. To those who hate Him, likewise, they are cursed and the problems they have are mighty because they have chosen to say, “No” to God. But God – notice verse 10 – God has revealed – something here has happened – a revelation. He has revealed them unto us. You can circle the little word us. That’s what’s happened to us. And it says: …by His Spirit, for His Spirit, searches all things, yea the deep things of God. So, with the Holy Spirit of God working in our lives, we begin to understand some of the deep elements of who and what and why He is like He is. We understand His love. We understand His hate for evil ways. And we begin to look and see the goodness of God and compare it with the severity of God. Because God can also, it says in the book of Hebrews, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God – if you choose to be an enemy of God. God willing none of us are choosing to be that way. There are many people who do take that course of action. And they’re going to have a frightful day in the years to come because God is going to deal with all those things. So in verse 12:
V-12 – now we have received – notice we received something – it is the Spirit – not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which God has given, that we know the things that are freely given to us from God . That we might know – not guess – that we understand. And that is precious knowledge that you want to hold tight to. No wonder God says hold fast to what you have. Don’t let anyone take your knowledge away from you because there are forces out there that are willing to do that. He says: …which things also we speak, not of the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but that the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual with spiritual. We begin to perceive the spiritual application of things – that there is a human understanding and then there is a spiritual understanding that comes from God through His Spirit.
V-14 – But the natural – the average human being – receives not the things of the Spirit of God. Now why won’t they receive it? Because it says: They are foolishness unto him and neither can they know them because they are spiritually discerned. How is it that you and I have come to understand about the Sabbath, the holy days, and all the things we know and practice, as men and women in the Church of God? We have come to discern the importance of them, and we have acknowledged, and said, “Lord, yes.” There are other people who look at the same things we look at, and they say, “No, that doesn’t apply anymore. That was done away with.” Can’t find it in the Bible, but that’s what they think because they have been listening to a different voice – not the voice of God speaking, but the voice that is in this world striving to take people away from the things of God. So, it goes on to say in verse 14: The natural man receives not the things…because they are spiritually discerned, and verse 15: but he that is spiritual – a person that has been called to see the plan of God, as we have been given the honor and privilege so to do.
What is God saying about you? About me? About anyone who is called to see this and understands it? He says: but he that is spiritual judges – or evaluates – all things, yet he himself – herself – is judged – or evaluated – by no man. In other words, they do not understand where you are coming from. They can’t understand why you do what you do. Why don’t you do like everybody else? That, they understand. Why do you take this course of action? Because it has to be revealed to you, and it has not yet been revealed to them. One day it will come. But notice it says: For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? Who does this? It says: but we have the mind of Christ. The way you come to understand the mind of the Creator God – our Father in heaven – is to study the life of Christ, His son. That’s why the gospels are written for our learning. They help us to grasp and comprehend what it is that God is doing with all of us.
So, again, spiritual understanding - the ability to understand the scriptures – comes from the Holy Spirit – helps us to understand the Bible and how it applies to our everyday life. That is what you and I strive to do – to apply the word of God in our life.
John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
American King James Version×– a very important scripture. I, personally, love this one because it says:
John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
American King James Version× – The words I speak unto you – this is Jesus speaking – they are spirit and they are life . When we attach ourselves to those words and believe what Jesus said, then tremendous things can begin to happen in our life. The problem is, we all struggle in this world – I hate to say it, but it is true – you don’t like to think of it, I don’t like to think of it – but you and I have an evil heart of unbelief. We struggle with it. We say, “Well, I know,” but we don’t believe . We say, “I understand,” but we don’t follow through. That’s where the evil heart of unbelief comes through. It works against us. It strives against us. It doesn’t want us to believe. But if you can but believe, what did Jesus say – who cannot lie? “All things are possible unto you if you believe.” That’s tremendous. That means the storehouse of heaven above is available to us if we would take note of that.
All right, let’s move on to a third aspect of how God’s Spirit leads us. It transmits power to overcome, and mortify – or put to death – the deeds of the flesh. Now, what does that mean? Oh, that’s a big one right there, because without the power of God, you can’t get rid of all the old and wrong and evil things, that we as human beings have been guilty of. We like to think of ourselves…that we’re really good people. God says, “No.”
Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
American King James Version×– You have a deceitful heart, and it is wicked – and you don’t even know how it is. He says, “It is I who reveals these things to you to show you.” Now God doesn’t hold that against us, in the sense…if we’re striving to get rid of that with His help. But, if we want to live with an evil heart, then that’s contrary to the will of God. God tells us in Romans 8, and verse 13 – He says:
Romans 8:13 Romans 8:13For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.
American King James Version×– And if you live – notice the word if – if you live after the flesh – that’s what we are – just living life as we would normally live it, without God involved – He says: you shall die . Wow! That doesn’t give much encouragement to go that route. It sounds like that’s something we should say, “No,” to, and say, “Yes” to something else. Well, what is the something else? But if you through the Holy Spirit – the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in you – you use that Spirit to – mortify – or put to death – the deeds of the flesh – or the body – you shall live. In other words, God will see you through that trial – get you through that problem. And how is He going to do that? If you cooperate, by using His Spirit, to put away whatever it is that is causing you grief or problems. No matter what your difficulty or problem – and we all have them, so don’t lie to yourself. Just be honest with yourself before God. We all have them. We can’t help it. We’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God. But we’re renouncing that way, and crying out to God for help to walk more perfectly and upright in His way.
God’s Spirit is powerful and helps us to do what? To keep us from sin, weakness, and temptation, and we can always go to God for the help we need. He is always there for us. That’s very important because you see, the Scripture tells us, in the end time, it’s going to be a very stressful period of time. And that stress, working on people, mentally, emotionally, physically, psychologically, whichever way it is coming at you – and it comes at people in different ways – if a person under stress is not aware, or sees, themselves as they really are in light of the Scripture, you, in a moment of weakness, will become the target of Satan the devil. That’s the time he strikes. You are down, and what are you going to do? You are going to seek, as you would humanly naturally do – want to seek to – find ways for relief from your problem. And if you seek relief…. For example, maybe you had a habit prior to conversion – you had a smoking habit. What do you do? You’ve got to light up – have a cigarette. Why? “I’m stressed. I’ve got to relax.” You’re kidding yourself. You’re not relaxing. You’re hurting yourself. You are saying, “Yes” to what you should be saying, “No” to.
Or, you have a drinking problem, and the drinking problem, you got rid of – you are clean. Now you are having problems. And what happens? Instead of going to the right spirit, the Spirit of God, you go to the spirit of the bottle. Once that happens, it reactivates all those old problems of the past and makes it harder for you to overcome, causes you to be more stressed than less stressed. If it is a personal abusive problem, which is causing a lot of problems for human beings today – I won’t get more specific than that. I think you know what it is. The problem is on the internet today. It’s causing much grief in the marital lives of many men and women in the Church of God, as well as people in the outside world. What do you do there? You’ve got to cut it off. You’ve got to shut the computer off. Do whatever you have to do. Stay away from it. If you don’t, and you say, “Well, I’ve got to go this way to find relief from stress.” No, it just magnifies stress and you’ve got a champion in the background. His name is Satan the devil, saying, “That’s it, keep going. Do what you’re doing. Keep going. Awe, this is what relieves stress.” It doesn’t relieve stress. It causes you now to feel guilty, because now, like Adam and Eve, once you knew you didn’t do what God said, you are going to run and hide. You are going to feel ashamed, and you won’t want be able to be upright and straightforward. God wants you to be straightforward – upright. He doesn’t want you to hide. His eyes see everything.
When those types of things happen, and you feel yourself being stressed, and you are under the gun, how does God’s Spirit lead you to get out of that? Let’s take a look at a couple of scriptures – how David solved some of these problems. Psalms 61 – Psalms 61, verse 1 and 2. In Psalms 61, verses 1 and 2, this is David crying out to God. Listen how he says this – how he phrases this.
Psalms 61:1-2 Psalms 61:1-2 1 Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth will I cry to you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
American King James Version×– Hear my cry ! I am raising my voice. Why? Because you and I don’t cry when we talk to God. You might cry some tears because you are feeling sorry for some things, but when did you just raise your voice, and say, “Lord God, hear my cry! Please, I need your help! You see, we’ve been made so passive by this world, we don’t know how speak to God anymore. God does what? He’s there. He says: Hear my cry, O God! Attend to my prayer. Because there are a lot of prayers going out, but God says, “I don’t hear the prayers of the wicked, so why should I hear your prayer?” I have to ask myself that. Is God going to hear my prayer? Not if I give Him a generic prayer.
