Today I’d like to look at three things that happen when the Holy Spirit moves in our lives.
1. When God’s Spirit Moves there is Joy.
Happiness vs Joy
Happiness ebbs and flows based on our changing circumstances.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It is dependent on the Spirit, not our circumstances.
(Similar to Blessing – re beattitudes in Thursday night discussion. Blessing is not the same as happiness.)
It is the Spirit that gives us an “inexpressible and glorious joy”. (1 Peter 1:8,9)
Joy should be our norm.
“I have called you to a life of joy, not lamentation.”
The Kingdom of God is about experiencing and living the joy of God. 神の御国は神の喜びを経験し、神の喜びに生きることです。 Romans deals with weighty issues and in life sometimes we have to deal with weighty issues but in the end – of both Romans and our lives, Kingdom living comes down to “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).
Not emotionalism but joy that is given and remains even through suffering.
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. [Play song]
‘Easy for you, you don’t know what I’ve been through!’
I hear this. I’m flattered that people look at my life and think I’ve had it easy! Yes, I’ve had a good life, praise God, but I’ve also had my share of troubles. (My book. I’ve been through all the trials of raising a family. In my work and ministry I’ve been abused, spat on, threatened, publicly vilified by name in a national newspaper for my faith, I’ve had to deal with people who are drunk, high, teachers in diabetic comas, I once found one of my teachers hanging (you can’t imagine what that’s like), I’ve been rejected so often in ministry that I sometimes feel (wrongly) that rejection characterises my ministry. I’m only scratching the surface here: Aaron.)
I don’t share this to gain your pity. On the contrary, I’m sharing this to show you that although I, too, have had my share of struggles in life, none of them – none of them – have ever taken away my joy in Christ. I’m lifted by my family and by my church family – these are tremendous and very tangible blessings, and areas of joy in my life. But when I go to sleep at the end of the day, no matter what has happened, no matter what I have been enduring, there is a joy in my heart that nothing and no-one can take away. Because my joy is from God and it can’t be touched or taken away by anyone or anything else.
We will have sorrow yet as Christians we can have sorrow and joy at the same time. Jesus did (the joy set before him). Paul did, singing for joy after a flogging). I do, too.
Being joyful in times of sorrow is actually one of the things that sets us apart as Christians from the rest of the world!
The world can’t take our joy away but we can still lose it. (Gal 4:15) When we take our eyes off Jesus – when we put proud or pitiful eyes on ourselves or envious eyes on others, we can start to lose our joy. When we replace a humility before Christ with the sense of entitlement that the world has been taking on, it leads to anger and bitterness. This attitude of the world makes our joy in Christ stand out all the more.
King David, despite attacks from enemies, family and all sorts of trouble, would come into the temple with shouts of joy. This is why God says David had a heart after His own heart. It was filled with the joy of the Lord.
Habitually rejoicing in the Lord restores our joy. Joy is linked to strength and vitality. Once we start to weigh ourselves down with intellectualism or legalism, we can easily lose our joy and then despite having all the knowledge in the world we can become weak and joyless. Choosing to rejoice despite our circumstances – lifting our hands and voices in praise to God restores our spiritual perspective so that the joy of the Spirit can return to us.
2. When God’s Spirit Moves there is a desire for Christlikeness.
The bar worker at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. The model.
The feeling that they no longer belong in those places.
Questions arise. Why do I wear these clothes? Why am I listening to this music? Watching these shows? Meeting with these people.
Bringing changes to these things in our lives is not something that preachers, mentors and especially parents can have much success with. But when the Holy Spirit moves, there is an inward desire for Christlikeness. There is a sense that the way I’ve been living is somehow empty or meaningless or even just wrong. And Christlikeness starts to look and feel very attractive and clean and joyful.
This is closely linked to holiness. Holiness is about separation. Separating the godly from the common. It is not a list of do’s and don’t’s. It is an inward desire to be Christlike. It is the Holy Spirit imparting his own nature into our lives.
There is a battle between the flesh and the Spirit that becomes more obvious and more intense as we draw nearer to God.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But as we draw nearer to God, we find ourselves with a desire for Christlikeness, which we find in the familiar verses of Gal 5:22,23.しかし、御霊の実は、愛、喜び、平和、寛容、慈愛、善意、忠実、柔和、自制であって、これらを否定する律法はない。
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Again, it is the Holy Spirit imparting his own nature into our lives.
