Summary: The Holy Spirit is vital in the life of a believer. This is a message on the Fruit of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Workings of the Holy Spirit: Character and Gifts – March 5, 2017
When I was 16 years old, I had been living with serious depression for three years. I was using a lot of marijuana, which was only numbing the pain. It wasn't helping me make any progress in life. So I was pretty sad. At night time, I would sit on my bed and lean on the windowsill of the third-floor bedroom window at the back of my parents house.
It was dark outside, and I would look at a porch light that was perhaps for houses east of ours. I would talk into the air about my anxieties and fears and sadness. This became something I did nearly every night.
After a number of weeks doing this, I would finish my times doing this by saying: "I say this to the Lord inside". After a few more weeks, doing this most every night, I would finish what I was doing and I would say: "I pray this to the Lord inside".
You have to understand, I was not a believer in anything. I was far from being a Christian, from believing in God, far from any type of faith, or so I thought.
So, what was that? Just a bizarre, strange thing for my father’s youngest kid to do? No, that was the Holy Spirit wooing me. The Holy Spirit, who I had zero clue even existed was working in my life.
Flash forward three years. When I was 19, it had been two years since I excepted Christ into my life. I struggled with a lot of questions and doubt, as I’d been raised to have a very skeptical view of anything to do with God.
It didn't help that my family was relentless in trying to "unconvert" me. They thought I had joined a cult or was otherwise on a very dangerous road, being a Christian.
One night I went with some friends to an event where The speaker was talking about the Holy Spirit. He was talking about the work of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This was pretty much new information for me.
At one point there was an invitation to go forward and be prayed for. So after a while, I went forward.
The pastor prayed for me, and prayed that I would receive an infilling of the Holy Spirit.
I began to speak in tongues, for the first time. It was sort of weird, sort of incredibly peaceful. I was worshiping and I was praying and I was fixed on Jesus.
After that, every single doubt that I had entertained about Jesus, about the Christian faith, evaporated. If I had doubts anymore, they were doubts about myself, never about God.
What was that? Just some emotional experience? A fleeting, passing event that was to have no impact on my life?
No. It was the work of the Holy Spirit, bringing, along with one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, an incredibly deep and profound conviction about the truth of Jesus, the truth of the Bible and the importance of being a follower of Jesus.
I haven’t looked back in 37 years. March 15 will be my 37th year as a Christ follower. So no, it wasn’t a fleeting experience.
For the last Number of weeks we have been spending quite a bit of time looking at the Way of Jesus markers.
A number of us met a few Wednesdays ago for an introductory evening about the Way of Jesus platform, and those who are interested will be attending three Saturday sessions, one in April, one of May and one in June.
I thought it would be good to follow up that series, that Pastor Ron Farr completed last week, by looking at how it is that we are even able to consider following Jesus, following the Way of Jesus.
One thing that is for sure is that we cannot do it on our own. But if not on our own, then how?
After Jesus suffered and rose from the grave, he told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and to wait for the coming Holy Spirit.
They did that, and the Holy Spirit fell upon each of them as recorded in acts chapter 2. That was the beginning of the church.
And an important teachings of the early church, that remains vital still today, is the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Today we are going to spend some time reflecting on what the Holy Spirit does in the church, and in the lives of individual followers of Jesus, who collectively make up the church.
I’ve already shared a tiny bit of my story and how the Holy Spirit has worked in my life.