Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him (or her), and he in God. (1 John 4:15)
… God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22)
Every biblically grounded Christian knows you receive the Holy Spirit when you embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior (Acts 2:38-39). Amidst the debates on what that means today in terms of spiritual gifts, we have tragically failed to answer the more important question: Who is the Holy Spirit we have received?
The Holy Spirit is God!
It is time for the Church to fully embrace the marvelous mysterious truth of the Trinity: one God in three Persons. We know God as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit – three Persons. But how many Gods are there? One (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; Romans 3:30; Galatians 3:20; James 2:19).
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune Godhead. He proceeds from the Father through the Son to us but always remains eternally and perfectly one with the Father and the Son (John 15:26, 16:7-15; Galatians 4:6) When we are joined to the Lord through the Holy Spirit and become one spirit with Him, we amazingly become part of that divine connection! (1 Corinthians 6:17)
Jesus, Son of God, emptied Himself of His divine power to live among us in human form, for two reasons. (Philippians 2:6-7) First, this enabled Him to die for the sins of mankind. (1 John 2:2) Second, this enabled Him to show us how we should live our lives on earth as children of God, “walking” just He “walked”. (1 John 2:4-6, 5:1-3)
Acts 10:38 tells us Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil because God was with Him. Now, as His disciples, we are anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, and God is with us. Jesus sends us into the world in the same way the heavenly Father sent Him. So, why are we not doing the works that He did, and even greater works? (John 14:12)
My friends, we are not doing the works of love, truth, and power that Jesus did on earth because Jesus was perfectly aligned with the God who was with Him, and we are not. (John 10:30, 17:20-23) Far more often than not, we fail to deny self, abide in Him, and let His words abide in us. (Luke 9:23; John 15:5-7)
To illustrate what I mean, remember how valves and nozzles are used to control the flow of water through a pipe or hose. When the valve or nozzle is properly aligned, water flows freely through both the intake and outlet. Without proper alignment, the water is partially or totally obstructed at the intake, the outlet, or both.
The Holy Spirit is described by Jesus as a fountain of living water flowing into us with eternal life, and as rivers of living water flowing out from our innermost being. (John 4:13-14; 7:37-38) Unfortunately, we can be out of alignment at our points of intake, outlet, or both.
Let me offer three fundamental ways we can better align with the God who lives in us.
First, we must have agape love for everyone God loves. (Matthew 5:43-48) The God who lives within you is love. (1 John 4:7, 16) Without agape love, you have no alignment at all. (1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 4:8, 20-21) It must be love in truth and deed. (1 John 3:18)
Second, we must trust the scriptures as the divinely inspired written revelation of truth concerning who God is, who we are, and how we are to live. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalms 1, 119; Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:21-23) Jesus is the Truth, and He came to fulfill scripture, not change it. (John 14:6; Matthew 5:17-19) When we try to change it – calling evil good and good evil because we are wise in our own eyes and lean on our own understanding – we become misaligned or even totally disengaged. (Isaiah 5:20-21; Proverbs 3:5-8; Matthew 7:21-27)
Third, we must be humble before God and man. (James 4:6-10; 1 Peter 5:5) God despises pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness. (Proverbs 8:13; Matthew 23:11-36) Proper alignment is being childlike before God and a loving servant to all. (Matthew 18:1-4; Mark 9:35)
If we align ourselves with the God who lives in us, we will experience an abiding revival that transforms our region.
God bless you and God bless our community.