Monday, June 4, 2012

AN ACTIVE REALTIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

In my humble observation there have been revivals of the true Christian faith (mindset, spirit, and action), but no real staying power once the revival hits.  Now-a-days it seems longer in between periods of revivals.  Some of these historical revival periods are mentioned in a book by Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter called From Pentecost to the Present:  10 Greatest Revivals Ever.

THE TEN GREATEST REVIVALS EVER
1. The 1904 Revival, Beginning in Wales
Evan Roberts, Korea, Moravian, Azusa Street

2. The First Great Awakening, 1727-1750
Zinzendorf, Wesley, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards

3. The Second Great Awakening 1780-1810
Cane Ridge

4. The General Awakening 1830-1840
Charles Finney, Hawaii, Jamaica

5. The Layman’s Revival 1857-1861
Phoebe Palmer, Lanphier, D. L. Moody

6. The World War II Revival 1935-1950
Billy Graham, Duncan Campbell, New Zealand

7. The Baby Boomer Revival 1965-1970
The Jesus People, The Prairie Revival, Asbury

8. The Reformation, 1517
Martin Luther, John Calvin, Zwingli, Knox

9. The Pre-Reformation Revival 1300-1500
Lollards, Wycliffe, Hus, Savonarola

10. Pentecost 30 A.D.
Peter, Ephesus, Paul

"Revival is defined as "God pouring Himself out on His people. Revival is classified into nine different expression “faces” but no matter what expression each revival takes, all are characterized as a “visitation from God.” This book observes that usually revival breaks out in many places around the world, not just in one place; so each of the “greatest revivals” are not just isolated events. Therefore, the Ten Greatest Revivals described in this book are ten epochs or ten different “times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.” - Introduction

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The more time elapses between visitations of refreshing and/or revivals of God's Spirit in His Church the more I see the lack of the church operating by the leading of the Holy Spirit and in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

God loved us so much that He represented Himself perfectly in human form through His Word, His Son - Jesus (Hebrews 1:3).  Jesus did and said everything He saw and heard the Father telling Him to do and say (John 14:6-11).  Jesus was the obedient Son of God even unto death upon the cross.  But He arose victorious over sin, death, hell, and the grave.  However, before Christ suffered and died for all, in John 14:16 He said, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--".  The Greek word for "another" in this verse is the word ALLOS.  "It means one of the very same kind; same character; same everything; or a duplicate." (Renner, Sparkling Gems, p.195)  So, when Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of Father God and this other that was sent - The Holy Spirit - was and is an exact duplicate of Jesus, THEN.........


There are quite a few "then" comments that can be made after the initial statement. 
Then... the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives within us. (Romans 8:11)
Then... when the Holy Spirit speaks to us it will always line up with God's Word.
Then... when you see the Holy Spirit at work in someone's life that is the same thing as the nature and/or favor of Jesus displayed in that life (knowing this because you have read the Bible and know the life of Jesus).


"As Jesus teaches the disciples about the Holy Spirit, He takes this truth one step further.  Just as Jesus is the exact image of the Father in every way, now Jesus unmistakably tells the disciples that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will exactly represent Jesus in every word.  That's why the word allos is used to make this point.  It leaves no room for doubt that the Holy Spirit will be exactly like Jesus." (Renner, p.196)


"Jesus did only what the Heavenly Father would do, and now the Holy Spirit will do only what Jesus would do.  As Jesus' Representative on earth, the Holy Spirit never acts on His own or out of character with the life of Jesus Christ."  (Renner, p.196)


"You see, the Spirit of God was sent to bring us the life of Jesus.  Just as Jesus told Philip, 'If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father,' now He is telling us, 'If you have the Holy Spirit, it will be just as if you have Me."

"I've often head Christians ask, 'I wonder what it must have been like to walk with Jesus.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to walk with Him and to hear His voice and talk to Him?'  But believers who ask these kinds of questions don't understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  If they did, they'd know that having the Holy Spirit with them is just like having Jesus right at their side!" (Renner, p.195)

"You and I must stop looking backward and grieving over what we missed by not living two thousand years ago.  Instead, we must learn to let the Holy Spirit lead and guide us, just as He did in the Early Church.  Jesus' physical absence didn't stop the early believers from performing miracles, raising the dead, casting out demons, healing the sick, or bringing multitudes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Because the Holy Spirit was with them, the ministry of Jesus continued uninterrupted in their midst." (Renner, p.196)

"Why don't you start opening your heart to the work of the Spirit today?  Remember, if you have the Holy Spirit working alongside you, it's just like having Jesus right there at your side!" (Renner, p.196) 


PRAYER
"Lord, help me learn how to work with the Holy Spirit!  I don't want to waste time grieving over what I missed by not living two thousand years ago, so I ask you to teach me how to let the Spirit lead and guide me.  Your Word teaches that because the Holy Spirit is with me, the ministry of Jesus can continue uninterrupted in my life today.  Holy Spirit, I ask you to bring me into a greater knowledge of how to work with you so that the ministry of Jesus can continue through me!


In the name of Jesus I pray, amen!" (Renner, p.196-197)