Tuesday, June 25, 2019

“He’s got the whole wide world in His hands”

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The Holy Spirit
Sermon by Henk van Pagee
 
 
Once upon a time there was a farmer’s son who wanted to emigrate to Canada. The young man was about twenty-five years old and lived at the beginning of the last century. In those times it wasn’t easy to travel to Canada. You couldn’t just hop on a plane. You had to travel on a big steam ship. And even then it took several weeks before you finally reached your destination.
 
The first thing the farmer’s son had to do, to achieve his dream, was to buy a ticket for the boat journey.  He had to work long and hard to earn enough money to buy the ticket, but finally he had saved up enough money. The next thing the young man began to think about was what he needed to take with him on the journey. His first thought was for food, but he realised that he couldn’t take so much with him, and it had to be something that would keep. I know, he thought, “I’ll take some biscuits, nourishing biscuits that will keep for a long time and some cheese from the farm”. He assumed he would be able to get some water from the crew.  Soon he had made all the arrangements and the time came to board the big steam ship and sail for Canada.
 
Every day, at mealtimes, the farmer’s son went on to the deck and sat and ate his biscuits and cheese, and drank some water. Every day he followed the same routine, although he was rather surprised that he never saw anyone else there while he was eating.  One day, when he was on deck eating as usual, one of the other passengers came along. This passenger was surprised to see him sitting there eating alone again and asked him: “My friend why do you always sit on deck on your own, eating biscuits and cheese? And drinking only water. That’s surely not good for you?”
“Well”, the farmer’s son said, “I only had enough money for the boat journey, and so I brought some food along with me to eat during the journey.”
“But my friend”, the passenger said, “don’t you know that we all have dinner together on the lower deck. Come with me”. And he took him down to the lower deck where everyone was eating. “Oh that looks lovely”, the farmer’s son said, “but I can’t afford anything like that. I am only a poor farmer’s son”.
“But you don’t have to pay for it”, the man said. ”When you buy the ticket for the boat journey the meals are included in the price. It is already paid for, you can eat your meals here with us every day”.
The farmer’s son was astonished, but when he realised what this meant, he was dismayed. “Oh is this all for me too? What a lot I’ve missed out on. I wish I had known about that before”……. Amen.
 
Do you see what the moral of this story is? Do you see what I’m getting at?
And really this is also the story of the Holy Spirit.
 
So, my first question to you is: “How doyou journey through life”?
Are you one of those people who are simply content to be on board the ship and able to make the journey, and spiritually sit on deck living on bread and water?
Are you one of those people who make do with biscuits and cheese, and don’t attend the banquet, with all the wonderful dishes? Are you like the farmer’s son, living in ignorance?
 
One day when John the Baptist was baptising some people, he saw Jesus coming towards him, and he received a revelation from God.  (You can read about it in the gospel of John chapter one verse twenty-nine to thirty four). John was given insight into the ministry of Jesus Christ. That must have been a wonderful experience for him. A revelation about Jesus, while Jesus himself was standing there in front of him amongst the people. That must have been really exciting for him.
Because the revelation about the Son of God is immense. There are so many things John could have said about Jesus: He is the Lord of Lords, He is the King of kings. He is the prince of Peace, He is the best Preacher there has ever been, He is a wonderful Healer and so on and so on. There are so many things you can say about the Lord, but John is guided in what he says by the Holy Spirit. And this is what he says about Jesus.
 
The first thing that John says about Jesus really takes your breath away. “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. And that’s what moves me the most. That’s what I’ve always been looking for. That is exactly what I need.
 
 
 
When I was young I was always looking for the answers to questions about life: why am I alive, who am I, is there any meaning to my existence?. And I read lots of books written by theologists, philosophers and many other people, all with different views on life. But THAT wasn’t what I needed most in my life. THAT didn’t change my life. My greatest need was that someone would take away my sins.
And this is the essence of the biggest problem in this world today, the greatest need of mankind. People are always looking for something to believe in, for a direction in their life. Someone to follow. But first and foremost mankind needs Someone to free them from their sins, from all they have done wrong.
Jesus is the Lamb of God, that is the core, the most important part of His ministry. And, praise God, many many millions of people have experienced the redeeming power of Jesus and have acknowledged that Jesus is the only one who can really free them from sin, so that they can go freely to God again, through the blood of the Lamb, and start a new life.
 