One more thing on Christlikeness.
When God’s Spirit Moves we gain a new perspective on sin. We become convicted in our hearts about things that seemed fine to us earlier on in our walk with God. In fact if a person doesn’t have a growing sensitivity toward sin, there is something wrong with their faith. In true Christian conversion, there is more than an acknowledgement of Christ as the Son of God, there is a desire to be more like Him.
Being Christlike is not about trying harder to be good. It’s about allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us in repentance and following the lead of the HS just as the first disciples followed the lead of Jesus.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
3. When God’s Spirit Moves there is power.
Jim Cymbala dealing with people’s problems. Man! The problems people have in Brooklyn!
But there have been times when I’ve wondered how such a small church like ours could also have so many problems. I share the very same questions Jim Cymbala asks. “Holy Spirit guide me! What should I do? What should I say?”
Do we need more training? more praise? more Bible study? We need all of that but when confronted with really hard times, we need the power of the Holy Spirit.
Power to overcome sin. Power to overcome spiritual attack. Power to endure. Power to witness. Power to speak. Power to pray.
Jesus last words concerned power: Luke 24:49
見よ、わたしの父が約束されたものを、あなたがたに贈る。だから、上から力を授けられるまでは、あなたがたは都にとどまっていなさい」。I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The gospel message alone is not enough. We need the power of the Holy Spirit.
Brains and talent won’t be enough. We need the power of the Holy Spirit.
Charisma and perseverance won’t be enough. We need the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are so many resources and materials available to us today regardless of our position in the church. Bookstores, online etc. So much good stuff.
What makes a good sermon? 良い説教を作るには？ [Open question}
Includes scripture, is sequential, logical, understandable, colourfully illustrated, with an application of truth and if speaker’s communication skills are high, we might say “That was a fine sermon”.
This is pretty much what we’re taught today and what we in the church have come to expect.
But what does Paul say?
1 Cor 2:1-5わたしもまた、あなたがたの所に行ったとき、神のあかしを宣べ伝えるのに、すぐれた言葉や知恵を用いなかった。なぜなら、わたしはイエス・キリスト、しかも十字架につけられたキリスト以外のことは、あなたがたの間では何も知るまいと、決心したからである。わたしがあなたがたの所に行った時には、弱くかつ恐れ、ひどく不安であった。そして、わたしの言葉もわたしの宣教も、巧みな知恵の言葉によらないで、霊と力との証明によったのである。それは、あなたがたの信仰が人に知恵によらないで、神の力によるものとなるためであった
When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
“What kind of Spirit-saturated messages did Paul give the people in Corinth? He certainly didn’t mean that every 5 minutes or so he interrupted his talk to heal someone’s blind eyes or have the lame walk because there is no record in scripture of that. Yet this brilliant Pharisee-trained convert to Christ dismisses “wise and persuasive words”. Why? So that the Corinthian Christians might have their faith in “God’s power” and not in “human wisdom”.” Jim Cymbala p 108.
We have power for a purpose. 私たちは目的にかなった力を持っています。
The same power that was available to Paul and the other early Christians is still available for us today. “If we don’t believe in that sort of supernatural anointing and Holy Spirit manifestation ,we will never experience it.”
There is a reason we are given the power of the Holy Spirit and it is the same reason that it was given to Christ 2000 years ago.
Look at what Jesus said at the beginning of his ministry.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The purpose of Jesus’ anointing and power was to bring good news to the poor – those with little hope in this world,
to proclaim spiritual freedom for those bound by the ways of the world and by religious bondage
and to deliver a message of salvation for everyone to hear and experience.
That’s why the Holy Spirit empowered Christ.
And that’s why Jesus told his disciples to wait for power in the upper room.
The HS was not given (primarily) so that Christians could gather on Sundays and have great meetings.
The HS was sent to accomplish many divine purposes but at the top of the list was empowering God’s people to reach the world with the gospel of Christ.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
If we lose sight of God’s heart for the world we will experience little of His power because we’re not on the same page as God.
But when we reach out with the purpose of sharing the good news of salvation in Christ, to help the spiritually blind see and set the oppressed free, we can prayerfully expect the HS to work in power amongst us, as Jesus promised.
And so we can see that when the Spirit moves in our lives there is joy that thrives despite our circumstances, there is a desire for increasing Christlikeness and there is power to reach out to a lost and hurting world.
Prayer for joy, Christlikeness and power.