Today’s Daily Light
The Spirit as Attacker and Teacher
An important principle that is designed by God in ‘kingdom growth’ is related to understanding God’s design for ‘what’ and ‘how’ the work of growth occurs. The key principle is that the kingdom workers (us) cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit as Attacker and Teacher. Any ministry process is effective and lasting ‘only’ as it helps a person abide in and cooperate with the Spirit of Jesus.
John 15:4, 16 NASB Jesus said “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me….You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in my name He may give to you.”
Wow…that verse is soooo loaded with ‘vital’ information as to how God designed kingdom growth to occur. #1 is abiding in Jesus. Nothing, nada, zippo, occurs ‘unless’ we are ‘abiding’ in Jesus. He chose us…He appoints us…He sustains us…He is both source and supply. We are a pipe to allow the ‘flow’ of the source and supply. We HAVE TO stay ‘hooked-up’ or we will not produce fruit.
Attacker: John 16:8 “Jesus said ” And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” Jesus makes it clear that one of the roles of the Spirit is to ‘convict’.
The word for ‘convict’ literally means to accuse, interrogate, harass or even attack. It is used to describe a lawyer attacking a person on the witness stand until he or she confesses guilt. At this very moment…the Holy Spirit is out there all around your neighborhood, city or people group attacking lost people. His doing three things:
1. He is showing them their sin.
2. He is creating a desire for a different kind of righteousness.
3. He is creating a longing to avoid the fear of death which is eternal judgment.
He is the attacker, not us. He is tearing down the objections of their minds and hearts.
Many of us go about evangelism assuming that we are the first to witness to someone. We aren’t. The Spirit was there before us. Many of us assume we must pick up rocks (take rocks out of the soil so the soil is more able to receive seed) before we can witness. We’re wrong. We’re never commanded to pick up rocks. That’s the job of the Spirit – removing the obstacles of the hearts of people. Many of us assume it is our job to convict. It’s not. There is only one Convictor. God Himself says … Ezekiel 11:19 NASB “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them and I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” (Certainly, in our presentation of the gospel…we seek to be prepared…so that we can answer questions of doubt…and provide a biblical perspective of truth).
Our job is to cooperate with the work that the Holy Spirit is doing and has already done….and we do that by abiding in Jesus ‘so that’ we will be led by the Spirit into the work of the Spirit. We can depend on the fact that if we abide in Jesus..the Holy Spirit will lead us to sow seed among good soil.
Teacher: John 14:26 NASB Jesus said “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” and 1st John 2:27 NASB… John writes “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”
We ourselves, and those we train and disciple…we want to teach that we can depend on the Holy Spirit to equip us and prepare us and anoint us for sharing of the gospel. Yes…the Holy Spirit brings knowledge and truth to us as we sit under those who are gifted as ‘teachers’…through spoken and written words…but remember that it is a promise of the Holy Spirit that He himself has been sent to us to ‘help’..to teach us…to lead us into all truth”…but key…key is that we have to spend time with Jesus…spend time with the Holy Spirit ‘so that’ spirit led input is taking place….being spirit led does not occur in a vacuum…no…it occurs through cooperating and abiding with Jesus and the Holy Spirit….we must work at it. It is a learned and practiced spiritual discipline….we must train our hearts and minds to cooperate and abide. Amen