Hoewever, for many born again christians that’s as far as it goes. They believe and confess that Jesus died for their sins. They are happy children of God and they live their life in the sure knowledge that they are redeemed. They are on this big ship called “Salvation” and sail safely and calmly over the sea to the harbour.
 
Well, listen carefully to what I am going to say next. Saving people is only half of the ministry that Jesus has. There is more. God doesn’t want you to be an inactive passenger on your life’s journey. John said somethingelse about Jesus’ ministry that is just as important, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
 
The secondthing that John said, prompted by the Holy spirit, is this. He says: “This is He who baptises with the holy Spirit”. That is the other half of the ministry of Jesus. And yet there are very few born again christians who know about this wonderful truth.  So little is known about the Holy Spirit.
 
Take the first part of Jesus’ ministry. We are all familiar with that, aren’t we? If we talk about the crucifixion of Jesus, and what He did for us, then we all agree, that this is very precious to us, the difference between life and death. It is wonderful to know that you are saved, that your debt of sin has been paid, so that you can go through life as a redeemed person. We can all understand that.
 
But again, this is just one half of His ministry. John makes a second proclamation about the ministry of Jesus that is inseparable from the first part. “This is the One’”, he says, “who baptises with the Holy spirit”. And, you know, the strange thing is, that when you talk about this second aspect of Jesus’ ministry that there are so many christians who have no idea what this means. They don’t know what to make of it, and have absolutely no experience of it. And I’m not talking about non-believers here. The modern people of this day and age may still know what Christmas and Easter entails, but they have absolutely no idea what Pentecost is about. Unfortunately there are also many christians who do not have any idea of what Pentecost is about either. They don’t know what it entails and do not know Jesus Christ as the one who baptises with theHholy Spirit.
 
The question now is: Do You know Jesus as the One who baptises with the Holy Spirit?
Is this second part of Jesus’ ministry also an important part of your life?
Jesus achieved two wonderful goals of salvation in His life.
The first is that He was crucified as the Lamb of God. He suffered terribly, but Praise God, He also won a great victory. This was the first and most important thing he did for us.
The second important event took place on the day of Pentecost. The day on which he was able to fulfil his promise to his disciples about the baptism in the holy Spirit.
 
In Hebrews chapter twelve verse two it says that Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy that was set before him. I think a great deal of this joy was that through this victory on the cross He could now fill people with the Strength of God, the Holy Spirit, that also worked so powerfully in his own life. What an important moment that must have been for Jesus, when his disciples were gathered together on that first day of Pentecost and He was able to carry out the second part of his ministry.  The ministry that had been foretold by John the Baptist when he said, “He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit”. And it really does happen. Read Acts chapter two. This word ‘baptise’ is a wonderful word. And it is used here specifically to describe what happens: This is He, who will baptise you!
 
Everyone who has been baptised by immersion has good memories of this, and remembers how wonderful and precious it was.
Baptism is heavenly, did you know that? Jesus once asked the Pharisees: “Is the baptism that John the Baptist preaches from men or from heaven?” And they have to admit, “Yes the baptism is from heaven”.
And what about the baptism that Jesus commanded us to do in Mark chapter sixteen, where He says “He who believes and is baptised will be saved”? Of course, that is also a baptism from heaven.
And the baptism in the Holy Spirit then? Yes, this too is a baptism from heaven. We didn’t invent it ourselves. It is given by God to those who are longing for that baptism.
 
Maybe you are wondering : Does the Holy Spirit only begin to work after you have been baptised in the Spirit? Well the answer is No. We can’t limit the Holy Spirit. God’s spirit had been active long before. It is said of the Holy Spirit that he will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. The spirit of God is continually at work in people who seek God. He makes them aware of the emptiness in their lives, and of their sins, and the fact that real life begins with Jesus.
 
However there is also a Baptism in the Holy Spirit, when you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit, saturated in the Spirit. The greatest example of the need for this are the Lord’s disciples. The disciples were the best prepared and the best trained people at the time. Really amazing. The disciples had heard the words of Jesus for three years, and not only that, they had seen how people had been healed, how they had been set free from evil spirits, how people had changed, and all sorts of miracles. They even did these works themselves when they were sent out, two by two. And they saw with their own eyes how Jesus rose from the dead. And it also says that after his resurrection Jesus gave them bible studies, a seminar that lasted 40 days in which He explained to them all the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. And then it also says in Luke chapter twenty-five that “He opened their minds to understand the scripture”. So ifanyone was well prepared, then they were. Nobody could have been better trained than the disciples. Andyet Jesus says to them at his ascension: “I will send the promise of my Father upon you, but stay in the city until you are clothed with Power from on high”. 
 
