Monday, January 8, 2018

The Wind Blows Where It Will

John 3:8 "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

In describing to Nicodemus the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, he uses the wind as a metaphor. He says essentially that it blows where it will. You can't tell it where to come to and where to go. It will blow wherever it wants to. As we apply this to how the Holy Spirit works in our lives, a few things come to mind.

First, You can't Conjure up the Holy Spirit. Now, I will be the first to admit that we are ALL products of our upbringing in regards to what we believe and practice concerning the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in particular. Some are on the Extreme Right that says the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased with either the Apostles or the Canonization of Scripture. Now, there are some problems with this viewpoint in that the Gifts of the Spirit were promised and practiced, even in the first Century by more believers than just the Apostles. And the verse that many use to say they ceased with the Canonization of Scripture, [1 Corinthians 13:10 "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."] must be taken completely out of context in order to apply it to anything other than Love coming in perfection, which will happen when we are face to face in the presence of Him who is Love! However, there are others who are on the Extreme Left in regards to the Gifts of the Spirit, and basically anything, as long as you're feeling it, goes. As a good friend of mine likes to say, "There's a ditch on both sides of the road." We shouldn't go to either extreme. We should seek to be Biblical in regards to the Work of the Holy Spirit and His Gifts. So what does the Bible say? 

According to 1 Corinthians 12:11, "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." The Holy Spirit gives to each believer different gifts "AS HE WILL." In other words, you can't say enough Ba Ba La's and Ka Ka Ka's to work yourself up to speak in tongues. It is a Gift, and a gift must be First Given and then Second Received. It might not be God's will to give you the Gift of Tongues right now, but you can discover and operate in power and faith in whatever other gift He has given you. Furthermore, the Spirit works in harmony with our will. 1 Corinthians 14:32 tells us, "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." And we are told that we should always be looking out for the well-being of others in how we operate in our spiritual gift. In other words, the Spirit is not going to come on you and you start speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc. uncontrollably and causing confusion or worse fear in those that are weaker in the Faith. That's why God tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:40, "Let all things be done decently and in order." So don't feel that you have to work something up in order not to be inferior to someone else. In the Kingdom of God, there are not Big Shots and Little Shots, there are only different servants who are equipped and empowered in different ways to do different things to glorify God, evangelize the lost, and edify their brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Also, the Holy Spirit is not tied to a song or style of worship. While He may work through and use these things to get us into the Presence of God, he may not. And sometimes, if we aren't careful, we will confuse raw emotion for the Holy Spirit. While again, He works sometimes through our emotions, emotions can also be worked up in the flesh. So test the spirits if they are of God. And if you don't sense the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life, keep asking, seeking and knocking until the door opens and the veil is lifted so you can see what He is trying to do in your life.

Second, We cannot Control the Spirit. Sometimes, we try and control the work of the Spirit in our lives and churches to keep Him in our own theological and traditional boxes, because it makes us uncomfortable if He chooses to operate outside of what we've always known, seen or been taught. We essentially try and tell the Spirit of God that He can only do this or that, and we in essence keep Him from doing all that He wants in our lives. This is also dangerous, because we are told specifically not to GRIEVE or QUENCH the Holy Spirit. Again from our text in John 3:8, "The wind bloweth where it listeth," in other words it blows where it will or wants to.

Finally, We MUST Cooperate with the Spirit! If we want to see the Holy Spirit work powerfully in our lives, we must cooperate with Him as He seeks to fill us, gift us and empower us. We must pray through the discomfort where our traditions are being challenged and always seek to operate in love and understanding towards others, if He chooses to work in a different way in and through them. If we will properly discern the voice and actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will be able to walk and run with a tailwind getting further faster in our lives and seeing God use us to do more for His glory! So, today, let's resolve to not try and conjure up the Spirit or Control the Spirit but COOPERATE with Him as He seeks to work in our lives for God's glory!

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