Summary: God has called us to be constantly fanning the spiritual flames inside us, and it is up to us to train ourselves to make the Spiritual Disciplines part of our routine, or lifestyle.
Yielding to the Holy Spirit
One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the evil that was going on. He decided to send an angel down to Earth to check it out. So he called one of His best angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.
When she returned she told God, yes it is bad on Earth, 95% is bad and 5% is good.
Well, he thought for a moment and said, maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another point of view.
So God called another angel and sent her to Earth for a time too.
When the angel returned she went to God and told him yes, the Earth was in decline, 95% was bad and 5% was good.
God said this was not good. So He decided to E-mail the 5% that were good and He wanted to encourage them, give them a little something to help them keep going.
Do you know what that E-mail said? Oh, you didn’t get one either, huh?
As we wind down in our series on the Spiritual Disciplines, I would like us to see today’s message as the first of three final steps of living the life that is Spiritually Disciplined.
Fortunately for us, God has sent us something better than an encouraging email. He has sent us The Holy Spirit.
Today’s message is titled “Yielding to the Holy Spirit”. Last week we highlighted this point in Spiritual Discipline; today I’d like to dive deeper and discover what that means to each believer on a practical level.
1. The Stage is Set
As believers, we all need a reminder from time to time that we have been given access to the power of the Holy Spirit from the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Acts 2:1-4 (NLT)
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
Here we see the moment when everything changed! God’s Spirit has come to live in all believers permanently!
A. Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Question: Do we have to have an experience just like Acts 2 to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit? NO! These disciples had the unique experience as the Holy Spirit came down to live in believers for the first time. Special Effects!
The fact that our experience will be different should not limit our expectations of how the Holy Spirit will work in our lives:
“Can’t do it that way.” - God does things the way he chooses
“It has to happen this way.” – You may not have an “Acts 2”
“The person of God comes into our lives through His Spirit.”
Billy Graham once wrote:
“All believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit. This does not mean, however, that they are filled or controlled by the Spirit. The important thing is the great central truth—When I came to Christ, God gave his Spirit to me.”
1 Corinthians 12:13 (NASB)
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Think of the difference between salvation and sanctification: Salvation is the starting point; when we are saved through grace.
Sanctification is the next and continual process of spiritual growth – The Outward Sign of an Inward Work!
It’s the same here, when we repent and receive Christ as Lord, God’s spirit comes upon us, but it is not the end! It is quite literally setting the stage for a new life of living for God.
Galatians 3:26-27 (NLT)
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is something God does for us in establishing our relationship with Jesus Christ. The filling of the Holy Spirit is the daily yielding to the Holy Spirit’s control.
2. Yield to the Holy Spirit
I want to present to you a word to keep in mind in regards to the daily “filling of the Holy Spirit”.
yield: give way to arguments, demands, or pressure
• [ trans. ] relinquish possession of (something); give (something) up
• [ trans. ] cease to argue about
• (esp. in a legislature) allow another the right to speak in a debate :