 
 
Fascinating isn’t it? Do you see how it works. It is the promise of the Father that we be filled with His Spirit, the Spirit of the Father promised by the Father. But it is Jesus who carries it out. He promised in Luke chapter twenty-four, verse forty nine: “I will send the promise of my Father upon you”. Jesus is the one who baptises in the Spirit. Isn’t it wonderful?
And everything that Jesus promises to his disciples you see happen in the Acts of the Apostles. And not only in Acts chapter two but all through the book, again and again.
And, it is not just history. Not just a single, historic event.
If our faith is going to become just history, then that is the beginning of the end as far as our faith is concerned. And if you go to church on Good Friday, Easter and Pentecost just in remembrance of these historic events, out of tradition, then your faith IS just history, albeit Church history.
This gospel is all about a continuous personal Pentecost. If you are one of those people who think along the lines of: ‘Oh, it was wonderful that the disciples received power then, but that was a one off, something that just happened once a long time ago, well, then you are talking about history. And it’s not like that. When Jesus says: “I will send the promise of my Father upon you” then that wasn’t just for then, it is also for us now, today. Wonderful isn’t it, and we need it so badly in our day and age, so that we can be “clothed with power from on high” as described in Acts chapter 1.
 
Now, is the holy Spirit just power, or a separate identity, a separate person? Well, this is a complex subject and all I want to say here is: Is it possible to define the Spirit of God with ONE word, One expression?. No. It is impossible. There are no adequate words to describe the powerful Spirit of God. This holy spirit of God is expressed to us in many ways and many images. 
An important factor is that it is always the Spirit of the Father. You have to discern the spirit as being from the Father, but you can never separate it from the Father.
 
However the purpose of this sermon today is not to fall into a discussion about a description or definition of the Holy Spirit of God, but to show you what it can be like, if you live your life filled with God’s spirit. I want to show you how you can be filled with the spirit of God, and let you see what a difference it can make in your life.
 
 
In the Old Testament you often read of how the holy spirit came upon someone, a prophet for example, and then the prophet began to prophesy, or perform a miracle or whatever, and at that moment the prophet was very powerful, but it was just for that moment, an incidental occurrence, because afterwards the Holy Spirit withdrew again. But what Jesus promises is much much more than this. He does not only say : “I will send the promise of my Father upon you”, but also, “He will be in you and remain with you”. Jesus promises that the Holy spirit of God will be with you and in you for ever. He promises you a continuous relationship with the Holy Spirit of God. That is a completely new dimension. One that is very special.
And now you must be wondering what that relationship is like. What sort of relationship it is. How it works. Well it is quite understandable that you have questions about it.
 
We are familiar with the relationship with our heavenly Father. We see that as a relationship between Father and child. God is my Father and I am His child. And the relationship with the Father grows, and becomes deeper and more meaningful. It makes us feel good to know that He sees us and knows us and that we are safe in Him, and that He cares for us. One of the most important things that Jesus says about the Father is that He promises: You will know the Father. The little word KNOW is so important when talking about the Father, and Jesus often said to his disciples, and to the Pharisees and the Sadducees: “You don’t know the Father. If only you KNEW Him.!”
 
But let’s get back to the question: how to visualise the indwelling of the holy spirit, the relationship with the Holy Spirit. I want to read a text from John chapter seven, verse thirty-seven: “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive”. Jesus uses an image here to describe the Holy Spirit: the Water of life.
And in Revelation chapter twenty-one God the Father says the same: “To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life, freely”. Wonderful, isn’t it? But this isn’t all, there is more, because the following verse says: “He who conquers shall have this heritage, I will be his God and he shall be my son”.
Here we see clearly what this relationship, these streams of living water, result in: ‘I will be His God and he shall be my son’. Do you see how intense this is? Not just, I am a child of God, and I am saved, redeemed for eternity. God want us all to be His sons.
And what do we need to achieve this? Water of life. We need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the relationship with the Holy Spirit, in order to enter a completely new relationship with the Father: “He will be my son”. Do you want that? To be a son. The holy spirit makes it possible.
 
