Holy Spirit

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Holy Spirit.

Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White

Sunday 13th September 2020

Well, this morning I have decided (with the Holy Spirit’s prompting) to lift our vision way above all that’s going on around us right now.

In a natural sense, it feels like we are being constrained and hedged in.

But who knows – the Holy Spirit isn’t the slightest bit constrained – and nothing has taken God by surprise.

In case you didn’t get to hear my message from last week, or even if you did, I think it’s a great place to launch from again today.

The foundation of that message came from the moment when the apostle John was overwhelmed by a vision of heaven…. And thankfully, he has shared what that experience was like in the book of Revelation.  

Talk about lifting your vision – you can’t do much better than being in the midst of all the heavenly angels and elders and creatures who gather around the throne of God…

So John then turns to the angel who was revealing it all to him.. 

He says in Revelation 19:10:

New King James Version

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus.”

In other words, he says to John – I’m just like you – I stand in awe of Jesus just like you do – don’t worship me.  He says:

“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Without going through it all again, my main point last week was that our testimony – our story of what Jesus Christ has done in us and through us – it carries with it the spirit of prophecy.  It is prophecy!

And as I looked up the meaning of the word testimony, I found that it’s root meaning in the original Hebrew language, is “do it again”.  

Testimony means: “to return”, “to repeat,” “to do it again.”

So when we testify of Jesus in our lives – as we speak it over a person with whom we are sharing –  it’s as if we are prophetically decreeing – Lord, repeat this story in this person’s life – “do it again” just as you’ve done it for me!  

The incredible transforming power that has changed my life – let it happen again is this one who is standing here before me.  

That’s the prophetic power of the spirit that works through your testimony.

I was blown away by that.  You can be sure that as you testify of Jesus –  the Holy Spirit will automatically come and breathe upon your words and bring them to life spiritually in the other person.

It took me nearly half an hour to say that last week – that’s the mini version.

I also got to preach it last Sunday morning to our sister church – Arise Lismore. 

Allan rang me in desperation because he was sick – and didn’t think it was appropriate that he cough and splutter over everyone as he preached.

It wouldn’t have been a good look!

I had to laugh though as Jacqui led that meeting, and she apologised to everyone for saying the week before that Allan was a germ.  A very sincere apology… considering she then turned around and said – but he’s still festy!

 

Anyway – the point is – I had a preview and a reminder again of what it’s like to speak to real live people instead of staring down a camera lens.

And it got me excited for today.  I am so over the whole isolation thing.  I have been from about early April.

As I was preaching last week, I could feel the Anointing of that corporate gathering together, which I think most of us have missed terribly over the last several months.

I’m not saying God’s Word that myself and others have been bringing hasn’t been anointed – it has – but there’s something about being together as the church and receiving the Word together that invites the Holy Spirit’s presence in a special and powerful way.

It’s something we experience together…. 

So it got me thinking – if our testimony carries with it a powerful/anointed spirit of prophecy – then let’s remind ourselves again of just Who we do have on the inside of us…. And let’s be committed to releasing the Holy Spirit’s Anointing at every opportunity.

Because even though we’ve got all these rules and regulations in place – we still have our voice – and we are still able to release His presence through love, encouragement, words, actions…. Through faith in God’s goodness…. Through the hope we have in our eternal future…

Acts 1:8

New King James Version

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

This is not only a prophetic promise given to Jesus’ disciples in the day, it’s an ongoing blessing and gift for all of us who desire to receive the Holy Spirit within.

And the purpose behind this blessing is ultimately the primary reason that the Holy Spirit came in the first place…. We’ve been empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses.  And we witness through sharing the testimony of Jesus as He has transformed our own life.

And I have found in the twenty years I have been preaching – that when you speak about the Holy Spirit, it gets His attention – not because He wants to bring glory to Himself – but because He alway looks for any opportunity to point us to Jesus.

