Summary: This is the fifth 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 they ways the Holy Spirit works in the lives of different individuals.
Is it intuition or the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit? This subject is extremely important but by the same token it can be extremely risky. Risky? We can go too far and read the Holy Spirit into every whim or hair brain idea that passes through our minds. To reduce these risks, many have gone to the opposite extreme of strictly confining the Spirit to doctrinal discussions. By doing this you definitely can avoid having to get too close to Him. The question is though, “Does God communicate with His people through the Holy Spirit?” I know…that question is really pushing the limits but if we honestly read Scripture we can’t help but ask it. What makes this difficult to sort out is that we will never know when, where or how exactly the Spirit will touch our lives. Solving this dilemma is beyond our ability and that is not the intent of this message. The purpose of this message is to honestly look at Scripture and discover the fact that God does often communicate with His people through those inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. Too often we have been guilty of crediting luck, intuition or coincidence with something that was actually the Holy Spirit. Our goal today is to develop a deeper personal connection with the Sprit. This will allow us to discover that besides those obvious workings of the Spirit, there are some more subtle ones that we miss. So decide for yourself, coincidence or the Spirit.
I. Understanding some basic truths about the Spirit’s work in our lives.
A. God’s Spirit is present everywhere.
1. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:7-10—NIV)
2. David shows that it is impossible to hide from the presence of God.
3. The Hebrew word used for Spirit is ruah and can also be translated wind.
4. Regardless of where we go we are still subject to the authority of God.
5. David does not view this as a negative; in fact He views this as a reason for hope.
B. When we understand how we were made, we will understand how we can hear that still small voice.
1. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14—NIV)
2. The creation of a human being is one of the most amazing divine acts in the universe.
3. Because of the care that God took in creating us we are wired to be able to know His presence.
4. We are created to be able to connect with Him and communicate with Him and hear when He communicates with us.
5. God has given us the ability to think, feel and choose and the Spirit uses this to communicate with us through His Word.
6. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12—NIV)
II. Four Examples of the Spirit’s unique work in an individual’s life.
A. During those times when we are desperate and feel all alone the Spirit provides hope and encouragement.
1. Elijah fresh off a mountain top experience where he overcame the prophets of Baal in a spectacular contest begins to melt in fear.
2. Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:1-4—NIV)
3. Later on in this chapter you see God ministering to His distraught and discouraged prophet in a very special way.
4. In fact God decided to reveal Himself to Elijah but notice something very important. God was not in the earthquake, violent wind or fire.