Summary: is the fourth message in a series that will be a journey of discovery to gain a better understanding of the Holy Spirit's power, presence and role....This message looks at how we often experience discomfort with getting closer to the Holy Spirit.

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The majority of Christians are extremely curious in regard to the Holy Spirit. We have heard accounts of people supposedly getting the Spirit. The vast majority of us over the years have received some vague teaching in regard to Him. However, if we were really honest we would have to admit that along with the curiosity there is a sense of discomfort whenever the subject is approached. Have you ever wondered why the subject of the Holy Spirit has the ability to cause such mixed emotions? Could it be that those awkward feelings are because we just don’t really understand Him? So far in this series we have seen that the Holy Spirit can do some pretty incredible things. In fact, you are probably wondering what the Holy Spirit could do in your life. Today, we want to get past the misinformation and fear that keeps us from really getting up close and personal with the Holy Spirit. Let me assure you that if you get closer to the Spirit, you won’t all of sudden get weird and start coming to worship with slithery reptiles. But you will begin to experience your spiritual life going to levels that you never imagined possible. Today, as we continue this journey of discovery, we will make a giant step toward getting closer to the Holy Spirit.

I. Intentionally moving beyond our fears.

A. There are many fears that people experience that keep them from getting closer to the Holy Spirit.

1. There are those who fear that they will be misunderstood or even mislabeled.

2. There are those who fear they will misunderstand the Scriptures and start believing the wrong things.

3. There are those who believe that a close relationship with the Holy Spirit is only for a select few.

4. There those who believe that the Holy Spirit really takes you to the edge and so they are afraid that they may make the wrong move and plummet over the edge.

5. There are those who have heard the horror stories of those who with limited understanding ventured into this uncharted territory and became a fanatic.

B. We need to put our fears and preconceived ideas aside as we draw closer to the Holy Spirit.

1. It is a lot more comfortable just to plant ourselves where we are and not venture toward discovering deeper truths.

2. The Holy Spirit wants to take us deeper and introduce us to a new dimension of the spiritual life.

3. God has made life to be an adventure not an exercise in maintaining the status quo and never taking a risk.

4. Are you ready to go deeper than ever before?

II. A closer examination of the Holy Spirit.

A. Understanding exactly what it means to filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5)

1. Paul opens Ephesians 5 by encouraging His readers to live a life that glorifies God by leaving their worldly life styles behind.

2. Paul provides us with quite an extensive list of behaviors that should not exist in the life of the believer.

a. Verse 3: Sexual immorality and greed.

b. Verse 4: Indecent or obscene language.

c. Verse 11: Worldly beliefs and behaviors.

d. Verse 18: Drunkenness.

3. In contrast to these behaviors Paul shows that the believer should live filled with the Spirit.

4. Those who are filled with the Spirit will find that their life has been enhanced with power, love and self control.

5. The Spirit enables us to live with wisdom and to be able to understand God’s will which is to live in the manner Paul has described here in Ephesians 5.

B. The Holy Spirit provides us with knowledge and discernment. (Acts 6)

1. As Luke begins chapter 6 the apostles are instructing that seven men be chosen to meet a need within the church.

2. These men are to be men who are known to have wisdom and are filled with Holy Spirit.

3. Stephen was one of those men chosen and he would go on to have an amazing ministry.

4. In verse ten we see that the Spirit gave Stephen such wisdom that no one could refute any of Stephen’s arguments.

5. When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:54-56—NIV)

C. Understanding exactly what the anointing of the Spirit is. (1 John 2)

1. In verse twenty John shows that the anointing of the Spirit enables the believer to be able to discern between what is true and what is not.

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