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20th June 2024


Responding to the Holy Spirit

God’s Spirit lives in the believer (Romans 8:9) & His desire is that every Christian is ever being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:17-19).
This requires our continuing & constant trust, obedience & submission unto the Holy Spirit’s leading & guiding.
This is the best way, the divine design, of how to respond to & walk in step (Galatians 5:25) with the Holy Spirit. SELAH
It is however possible to reject the will of God for your life & also to resist the Holy Spirit.
It is not something we want to do but we see clear examples of this in Scripture as a warning to us.
This will be our focus for today so that we can hear & heed. SELAH


But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. Luke 7:30

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Acts 7:51 NKJV


The vast majority of the Jewish religious leaders repeatedly rejected the will of God for themselves.
They refused to accept John the Baptist & his message. No way they were submitting to that baptism by an underling!!
Following that they refused to believe who Jesus was & they consistently rejected & would not follow or obey His teaching.
They hardened their hearts & shut up their ears & eyes to what Jesus was saying & doing.
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, also highlights how they, like their ancestors, habitually resisted the Holy Spirit.
They had the outward physical circumcision of the flesh but there was no inner circumcision of the heart & spirit.
An outward sign but no inner transformation (Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4). SELAH
They therefore missed out on & passed up the purpose of God for their lives!!

Circumcision of the heart comes through submission, surrender & obedience unto God (Romans 2:27-29; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11).
Opening our hearts & spirits, eyes & ears – all of our being – to the Lord’s will, word & ways.
Removing (at times ruthlessly) those things (foreskins) that get in the way of following the Lord.
This is how we learn from the examples of those who have rejected God & resisted His Spirit.
We repent of & turn back from our stubborn, rebellious ways & bend our wills unto the lord. SELAH
Their loss can be our gain if we will hear & heed the warning (1 Corinthians 10:1-11)!!
Do not rebel against & reject the Lord & do not resist the Holy Spirit.

We are of a different spirit (Numbers 14:24) than the ancient people of Israel & the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.
We are those who are to resist the devil (James 4:7) and not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is for responding to.
We must therefore beware of any stubbornness of heart, sight & hearing in our lives.
Following the example of Christ by submitting & surrendering unto the Lord in all our ways.
Developing a healthy appetite for the Holy Spirit & a sharp sensitivity to His leading & guiding. SELAH
Not my will but yours be done oh Lord. Hallelujah!!

For Reflection

  • Is there any stubbornness or self-sufficiency present in my life?
  • Am I sensitive & responsive to the Spirit’s promptings?
  • Meditate upon how we can learn from those who have gone before us, even when they have failed.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that have a will & purpose for my life,
And that You reveal it through Christ, Your Son & my Saviour, & the Holy Spirit who lives in me.
Jesus, thank you for Your example of submission & surrender,
Give me daily help & strength to yield myself unto the Lord’s will, word & ways.
Holy Spirit lead & guide me in the divine dance & purpose for my life,
Teach & train me to be ever more sensitive to Your promptings unto me.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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