SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD
2 Cor. 3:3 Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
God, Jesus, Holy Spirit—the triune One has many names. We are going to focus on the Spirit of the Living God today but not before I tell you a true story.
I was 19, loving both life and Jesus. I had joined our youth group in an all-night wake-a-thon to raise money for hungry children. The next morning we all headed out knowing that we had 12 more hours to make our 36 hour goal. I felt oddly energized by the night of praying, singing, and praising God and not in the least bit tired. The Spirit of the Living God felt palpable.
I headed down town to run some errands and was walking up the sidewalk when a young man flashed a smile then asked if I would go for coffee with him. I laughed and kindly declined. He was persistent.
"What? It's coffee," he said. "Nine in the morning, and I don't see a ring. So what's the problem."
I kept moving and threw over my shoulder. "Just don't coffee with strangers. Have a great day though."
"Your loss," He yelled back as he ducked into the coffee shop.
I smiled and kept walking.
"Go have coffee with him." As clear as the bright sun shining down on me that day, I heard the Spirit speak into my soul. I kept walking.
"Go have coffee." This time the thought grew louder.
"You want me to have coffee with a perfect stranger God?"
I have to admit that obedience held a measure of embarrassment. I'm sure my face turned fifty shades of red when I entered that coffee shop. His eyes lit up, and a smile split across his face as I slide in the chair across from him. Neither him, nor I, knew what was about to happen …
Now that experience was all about listening to the Spirit of the living God and watching a supernatural appointment unfold. I have many more stories to tell of how the Spirit of the Living God has shown up in my life over the years. The Spirit speaks, then I have a decision to listen, or not. Most times I get to see a God moment unfold, however, there are times a kind word, a 10 dollar bill, or a hug may be only God's business. Some of the things God has asked me to do, I did not want to do. My flesh went kicking and screaming, but God's Spirit working through me, triumphed. The Spirit has never steered me wrong.
The key to this lifestyle, is listening to the Spirit—tuning our frequency to His. Success is not automatic it takes a conscious decision.
We call out to God quite easily in distress, (as we should) but we forget we have the Spirit of the Living God in us during our everyday routine. He wants to take the mundane and spice it up.
- Did you know that the Holy Spirit is powerful, it is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead? Rom.8:11 "The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Wow! I need that power every day, don't you?
- Did you know we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise and have a guaranteed inheritance Eph. 1:13 You are HIS. You are LOVED. You have an inheritance in HEAVEN.
- Did you know we can grieve the Holy Spirit? Eph 4:30-32 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."
- Did you know we are to be filled with the Spirit? Eph. 5:18 "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation: but be filled with the Spirit." The best high is living for God, unashamed, unconstrained, and uninhibited.
- Did you know that we are the temple of the Spirit of the Living God? 1 Cor.3:16 It matters how we take care of, or what we do in our bodies.
- Did you know that if we are led by the Spirit of the Living God, we are His sons and daughters? Rom. 8:14 How wonderful!
- Did you know there is great power found in our faith? Eph. 1:19 "And His incomparably great power for us who believe. The power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted In Christ when he raised Him from the dead.
… So back to the rest of the story.
I entered the coffee shop, filled with the Spirit of the Living God but no clue as to why I was there.
I started talking about how God had told me to turn around and have coffee with him. I will never forget his groan and how his head dropped into his hands.
"I can't get away from God no matter how hard I try," he cried.
As his story unfolded, he admitted he had been literally running from God, his Christian upbringing, and what God wanted Him to do with his life. He lived thousands of miles away in the States and had made his way up to the little town of Kelowna, BC, Canada living off the money his rich parents had all too readily supplied.
He met me that sunny Saturday morning by coincidence ... Oh NO. He thought it was my flashing black eyes that drew him, but I knew it was the Spirit of the Living God.
I laughed and started sharing how God will never let him go. The minute I opened my mouth the Spirit took over.
By the time our three-hour coffee was over, he had made a decision to head home and embrace this God who loved him enough to pursue him. I went on my way—high on the power of One much bigger than I. The Spirit of the Living God had used little old me to speak into the heart of a prodigal son. ( I can't wait to meet him in heaven someday.)
So, I encourage you to do two things this week.
1) If you've been a Christian for a while, ponder all the stories from your past where the Spirit of the Living God showed wisdom and knowledge; or gave power, strength and love. Let this truth saturate your soul, lest we forget how great a God we serve.
2) Invite the Spirit of the Living God to show up today in some tangible way. Pay attention to who He may want you to speak to, or help, or show love to. Then in faith, expect Him to enlist you, for you have the Spirit of the Living God within.
I'd love to hear your story in the comments. Let's encourage each other in the faith.
My prayer for you is this old chorus remixed in a powerful rendition by Phil Wickham called Spirit of the Living God. Let the simple words wash over you and pray them as you sing.
Spirit of the Living God, Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God, Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, Mold me, Fill me, Use me,
Spirit of the Living God, Fall afresh on me. Amen
All Scripture taken from the NKJV
Other Names of God that may encourage you can be found on the following dates.
1) Elohim-God - October 1, 2018 2) Abba Father - October 15, 2018 3) El Shaddai - October 22, 2018 4) The Truth - October 28, 2018 5) The Alpha & Omega - Nov. 5, 2018 6) Jehovah-Shalom - Nov. 12, 2018 7) God of All Comfort - Nov. 19,2018 8) The Rock - Nov. 26, 2018 9) Our Maker - Dec. 3, 2018 10) Our Defender - Dec.10, 2018 11) Immanuel - Dec. 17, 2018 12) The Bread of Life - Jan. 7, 2019 13) Jehovah-Nissi - Jan. 14, 2019 14) Jehovah-Rohi - Jan. 21, 2019 15) The Lord Jehovah - Jan. 28, 2019 16) Deliverer - Feb. 4, 2019 17) Spirit of the Living God - Feb. 11, 2018