Our relationship with Jesus is also a wonderful reality. One Corinthians chapter one verse nine says: “God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord”. Don’t you think that is a wonderful text? God called you to have fellowship with His Son. Did you respond to that call?
 It’s not just missionaries who are called, you know. Of course we are glad that our many missionaries respond to their call, but don’t think they are the only ones to be called. We have all been called to have fellowship with Jesus. As a missionary or evangelist you can be called to a wonderful ministry, but if you don’t have fellowship with the Son, then you miss out on the most important calling in your life.
 
Nowof course you may be wondering: what is this fellowship with Jesuslike then? How should I see that? Well, the bible is quite clear on this, and shows us how rich and varied the fellowship with Jesus is, and how many aspects there are to a relationship.
 
Fellowship means sharing. We share in Jesus in the many aspects of his being: who He is and in His fullness. I share in his redemption, because Jesus is my Redeemer. He is the Lamb of God that redeemed me from sin and reconciled me with the Father. Worthy is the Lamb! He saved me.
And so through Him I am a redeemed person. But this too is not just history. Something Jesus did long ago. It is true, each and every day. You need Jesus as your Saviour your whole life through. That’s why He goes with you throughout your life. Fellowship is a continuous, active relationship that brings forth fruit. The Bible calls this relationship: ‘fellowship with Jesus Christ’.
 
Another aspect of the relationship is that He is my master.
This is another aspect of the fellowship with Jesus, the wonderful proclamation: Lord I serve you. I acknowledge you as my master and I am your disciple. I follow you, I listen to your voice and I do what you say.
Another aspect of the fellowship is that Jesus says: I am the true vine and you are the branches. He is the true vine. Do you know the parable in John chapter fifteen? We are the branches, and on its own a branch can achieve nothing. This aspect of the relationship expresses how dependent we are on Jesus and His words.
 
Jesus is also my brother. This is almost impossible to grasp, but it is a fact. Romans eight verse twenty nine says that Jesus is the first born among many brothers.
He is my eldest brother, and I am one of his brothers. He is always with me, he protects me, and stands by me. He is my great example and I can always ask him for advice.
 
He is also the exalted Lord, who is crowned with glory and honour and who sits next to the Father on the throne. And I bow my knees and I worship and confess: Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
These are just five aspects of fellowship with Jesus, but of course there are many more!
It’s good to take some time to think about this and to realise just what this all means for you. And not just in theory, but to put it into practice. Share fully in the fellowship with Jesus.
 
I can give you a definition of a what a Christian is, in one short sentence: someone living in an on-going relationship, a relationship with God, with Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. And of course with each other.
 
I have mentioned in short the relationship with God, and the relationship with Jesus, and now I want to explain more deeply about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the relationship you have with the Spirit.
 
First I want to read a passage from John chapter fourteen beginning at verse fifteen: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you”.
 
These are very intense words, with a very profound meaning and great promises. You will know the Spirit, you will be able to recognise the Holy Spirit, and so you will be able to discern what comes from God and what is not from God. The Holy Spirit remains with you and will be in you!
How wonderful to be able to experience the fellowship with the Holy Spirit in your own life!
 
Experiencing the fellowship with the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with technique, or posture or attitude, like waving your hands in the air in ecstasy and shouting for the Spirit to come over you. It has nothing to do with inviting the Spirit over and over again, whilst singing softly: ‘Holy Spirit’ come over us, until you create some sort of special atmosphere, or experience some sort of special feeling. Jesus says quite clearly: the Spirit will be in you and stay with you, and show you the way to the full truth.
 
Some people begin the day by saying: “Good morning, Holy spirit”.
This is a technique that they have learned, to speak regularly to the Holy Spirit. But that is not the fellowship, the relationship with the Spirit, that Jesus meant! Nowhere in the Bible do you  read that the Holy Spirit is spoken to, invited to come, or worshipped.
That’s not what God intended for this relationship. What He intended you can define best as ‘a live indwelling of the Spirit in our whole being’.
 
The Holy Spirit does not seek Himself. You should remember that. God’s Spirit does not speak for Himself, as we read in John chapter sixteen verse thirteen. Here Jesus says: “He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak”. The holy spirit has Himself nothing special to say. Everything the Spirit says and does He has heard first from the Father and the Son. God’s Spirit does not seek attention for Himself, does not want to be glorified or worshipped Himself.  He directs our attention only to Christ.
Jesus says in verse fourteen: “He (that is the Holy Spirit) will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you”. If you are in a church meeting where the Holy Spirit is worshipped then that is not of the Holy spirit, if you see what I mean. The Holy Spirit always glorifies Jesus, and Jesus always glorifies God..
 