That’s why our testimony of Jesus carries with it the spirit of prophecy!  It’s the Holy Spirit we are talking about here – that’s Who the Spirit of prophecy is!

We belong to a kingdom that is not of this world.  We might live in a natural kingdom and a natural world – and have to deal with natural things like pandemics…. 

But we belong to the kingdom of God which causes us to lift our eyes to the things that have eternal value and eternal significance.  

It mightn’t be quite the vision that John experienced – but it’s a heavenly vision nonetheless.

It reminds me of the scripture that says:

Romans 14:17

The Passion Translation

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules about food and drink, but is in the realm of the Holy Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace, and joy.”

Let’s not get caught in the worldly expectations that it’s when the virus is under control and a vaccine is found, that we will finally find joy and peace again.  

Our joy and peace and even our freedom are not dependant upon the natural kingdom that we live in and are just passing through.

These things are ours because we are already part of a heavenly kingdom.

2 Corinthians 3:17

New King James Version

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

That Scripture then goes on to say that we are being transformed – from glory to glory – into the image of Christ – by the Holy Spirit.

That’s our ultimate freedom – isn’t it?  To be transformed into the image of Christ.   To see our own self centred life bow…. To see less of me and more of Him….  it’s the Holy Spirit’s work in us.  

And this morning, I want to pray for every one of us to be refreshed and renewed by the Holy Spirit for the life that we are called to live – whether that’s the high calling of raising a family, or working in an education or government environment, retail, business – wherever it is – you need to be anointed simply to be the best expression of Jesus wherever you are.    And that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit is good at.

In the Psalms, David knew all about the Anointing.  

In the OT times, as many of you know, people were literally anointed with oil on their heads, as a prophetic act of commissioning them and setting them apart for a particular role or task.   

David himself was anointed as King over Israel well before he actually stepped into the role.   Samuel poured a whole horn of oil over him and it would have saturated him…

That’s what we need.  To be saturated with the anointing.

In the psalms David also speaks of the anointing as something that saturates us and blesses us as we come together and live life together as one body.

Psalm 133

New King James Version

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Running down on the beard,

The beard of Aaron,

Running down on the edge of his garments.

It is like the dew of Hermon,

Descending upon the mountains of Zion;

For there the Lord commanded the blessing—

Life forevermore.”

Other versions speak of sweet unity and sweet harmony.

I’ve noticed a slight shift within myself lately – something that the Holy Spirit has been doing in me during this Covid season…. where I’ve noticed that I’ve come to a place of genuinely trusting Him that He will build His church, no matter what things look like in a natural sense.

And trust is sometimes about letting go…  letting go of my own preconceived ideas.

Trusting God with what He’s doing in other people’s lives. 

Sometimes you just have to be deliberate in searching for the unifying Christ centred values you have with other people, and build on them with genuine encouragement and care – and trust the Holy Spirit with not only your own life – but with the lives of those around you.

It’s actually very freeing to trust God.

We are all different.  We all have our different experiences too of navigating through the world right now – and trusting God to lead us personally in how He wants us – and others – to represent Him in the world.

After all – we all belong to the same kingdom – even if we express that somewhat differently.

What about you?  What is the Holy Spirit saying to you – or doing in you?  

If we come through this season just the same as we went into it – then I believe we’ve missed an opportunity to grow and change.

It’s going through the difficult times that often makes us stronger and better.

There’s good reason that John the Baptist – a different John to the one who had the vision of heaven – said of Jesus:

Matthew 3:11

New King James Version

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

We need to be fully immersed in the Holy Spirit – and we need the fire of the Holy Spirit – just as it came upon the disciples at Pentecost – to strengthen us – to fan the coals of our heart – to be able face the fires that come against us in this world.  

And for many, the pandemic is nothing compared to some of the battles and traumatic things you have faced not only in the past, but in recent times as well.

Whatever we face, it’s the power and fire of the Holy Spirit that we need more than anything.

You can be sure God is doing something very unique and individual in each one of us.

