The Wind of the Spirit
One of my favorite chapters in the Word is John 14. Why don’t you turn there. As you’re getting there I want to let you know that I don’t consider myself the expert on this subject by any means. I just really wanted to share some scripture and a few experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned from them. John 14:12 12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” 22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?” 23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. 25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. 27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe. Notice how Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will be IN us. He makes it clear that this is a 2nd experience after salvation. These disciples already knew who Jesus was – they had accepted Him as Lord and Savior – they were saved! Peter said “You are the Messiah” Jesus confirmed that Peter was right and that they finally got it. So now, Jesus is seeing that the cross is drawing near and so He reiterates to His disciples “Don’t forget about the Holy Spirit” and later we hear Him telling them “Go… pray… wait for the Holy Spirit … wait for the gift” Because He knew that when we DO receive the Holy Spirit, we’ll go out into the world and continue what He started – healing the sick, preaching salvation, casting out demons and so on. If you notice, Jesus is really linking two subjects hand in hand in this chapter – 1. Obeying God and 2. Receiving the Holy Spirit. He goes back and forth a few times in the same little teaching saying “If you love Me, you’ll obey… The Father will give you the Holy Spirit. He will lead you into ALL TRUTH…” He will help you – in other words. HE will guide you. In When we are lead by the Holy Spirit, we are able to obey God’s every command. When we ignore the Holy Spirit’s voice, we’ll #1. Miss out on that intimate relationship with God and #2. We’ll withhold God’s power from the world. You and I are to be LIFE of Jesus personified on earth. Jesus made that clear. He said “You will do even greater things because I’m going to the Father.” Jesus wanted us to continue what He started. He wanted His disciples and US to get it – to take the baton and run with it. He doesn’t want us to do what most believers do – and that is simply accept the gift of salvation but ignore the gift of the Spirit and His power working in our lives. Let’s back up in this chapter now for a moment and look at verses 8-10. 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.” Now what did we say about the Holy Spirit a few minutes ago? Jesus made it clear that the Holy Spirit will be in us. The Holy Spirit is meant to be for us, exactly who He was for Jesus. The Holy Spirit was IN Jesus in full measure and the Holy Spirit is meant to be IN US so that we can allow God the Father to do HIS work through us. Let me rephrase this because you can’t miss this today. The same Holy Spirit that lead Jesus and instructed Jesus is meant to be IN US so that we can allow God the Father to do HIS work through us! So again, God’s goal here is that HIS WILL would be accomplished on the earth… and that happens when we submit to the Holy Spirit. When we ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us and when He does, we listen and obey. So now I’ve set a premise, I just want to tell you a few stories of things that have happened to me so we can just learn from experience here on HOW to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice and obey. In my experience, the Holy Spirit will speak in a variety of ways. And when I was preparing, I asked God to give me an easy way for all of us to remember some of these ways and I believe I heard the Lord’s Spirit say “I’m like the wind.” Following the Holy Spirit is like trying to follow the wind sometimes! As you can imagine, that would be difficult to actually follow every change in the wind! But what is the wind like? You can’t see it, but it’s definitely there and you can feel it’s gently nudge or a strong gust of wind – it’s like you can’t see it coming but when it does hit you, you know it immediately and you have a choice to either walk in the direction of the wind or walk against it – ignoring it completely. So I just want to encourage everyone to follow the wind of the Spirit. The second He speaks, obey and you’ll start to see the miraculous in your life. So I’m going to give you an acrostic here for the word WIND – and from my experiences, the Holy Spirit has spoken to me in these ways. Word – One word. I remember one of the first times I had ever stepped out in faith like this was in Bible college – It was maybe my first or second year and we were in service – in worship and I looked over, saw a girl sitting down and one word came to me “unique” I wasn’t asking God to speak to me. I wasn’t saying “God what do you want to say?” Which those are great prayers that we should be praying but I’m just letting you know – that like the wind – I didn’t see it coming but when it did, I felt it. So I wrestled with it a few minutes then I finally gave into the wind and just went over and said “You know, I just think God wants you to know that you’re unique” She started balling and when she finally stopped crying she said “All day, I’ve been looking around at other girls saying “I’m just like everyone else and there’s nothing special or unique about me at all!” She was so blessed by that and for the first time I felt like “WOW. God just spoke through me. That was cool!” It felt good – it felt right. It felt like – “hey, this is how Christianity is supposed to be.” The same way that there’s an ease in going in the same direction of the wind, there’s an ease and peace that comes to you when you’re obeying the wind of the Holy Spirit – when you’re doing what He says the moment He says to do it. And I believe the opposite is true. When we are ignoring the Holy Spirit’s voice, and ignoring our time with God on a regular basis, there’s a striving and exhaustion that comes to your life instead of a peace and ease in doing God’s work. One other quick story on this – I had just been teaching our teens about being lead by the Holy Spirit and one of our girls, Monica, was at the mall and she felt God wanted her to tell a girl that she was beautiful. She just kept thinking of the word “beautiful” when she’d look at this girl so she obeyed God’s voice, went over and said “I think God wants me to tell you that you’re beautiful.” She started crying and was so thankful! Instruction Sometimes God will give you clear instructions on what