[The following is the beginning of some sermon notes in a message I’m preparing. Embraced By The Spirit, by Charles Swindoll served as a resource along with the NASB version of John 14 and my own application. This is a work in progress. Pray with me for Holy Spirit guidance. Thanks.]
There are certain things you want nearby. You may not want them all the time but you at least keep them within arms length. Things like a fly swat, wasp spray, car keys, credit cards and your cell phone (no, the cell phone is usually connected at the hip). But you get the idea. That’s the way it is with the average citizen. How bout the church goer?
The church is filled with people who long for a more intimate and uninterrupted relationship with God. They desire to be ‘in sync’ and regularly sense His presence, and experience His power. Most people in church live with a persistent, nagging fear that they are missing out on something in their walk as a believer. Their intellectual faith is in tact–but their intimacy with God is missing. Truth is, intimacy with God is within reach.
I read some years ago a church sign which said, ‘You have as much of God as you want.’ The implication is it is up to you. The real problem is not what’s implied but what is actually kept ‘at arms reach.’ It is the Holy Spirit which is kept at arms length. The fear is getting labeled as ’emotional’ or ‘falling into error.’ Explaining the Holy Spirit is acceptable and encouraged; experiencing Him is neither acceptable or encouraged. Embracing Him is out of the question.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18 NASB
The Spirit of God was sent, ultimately, to be engaged in our everyday lives…to be experienced intimately. God intended our relationship to be close–growing in depth and nearness. The Holy Spirit is interested in transforming us from the inside out.
How many Sunday’s have you left the church house having entered to reach a more intimate relationship with God and left no different than when you walked in? Who is responsible for that?
Until next time,