I John 5:19-21 (NLT)
We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
I travel to Gainesville twice a month at least. In the past two years, I have made repeated trip across the state of Florida to be with our son who is battling cancer while by the Grace and Mercy of God maintaining his life as a full-time college student pursing a mechanical engineering degree. It has become a commute that is as mindless as the daily drive to work. Once the SUV hits the interstate and the worship music blaring the rest becomes a blur. Over the summer, my daughters came with me to see their brother and visit their aunt, uncle and cousins who live there. My oldest daughter drove her own vehicle so they could extend their stay as I had to return to work. Once we arrived, she asked me if my truck had cruise control. I confirmed that it did. She then inquired, “Why don’t you use it?” I was not sure. For all the years I have been married, my husband usually drove on long trips so I never really had to think about it. She could tell that I didn’t use it because rather than maintaining a consistent speed I would jump ahead and fall back according to the traffic pattern. It was evident to her that I was not utilizing what she considered to be a valuable tool on a long journey. So the next time I set out for Gainesville, I tried it. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did it keep me at a consistent speed within the provisions of the legal limit, it also eliminated the usual post-drive aches and pains in my lower back apparently caused by extending my leg for such a long period of time. There are so many times in the past that this would have been useful when I chose to ignore it and just do it myself, but now that I am reminded of its value I will use it each time.
I am a Child of God. Jesus Christ died to restore my relationship with God, the Father. He gave me the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me for righteousness sake and to have all the blessings that the Lord has in store for me. I really don’t need to do anything except walk in His Ways and live in His Presence which are both benefits of salvation. However, the world in which we live is under the direct control and manipulation of the enemy. We must strive to keep away from ANYTHING that might take God’s Place in our heart. We have the Holy Spirit but few people rely on His Intelligence and Guidance through this life. Much like ignoring the cruise control feature on my vehicle, Christians do not acknowledge the Holy Spirit living inside of them to access the Power of God for their life. This is a costly mistake. Rather than avoiding a speeding ticket or a few aches and pains, life in the Spirit is a choice between life and death each day. We must strive to maintain fellowship with God through Jesus Christ and allow the Lord to renew us day by day from the inside out by His Spirit to foster a vital and productive life in covenant with the Lord. If Eternity is your destination of choice, you are going to have to relinquish control of your life to the Holy Spirit at some point in time to get there!
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NLT)
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
The Holy Spirit is God’s Guarantee that you are His Child and set to inherit His Kingdom. He identifies His People by giving them the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God enables us to do the Will of God. (Philippians 2:13) “It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) The Holy Spirit active in our life is proof that our faith is not in vain but that God’s Plan is perpetuating through our life. Without the Spirit of God, you belong to this world and have no access to what God has stored away for those who love Him in Heaven. Those who live by the Spirit will have a brand new life as God changes their past into a wonderful future filled with purpose and promises. It is only the Holy Spirit that can produce spiritual health and well-being. (John 3:6) It is not manmade so don’t give me that “old-time religion”. I want new life that can only come through the Spirit of the Living God. “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63) The Holy Spirit is not weird, spooky or creepy. He does not do or say things out of order, but relevant in the Body of Jesus Christ. It is high time we begin to breathe life back into the Church of our Lord and acknowledge His Spirit once again. This is revival when death turns to life. Dead churches shut the door on God’s Spirit saying we do not want your kind around here. But alive churches are filled with the Spirit which is the Breath of Almighty God! (Job 33:4)
John 16:12-14 (NLT)
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.”
The most effective witness is born of personal experience. Jesus knew that even though He was walking and talking with His People they were not fully comprehending what was about to happen. The Advocate who is the Holy Spirit could not be released until Jesus full accomplished His Work on the Cross and ascended to Heaven to sit at the Right Hand of God. From this position, grace could be delivered and His Spirit poured out on all people having a greater impact. The Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth. Righteousness is a requirement of God. Jesus Christ allowed right standing with God to be possible for all mankind once again. However, it is up to people to maintain righteousness with the Lord by loving Him, serving Him and walking in His Ways. Why do so many people miss it? Why did I ignore cruise control for so long? Driving along the highway, there is a knee-jerk reaction to slow down when passing a patrol car as I am unaware of the speed at which I am traveling. Hoping to find that my current speed is within the legal limit I am unsure until I take my eyes off the road and look at the speedometer. However, if I was using cruise control than I would know exactly how fast I am going at all times and have confidence when I meet a police officer along the way. So you see, the Holy Spirit’s guidance ensures that our life is pleasing to God. It is His Only Objective to produce spiritual life by faith that leads to confident hope of one’s salvation. He will guide you in righteousness, holiness and obedience at all times ensuring that you are fully prepared for the return of Jesus Christ or to meet Him face-to-face.