So the question we continue to ask ourselves is: “How does the Holy Spirit work then?”
In many ways, of course, but first let’s go to the beginning of the Bible, to Genesis, where it says: “In the beginning the earth was without form and void” and “the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”.
We see here that God’s spirit was at work before God speaks. And when God does speak then the arm of the Lord (image of the Holy Spirit), carries out the commands, and the earth that is without form and void becomes a beautiful piece of nature.
 
In verse thirty of Psalm one hundred and four, a song of praise about creation, we read: “When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground”. God works through his spirit and his word. His spirit is continually moving over this earth. Wonderful.
 
That’s how it happened to me too. My life was without form and void before I came to know God. Most of all, it was empty. There was nothing worthwhile in it at all.
And then the Holy spirit came into action and convicted me of my emptiness, my futile life and especially of my sins. And the Spirit led me to the word of God, to our living Lord: Jesus Christ. And then everything started to blossom and grow.
 
How can we allow the restoring spirit of God to work deeper in our lives? Well, that is not a case of performing all sorts of special rituals, for example calling on the Holy Spirit for a long time, or bringing yourself into some sort of spiritual stupor. There is no ritual or liturgy needed. Imposing heavy burdens on yourself, or limiting yourself in certain areas of your life, will not bring you nearer to the Spirit either.
 
Let’s go back again to what the Bible says. Paul says in Ephesians chapter five verse eighteen: “Do not get drunk with wine (image of the stupor), but, and this is the opposite of a drunken stupor, be filled with the spirit”.
 
“I want to try to explain this ‘be filled’, this state of being filled with the spirit, with an illustration of a glove.
A glove is usually made from some sort of material, and you put your hand in it.
Gloves protect you from the cold, or from the heat, or from damaging your skin.
The glove itself is empty and limp. The glove alone can’t do anything. Without a hand from a living person in it, it can’t pick anything up, or hold something or push something away.
But this all changes if I put my hand into it. Do you see the difference?
Nowit has become a useful instrument. Now I can pick things up and hold them.
Well, this is a wonderful illustration of the fulfilling with the holy spirit. Without the Spirit you are like an empty glove in the spiritual world, limp and useless. But if the ‘hand of the Father’ that is His holy spirit, comes into your empty life then you really start to come alive, you grow in strength, you are able to pick up on the truths of God and hold on to them.
Take note, in the first instance the outside appearance of the glove does not change. It doesn’t matter what colour the glove is, or what material it is made of, whether it is luxurious or simply plain. What is important is what is inside the glove, what makes it move.
 
My question to you is: what does your life look like? Is your glove filled with the Holy Spirit, can you pick up on the things of God’s kingdom and hold on to them? Can you drink from the living water, can you use your fists against satan?
Or do you spend your life hoping to receive the things of Gods Kingdom one day, always seeking the Spirit, shouting for the Spirit to come. But is, despite your longing, your glove empty?
 
God doesn’t want the life of his children to be like that. We were not created just to long for and seek. We were created to receive and pass on.
 
Many Christians often sing the same sort of hymns about their longing for the Spirit of God and every week they sing; ‘Fill me again, fill me again, fill me again with your Spirit’.
It is as if the hand of God is gradually taken out of the glove until at the end of the week the glove is empty and has to be filled again.
Is that how you think God meant the baptism in the Spirit to be, the baptism that Jesus promised? Because Jesus said that he would send the Spirit of God upon us, with the assurance that the Spirit would bein us and remain in us.
The purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is that you know the Spirit and experience the working of the Spirit in your life.
 
I want to show you how I know this. When Jesus promises the Comforter in John chapter sixteen verse seventeen he says: “The world cannot receive Him, because they do not see him and do not know him. You know Him, because He dwells in you and will remain with you.”
Is it possible to know Gods Spirit? Yes, it is. Praise God! How do we get to know the Spirit? By doing a lot of Bible Study about the Spirit? By living an austere life? By looking up to heaven all the time and calling out: “Come holy Spirit, and make yourself known to me”?
No, none of these things. Jesus simply says, “You will know the Holy Spirit, because he dwells in you and will stay with you! Because He is always so close to you. What a glorious and blessed assurance!
 