to say and where to say it and how. In fact, in Mathew, Jesus warns his followers about people taking them into courts and judging them and He says “don’t worry about what to say. Your Father in heaven will tell you what to say…” In the same way, I believe that when we are listening to God’s voice, He’ll sometimes give us clear instruction as to what to do and how. I want to back to some of my early experiences of this stuff. I was in Bible College and it was maybe my 2nd semester and our class hadn’t started yet because our teacher felt like we should just pray for a while. Now I’m going to tell you the unabridged story – the whole truth and nothing but the truth! I remember waking up late that day and barely making it to class on time and when I walked in and saw everyone walking around in prayer I remember thinking “are you kidding? I rushed out of the house to get here and now we’re not even starting class on time!?” (remember, I was young – don’t look at me like you’ve never had an unspiritual moment in your life! =) It’s funny, because I was actually really perturbed! So I gave in and just started walking around trying to pray even though I really didn’t want to. I had worked ‘till 1:30am again the night before at Wendy’s. Out of nowhere, God gives me clear instruction to go up to the front, grab the microphone and say this “If anyone in here is barren and can not have children, come up to the front, God is going to heal you.” I’m like WHAT!?!?! God, I know you did not just say that! I know you did not just ask me to do that! I’m like “God, everyone in here is about 20 years old, single, not having sex, so they wouldn’t even know if they can have kids or not…!” I finally obeyed – I told the teacher what I felt God wanted me to do and he gave me permission to do it – I grabbed the mic and said “I know this sounds crazy… but… This girl comes running up to the front – started crying uncontrollably and said that she had just gone to the doctor the day before and he said that she was missing one of her ovaries and that she’d never be able to have children… we prayed, we felt God’s power touch and heal her and it was awesome!!! Nudge Sometimes God will just give you a nudge – like a small bump towards doing something. You don’t have clear instruction – you don’t even have a word, but you know you’re supposed to start walking. Let me tell you of a story where I disobeyed first then I’ll mention one where I obeyed. =) I KNOW that I missed God about 6 months ago at the BP gas station in Cortland… Now a time when God nudged me and I obeyed. In Mexico, we were doing a VBS for the kids and I wasn’t involved at the moment and a certain women caught my eye. She was sitting on the ground with her friend just watching the kids and I felt that I was supposed to go talk to her. It was just a nudge from God. I wasn’t sure what I was going to say or anything. We started talking – getting to know each other a bit then God revealed to me that she was being beat – physically abused by her husband. I asked her if she was and she wouldn’t look at me – she didn’t want to talk about it. I kept asking – I must’ve asked 10 times. Are you sure you’re not getting beaten by your husband? Then finally the tears began to pour down her cheeks. I told that she’s got to get out of that situation immediately and not to live her life like that. We prayed with her, loved on her and God really showed her how much He loved her that day! We told the local pastor about it and asked him to help follow-up. What we’ve got to learn here is that God will fill our mouths with all the words if we’ll just get up and walk over to the person we know God wants to speak to. Remember, this is a faith walk. And faith is the evidence of thing unseen or unknown. We’ve got to get up and walk towards the person sometimes and we don’t even know what we’re going to say! God wants us to live like Jesus lived – knowing the real heart and thoughts of people sometimes so you can minister to them how they REALLY NEED ministered to. I think, without the Holy Spirit, we just pray for things that aren’t really the heart-issues – the real problems, and it’s just like putting a little band-aid over a gashing wound. Dream or Vision I want to share one story on this subject of getting a dream or a vision. And I know many of you could shares stories just like this – I’ve heard them from some of you so don’t buy into this lie that “well, I’m not a pastor, so I can’t hear from God like that…” or “well, I’m not as Spiritual as Pastor Mark or Pastor Jordan so I can’t…” Listen, I am NO MORE SPIRITUAL than you. My calling is just different. But I struggle with the same sins that you do and I need the same grace every day that you need and I’m trying to do God’s will in life just like you. So don’t make any excuses as to why God can’t use you. God CAN use anything and anyone He wants! So I was at a conference about 2 months ago where we were challenged to go out and minister to people on the lunch break at the local restraints or stores or mall or wherever and just say whatever God tells us to say. So a few of us went to Waffle House and I just said “ok God what do you want to say?” And after a few minutes one person caught my eye and I just saw a vision of her as a little girl sitting on her bed crying because she had no father. And I KNEW that it had really happened – that she grew up without a father. So I was unsure about how to say it or when to say it or even WHAT TO SAY NEXT! =) But, wouldn’t you know it, when we went to pay for our meals, she came to the cash register. I paid and just said “Can I tell you something? I think God wants you to know that He is the Father you never had.” She looked totally stumped and just said “I…never had a father growing up.” Her friend looked at her like “how did he know that?” or “Is this guy freaking you out!?” So I didn’t go into a salvation plea right then and there and sometimes that’s the right thing to do, but I just felt like that was my part to do for her life – that was my seed to sow – to just say that one thing. And maybe a week later, another Christian will come in and tell her the same thing or something else the Holy Spirit speaks and she give her heart to God – who knows. But we’ve all got to be listening and obedient so when the wind blows, we’ll feel it and go with it. I had a vision in Mexico with very specific details and we tried to obey GOD and find that person in the vision and when we did – almost every detail lined up. We prayed for the young boy and really felt that God was beginning a healing process in him!