If I cry out to Him, and I say, “Lord, I’ve got this problem, and I need Your help,” and I say, “Lord, please help me!” I’ve got to raise my voice. It’s a level of concern. When we look at the scripture, and you see verse 2: From the ends of the earth, I will cry unto you . “I don’t care where I am in this world. I will cry to you.” Why? He says: …when my heart is overwhelmed . Have you ever had your heart overwhelmed, folks? We all have. You can’t live your life without having moments of time…may your blessings be many and your trials be few, but still you are going to have moments when you are going to be overwhelmed. When it is overwhelming, it is almost crushing. It takes the life right out of you. And I know many of you know exactly what I am talking about. And he goes on to say: Lead me… . How does God lead you? With His Holy Spirit. David is crying. He’s saying: Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. In other words, “Take me to Jesus, and help me to see Your Son, so I can live like He lived.” He is the Rock – in 1 Corinthians 10, and verse 4 – that followed the Israelites. He is not the rock that came from the island of Guam, who is in the movies – that played the rock. We are not supposed to follow somebody who is of the flesh but of the Spirit. So here, we have the clear example.
Now let’s go back to Psalm 50 – Psalm 50, which is the precursor to Psalm 51, which you all know, and are familiar with – the cry of repentance by King David. And what do we see in Psalm 50? Let’s go to verse 15. We are admonished in the following. Do you have troubles from time to time? We all have troubles, don’t we? When we have these troubles, where do we go? Do we try to solve them ourselves? What does the word of God admonish us to do? Verse 15 – He says:
Psalms 50:15 Psalms 50:15And call on me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
American King James Version×– And call upon me in the day of – what? – of trouble – whatever that trouble may be. You define it. What does God say? I will deliver you! Now either He will or He won’t. God cannot lie, so if He says He will, and you believe that He is and a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, what do you think David is doing here? He is crying out to God because he needs deliverance, and God has given the admonition, “I will deliver you.” And when God delivers us and gives us victory over problems we struggle with and are overcoming, what does He go on to say? And you shall glorify me . Give God the credit and don’t think that you did anything to get yourself out of that mess you created! It is God who comes to our aid. He pulls us out of the quicksand of life and saves us time and time again. To me, that is quite revealing. I hope it will be a help to you the next time you pray. Don’t allow yourself to be passive. When you are struggling with something, cry out to God. Let Him know how you feel – that you’re hurting, that you’re suffering. It is a trial that you don’t want, but you are going through it, and you can’t get through it without the help of God. May God help us all because we all need that help every day.
Number four. The Holy Spirit leads us how? It prompts us to do God’s will every day as we live life. It prompts us to do God’s will every day in living life. That’s very important because there are a lot of things you can do that don’t please God. If you don’t live your life in a direction that keeps you on that straight and narrow path, then you’re sliding off on to the road that leads to destruction.
Philippians 2, verses 12 and 13 – wonderful scripture.
Philippians 2:12-13 Philippians 2:12-13 12 Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
American King James Version×– Wherefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence but much more in my absence – we are admonished to – work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. It’s not telling you that you’re going to be saved by your works. We’re saved by grace through faith. The book of Ephesians talks about that very clearly. But what is talked about here, “to work out your own salvation” means you have to work at your study of the Bible, your prayer life – all the things that God has committed to us we have to work at. Because if we don’t, we get rusty. And you think you know certain things, and you have forgotten. I’m personally convinced that is why God takes us back every year – going through the Passover and reviews everything – because He knows we forget. He knows the best form of repetition will get that it into our minds and refresh our minds, and help us again like He wants us to understand. So work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. What do you also notice about this scripture? He goes on to say that what it does, it allows us to have something – an awareness that what is happening in our lives is of God, which works both in you to do both His will and good pleasure. It’s God who is doing this. It’s God who helps you to think it. It is God who helps you to understand it, or you wouldn’t understand it.
