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July 10, 2005

“Understanding the Holy Spirit part 3”

July 10, 2005.  Pastor Matt

(How to hear from the Holy Spirit part 1)


Last two weeks:

-         We are not alone.  The Holy Spirit lives in us.

-         The Holy Spirit is our Guide so we must surrender to Him.

-         The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, helps us understand spiritual things, talks/compels you to do things, and reminds you who you are


Five ways we hear from the Holy Spirit:


1. We get ourselves ready to hear from Him.


Acts 15:28


-         we can think, plan, discuss what the best options are, but ultimately it must be OK with the Holy Spirit


Matthew 26:39.  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

-         Jesus followed the Holy Spirit’s guidance, even to death


Matthew 6:9-10.  This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

-         Life is not about us




How do we get our hearts ready to hear from Him?

We do not come to Him with an agenda

That means…

-         What we pray for is not as important as our willingness to obey Him


-         We can ask God to do something specific, but we must be willing to accept it if He does something different than what we wanted


-         Truly mature praying involves letting God know what is bothering you and then asking Him to show you what He wants you to do.


o       It is saying, “I have an idea what to do here, but I want to make sure this is what you want me to do, because what I want to do is not always what you want to do.”


-         Admit that when things do not always work out the way you wanted them to, be willing to admit that your timing was wrong or you misunderstood God’s will


Object lesson……paper bags


-         We did not create the object, we discovered it’s use and used it accordingly.


 Psalm 46:10a.  Be still, and know that I am God;

-         The entire chapter is about God being our refuge in the midst of a storm, but we have to trust that He knows what He is doing



Matthew 6:25-34.  (33).  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

-         God wants to provide for you, He wants to guide you, but He wants us to seek His will/kingdom


It is all about putting your trust and control in Him.  (after all that is the Christian walk)



If you cannot put your heart in “Neutral” then don’t bother trying to hear what God has to say because you are not ready to do what He says anyway.



Do not come to Him with an agenda, come to Him with an open heart, willing to go wherever He wants you to go and do whatever He wants you to do.



2. We look for the fruit.


Philippians 4:6-7.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit.  How does fruit happen in our lives? By walking with Him.


The absence or presence of peace is a great indicator of what the H.S wants you to do/ not do


What is peace? 


-         Quietness, tranquility, harmony, security

-         safety (solid ground verse top of lighthouse)

-         prosperity (people desire peace and will flock to it.  A church that makes decisions outside of peace is a church in turmoil.  God knows the hearts of everyone in the church, so if He is telling you to not do something you better listen.  The same is true for your family)

-         quietness, rest

-         set at one again (how you felt when you were away from someone you care about and the moment you put yourself in each others arms)

-         to know within yourself ultimately that everything is going to be OK



Practical examples:


In a marriage, if both of you are being led by the Spirit, both of you should be at peace with a decision. 


In a church, those who are walking with the spirit should be in unity/unanimous peace about the direction




Having/not having peace about our decisions means three things:


A. When the Holy Spirit gives us peace about something, we need to move forward with it, even if it does not make sense at the moment


B.  When the Holy Spirit does not give us peace or removes our peace, we do not need to move forward. 


Romans 14:23.  everything that does not come from faith is sin.



We need to go back to doing the last thing God told us to do that brought us peace (the last thing we know He told us to do).


C.  We must hold on to our peace even when others are telling us what we are doing is wrong.



What about the other fruit?


Galatians 5: 22-26. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith fulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.



Decisions made/advice given when the fruit of the spirit is not present are decisions that should not be taken seriously





Have you been trying to tell God what to do but now realize you need to come to Him with an open heart ready and willing to do whatever He tells you to do?


Have you made a bad decision that you did not have peace about and now you need to seek His guidance about what to do next?


Has the Holy Spirit been telling you to do something for a while now, even though it may not be an easy thing to do, and you want prayer?


Do you need Jesus? 




*Please note that the general direction of this sermon was taken from a book titled The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life by Charles Stanley.