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The Discipline of Spirit Filled Living

Tagged With: / Psalm 119 - A Word Filled Life

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With every new year that begins we must make our plans and priorities for the coming year. To help us settle in on what the Lord desires for each of us, we have started this series to refresh our minds with God’s plan.

 

Our key passage for this series is I Timothy 4.7. Paul says we are to discipline our selves towards godliness. What are the disciplines that encourage a godly life? I call them The Disciplines of a Godly Life. The second discipline is the Discipline of Spirit Filled Living.

 

Last week we examined the Discipline of Scripture. Time alone with God in His Word, the Scriptures, is the great necessity of our spiritual lives. We need to be alone with God daily! We need to find times to get away alone.  Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 

The Lord God of the Universe wants to Arrange your life, and Accompany you trip through life, and authorize everything needed from now on. Wow, that is the best life there is.

 

The second Discipline of a Godly Life: Spirit Filled Living. Jesus explained the Holy Spirit in our lives by using the image of a strong river of water flowing out of us. Lets turn there to John 7.37-38. Rivers of water is the way Jesus describes the normal life of believers, His children.

 

  • Rivers of water would mean that when we were saved He flowed out of our lives making us joyous and thankful.
  • He flowed out of our lives making us so excited about all our sins being gone.
  • He flowed out of our lives so that when we read the Bible it seemed just like God was talking to us.
  • He flowed out of our lives making prayer was so natural and uncluttered. It felt like the stars overhead had parted and we were walking right into Heaven before God’s Throne. We just talked and walked with the Lord through. And each day it seemed like all of life was brand new.

And that is life as God made it to be with that mighty river of water flowing out of our lives. We were refreshed, we were victorious, we were rejoicing, we were serving joyfully. The Holy Spirit was flowing through our new lives like the rivers of water that flowed in that new house of ours. That is the life of a believer as God intended it to be.

 

Seven years ago through the love, prayers, and hard work of so many friends we moved into our very first new home of our lives. It was fantastic, especially considering the size of our family.

  • The bathtub was the size of our old plastic swimming pool, and easily held all three of the little buddies and all their toys in an ocean of warm water. In fact the water roared out of that new plumbing with a roar and flow that sounded an awful lot like the Niagara Falls. It seemed the water lines into our house were enlarged and very strong.
  • The washing machine was stainless steel, oversized and of such oceanic capacity — that any mountain of laundry would just disappear into that huge cavern. It was a small wonder to hear and see how fast the load would start as a torrent of water cascaded down upon the clothes like a geyser. It seemed like the water pressure into our house was like a fire hydrant.
  • The dishwasher was huge and once the dishes were parked in their spaces the roar of water and swishing was amazing. In fact it seemed that it started almost as soon as we shut the front because the water pressure of this new home was so strong.
  • And the shower. Whew, what an experience. Hot and strong came that flow. It was almost like we had built the house over Old Faithful the geyser. Just turn the handle and POW, out came the waterfall. What a shower.

 

But something happened one day the week before our first Christmas here in Tulsa. Bonnie noticed that the washer slowed down day by day until it took all day to just do one load. The dishwasher took 3 to 4 hours instead of 30 minutes. And the shower began to wilt, until the only way to get wet was to stand under the nozzle and even then it was pitiful.

 

At first it was a bother and then as the toilets, bath tubs and washers slowed to nearly a stop. We were horrified, our new home was ruined, it was broken plumbing we thought. A pipe burst in the slab or worse, the city waterline that ran under our cement approach to the garage. We had nightmare scenarios of backhoes and mud and a torn up lawn and yard as we called our builder. He smiled over the phone and said he knew exactly what was wrong.

 

In 15 minutes he arrived whistling and still smiling. While we wrung our hands showing him all the terrible non-functioning appliances and fixtures – he just smiled. And then after all our grief and disappointment at our new home was all spilled out he said to follow him. He walked to our coat closet a.k.a under stairs tornado closet a.k.a. kids hideaway and knelt down chuckling. He asked “Do you have any two or three year olds that play in here?” In a moment he stood and said, go try the shower. We ran and voila, Niagara Falls was back. He opened his hand and there was the small road shut off valve handle that one of our precious buddies had been slowly turning bit by bit each day until the rivers of water into our home were choked, quenched and closed out of the house.

