Keep in step with the Spirit!

Spirit

Have you ever read through the New Testament account of the mighty and powerful way God moved in the early church and had a sense of longing for that kind of Holy Spirit fire in the church today?  Have you noticed how in the early church miracles were an everyday occurrence and lives were impacted by God through His people in ways that forever changed their lives?  Have you ever wondered why God is not moving in the same way through the church today?

Our Vision at Washington Church is to connect to the heart of God individually, together and in the community.  Sounds good on paper.  Very holy.  Very appropriate!  I’m sure God must be proud.  But without actions they are just pompous empty words.  Without movement and momentum they are just dry and decayed lifeless desires.

Where does the passion and the power, the motivation and momentum to love God and love His people come from?

So what is missing in the Church today?  What can we do to bring life to the vision God has given us to connect with His heart personally, as a church family, and impact the community with the life altering message of the love of God?

If I were to ask you what you want for your life what would you say?  I’d like to grow in my love for God and others.  I want to grow in my understanding and experience of God’s love toward me.  I’d like to grow in joy.  I’d like to grow in peace.

If I were to ask you what is your desire for your Church what would you say?  I’d like our church to… “Grow?”  Likely you would say something like this.  I’d like our church to grow.  I’d like us to grow in numbers.  I’d like us to grow in our love for one another.  I’d like to see growth in the number of spectators getting involved in using their gifts to serve the church and the community.  I’d like to see us grow in our outreach to the community where we are showing God’s love and shining His light.  I’d like our church to grow in spiritual fervor!  May God kindle a fire in us that moves us to action, that we might begin as a congregation to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of us!

So what needs to change?  What needs to change in us that we might have that passion needed to move us toward a heartfelt love and hunger for the living God?  What needs to change in us that we might have a passion for the people of this world for whom Christ died?

Where does the passion and the power, the motivation and momentum to love God and love His people come from?

It doesn’t come from our hearts.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

We know that!  We desire to be the people God created us to be but our hearts don’t always follow.  Our spirits are willing but our hearts are so, so week.  We love the idea of loving God heart, soul, mind, and strength but sadly too often it remains only an idea.  We desperately need a heart change.

It doesn’t come from our minds.

We have such a hard time with putting into practice the command from Colossians 3:2 where the Apostle Paul instructs us saying, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Paul says in Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

The question for us today is this: If our hearts are desperately sick and our minds are need of renewal than where does the passion needed to fulfill God’s vision come from?

The answer, as we will explore today is this: The passion need to fulfill God’s mission comes not from our own hearts and minds, but from living in relationship with God the Holy Spirit.

Pastor John Bavere says that the Holy Spirit is the most ignored person in the church today.  Have you ever considered that?  We go through our lives at home, at work, and in the community and for the most part we are in our own little self-absorbed bubble.  Then all of sudden something from outside of our bubble encroaches on our peace, safety, or comfort and we suddenly become very holy.  We begin to pray.  The point is not that we can’t pray in our greatest times of need but that God is with us all the time, in every situation, in every joy, and in every struggle.  He is with us as we are getting ready for our day, on the drive to work, when we are on the phone, and checking email.  He is with us when we are visiting family, enjoying our lunch, or just reading a book.  God is with in everything we do big or small.  Yet for the most part He is largely ignored.

Where does the passion and the power, the motivation and momentum to love God and love His people come from?

“The passion and the power, the motivation and momentum to love God and love His people, to connect to His heart individually, together, and in the community comes from living in relationship with the Holy Spirit.”

Galatians 5:16-26 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

When we understand the Holy Spirit is a person :

We walk by the Spirit: Walk by the power, influence, and direction of the Spirit.   Live day by day enjoying His presence, learning from Him, being empowered by Him

We are led by the Spirit: We follow His leading what to say, and what not to say, what to do and what not to do

We bear the fruit of the Spirit: He begins to grow in us and produce fruit that is a blessing to us and others through us

We live by the Spirit: It becomes a way of life

We keep in step: This is a picture of intimacy.  We can only keep in step with someone we are walking very closely with.

We have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires: 1 Corinthians 15:31b “I die every day.”

Many of us today need to die to our:

  • Discontentment
  • Anger
  • Pride
  • Hurt
  • Jealousy
  • Fears
  • Sin

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Walking in the Spirit brings Freedom:

  • In our minds, thoughts, emotions
  • In our marriages and family relationships
  • In our homes, work places, and in our communities

“Let’s begin experiencing the passion and power, motivation and momentum of God working through us in the Holy Spirit!”