Key Text: Galatians 5:16-26
Fairy Tales always end …happily ever after. We cannot say just because things are not going well that we are out of the will of God and we cannot assume just because things are going well that we are in the will of God.
It would be fair to say that at some point most people have asked or offered up what most would call a prayer. What has been the common experience of us all whether much faith or no faith is that those asks, those prayers do not always get answered in the way we want…if at all. And it’s because of our personal experience that we are where we are now.
Some have proven God to be faithful and true. Others, your experience has led you to conclude there is no God. Still others, your experience has caused you to turn your back on God because you see Him as a cruel, vindictive, God detached from human affairs.
Having said this, some prayers are not answered because they simply oppose the laws of nature. Others go unfulfilled because they are opposed by Satanic powers. (God’s war next week) Still others go unanswered because they are opposed not by nature or even by Satan but by God Himself. Remember, Jesus only promised to answer our prayers when they are aligned with His Father’s will and purpose… your will be done.
Since the creation of the world, God’s relationship with us has been defined by specific requirements and promises. God tells us how He wants us to behave and also makes promises about how He will respond toward us in various circumstances. If we want to delight God, please God, access the blessings that He promises to give. It makes sense that we learn what the heart of God is.
The work of Holy Spirit is to show the active presence of God to the world but especially in the church. To know His heart is to have relationship and Holy Spirit is the one who makes possible the intimacy and nearness of ‘Abba’ father. Apart from Him (Outside of Holy Spirit) our souls are left stranded (disconnected from God) and desolate (empty & Unattractive).
Walking with God does not mean that we always sense His presence or know His will, our walk with Him is relational not sensational.
To truly abide in Him is an act of faith. Matthew 9:2 some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
The question is not how much Faith do we have? The question is what has He told us to do? Go, stay, stand, pray, ? And this comes back to how do we know what He is saying in order to obey Him? the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
It is not saying you can know the thoughts and intentions of another person.It is telling us that we don’t even know our own hearts and therefore need help. Holy Spirit and the Bible don’t reveal to shame but to invite.cThe Bible contains all the words of God that He intended us to have at each stage of His rescue plan for humankind.
It also contains all the words of God we need for our personal salvation, for trusting Him perfectly and for obeying Him perfectly.
We will never perfectly obey all of what the Bible says in this life James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. But what about those who aren’t so certain and still searching for truth?
What the Bible does is it allows us to focus our search for God’s words to us on the Bible alone and saves us from the endless task of searching through all the writings of Christians throughout history or through all the teachings of the church or through all the subjective feelings and impressions that come to our minds from day today in order to find what God requires of us. It brings a starting point focus:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Peter 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
In the Bible we can find all that God has said on particular topics and we can find answers to our questions.
James 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness (Humility) the implanted word, which is able to save (Sozo) your souls. Health/healing, emotionally, Physically, Spiritually The Bible is important because it is not just a word that is spoken but the Bible is a person (Heart of God) Understanding this each time we read it we are entering a relationship. We do not read the Bible to study we read it because it studies us, it’s a relational thing that is brought about through the presence of Holy Spirit.
We often study the Bible to reaffirm what we already believe, instead of reading the word to be transformed. It’s a living word, it’s alive, it’s Jesus in print.
The entrance to the Bible the word of God, is through Holy Spirit. Understanding Holy Spirit’s role in revealing the truths of the Bible, moves it from just being transactional (trying to get something) to relational (knowing that God wants to impart something of His heart to us)
Holy Spirit does not give revelation just to make us smarter, He is not that interested in how intelligent we are, He’s concerned about our Christ likeness. When He speaks it is always to effect a change in us, draw us closer to Him, equip us and enable us to discern and live out the will of God. Our job is to read the Bible and to say Amen! If it offends us then we need to adjust because God is not going to change.
Under the guidance and leading of Holy Spirit and the word it will:
Encourage us discover what God would have us think on an issue or do in a situation. This does not mean that the Bible answers all the questions that we might think up but it does mean that when we are facing a problem of genuine importance in our lives, we can approach scripture with the confidence that from it God will provide us with guidance for that problem.
It is the mercy of Holy Spirit to withhold insight and revelation to people who are not ready to obey. Because if He randomly just throws out revelation to everyone, He increases their accountability and responsibility and therefore increases their judgment. Holy Spirit therefore, with holds revelation not as punishment but out of His love for us in accordance with the condition of the heart.
Why? because the will of God is that 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfil His promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.
The is what opens our capacity to hear the voice of God.
Holy Spirit ignites our capacity to know the voice of God and then to respond
Jesus ultimately invites us to trust in His wisdom, love and power beyond our own limited capacity to understand.
He invites us and enables us through Holy Spirit to pray with Him the hardest and most powerful prayer of all ‘not my will but your will be done.’