So the flow of God’s Spirit becomes stronger and more apparent. In other words, as you live life, people begin to see, you’re growing. You’re spiritually on fire. You’re not just an old dump, just sitting around doing nothing. We all grow old gracefully. We all know that. You can’t stop the aging process, but God wants us to think young. He wants us to think alive, with the mind of Christ, because as you think in your heart, so you become. If you just become ahhh, yeahh, yeahh…. If you don’t do, as we heard in the sermonette – come to God and just thank Him every day, fill your heart with gratitude, you will become an ingrate. You won’t be thankful for the things God has given you – every breath you breathe, the wonderful blessing of a body that is the temple of the God’s Holy Spirit, which temple you are. And God expects us to let His Spirit flow in us. Why? Because when the electrical power flows, the lights are lit. When the power of God flows in our life, we light up! We become the light of the world. It is not just a lot of spiritual salt and pepper. It’s what God says – how it works.
Number 5. The Spirit of God does something else to us. It leads us in this way. It sharpens and intensifies our awareness of our adversary, Satan the devil. It sharpens and intensifies our sense of awareness of the adversary of this world, Satan the devil . Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×tells us that he deceives the whole world. Has he made some kind of inroad in your life to deceive you in some way? We’re not to be ignorant of his devices. God’s Spirit helps us, in other words, to be on guard. It is so easy to just sit back, and kind of relax, and take it easy. That is what Satan wants us to do – sit back and relax. “Why are you working so hard? Take it easy.” No, God says you’ve got to fight. You’re going to have to fight the good fight of faith because you have a relentless enemy out there that wants to destroy your spiritual life. Now, if you don’t care about your spiritual life, he will be happy to destroy it for you – what little life you have. But, if you’ve got one, and you appreciate what God has done, you better hang on to it and hold fast, and don’t let any enemy come in and destroy it. We have to be strong and we have to be ready to do battle. That’s what I heard from Dr. Ward’s element. We better be praying, and we better know how to answer, and we better do our homework. You can’t win a war without weapons. And you can’t win a spiritual war without the weapon of God’s Holy Spirit. That is what is needed for all of us.
Number 6 – here’s another way. God’s Spirit leads us by stimulating our mercy and grants us the power of instant recall. It stimulates our…I said mercy, but I stand corrected. It stimulates our memory . I read that wrong. It’s our memory , and it grants us the power of recall . You know we all forget from time to time, don’t we? We look…sometimes we meet a person, and “I know that person.” You can see them, but their name goes right out of your consciousness. And all of the sudden, it will come back to you. It is in there, but you had to recall it. In the same way, what God has done through His Spirit is, He gives us the ability to have recall, because He wants us to understand as John, chapter 14, verse 26 – that’s John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
American King James Version×:
John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
American King James Version×– But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name – this is Jesus talking – He shall teach you all things – in other words, it will reflect the mind of God in all things – and brings all things to your remembranc e.
It’s going to help you to remember. Don’t frustrate yourself, saying, “I can’t understand. Why can’t I remember these things?” Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and that door will be made open to you. Why? Because you want to recall the things of God, and God’s Spirit will open that to you. If we are not taking advantage of God’s Spirit, what are we doing? We say, “I’m converted. I’ve got God’s Spirit.” But where are you going with it? You are going nowhere unless you are letting the river of God’s Spirit flow. Remember the Israelites? What happened when they came out? Moses led them out of sin – out of Egypt – and they had a problem and they wanted to go back. But, you don’t stay static with the calling of God. God wants you to move forward, never backward. He never wants you to go backwards. He’s pulled you out of that, which is behind, and He wants you to be forward-looking. That’s why He says, “If you put your shoulder to the plow,” He says, “and you look back, remember Lot’s wife.” She looked back and look what happened to her. Then He goes on to say, “You are not fit for the Kingdom of God.” Why? Because you are not believing what God has said – “Go forward. My Spirit is a go forward Spirit, not backwards.”
So don’t live in the past. Live for the future. Because you’ve got the whole future ahead of you. The end is not coming for the saints of God. It’s just the beginning of eternity, and the door is open to us if we take advantage of it. As we yield to God and His Spirit, it awakens our memory and gives us the ability to do what? Apply the things of God in our everyday daily life.
Number 7. God Spirit leads us also in another direction here. This is so important. It convicts our conscience, which God has given us when we stray or backslide into sin. It convicts our conscience when we stray or backslide into sin. That is what is a danger zone. This is where Satan likes to take people – backwards. Hebrews 9, and verse 14.