Galatians 5:16-17 (NLT)
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
The Holy Spirit will guide our lives to every promise and blessing that God has for us. He takes a direct route stepping over human nature and avoiding costly detours caused by distractions. Our sinful nature is constantly fighting our sinful nature so that we are able to remain in righteousness with God. Who are you empowering is the question? Spending time in God’s Word allows our faith to grow strong. Worshipping God takes time away chasing the things of this life as we focus on the Lord. Serving God will yield more favor than any job could ever provide for you. Loving Jesus is the only relationship that will complete you and has the power to strengthen every other relationship in your life. It is time for a choice. Although it seems so obvious, for many it is a daily struggle. It is a battle easily won by God’s Spirit if you will give Him control!
I John 4:4 (NLT)
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
The Spirit of God always speaks the Truth. Don’t you wish everyone would do the same…maybe not. The primary reason most people don’t allow the Spirit to be active in their life is that they have no interest in discerning the Truth from a lie. We try to co-exist in this world rather than embracing our distinction as foreigners in this world. We live in duplicity attempting to serve God and man. It will not work but we stifle the Holy Spirit choosing the more comfortable gray areas. Omission will not save your soul. It is still a lie. You belong to God. He is not going to tolerate you acting as though you have multiple parents. The Lord detests double standards. You have already won the victory by God’s Spirit. If you are not victorious, it is not because of the God who lives in you but rather one’s inability to choose a side. Greater is He who lives in you than he who is in the world. Truth! But you must be convinced enough to live what you believer to experience the overwhelming victory that belongs to you. Cruise control has always been one of the features built into my automobile but until I decided to use it – it did me no good!
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Then Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Jesus Christ has promised to give rest to those who are weary and carry heavy burdens. I wonder how many times people wrestle with the Holy Spirit to continue to be weighed down by problems that they were never created to bear? Take my yoke upon you. The yoke of Jesus Christ is His Spirit. He is your Helper who has been given to you as an answer. The Spirit will deliver you from death and produce life in you. Dead dreams will become dramatic visions. Starved faith and abandoned hope will flourish once more. Let the Spirit of God teach you. This will require humility and a gentle, flexible and compliant heart. His Yoke is easy to bear. When I tried the cruise control in my car, I found it to be a source of relief but I would never have discovered it if I hadn’t given it a try. The Lord has promised to release you from the oppressive burdens in your life. Why not give His Spirit a try? Ask the Lord what you have not surrendered to Him and give it a try! You may find that the Lord is much better at managing the load than you were and decide to give Him more to carry for you!
Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I came across a picture taken just after we discovered that our son had cancer. It is a picture of both of my sons and I in the hospital – all three smiling although weary, worn and tear-stained. It made me smile. Yes, smile. That was the night that I finally realized the Power of the Holy Spirit and the Truth of Jesus’ Words – “I am with you always…even to the end of the age.” The Holy Spirit inside of you represents an intimacy that you cannot live without. I was not sure how I would walk out of that hospital and enter the journey but two years later all that I can say is “look what the Lord has done!” He has carried the burden. The Lord has captured every tear promising it would soon be joy! The weight does not seem as heavy with each new day as the mercies of God are revealed and His Spirit guides us through. Would we have yielded to the Spirit of God as we have now if cancer had not come? Probably not! It is usually in the moment when faith is overtaken by fear and hope is almost exhausted that we learn to love and trust the Lord more. Our relationship with God the Father must include His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. He is a valuable asset in our pursuit of righteousness and absolutely essential in our daily success on the Highway to Holiness. Don’t wait until all of your strength is gone and heart completely broken to seek the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit! He is our Cruise Control to eternal life!
Romans 8:10-11 (NLT)
“And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”