 

Why am I giving you the My Old House show? Because the experience of the water slowly getting choked out of our home is so clearly a picture of what happens so often to so many believers!

 

Jesus talked about such a strong flow of water in a spiritual sense. Lets turn there to John 7.37-38. Rivers of water is the way Jesus describes the normal life of believers, His children.

  • Rivers of water would mean that when we were saved He flowed out of our lives making us joyous and thankful.
  • He flowed out of our lives making us so excited about all our sins being gone.
  • He flowed out of our lives so that when we read the Bible it seemed just like God was talking to us.
  • He flowed out of our lives making prayer was so natural and uncluttered. It felt like the stars overhead had parted and we were walking right into Heaven before God’s Throne. We just talked and walked with the Lord through. And each day it seemed like all of life was brand new.

 

And that is life as God made it to be with that mighty river of water flowing out of our lives. We were refreshed, we were victorious, we were rejoicing, we were serving joyfully. The Holy Spirit was flowing through our new lives like the rivers of water that flowed in that new house of ours. That is the life of a believer as God intended it to be.

Then slowly something happened. It seemed that we didn’t find God’s Word so exciting, and soon we hardly understood what we read each day. We also experienced troubles in prayer, it seemed we talked to ourselves and all those words just bounced around inside our heads.

 

That is exactly what happens when the water valve of our spiritual lives is twisted shut by sin. And that is what the Bible describes as Quenching and Grieving the Holy Spirit. We are let with the command to keep our lives filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to walk in Him, live through Him, bear fruit by Him, and overcome sin with Him as our Sword of the Word.

 

For all of our earthly life it is God’s Holy Spirit that is our lifeline for all that we need to make it. Because of this vital supply line that we share with Him we must protect our relationship. Why? Listen to Paul the great training coach of the winning lifestyle believers are to share. We must not hinder the Holy Spirit in our lives.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify (aorist active imperative) God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

Rather, we are to actively follow the Lord by reading the Word, praying, and obeying His will.

 

Galatians 5:16, 25 I say then: Walk (present active imperative) in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

But if we give in to sin (like the lying, bitterness, and course talking) by disobeying God, we aregrieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30)

 

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve (present active imperative) the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

 

A pattern of sin that we continue to do leads us further away from the vital ministry of the Holy Spirit as we quench the Spirit (1 Thes. 5:19).

 

1 Thessalonians 5:19  Do not quench (present active imperative) the Spirit.

 

Quenching does not mean that the Holy Spirit leaves us. We know this because Jesus promised that His Spirit would abide in us forever. But quenching means that the Holy Spirit  ceases to supply us the joy and power that we need for daily Christian living.

 

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

 

As believers we are commanded to stay filled with the Spirit, which simply means “controlled by the Spirit.”

 

Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled(present passive imperative) with the Spirit,

 

This is a continuous experience, like drinking water from a fresh stream (John 7:37–39).

 

John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink (present active imperative). He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

 

How Do We Quench the Spirit?

 

In[1] using the word quench, Paul pictured the Spirit of God as fire (see Isa. 4:4; Acts 2:3; Rev. 4:5). Fire speaks of purity, power, light, warmth, and (if necessary) destruction. When the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives and churches, we have a warmth of love in our hearts, light for our minds, and energy for our wills. He “melts us together” so that there is harmony and cooperation; and He purifies us so that we put away sin. The fire of the Spirit must not go out on the altar of our hearts; we must maintain that devotion to Christ that motivates and energizes our lives.

 

The[2] foremost ways that we quench the work of the Holy Spirit are these:

  1. We say no to something God directs us to do.We choose our will over His will. We choose to go our own way. The Holy Spirit can do nothing to help us and to keep us in the center of God’s plan and purpose for our lives if we willfully turn away from His leading and choose to pursue our desires and goals. He will not help us do something that He knows is contrary to God’s best for us.
  2. We can ignore His presence.Again, this is a matter of the will. We can go about living our lives and refuse to acknowledge His help, invite His help, or accept His help.
  3. We can sin repeatedly.Our sin causes the Holy Spirit to abandon any positive, forward-moving implementation for our blessing so that He might convict us of our sin. When we sin, we evoke the chastisement and chiding of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He cannot reward our unfaithfulness. He cannot participate in our rebellion. We quench His eager desire to produce good fruit in us, for us, and through us.

