Summary: Many Christians feel unsure whether the Holy Spirit is working in them. Be assured He is!
Assurance that the Holy Spirit is at work in You
October 26, 2002
Sometimes, something happens in our life that causes us to wonder whether the Holy Spirit is even at work there. A seed of doubt is planted that can lead to lost sleep, mental machinations, even loss of faith. And it can happen very simply, sometimes, and does so because, by and large, each one of us carries a load of insecurity, and when we’re caused some insecurity, we wonder about the biggest and most important things in our lives.
Maybe someone speaks to you of how the Holy Spirit has ‘spoken’ to them. Maybe you say to yourself, “I’m not sure the Holy Spirit has spoken to me. What’s wrong with me? Am I even a Christian?” You might see someone worshipping in a different manner than you prefer to do. As one who wants to please God, the fact of a difference can be enough to set up some dissonance in your mind and spirit, which can cause you, again, to wonder whether, just maybe, someone else is more spiritual and you’re less. Sometimes someone will say something that doesn’t resonate as your experience in walking with God, and it causes you to wonder. For instance, here is something Mr. Catherwood said, during his sermon 2 weeks ago:
“Our journey (cheminement) is unique in church history. We have journeyed from Law to Grace, from Sinai to Zion. We have always respected Jesus and have tried to please Him. But, sadly, we also marginalized Him, left Him in the background. For years I was personally overwhelmed by the feeling of being unable to please God. We simply didn’t understand the role of the Savior in our denomination, or the concept of grace in the deepest sense.
There is a difference between the office of Savior and His reality as Lord. I accepted Jesus as Savior in l957 at the age of l7 and He has been my Savior ever since. But I only accepted Him as Lord in l996. That’s when I began to understand the full sufficiency (pleine suffisance) of His grace.”
This speaks of a dramatic event that came in his life, long after conversion, which he can define, and which has propelled him into a closer walk with God. And, after all, he IS a senior and long-time minister in our church, so what does this do to many of us but set up some wonderings. We might realize that we didn’t experience such, or that we might have accepted both the Saviour and Lordship of Jesus when we were converted. But, we might wonder whether we’ve missed something because, after all, here is Mr. Catherwood, or whoever you might name, who has explained a difference in their spiritual journey, from yours, or mine. You, or I, might feel, in ourselves, somewhat inadequate or incomplete, because this experience has not been ours. And, again, we wonder, perhaps, whether the Holy Spirit is working in our life?
We all need assurance, and the scriptures are filled with assurance. God’s greatest desire, for his children, is that they live in a state of assurance.
3 Jn. 2- prosperity, at the most important levels, is God’s desire for you, and me.
Jer. 29. 11- declares God’s great desire for Judah, even while in the midst of a troubled time. God wants assurance for His people and gives it in great measure.
Well, today, I want you to know that God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, IS at work in your life. And I want you to understand this simply, and with such conviction that you don’t allow differences that you hear or see to shake that assurance. The kinds of situations I’ve outlined are not to shake your assurance about who you are and what is happening in you. There’s a miraculous ‘God thing’ going on in your life right now and it’s only the enemy- the hater of all that is of God and hater of all of God’s people- who works overtime to stir up doubts and questions to rob you and me of our assurance.
I want you to think of who you are. And I believe that the apostle Paul outlines for us this assurance- or the grounds for this assurance, that we can be settled in ourselves, as we leave here and return to the mission field of our life after this special time for worshipping God together.
We’re going to follow Paul’s line of thought in the letter to the early church at Rome. This was a church, young and in need of some confidence. Paul wrote to instill this in these spiritual ancestors of ours.
Ro. 4. 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24- esp. v. 24- do you believe in God who raised up Jesus? Do you believe in Jesus? (Jesus told us that through Him, we get to know the Father, and it’s through the working of the Holy Spirit in us that we get to know Jesus, and the Father, now. However, Jesus is the central figure of the matter.) I know you do. If you do, then God’s righteousness is imputed to you, and me. Each one of us has at least that measure of belief, do we not? Of course we do.