God’s Spirit bears witness to our spirit. That happens deep down inside, in our heart. If you want to get to know the Spirit of God better, then you don’t need to search the heavens. You have simply to look into your own heart, and listen to what the Spirit says to you. He will make the thoughts of the Father known to you.
And so the Spirit of God leads us, and endows us with gifts. And where the Holy Spirit is, miracles take place.
 
The Holy spirit convicts us of our sins, judgment and righteousness, and that too happens in our heart. The more we discover and experience THAT work of the Spirit in us, the better we get to know the Spirit. Everything in the kingdom of God begins in a relationship: the strength to witness, guidance in your life and all the wonderful fruits and gifts of the Spirit.
 
The relationship of the holy Spirit with our spirit is like that of a marriage. When a man and a woman get married, they do not only have a bond with each other when they see each other, but also when they don’t see each other. Even when they are at different places they still feel this inner bond with each other, twenty four hours a day. They don’t start to panic if they don’t see each other for a while, they don’t become insecure and don’t wonder if the other has left them. Because they know for sure: “we know each other, we belong together and we will stay together”.
You can also experience this same assurance with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in you. You needn’t worry if you haven’t felt the Spirit for a while, or if you are having a difficult time. You can be assured that God’s spirit will never leave you or forsake you.
 
I want to conclude my sermon with a few words about barriers and boundaries.
In our church we often sing a hymn with these wonderful words: “And the Spirit of God breaks through the barriers that are built by man”. This is a tremendous reality. Before Jesus Christ was born, serving and worshipping God was only for the people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the people that were circumcised, they were the chosen people. All other nations didn’t count, they were looked on as gentiles, who didn’t really count when it came to serving the true God.
That was an almost impenetrable boundary that had been intact for centuries.
 
But Jesus had a gospel, for the whole world. He wanted to saveall mankind, and died for the sins of the whole world. But even after Jesus had brought about reconciliation with God through his death on the cross and his resurrection, this boundary still existed for the people of Israel. They stayed focussed on themselves and not on the other nations.
 
When does this change? How is this barrier broken down? The answer is: On the day of Pentecost, when the Hoy Spirit is poured out on the disciples, and then later, on many others too. The Spirit comes and breaks through the barriers and boundaries that man has imposed!
Many Jews become Christians and are filled with the Holy Spirit and become powerful witnesses. Their witness is accompanied with healing and deliverance from evil spirits. Within ten years the gospel is spread through the whole Roman empire and beyond. Do you see how it works? The Holy Spirit breaks through the age-old traditional barriers and boundaries. And the Holy Spirit has continued through the ages breaking through innumerable boundaries. And it is still happening today.
 
If you as a church put up barriers or boundaries that are not according to the will of God, then the Spirit will break through them, but not without your help and co-operation.
You have towant this to happen, you have toask for it. The Holy Spirit even breaks through the powers of comprehension, when it comes to speaking in tongues, for example. Because you don’t do that with your rational thinking. You have to cross over a boundary for that.
 
And the same goes for your own personal life. Will you let the Spirit of God break through barriers there too? Barriers that have arisen through your upbringing, or as a result of the negative experiences you have had, or the traditional convictions you have always just accepted as being true. Barriers that keep you away from a deeper life with God.
 
You know, the most difficult barrier for the spirit of God to break through is the barrier that you yourself have imposed, the one you have created yourself, because you are attached to this barrier, this boundary. It makes you feel safe and you don’t want to let go.
 
 
Once you realise that you are being invited by God to drink from the living water, to become His son, to live close to Him, then there is only one possible answer to this invitation. “Father here I am. I will impose no more boundaries, and put up no more barriers, because I want to be able to receive everything you offer me”.
 
Amen
 
 
 
Let us pray:
 
Father God, thank you that you see us and know us. Father you know our shortcomings, and our desires to receive more from you.
Lord Jesus Christ thank you that you will help us with these shortcomings and supply all we need. You will send the Spirit of the Father upon us for ever. Jesus, you are the same yesterday and today, what you did then you will do today as well. We Praise you for this.
 
Lord, here we are, there are no limits to your power, no boundaries or barriers too strong.  Oh Lord Jesus, help us to let go of our own boundaries and be filled with your Spirit, so that our life will be more and more to the glory of your holy name.
 
Amen.