And that’s the awesome thing about unity – it’s not about all being the same.  It’s about bringing our different personalities, our different giftings, our different dreams and visions…. All of that – into the kingdom.

But as the church together, we have the incredible privilege and blessing of standing together under the anointing of the Holy Spirit – having the oil saturate us as His body – and seeing the blessing of God being commanded to come…. It’s pretty amazing!

As I’m speaking about these things – see them with your own eyes…. Allow the Holy Spirit to refine you – wash over you – and bless you!

What fire or heartfelt passion is burning within you in this season?

David not only says the anointing saturates us with blessing – he says in another psalm that the anointing brings strength, might, and empowerment for victory… 

Psalm 92:10

The Passion Translation

“Your anointing has made me strong and mighty.

You’ve empowered my life for triumph

by pouring fresh oil over me.”

This is our opportunity to seek God for the new things He is doing.  Some are saying that things will never be the same again.  And I agree that God is getting our attention through the whole Covid-19 saga…. And as we have seen – it’s life and death stuff.

I don’t think it’s about jumping on the latest and greatest band wagon – and necessarily imitating what the American celebrity preachers are doing, or anyone else for that matter.

But it definitely is about positioning ourselves right at the heart of the Holy Spirit’s leading – and being refreshed by His Anointing presence.

That’s where we find true strength and might.

That’s where we are empowered for triumph.

By saying Holy Spirit – pour fresh oil over me…

We need fresh oil for a fresh and new season as the body of Christ.

As I said last week – the prophetic unction and Anointing of the Holy Spirit changes atmospheres…. 

The words we speak – the testimony of our lives that we share with others – it carries the power of the prophetic to change things and establish things spiritually.

You don’t have to be some super spiritual guru – you just need to be saturated and refreshed with the Anointing.

1 John 2:20

New King James Version

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.”

The Passion translation says it like this:

1 John 2:20

“But the Holy One has anointed you and you all know the truth.”

I don’t know everything there is to know about the world – but I do know the truth of Jesus Christ.

I do have the discernment of the Holy Spirit.  I have the wisdom of God because He promised that if I asked for it I could have it.

But it’s all because of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit comes like oil that saturates and refreshes.  He comes like fire to purify and to put a burning passion in our heart for Jesus above everything else – even our own life.

But He comes like the wind – you can’t see Him but you see what he does.

And something we don’t often talk about:

He comes as One who hovers over our situations – our lives.

If we go right back to the beginning of creation, right in the first two verses of Genesis, it says:

Genesis 1:1-2

New King James Version

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Other versions say the Spirit was brooding, moving, shaking over the face of the earth.

And I bring that up today because I sense that that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit is doing in many people’s lives right now.

Just as he came and hovered over the darkness and chaos and confusion of the earth, I can see Him hovering and brooding over His people as they walk through dark and confusing times…

He’s watching, looking, brooding…. That word brooding means “engaged in or showing deep thought about something that makes one sad, angry, or worried.”

And if that’s sounding a bit familiar in your life right now, then you’ll be glad to hear that the Holy Spirit is hovering over your situation.

And the other good news is that in the very next in verse, God says, “Let there be light.”

This morning is all about lifting our vision above the natural and gazing into the Kingdom of God, which is the Kingdom of Light.

It’s not about denying the natural world that we have to live in every day – but it’s about looking with the eyes of Christ – or seeing the world as the Holy Spirit sees it.

It’s knowing that He has anointed us – saturated us with His presence – and has fresh and new oil to pour out over us.  He’s the fire that burns and purifies and causes us to be fierce and to burn with passion when we need to. 

He’s the wind that we cannot see, He is Wisdom and truth.

He is the One Who looks out for us – hovers over us – and knows exactly when to intervene and bring light into our circumstances.

I want to pray for you right now – that the Anointing of the Holy Spirit would bring light to your situation, bring healing to your body, release you from bondage and into total freedom, joy and peace..

Let’s pray…


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