Summary: What does it mean to host the Holy Spirit?
Theme: Living with the Holy Spirit
Title: Our Permanent Resident – The Holy Spirit
Grace and peace from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
I love Old Testament stories. One of those stories is found in 2 Kings Chapter 4 and involved the Prophet Elisha and a family that lived in the town of Shunem. Shunem was located in the Jezreel Valley about five miles from Mt. Tabor.
The Bible tells us that one day while Elisha was traveling through Shunem a certain wealthy woman invited him to her home for a meal. She wanted to do something for one of God’s Prophets. Each time he would come through that area he was invited to stop and share a meal.
Over time the woman’s family became friends with Elisha. They enjoyed his visits and they enjoyed the presence of having him spend time with them. It was a wonderful arrangement for both the family and for Elisha.
One day the couple decided that instead of just inviting Elisha for a meal they would build him a small room. That way, instead of just grabbing a meal and running off, Elisha could have a place to rest and stay for a while. It would be like a small retreat resort for Elisha when he was traveling in the area.
The couple provided a small room with a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp. Over the years Elisha made use of their hospitality and developed a deep friendship with this family. You can imagine how nice it was to have a place to rest and relax after walking mile after mile on foot.
As a result of this couple’s hospitability, the Bible tells us that the LORD brought great blessings and favor upon them. One of the blessings they experienced was the joy of having a child. For years they had tried to have a child but were unsuccessful. Now, through God’s mercy the couple had a son.
Later on when that child suddenly died the LORD used Elisha to bring him back to life. And then still later when it looked like the family would perish the LORD used Elisha to give them some advanced knowledge that saved their lives.
All of this happened because this family opened up their hearts and their home. They not only opened up their home they made a permanent place for God’s Prophet to stay. They made him more than a welcomed guest they gave him his own residence.
I want to talk to you today about making a place in your heart, mind and soul for a greater person than the Prophet Elisha. A person that doesn’t just want to stay for a few days while they are traveling but wants to stay with you the rest of your life.
That person is the Holy Spirit. One of the greatest privileges that any human being on earth can enjoy is hosting the Holy Spirit.
This idea may even sound a little strange. But it isn’t. This is exactly what Jesus promises in John 14:26
26But the Advocate,* the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
John 14:15-17 (NIV)
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
This is what Jesus prayed for in His High Priestly Prayer (John 17). This is what the Apostle Peter said can happen in our lives in his sermon at Pentecost. God’s Holy Spirit wants to reside in our hearts, minds and souls.
Now we all know that God owns everything. He owns all of creation but one of the things God gave human beings was free will. He gives us the ability to either accept Him or reject Him. He gives us the ability to either be a host of His Holy Spirit or to not be a host of His Holy Spirit.
This morning, I want to talk to you about hosting the Holy Spirit. I want to talk to you about allowing the Holy Spirit to take up a permanent residence in your heart, mind and soul. I want to talk to you about what it means to allow the Holy Spirit to live in you and what that will do for your life and for the lives of those around you. This morning, let’s see at what it means to Host the Holy Spirit.