Hebrews 9:14 Hebrews 9:14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
American King James Version×– How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience – He gets rid of that wrong way of thinking and behaving – from dead works to serve the living God ? We have been called to serve the living God – not to try to live the old way of life that we have been accustomed to.
We have wonderful examples given in Scripture. We have the example of Saul. Saul was one who God blessed. What did Saul do? Saul didn’t follow through with what God commanded. Samuel said, “You have sinned against God.” And what did he do? He turned it around the other way. He said, “I haven’t sinned.” He justified his actions. You know what ended up happening with Saul. He died in combat – in battle. You remember David. David…he also lost it. David was great in his earlier years, and what did he do? He got to the place, as the king, a king can do anything! The king’s word is law. If I say, “Off with your head,” off with your head it goes. We don’t have all the ramifications of it. We just have a snapshot coverage of what happened there. But one day David’s out there, roaming around on top of the porch, and you know the rest of the story – David and Bathsheba – and what happened. Then he compounds it by taking Uriah and doing him in. He can’t even see what he has done anymore. He has gone off the course. He is on a different road. But see, God loves to correct those whom He loves. He loved David, because of David’s obedience when he was young. But as David got older, he lost that direction. It is a warning to all people who start out on this earth. Don’t lose it as you get older. David got older and what happened? He started looking in directions, thinking he was the king. He could do anything.
So God finally intervened. That’s what the Spirit of God will do. The Spirit of God will intervene, because of why? You have backslid. You have gone the wrong direction. David was now going in a wrong direction. David had to be brought to an awareness of where he was and only God can do that. He just wasn’t praying, wasn’t staying close to God, like he should. So, God because of His love, says, If you are not corrected, then God deals with you as illegitimate. So, because God loves you, and you are struggling with a problem, and if you’re not getting rid of it with the help of God’s Spirit, He is going to come in, and He is going to bring a circumstance to force you to deal with it. Be sure your sin will find you out. So He goes on, and what does He do? Sends Nathan the prophet. Nathan tells him the story and now objectively hears it. The king is sitting, hearing the story, and all of the sudden he hears…“What has this rich man done? Nathan, what did you say he did? He stole that little lamb when he had all these other lambs? That’ guy deserves to die!” “You are the one.” You talk about being stabbed in the heart! God gets right to the heart of the matter. “You have lost it, David. You lost it.”
David now did what? He was in trouble. Psalm 50 – read that. He cried out to God! Boy, did he cry out to God! Then Psalm 51 is a prayer of repentance. The Spirit of God came down on him so hard to bring him to an awareness of how wrong he had been. Now, what happened as a result of that? Because he repented and acknowledged his transgression before God, God forgave him. But, remember what you say, “Yes” to, you say, “No” to, and what you say, “No” to, you say, “Yes” to, because David said the wrong one, he sent himself in the wrong direction. He said, “No” to God, and “Yes” to lust, and murder, and adultery, and all the other things that are recorded – just a thumbnail sketch of it – teaching us a lesson.
Romans 15:4 Romans 15:4For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
American King James Version×- all these things are written for our lesson. How many things are written out there? Don’t throw stones at David. David is just one human being. Human beings are doing this stuff all the time. They have been doing this for 6000 years – killing one another, raping one another, adultery, fornication, the whole smear. What are we seeing? This is why we pray, “Thy kingdom come.” Man, it’s got to change! It’s got to change big time. So once he got himself together, he was able to go on. But the consequences of his actions? Ah, you read about them and they are terrible. He could have avoided all of that if he had just obeyed the word of God. We can avoid all of our problems if we’ll just avoid the problems of this world by listening to the word of God. It is so simple a child can understand. Just do what God says and you’re home free. Don’t do what God says, and you’re in trouble. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that. But because we have a nature that is hostile to the Spirit of God, we all have to fight and overcome, don’t we? We all want to be perfect, but we can’t be perfect. So you know the things that we all struggle with day in and day out, and it is a battle of overcoming. But God has promised us He will be there for us every step of the way.
Number 8. The Spirit of God, how does it lead us? It imparts the power of self-discipline . It helps you discipline yourself with the things of God.
Ephesians 3:20 Ephesians 3:20Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
American King James Version×– Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Also, look at Ephesians 1:19, for that. In other words, the reality is that God’s help is available. Are we smart enough to take advantage of it or are we foolish to try to do it on our own? God’s help is available.
