Summary: This is the sixth in a series of 8 messages centered around the importance of changing the climate in which we live, work or play.
Changing the Climate – Part 6 of 8
INTRODUCTION TO THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Over the past couple of months I have been talking about the need for us to change the climate we are surrounded by. The key portion of scripture I have been using is from Acts 1:8
"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."
Jesus left His followers with the responsibility to witness the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. This was a huge responsibility – AND WE HAVE THAT SAME RESPONSIBILITY TODAY!
This responsibility is not just mine alone, it is not just for the evangelists amongst us, it is not just for those in full-time employment in the church… … IT IS FOR ALL OF US!
But Jesus has not left His followers with this great responsibility without giving them the ability to fulfil the task. And this scripture from ACTS 1:8 is THE key to the answer to the challenge ahead for us.
I am convinced that we have misunderstood and misapplied this scripture to our lives …… to such an extent that the reality of the truth of this has been lost and stolen from us.
I am convinced that when you are baptised in the Holy Spirit, the main result is not just to make you feel tingly all over, or make you laugh, or cry. The main result is to empower us to become witnesses – which does not mean that you then have this uncontrollable urge to run to a street corner so that you can begin ‘witnessing’.
The Holy Spirit empowers you so that you can then begin to truly live a life of one guided and directed by God Himself; so that your old values are replaced by new ones; and so that your life will now show the victory that Jesus won on the cross is now yours to live TODAY.
Scripture abounds with exhortations concerning our new life in Christ and our belonging to a new set of guidelines and a new order – one that is not dictated to by circumstances and the things that this world throws at us or one that has the enemy running riot through our lives.
I do not want to be the tail anymore – I want to be the head!
I want to walk on that Highway of Holiness.
I want to see those streams in the desert.
I want to live abundantly and not just exist.
I want to have that confidence that God is TOTALLY in control of ALL things.
I want to KNOW that all things WILL work together for good, because I love God and am called according to His purposes!
I want to be as excited about God as I would be about getting a hole in one at golf.
And as I was putting this message together, I felt the Lord say there are some people in this congregation that want this too but there are others who do not believe that God wants this for them.
2 CHRONICLES 29 Here is the account of Hezekiah.
As soon as Hezekiah became king, he began to reform things back to how they should have been. He started to put things into right order again.
· He immediately opened the doors of the temple,
· He repaired the doors,
· the Levites were consecrated,
· he re-established a covenant with God,
· he restored worship in the temple,
· he re-instituted the Passover,
· he destroyed idols,
· he re-established the bringing of the tithe into the temple.
And it says in 2 CHRONICLES 31:20-21 And thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right, and true before the LORD his God. And every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and he prospered.
Have you come to realise that life is full of ups and downs? Have you noticed that no sooner do you seem to pull yourself out of one hole that you can very often fall into another!
When this happens, the enemy has a field day. This is when he will challenge your faith, poke fun at you, and in as many ways as possible attempt to drag you down.
Hezekiah experienced exactly the same. Look at the start of CHAPTER 32
2 CHRONICLES 32:1 After these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself.
The NIV translates it as after all he had done so faithfully.