The Holy Ghost Advantage
By Minister Dimeji Ibidunni
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scriptures: John 14:16-18, 26; Romans 11:11
Sunday 16th October 2016
One of the reasons why God gave us the Holy Spirit, as believers is to give us an advantage over the rest of the world. This does not mean that we would not have challenges and set-backs, but it means that eventually we would be victorious. Romans 11:11 reads: ‘Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves’ (NLT). This verse of scripture implies that God has an intention of orchestrating the lives of Gentile believers to become so supernaturally enriched, such that it provokes the Jews to jealousy. This has not been the case so far.
Jeremiah 6:16 reads: 'This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ (NLT). Sadly, Believers today are dealing with their difficult issues, just like unbelievers will do. However, from scriptures, it is clear that God has a completely different outlook on how we, as Christians should handle our difficult situations. John 14:16-18 reads: ‘And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you’.
The bible records that Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world, because God had envisaged the fall of man even before it occurred. The reality of the fall of the man prompted God to give mankind His best gift – His only begotten Son in the person of Jesus Christ. Just before Jesus completed the work of redemption, He promised his disciples the Holy Spirit as their best friend and Advocate. John 14:26 reads further: ‘But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you’ (NLT). Hence, our success in life is rooted in our close friendship and communication with the Holy Spirit. Sadly, for too long, we’ve neglected Him and carried on with life as usual. Our worship has been reduced to entertainment, and the life-changing experiences we should be seeing during our church services are conspicuously missing. The scriptures put it this way: ‘For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ (2 Corinthians 3:16 NLT). God presence is present when we truly worship Him.
E.M Bounds writes: ‘The church is looking for better methods, but God is looking for praying men and women’. These are the people that the Holy Spirit can commune with and use for God’s glory and effect real change. Church today has been become more of a place to make friends and have a great time, without experiencing the move of God. It is not supposed to be like this.
To grasp the significance of the Holy Spirit, we must consider the conception of Christ as recorded in Luke 1:34-35: ‘Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.’ (NLT). From the point we received Christ as Lord and Saviour, we also were given the gift and friendship of the Spirit of God. However, for us to experience the fullness of His friendship in our lives, we must commune with Him frequently – recognizing and reverence His presence within our hearts.
Logic and reasoning can be categorized as enemies of faith. Logic and reason are brilliant for academics and secular living, but will usually oppose the work of faith in our hearts. For instance, when critically and logically examined, the conception of Christ would conclusively be summed up as impossible. However, faith says: ‘With God, all things are possible’. The Holy Spirit moves and functions in the atmosphere of faith. We already know that faith is the currency of Heaven, and without faith it is impossible to please God. Our faith can be developed and deployed exponentially when we begin to prioritise our communion with the Holy Spirit. Faith operates in the atmosphere of the supernatural – if things can be done with our human experience and expertise, then faith is not needed. I have witnessed some supernatural happenings that looked logically impossible – that is the work of faith.
When we begin to commune with the Holy Spirit, life-long dreams can be developed by faith. Job says of the Holy Spirit: ‘For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life’ (33:4 NLT). Matthew 3:16-17 records the baptism of Christ – He was both water immersed and spirit filled. Matthew 4:1-2 records the testing of Jesus: ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry'. Sometimes, our problems have no evil origin. Joseph is a classic example – Psalm 105:17-19 says of him: ‘Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them— Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character’. To access our destiny, God will have to prove us. Whenever we have challenges similar to this which Joseph encountered, the Holy Spirit can reveal the source to us, if we take time to seek Him on the matter.
The Acts of the Apostles is a book that reminds of the church that Jesus established. Sadly, we spend more time fidgeting with gadgets and social media these days, and these have taken up the time we ought to be spending in communion with God. The only way to stand in the eye of the storm and overcome is by communing with the Holy Spirit. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out better than they went into the fire because the Spirit was with them. Hence, it goes without saying that to experience the supernatural in our lives, we cannot live like everybody else does. It will cost us something. Remember that there is no testimony without a test.
When we enjoy and live under the blessings of the advantage of the Holy Spirit, we can be rest assured that God will hold and carry us through the same difficult situations that crush those of the world. If Jesus went through his test and troubles, we cannot escape this as his protégés. Luke 4:18 records the words of Jesus about the Spirit, which reads: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come’ (NLT).
Discernment is also a big advantage that we enjoy with the help of the Holy Spirit. We cannot rely on the help of men, as humans can disappoint us, sometimes. Jesus understood the role of the Spirit, in discerning what He was called to do on earth: Hebrews 10:7 reads: ‘Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God— as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”
We must desire the work of the Holy Spirit our lives, so that we can experience the supernatural, similar to the records in the book of Acts. More so, the scriptures make it clear that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing hence we must desire to enjoy these God-given blessings. Again, it must be stated that this would cost us our time and convenience. A man of God once said; ‘if you are going to be great, expect a lot of crisis’. God has to work within us if true greatness will become our experience.
It’s time to make prayer our watchword once again – it’s time to pray for our pastors and the entire church. The House of God must constantly be the House of Bread. The world is waiting for the testimonies from the church, and these can only be birthed in prayer. Our education and career must never replace our spiritual time – as there is only so much that these can play in advancing us in life.
The Holy Spirit is your senior partner, pointing us in the direction of Jesus’ pathway. To generate power like Jesus did, we must learn to live a fasted life. We must also understand the importance of God’s favour in our lives, as we cannot work for everything that God desires to bring our way in this world – it is also easier when we commune with the Holy Spirit.
Joseph, Daniel and David are examples of bible characters that spent considerable time communing with God’s Spirit, and enjoyed the blessings of the Lord in their lifetime. If we will experience this as well, we cannot afford to neglect the fellowship of the Spirit.
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