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Teacher And Reminder

John 14 - 26: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you”.

There’s “many voices in the wind” folks. Too many perhaps. I’d like to think, all well-meaning. But there is only one Wind who has a voice that we simply can’t afford ignoring. The same wind that blew through the room at Pentecost two thousand years ago. The Holy Spirit!

If you hear no other voice but His, you will do yourself no harm. With all due respect, I can’t nor can you, guarantee that being always true for the others.

I wonder at times if the “others’’ ever pause to consider, with their many and varied versions of the gospel, that they may be leaving a lot of sheep bewildered, befuddled and utterly confused as they attempt to sort it all out. I’m reasonably sure that in part there is something of value to glean from them all but at the end of the day the Holy Spirit accompanied by God’s word is our only filter of assurance. We no longer live in a day, if we ever actually did, when simply because he or she said it, makes it true! That’s cult thinking! If it doesn’t align itself with the word of God we have every right to reject it, while not necessarily rejecting everything the person states.

No communicator is infallible other than One: God himself through His Spirit. That’s not to cast dispersions on communicators nor create paranoia amongst those who sit under their teaching, but rather state an obvious reality. They aren’t perfect, no not one, nor are we.

When we perceive them as such, because we like to think of them as such, we do them and ourselves a terrible disservice.

As our opening scripture confirms, we as individuals have been equipped by God, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirt, to discern all things and are responsible to do so. It’s not meant to be constantly argumentative but rather cautionary.

It keeps men and woman off the pedestals that only Jesus is worthy of occupying. When He is displaced, it’s us followers who are responsible for “cult worship”. It’s us who are responsible for “cult behavior”. Cults can’t happen without our co-operation! There’s a fine line between loving the communicator and worshipping the communicator.

When we move into that secondary territory we do so pre-conceiving thus pre-approving that all that is said is automatically correct. It means we have given licence to them to say anything at all with our stamp of approval pre-applied before they even open their mouths.

It’s the “flesh” of followers that desire to elevate people into spiritual “Rock Stars”. We do love our celebrities. In turn, it’s those same celebrity’s flesh that eat it up! But we supply the food!

Galatians 5 - 13: “So I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh”.

Folks, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit every minute of every day. It’s not optional. We are sheep and desperately dependent on our Shepherd’s voice in all matters pertaining to our walk with Jesus. Who is our Lord’s representative, voice, teacher, and reminder, in the earth at this moment? None other than, the Holy Spirit! He has been in that capacity for more than two thousand years. Jesus ascended and the Holy Spirit descended!

John 14 - 16: “ And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever”.

John 15 - 26: “When the Advocate (Holy Spirit) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that goes out from the Father, He will testify about ME”.

Folks, if there is a spiritual “Rock Star”, Jesus is it!

Well, what do we do with multiple gospels? They’re not new in that Paul himself spoke of those who had left the true gospel to pursue others, so there had to have been others to pursue.

We don’t have to go back thousands of years to find examples of this dilemma nor do we have to overtly emphasize what we see and hear today as being the ultimate.

I’m old enough to have witnessed a version of the gospel that included: White and black water fountains, white and black washrooms, white and black restaurants, white and black schools, white and black CHURCHES, the business of selling and purchasing blacks as slaves, racism to turn your stomach, the KKK, and the often excused murdering of those who were black if their owners felt so inclined. All established in the “Bible Belt” of the good old USA, using the bible to justify itself, with for the most part, God’s people conveniently turning a blind eye if not directly participating. God’s supremacy was replaced with white supremacy as we saw pictures of Jesus hanging on walls sporting white skin and blue eyes. How’s that for a version? I’m not convinced that the spirit of that version is as dead as we might like to think. It looks and sounds very much like the same spirit that orchestrated 9 -11 to me! Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of what the perpetrators are calling themselves.

So where was the guidance of the Holy Spirit during this rather infamous, long-lived, dark time in Christian history? Ignored! Utterly ignored in fact, leading to depraved behavior, all in God’s Holy name!

It’s unlimited what evil can transpire, even with those claiming to be Christians, when the Holy Spirit is removed from the equation and replaced with the self-promoting desires of the “flesh”!

Our only protection and defense from “all other gospels”, is the perpetual guidance of the Holy Spirit which means staying ever so alert and sensitive to His presence and voice.

The bible describes it as a “still small voice” therefore I’m thinking, being still in our souls is a pre-requisite to hearing Him. But make no mistake about it: We must hear Him, otherwise we are dangerously flying solo. He’s all we have been given and is more than enough. Sent from the Father to guide, lead, and transform us into being reflectors of our all-together lovely One Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is not a “funny feeling”, in fact there’s nothing funny about Him at all! He’s very serious within the context of His earthly ministry and would like us to take Him as serious as He is! He’s promised and sent to us by the Father but not obligated, as in having no choice in the matter. I actually believe He resides through invitation not obligation. That’s something to be taken seriously!

A Spirit Life Bears Fruit

Galatians 5 - 22 & 23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law”.

Life lived out in the Spirit has tangibly transcendent qualities not of this world therefore needs no law as its overseer! It displays what God describes as “fruit” as to its character. Its “fruit” is the confirmation as to its existence. Those who walk in the Spirit should therefore be obviously different to the alternative.

