OPENING UP TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
By Rodney W. Francis
But the fact of the matter is that it is best for you that I go away, for if I don’t, the Comforter won’t come. If I do, He will – for I will send Him to you . . . Oh, there is much more I want to tell you, but you can’t understand it now. When the Holy Spirit, Who is truth, comes, He shall guide you into all truth, for He will not be presenting His own ideas, but will be passing on to you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. He shall praise Me and bring Me great honour by showing you My glory. All the Father’s glory is Mine; this is what I mean when I say that He will show you My glory” (John 16:7 & 12, TLB).
The Truth is JESUS CHRIST!
The Holy Spirit’s ministry within the Christian believer is to guide us into all truth, to pass on to us what He has heard from Jesus. The Holy Spirit is not only involved in preparing us for the future, He reveals and forewarns us about the future. But we must open up to Him!
WHAT DOES THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO US MEAN?
THE TEST OF LOVE IS OBEDIENCE!
That “some day shall be in you” was the day of Pentecost for those followers of Jesus. Since that time, the Holy Spirit has come to live inside all those who believe and receive Him. The question is:
Let’s read on (Jesus speaking):
“When I come back to life again, you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. The one who obeys Me is the one who loves Me; and because he loves Me, My Father will love him; and I will too, and I will reveal Myself to him.” Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but His other disciple with that name) said to Him, “Sir, why are You going to reveal Yourself only to us disciples and not to the world at large?”
Very clearly these verses reveal that the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) have taken up residency within us – right inside of every Holy Spirit-filled Christian believer. They are there – the Three in One - right NOW! In you! In me! The challenge to us is that we discover how to co-operate and work with the Godhead within us, in such a way that we demonstrate His purposes in the earth today!
If there is one thing 'the world, the flesh and the devil' are united in, it is their strategy to stop the Christian believer from discovering who they really are as born-again, blood-washed, totally-forgiven, Holy Spirit-filled temples of God! When the Christian knows who he is, Who he contains and what he can do with all that, he will impact the nations of the earth supernaturally! The Holy Spirit has been sent to reveal this to us. Our responsibility is to open up to the Holy Spirit, allow Him to be Who He really is inside of us, and then release Him out to a desperately needy world. The Christians hold, and carry, all the keys, all the answers, to our generation’s needs.
The answer is for us to know the Holy Spirit Who lives inside of us. Know Who He is! Know what He can do! Then discover how He wants to do it through us. He doesn’t “just do it.” He has to have loving, obedient, willing and available people (like you and me!), who will decide to do what He wants done.
The Bible is clear. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, are available to those who LOVE AND OBEY! To those who LOVE AND OBEY JESUS! (There are plenty of Christians who are obedient to men, creeds, churches and systems, but are we obedient to Jesus through the Holy Spirit?) To LOVE AND OBEY JESUS means we’re committed to what JESUS wants! Therefore we must be keen to listen, learn, and obey. Love for JESUS is the motivation! He said, “The one who obeys Me is the one who loves Me”!
This raises a very interesting question: “How do we really know if we love Jesus?” The Bible’s answer is, “OBEYING JESUS!” Obedience brings life, joy, and answers!
HOW DO WE OBEY?
Obedience has everything to do with a willingness to listen to Jesus. If we are going to live in obedience to Him, we must listen to Him. That means our learning to recognize His voice, and the many different ways He speaks to us. That is why the baptism (infilling) of the Holy Spirit is so important for us. Jesus sent Him (to those who believe on His Word) to help us to know the voice of Jesus more clearly. The Holy Spirit speaks what He hears from Jesus, and passes it on to us. He brings the things of Jesus to our remembrance.
It is a sad fact that many of us Christians want to hear from Jesus, but we’re not committed to the obeying part.
HIDING BEHIND THE BIBLE:
Since that time, my motivation in life and ministry is, “Lord, What do You want of me? What do You want me to do?” For that to become a reality in my life:
That is demonstrating my love to, and for, Him! If this is not happening in my life, then I must make some adjustments, until God’s purpose for me is actively being outworked. More and more I find myself involved in helping Christians to learn to recognize the voice of God, to learn how to activate the Spiritual Gifts, and to "step out" beyond where they have gone before. The results are exciting for all concerned - when we minister out of a true heart of love.
GUARD AGAINST HINDRANCES:
When we open up to the Holy Spirit with love, and a willingness to obey, we will discover there are a host of hindrances that will try and pull us back to “playing it safe.” We discover whether or not we are bound by the fear of man (or woman!), doubt, unbelief, self-consciousness, shyness, worried by what others might say or think if we do this or that, inferiority, pride, negative self-confession, etc. So many excuses will rise up to try and discourage us, to make us want to give up and not try.
Friend, OUR LOVE FOR JESUS HAS TO BECOME GREATER AND STRONGER THAN ANY AND EVERY EXCUSE WE CAN FIND NOT TO DO WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT ASKS OF US!
Let’s be finished with negative excuses and be more committed than ever to open up to the Holy Spirit. Let’s be committed to being available to what He wants and then be committed to doing it! You are one of His "keys" to providing the answers to this 21st century!