Summary: At times Christians know their theology of the Holy Spirit without sensing the miracle that lies within them
I believe that God’s Spirit can give us the opportunities to talk to others, if we just ask.
2. Another thing the Spirit can do is give us boldness in our witnessing
ILLUS: D.L. Moody walked down a Chicago street one day, he saw a man leaning against a lamppost. The evangelist gently put his hand on the man’s shoulder and asked him if he was a Christian. The fellow raised his fists and angrily exclaimed, "Mind your own business!"
"I’m sorry if I’ve offended you," said Moody, "but to be very frank, that IS my business!
Moody was bold. Why? I suspect it was because he had prayed before he went out on the street.
The problem for many of us is that we’re not usually that bold… particularly when we’re faced with rejection and anger. AND YET the Holy Spirit can give us boldness to witness in just right way in any given situation.
In Acts 4 we’re told of Peter & John having just been arrested, beaten and released – being severely warned to never preach about Jesus publicly again. They returned to meet with the church and they prayed: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:29-31)
Likewise, (if we let Him) the Holy Spirit not only can give us boldness, but He can help give us creative ways to witness.
ILLUS: Kind of like what happened with the Salvation Army woman who was informed by a policeman that a local ordinance would not allow her to ring her bells to invite contributions
The next day she was out on the street corner doing an even brisker business than ever before as she waved one sign and then another in the air. The signs said "ding" and "dong."
If we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us… we can overcome any obstacle in our way
IV. Let me review:
The Holy Spirit is the power of God that lies within us. And He can assist in our witnessing:
By guiding us to people we can talk to
By giving us boldness to speak to others
AND by working in the hearts of those we care about to convict them of their personal sin, their need for righteousness, and the real possibility of the coming judgment.
Thus, we need to:
PRAY that God’s Spirit prepares the hearts of people we want to talk to
TRUST the Holy Spirit to do His part
LISTEN for God to guide you to people to speak with
And SPEAK about what God has done and what He means to you.
A skeptic promised British preacher Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) that he would attend his church for four Sundays on which Maclaren would be presenting the main tenets of Christianity. The skeptic listened intently to Maclaren’s sermons. After the fourth message he presented himself for church membership, saying he had received Christ as his Savior.
Maclaren was delighted and could not resist the impulse to ask which of the four sermons brought him to this decision. The skeptic replied, "Your sermons, sir, were helpful, but they were not what finally persuaded me." He said that after church one Sunday as he was helping an elderly lady on a slippery walk, she looked up into his face and said, "I wonder if you know my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is everything in the world to me. I would like you to know Him too."