Life in the Spirit is heaven’s antidote for life in the flesh. They cannot successfully be lived in conjunction with each other. They have nothing in common and as we know, a little leaven leavens the whole loaf!

Genesis 1 -1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters and God said: “Let there be light and there was light”.

‘’The Spirit of God was hovering”. I so appreciate this descriptive of the activity of the Holy Spirit as “hovering”! A life lived in the Spirit can at times have a vagueness in our minds.

Are we to be walking in a state of heavenly bliss permeating our existences with every breath? Is it that our feet aren’t to touch the ground? Are we to experience a sense of being carried as opposed to walking?

Well, we know He is omni present. We equally know He indwells us. But when I think of Him ”hovering” it brings to me a sense of clarity, which is important if I have chosen to walk this walk. It helps me to see the question from the Holy Spirit’s viewpoint. I really don’t want my imagination or lack of, to be the determining factor.

So, this is how I see it. The Holy Spirit, in an omni-present fashion, “hovers” over our lives as He did over the waters in Genesis. He goes behind us and before us. He is on our right and our left.

He blankets us with all the magnificent attributes of His ministry which include His all sufficient provision of “fruit bearing” spiritual nutrients. His abiding essence encompasses all we need to sojourn in His Spirit. We lack nothing as we abide under the umbrella of His influence!

David penned in the 23rd Psalm, a perfect word pictorial to describe what a life walked in the Spirit looks and feels like. David was many things, a poet being one. His writings combined with his passionate heart for God, should convince us that we really can’t go to a better source to fill in the blanks thereby creating the complete picture.

Shall we slowly peruse David’s descriptive, drinking in all its beauty while allowing the quality revealed, to marinate on our hearts. David never inferred that being led as opposed to leading, is easy, but he did say it is amazing! When you think about it, are amazing and easy even in the same family? The perceived potential of quality will always determine the effort invested!

Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His names sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.

What an amazing description of an amazing lifestyle! One that is being offered by our heavenly Father. One that has been provided for by the Holy Spirit.

As an added note: If David’s head is being anointed with oil, I would suggest there’s a hovering taking place!

The Voice

Mark 13 - 11: “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial do not worry beforehand what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking but the Holy Spirit”.

The Holy Spirit is the voice of God in the earth. We are His temple and residing place. A life in the Spirit is one of occasion promptings. More often than not they are impromptu. Jesus said in Mark: “Say whatever is given you”. So rehearsing is replaced with improvisation as we walk and talk with others. Many a Pastor has had a set message planned only to find themselves going left or right depending on the direction the Holy spirit wishes to go.

This improvisational aspect in our walk with Jesus certainly adds the fragrance of anticipation. We’re not to chase it but when it comes our way, we openly embrace it as a gift of privileged trust as we participate in another’s life in co-operation with God. As is always the case with our Lord, we have the option of abstaining but trust me, you really shouldn’t. When heaven pays an unexpected visit to your neighborhood it’s always a blessing for all involved.

Final Word

I’ve only scratched the surface of what a life walked in the Holy Spirit looks, sounds and tastes like. It’s far more a thing of the experiential than the explainable. At the very least I hope I have enhanced an appetite for its consideration as a lifestyle. God simply uses the available. It is He who qualifies as we surrender to His Spirit’s guidance.

The Holy Spirit was sent to help us navigate our way through life with all its many complexities, but also to make us usable vessels for God to love others through. It’s an incredibly exciting life being led. We get to know in a very tangible way, the reality of heaven hovering over us, in us, and through us. What could possibly be better than that! One life to live, let’s make it count!

My Ministry Into Our Ministry

Mark 6 - 38 & 41: “How many loaves do you have He asked?” “Go and see”. When they found out they said, “Five and two fish”. Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to His disciples to DISTRIBUTE to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all”. ( Five thousand plus, were fed that day! )

In the biblical story of the “fishes and loaves”, I so clearly see three dynamics in play to achieve the desired completion of the heavenly orchestrated equation. The young boy GAVE what little he had, our Lord then MULTIPLIED it, and the disciples then DISTRIBUTED it.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus, after the multiplying didn’t say, “Come and get it”. What He did say was, “Everyone find a place to sit on the grass and I’ll bring it to you, through my own”. Folks, He loves to involve us. He loves to make us matter! We are blessed beyond measure to be written into, His stories! Just imagine: Invited by Him to participate in His plans for others!

From the inception of the idea of writing books to be made available to “all freely”, there has never been a moment when I haven’t been aware of its ministry context. I could easily be seen as the “young boy” in the story. Jesus has most certainly multiplied my meager offering to Him.

So may I invite and encourage you to be a distributor of that which He has multiplied, thereby elevating “My Ministry” into “Our Ministry”, thus completing “His Ministry”. There’s something about that idea that sounds “perfect” to my heart!

We all have friends, family, work mates, school mates, etc. I’ve included a simple directional on “how to find” the “fishes and loaves”. Please feel free to share “what you eat” with others. You have no idea where it could lead to! That young boy’s mother could never have dreamed, what that little lunch she had prepared for her son on that fateful morning, would produce!

Thanks in advance. Bill Taylor

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