Number 9. God’s Spirit does what for us? It infuses God’s own love – His very own love – for us, for Him, and for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ . Romans, chapter 5, verse 5:
Romans 5:5 Romans 5:5And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
American King James Version×– And hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God – His special love that God has, and only God can give – the agape love. And God does what? He says He: sheds this abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given to us. We can’t love one another unless we have help from God to love one another. That’s why conversion is so important. It is an impulse of love that God gives to us – feelings of love that will always endure forever – a love for God and for one another.
So, true agape love is an act of the will. It’s an act of your choice. “I will love you, inspired by God’s Spirit.” See, God’s Spirit does what? He has determined from the beginning – even when He knew we were going to sin as we are human beings – as an act of will, “I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy. I will give them My love.” For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son… – John 3:16-17 John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
American King James Version×– so important that we understand that.
So, it imparts that marvelous love – that wonderful love. Boy, we certainly don’t want the love that Hollywood demonstrates. They have corrupted more people’s minds – men and women. Instead of showing a glorious relationship between a man and a woman, we see women today being exploited, taken advantage of, brutalized – men looking at them just as objects, instead of co-heirs unto salvation, ordained of God. As a gift that God gives to a man when a man finds a wife, he finds favor from God. What a blessing. We need to thank God every day for these things. And for our young people, you need to understand we have a right to have this good relationship, but you won’t find it with just every individual you are out there with. You have got to be led to the right person. You have to make your request known to God. And, if you are a young person seeking one day to have a marriage, you better have a good one. You better ask God to give you a good one. People have made mistakes and God forgives those mistakes when people repent. But when you are starting out, and you have the opportunity to do it the right way, God admonishes you to go for it.
That brings us to the tenth and last point that I want to emphasize. The Spirit of God imparts the dynamic faith and courage to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. It imparts the dynamic faith and courage to follow Jesus’ footsteps. He is our example. There is no one else you can follow that will give you better service – serve you with the truth, never lie to you, come to your aid every time you have a problem. Just call on Him and He is there. But you have got to believe it, according to the scripture. It requires faith on our part to do. If we don’t believe it, it isn’t going to happen. If God gives us the direction, He says, “All I ask of you is to follow the instruction I give you.” Jesus gave us Matthew 28:20 Matthew 28:20Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version×. He says:
Matthew 28:20 Matthew 28:20Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version× – Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world – or the age. Is that true, or is it not true? Is He with us, or is He not with us? We are to believe and to understand He is with us. I think He has demonstrated in all of our lives – how He has come to all of our aid time and time again – maybe not in the way we thought, but He did come to our aid. We have survived trials and problems because God has been kind and merciful toward us. The track record should prove that God will never leave us or forsake us.
Hebrews 13, and verse 5:
Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
American King James Version×– God is the same yesterday, today and forever .
Well brethren, that’s basically it. This is how we are led by the Spirit of God. There are many other elements I could have brought out, but I thought these would be most helpful for us as a confirmation to things you can look at in your own life, and measure your own self, so that you can know, and know that you know, that you have the Spirit of God. And then, the admonition is used it to use it the glory of God. Don’t just have it, use it. That means, be involved with God and His word. Be involved with one another. Pray for one another that we may be healed. We have sickness and problems in our midst. We need healing! And only God can heal. He is our God healer. We can dress and keep and do certain things. We have limited access to medical help and assistance, but you know, as well as I do, people today are having more problems going to the medical profession than getting help. They go and they end up…“Well, take this,” and it ends up hurting the poor person. You and I don’t need 25 more problems. We just need one problem solved. And that problem is sin. God says, “Look, come to Me, cry to Me, stay with Me. Don’t abandon ship! Each and every day. walk in the fear of God. I will be with you always. I will never leave you and nobody is going to take you out of my hand unless you abort ship.” You are the only one who can do that. You can walk away from God as a free agent. God won’t force anybody, but, boy, He sure wants us to hang tight. He is the true vine and we need the nourishment that can only come from Him.
May God help us all and thank God each and every day for the wonderful blessing of how His Spirit leads us out of this world of sin – spiritual Egypt and Babylon – and leads us to the kingdom of God. If we don’t have someone to lead us, then we are leaderless. The God of this world would like to take the place of God in your life. If he gets the advantage, he will destroy you. But God has the opportunity, and He will save you.