Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day 36 - The Perfect Holy Spirit

It is no wonder that Christ would leave us with His perfect Holy Spirit to reside within us. I love the fact that we don't have the Spirit hovering over us in a cloud as the Jews did in the days of the Old Testament. No, instead we have Him right inside us - He's there all the time, wherever we go! No wonder Christ could say that He would never leave us or forsake us!

I have heard messages preached on the fruit of the Spirit, but as I was searching out about the work of the Holy Spirit I discovered that there were seven different works that the Holy Spirit does for us. As the number seven symbolizes perfection, we can see that God's work is meant to be perfect - it is man's sin that stands in the way. We will lack nothing from God as His work is perfect. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deu 32:4)

Let's take a look at how the Holy Spirit of God works in our lives. Rom. 8:26-27, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (26) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (27)

1. He helps our infirmities: The Holy Spirit helps us and carries our burdens. In this case, He helps us with our weaknesses, both physically and mentally. Not all are to be physically healed (as in the cases of Paul, Timothy and Gaius) but all can be spiritually healed. I absolutely love the verse: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Mat 11:29) Christ promises rest for the soul (salvation) in this verse. The Holy Spirit draws us to Him and the result is help for our sin - salvation through Christ and the promised rest for our soul is given to us.

2. He makes intercession for us: Noah Webster's definition of intercession absolutely blesses the heart!

INTERCES'SION, n. [L. intercessio, from intercedo. See Intercede.]

The act of interceding; mediation; interposition between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation; prayer or solicitation to one party in favor of another, sometimes against another.

Your intercession now is needless grown;

Retire and let me speak with her alone.

He bore the sin of many, and made intercession

for the transgressors. Isa 53.

Compare Noah's definition with Merriam Webster's definition:

Main Entry: in·ter·ces·sion
Pronunciation: "in-t&r-'se-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin intercession-, intercessio, from intercedere
1 : the act of interceding
2 : prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another

Is it any wonder that the believer does not receive the blessing he would receive if he were to look up the definitions intended at the time the King James Bible was put into English? I glean so much more from the Word when I take the time to read the definitions as they were intended.

The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, my friend. He mediates to the Father for us. I can see Him tell the Father, "Father, Kate really needs a new winter coat. I don't think it's a good idea to give her a mink coat but I do believe that second-hand wool coat would provide her with great warmth!" Can't you see Him saying that? The Holy Spirit "interposes between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation" - We are at variance with the Father until we come to Him through Christ. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ with the goal to reconcile us to the Father! He prays to the Father in our favor, and sometimes against our favor. When we are praying for something the Spirit knows is not to our benefit, He will approach the Father against our favor. How beautiful a picture of praying in God's will. The Holy Spirit sees to it that our Heavenly Father is approached with the right kind of prayer on our behalf. How can we go wrong?

Notice how verse 26 goes on to say "for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." The charismatic groups use this in defense of speaking (praying) in tongues. However, the verse says "which cannot be uttered! The word utter means:

1. To speak; to pronounce; to express; as, to utter words; to utter sounds.

You've been there in your prayer life - a prayer request that you just don't know how to put into words or even how to pray for. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in. It does not mean that you are now going to speak or pray in an unknown tongue because verse 26 says that it is not "spoken, pronounced or that sound is not made." The Holy Spirit's work here on our behalf is to put into words to the Father what we are not able to do for ourselves. He prays it just right for us.

3. He searches the heart: The Holy Spirit searches our hearts for the reasons behind our prayers - our motives - He investigates every aspect and knows all there is to know. I picture Him with a flashlight going through the dark recesses of my heart where He finds what He is looking for. He is the ultimate investigator. He strives to prevent us from fulfilling this verse: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (Jam 4:3)

4. He teaches us: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luk 12:12) He is our teacher. He will put God's Word in our minds and hearts when we need it so that we know what to say when we need to say it.

5. He comforts us: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) Why would the Lord use the word "Comforter" in this sentence instead of Teacher? Have you ever been led to a verse in the Word when you were down hearted and it brought to you the comfort you needed desperately? I know I have. I think of Psalm 121 and how many times I have turned to that chapter in desperation only to walk away uplifted and encouraged. I can see why the Lord use the word Comforter here. The Holy Spirit brings to our memory the Word of God, where to turn to in the Word, what to read in the Word and what to glean from the Word. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. There's no greater comfort, my friend, than to possess the Spirit of God within us - the Spirit who stands ready to give us exactly what we need.

6. He draws us to Christ: To deny the Holy Spirit's calling is serious business. He draws us to Christ. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Mat 12:32) A person who says "no" to the final calling of the Holy Spirit for salvation is damned for all eternity. My Pastor stood by a dying man's bedside and absolutely begged him to get saved. This man kept saying, "I just can't"! He had denied Christ too many times that he had reached the point that he just couldn't be saved. If someone who is reading this devotional today is not saved, please keep this in mind. You can say you'll get saved "some" day. But that day may come and it will be too late for you. Please don't wait. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Cor 6:2)

7. He testifies of Christ: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26) The Holy Spirit verifies that Christ is the Son of God - the Second Person of the Trinity. How can He do this today? By the written and published Word of God - through witnesses beginning with the Apostles and those who saw Him in person! He can also use the Christian to witness to what Christ has done in his or her life. Noah Webster defines the word testify as:

TEST'IFY, v.t. To affirm or declare solemnly for the purpose of establishing a fact.

We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. John 3.

1. In law, to affirm or declare under oath before tribunal, for the purpose of proving some fact.

2. To bear witness to; to support the truth of by testimony.

To testify the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20.

3. To publish and declare freely.

Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20.

How blessed we are to have the perfect work of the Holy Spirit directing our path! It is complete - it is perfect - it is thorough! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Faithful

Lord, You've been so faithful in
those times I've cried to You.
You've answered so many prayers,
and made wondrous dreams come true!

You've always been there to guide me
when I wasn't sure what to do.
You gave me strength when I was weak,
and Your light came shining through.

I thank and praise You for Your gentle touch,
of reproof when I've gone astray.
You promised You'd never leave my side,
and You'd walk with me every day!


Devotional and poem by Kate Plourde

60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible

2 comments:

Jerry Bouey said...

That was an interesting devotional. Did you know that the phrase "holy Spirit" occurs seven times in our King James Bible?

Psalms 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

Isaiah 63:11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Very thorough; very good.

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