Holy Spirit (FIRE, RAIN, WINE, OIL)

Acropolis of Sardis from below
Sardis was the capital of the Lydian empire and one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. Located on the banks of the Pactolus River, Sardis was 60 miles inland from Ephesus and Smyrna.

The church of Sardis (in Revelation) was deader than a door nail.  The sermon today was on this precious church that 40 years before it received the correction from God was hopping and on fire.  What happened?  They were rocking and rolling in good works and doing what most churches do but they lacked PASSION and the Holy Spirit.

The pastor led us to Acts 19 for the history and I lingered there.  There is this conversation between Paul and some believers.  Paul (who prior to his conversion killed Christians) asked them had they been baptized in the Holy Spirit.  They told Paul that they had been baptized and believed in Jesus, but Paul was asking about the Holy Spirit.  They were confused and Paul delivered!  Paul prayed for them to receive an outpouring of the Spirit, and they received!

Do we grow so works focused we forget about the power of the Holy Spirit?  Here are some great verses that share the benefits of remembering and calling on the Spirit.

Below was a sermon at Cloverhill by Pastor Stan.  Resources he shared are from Jack Hayford:  Symbols of the Holy Spirit  http://www.jackhayford.org/teaching/articles/symbols-of-the-holy-spirit/

(a sampling from the study is below)

The workings of the Holy Spirit are invisible, glorious, and gentle, and within them, He never tells us about Himself. He comes to glorify Jesus—helping us to see Jesus more, to understand Jesus better, to respond to Jesus more obediently, and to love Jesus with a deeper heart of commitment.

So the symbols of the Holy Spirit become essential to our gaining an understanding of what He’s like, not only in an objective way of analyzing truth, but also in the subjective way that He comes to penetrate our lives—ways in which the reality of the invisible penetrate the visible. When we talk about the Holy Spirit as rain, for example, the purpose isn’t to think, “Oh, the Holy Spirit is like rain.” The purpose is to get wet.

The Holy Spirit Comes as Rain

Rain has a dual implication. First as refreshing where there has been dryness and barrenness (Joel 2:23-29). Second, as restoration where there has been loss (Isa. 28:11-12).

The “pouring out” Peter refers to at Pentecost (Acts 2:17) is not an abstract use of the word; it has to do with “latter rain” that brought about the hastening of the harvest and fruitful crops. The Lord is saying that He will send rain to fields [people] that are totally barren as a promise of hope.

Needing to be refreshed doesn’t mean that I’ve backslid or sinned. When the lawn endures a hot day, it dries up and needs the refreshing of rain. The Holy Spirit, coming as rain, comes to bring refreshing and restoration.

The Holy Spirit Comes as Oil

The anointing—the oil of Scripture—is directly related to the Holy Spirit’s work in our life (2 Cor. 1:21-22). The Holy Spirit’s anointing makes us sensitive (1 John 2:20). How many times have you sensed something was wrong, or something was right, but you didn’t know why or how you knew? The Holy Spirit, by His anointing and presence, confirms what He is—the Spirit of Truth, of Holiness, of Wisdom. Obeying the Holy Spirit means that He will give us wisdom when we need it in the practical of our everyday life.

All the primary offices of Scripture—prophets, priests, and kings—involve anointing. And all of these are offices to which all of us are called. As prophets, we are called to speak the Word of the Lord. There are times when the Holy Spirit will give you words of comfort, exhortation, or sensitive counsel to say to other people. As priests, the Lord wants to anoint us for worship to renew us, so that our worship doesn’t become stale, habitual, or formal. And as kings, we don’t just get anointed once for all. It takes fresh anointing from the Holy Spirit for the dominion of His Kingdom and the authority of His life to happen through us. When it does, we can move in confidence about how to rule our homes and our businesses, and how to deal with our kids and our relationships. God’s not going to anoint us with the ability to rule when we try to manage things our own way.

The Lord also wants to anoint those who have been overcome by the spirit of mourning with the oil of rejoicing. That anointing brings the lifting of our heads with the refreshing of seeing beyond today—not with superficial optimism, but with a deep abiding of hope that has been begotten in us by God.

The Holy Spirit Comes as Wine

Ephesians 5:8 draws an analogy for the symbolism of the Holy Spirit as wine. In the Gospels, Jesus describes the new work of God, conveyed by the ministry of the Spirit, as new wine coming into old vessels. So it’s a perfectly appropriate symbol in light of the Word. Still, let me ask you, what does it take to excite your life? The issue isn’t just alcohol; the issue is, how much of what the world offers does it take to get you going?

The Bible doesn’t say we are disallowed from enjoying a number of the things that come with life, but you can find out how much a person is living the Jesus life by how much they need the stimulants of the world. The separated, holy Christian life is not a call to isolation but to insulation. You live in the world, but His Spirit in you keeps out the world’s pollution.

The Holy Spirit Comes as Fire

At Pentecost, the Bible says that tongues as of fire appeared over the heads of each of those who gathered together (Acts 2:3).  The Holy Spirit comes as fire to work something deep into the substance of our lives that will shape things around us, rather than us taking on the shape of the world. As fire, He works in a dual way: to probe the inner recesses of our life and to refine us as gold or silver is refined in the fire; and to temper our personalities by causing there to be the penetration of fire into our system.

The purifying fire burns out the Adversary. When the three Hebrew children were thrown into the furnace, not only were their lives spared, but also their clothes didn’t burn. But the ropes holding them in bondage burned. The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit being “a spirit of judgment and burning” (Isa. 4:4). Judgment has to do with deliverance, in the way the judges of Israel led people out of bondage. The Holy Spirit, coming like fire, burns away any binding grip that the Enemy has imposed on us.

———————————————————————————————— A movement forward

We went forward with my teenage daughter and her friend to pray for them to be filled with the Spirit and set apart.

Parish and I went forward as a couple to pray for the Spirit to direct us in our lives, marriage, family.

I prayed deeply that God would take all the things He has blessed me with and use them for His work and love.

A VERY IMPORTANT POINT…..

We don’t “get” the Spirit once and for all.  The verses on the Holy Spirit are not past tense but a work in progress.  We are BEING filled…..

Lord, may we constantly cry out to the Spirit and ask for His working in our lives.  May we be open to hearing the Spirit and allowing Him to work in our lives.  GIVE US PASSION AND FORGIVE US FOR

RATIONALIZING

BEING APATHETIC

AUTOMATIC THINKING

BEING STUCK IN A RUT

PRIDE

ANGER

UNBELIEF

LAZINESS

HELP US TO BE BOLD FOR YOU!  WE ARE BEING FILLED!

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