 

How[3] Can We Avoid Grieving the Holy Spirit?

 

  • We can choose to keep God’s commandments and to lead a disciplined life. When we sin, we must confess the sin immediately and repent of it, changing our minds and our behavior to conform to God’s statutes.
  • As we ask the Holy Spirit to lead us and help us on a daily basis, we have His help in our Christian walk. He keeps our footing sure. He gives us the courage to withstand temptation.

 

When we grieve (Ephesians 4.30) and quench (1st Thessalonians 5.19) the Holy Spirit there is an immediate impact upon THESE 7 KEY AREAS OF our lives:

 

  1. VICTORIOUSNESSRomans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  WE IMMEDIATELY LOSE OUR POWER TO SAY NO TO SIN.
  2. CONFIDENCERomans 8:12,14 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. WE INSTANTLY FEEL A LACK OF SPIRITUAL BOLDNESS IN OUR LIVES.
  3. ASSURANCERomans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, WE START FEELING LIKE WE AREN’T EVEN SAVED.
  4. PRAYERFULNESSRomans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. WE LOSE OUR CONNECTION AND FEEL OUR CALLS TO HEAVEN ARE ‘BREAKING UP’ LIKE BAD RECEPTION ON A CELL PHONE, BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR CARRIER OF OUR CALL SIGNALS.
  5. YEILDEDNESSRomans 12:1 I beseech (PARAKALEO one of the names of the Holy Spirit “Paraklete) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. WE STOP THE LIFE OF CONSECRATION AND DAILY SACRIFING FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.
  6. FRUITFULNESSGalatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, THE PRODUCTION OF ATTITUDE AND ACTION FRUIT THROUGH THE POWER OF GOD CEASES.
  7. JOYFULNESS1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, THE SPRINGS OF THE JOY OF THE LORD WHICH IS OUR STRENGTH – DRIES UP!

 

So how about it? Are you engaged in the discipline of Spirit Filled Living?

 

That is life as God made it to be with that mighty river of water flowing out of our lives. God wants us refreshed, God wants us victorious, God wants us rejoicing, God wants us serving joyfully. The Holy Spirit wants to flow through our new lives like the rivers of water that flowed in that new house of ours. That is the life of a believer as God intended it to be.

 

Discipline yourself for the purpose of staying filled with the Holy Spirit!

 

What Does the Holy Spirit Produce

in Lives Yielded to Him?

HE IS THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GOD Book of Acts ROMANS 1:3-4
HE IS THE LIBERATING SPIRIT OF GOD Clingen POWs ROMANS 8:1-4
HE IS THE TRANSFORMING & MORTIFYING SPIRIT OF GOD C. T. Studd ROMANS. 8:5-8, 12-13
HE IS THE QUICKENING SPIRIT OF GOD Eye on Sparrow ROMANS 8:9-11
HE IS THE GUIDING SPIRIT OF GOD Phillip Acts 8:4 ROMANS 8:14
HE IS THE ENCOURAGING SPIRIT OF GOD Barnabus Acts 4:36 ROMANS 8:15
HE IS THE ASSURING SPIRIT OF GOD Peter 2 P 1:16-21 ROMANS 8:16-17
HE IS THE HOPING SPIRIT OF GOD John Rev. 1:10 ROMANS 8:18-25
HE IS THE INTERCEDING SPIRIT OF GOD Epaphras Col. 4:12 ROMANS 8:26-30
HE IS THE SACRIFICNG SPIRIT OF GOD Paul II Tim. 4:6 ROMANS 12:1-2
HE IS THE GLADDENING SPIRIT OF GOD Apostles Acts 5:41 ROMANS 14:17; 15:13
HE IS THE OUTREACHING SPIRIT OF GOD Church Acts 8:4 ROMANS 15:16

 

 

 

Some amazing changes occur when God gets a hold of us.

 

  1. THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GODROMANS. 1:3-4 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. There are 31 different Greek words used in the book of Acts to describe the 160 different times of Christians verbally communicating the Good News about Jesus[4]. It is the Holy Spirit who energized them into action. This book is not the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES but of the HOLY SPIRIT!When we are walking in the Spirit we will be talking in everyday terms to everyday people about the most extroardinary event of all time. Jesus is to be a part of life.

 

  1. Secondly we met the Liberating Spirit in Romans 8. Has Jesus marched into your life and liberated you? Is there a vivid recollection that you can’t stop sharing? THE LIBERATING SPIRIT OF GOD Romans 8:1-4There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

 

  1. The third element of the Holy Spirit of God’s miraculous working. Do you remember the darkness of Africa in 1910 when CT Studd arrived? Remember the total transformation of those former demon worshiping cannibals? Sounds totally  impossible doesn’t it? It is apart from the work of God. THE TRANSFORMING SPIRIT OF GODRomans 8:5-8 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.Remember there are six practical action items to begin the MORTIFICATION process in your life. That word means, to throttle sin and crush it in our lives, sapping it of It’s strength, rooting it out, and depriving it of It’s influence. …Mortification involves the cultivation of new habits of godliness, combined with the elimination of old sinful habits from our behavior.[5] Each of these Biblical mortification commands are for us as Christians to obey. They are not something we pray for and wait. They are for us to actively grab a hold of and obey.

 

  1. THE QUICKENING SPIRIT OF GOD Romans 8:9-11But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Life giving Psalm 71 Eye on the Sparrow

 

  1. THE GUIDING SPIRIT OF GODRomans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Phillip best illustrates THE GUIDING SPIRIT OF GOD in Acts 8:4Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. The seven walks of Ephesians. This is the Spirit of Sonship. The use of Abba in the New Testament John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (KJV)

 

  1. THE ENCOURAGING SPIRIT OF GOD  Romans 8:15For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  Barnabus best illustrates THE ENCOURAGING SPIRIT OF GOD in Acts 4:36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,

 

  1. THE ASSURING SPIRIT OF GOD  Romans 8:16-17The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.    Peter best illustrates THE ASSURING SPIRIT OF GOD in 2 Peter 1:16-21 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. THE HOPING SPIRIT OF GOD  Romans 8:18-25For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.   John on Patmos best illustratesTHE HOPING SPIRIT OF GOD in Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,  Hope because we have `endless life’ Heb.7; Expectancy because `our citizenship is’ Phil.1:27
  2. THE INTERCEEDING SPIRIT OF GOD Romans 8:26-30Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Epaphras best illustrates THE INTERCEDING SPIRIT OF GOD in Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Hebrews 4:15-16  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)

 

  1. THE SACRIFICING SPIRIT OF GOD  Romans 12:1-2I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Paul best illustrates THE SACRIFICING SPIRIT OF GOD in 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.  it is He who comes alongside of us calling for all. The standard is total life consuming sacrifice

 

  1. THE GLADDENING SPIRIT OF GOD   Romans 14:17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Apostles best illustrates THE GLADDENING SPIRIT OF GOD inActs 5:41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
  2. THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GOD Romans 15:16that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. ROMANS. 15:16  Paul was a minister (leitourgos-public religious servant) He was ministering (hierourgeo-perform sacrifice as priest)   His ministry was presenting gentiles as an offering to God They were sanctified (higiasmene=set apart for divine service) Persecuted saints best illustrates THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GOD in Acts 8:4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

 

So the lives of the 1st Century Saints were stained by the irresistible beauty of the Holy Spirit. How did they get that way? Listen as Paul again explains the Walk in the Spirit in Romans 8:14-17.

 

 

 

[1]  Wiersbe, Warren W., The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) 1997.

[2]  Stanley, Charles, Relying on the Holy Spirit, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) c1996.

[3]  Stanley, Charles, Relying on the Holy Spirit, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) c1996.

[4] Robert Coleman, The Master Plan of Discipleship, p.88-89.

[5] John MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience, Dallas:Word, 1994, p. 156.

 
 
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