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"The Power To Make Life Changes - Using The Holy Spirit"

October 16, 2009 by Mike Strawbridge



    In chemical engineering we work with two basics concepts. Enthalpy and entropy.

    Enthalpy is the amount of energy in something. Often we describe this as heat.

    Entropy is a measure of the orderliness of something. Putting things in a specific order takes energy and letting thing decay gives up energy.

    So when we look at our lives, there are changes that we want to make that will improve our lives and there are changes made to our lives that lead to more disorder.

    It takes energy to make the changes we desire in our lives.

    So where do we get the energy needed to make a change in our lives?

    How many of you feel tired today?

    Where did you energy go?

    Do you ever get tired of being a Christian?

    Paul did – lets look at Romans 7:15-18

    15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

    What is Paul’s frustration here?

    He seems to be in self sabotaging mode. How many of you have ever been in self sabotaging mode. You have great plans and goals, but you just keep doing the opposite of what you know will bring success.

    Do you wind up feeling like Paul in that you have a desire to do good but you just don’t have the energy to carry it out.?

    This is a pattern that is carried out in all aspects of life. When we first start out in an adventure, the is a sense of excitement that carries us along for a while. Then as the energy of excitement fades, the energy required to effect changes fades as well. Then we are faced with the choice of either finding a new energy source or letting the project die.

    This is the classic cycle of life. Life leads to death with leads to new life.

    The caterpillar goes to is cocoon and seems to die. Then it emerges as a butterfly.

    A seed is planted in the earth where it dies as a seed and reemerges as a new plant.

    The life of Jesus is the greatest example of this cycle. He lived and taught then he dies but rose again so that he could have even greater influence over peoples lives.

    As Baptists, we symbolize this cycle in our namesake ritual of Baptism.

    As a convert is immersed in the water he dies to his old self and is buried in the water. As he is raised up out of the water he is raised to a new life with Jesus.

    Lets look at how Paul describes this cycle:

    Galatians 2:19-20

    19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    Now lets turn to Romans chapter 8:

    1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

    6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

    10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

    So when we are looking for an energy source to make changes in our lives, it is clear that we cannot rely on our ego nature or flesh as Paul calls it.

    The ego nature is separated from God while our spirit is connected to God through Jesus.

    When Jesus return to Heaven after his resurrection, he sent out what we call the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is basically the life force of God.

    By allowing ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we have access to the unlimited energy source of God.

    It is like having an electrical power plant plugged directly into the Sun!

    Gods power is abundant and endless. It never fades or runs out.

    We can however unplug from the source and disconnect ourselves from this energy. When we do, we start to feel tired and loose our ability to do what we desire just like Paul described in the first verses we read.

    So what does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

    What does it mean to live a spirit filled life?

    Acts 2:4

    4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

    Acts 4:8-10

    8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

    Luke 12:11-13

    11 "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

    Acts 1:8

    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

    Acts 2:1-3

    1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

    Another example from Chemical Engineering:
    Keeping your self filled with the Holy spirit is like trying to keep a process vessel full. Energy is always going out of us so we have to be in a state of constant flow of more energy in.

    It is like you bank account. Money has to flow in and out in order for it to do you any good. That is why money is also called currency.

    So how do we stay plugged into the source of power? How do we remain filled with the Holy Spirit?

    Remove sin form you life. Now this may sound hard but it really is not. It is one of those chicken and egg things however. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then you will not have sin in your life. If you have sin, then you are blocking the flow of the spirit.

    One of my favorite writers on the subject of the Holy Spirit is Smith Wigglesworth. I picked up his book this week as I was looking for ways to deal with my dog Smash’s broken leg.

    He talks about a woman who came to him asking to be saved. She said that at first she did not believe she could be saved because she smoked. He told her to go on smoking and just accept salvation. She then confessed that she also liked to drink. He told her to go on drinking but to accept salvation. She had a long list of things but she finally decided to accept salvation.

    She wrote to him a few weeks later saying that she no longer had any desire for smoking or drinking or any of her other vices. The Holy Spirit had simply removed the desire form her.

    Her power to make changes in her life were a direct result of her being filled with the power of the holy spirit.

    We can however choose to separate our selves form God’s power at any time. We make this choice when we choose to view life with fear rather than with faith. When we choose hatred and anger rather than love and understanding.

    And when we stop the flow of the holy spirit into our lives, we leave an opening for the Devil to fill our lives with an unholy spirit of sin instead.

    We need to conscience be aware of the spirit and our need to be filled by it. Make a point to ask God to keep you filled every day. There is no better feeling in the world than to know that you are filled with the spirit of God and that you are in harmony with his desires.

    It is when we forget this harmony that we run into trouble in our lives.

    Last we must accept the gift of the spirit from God. The power of the holy spirit is available to each and every person. God has made that provision for each of us. But accepting it is not a passive action. You must take action to receive the Holy Spirit into your lives.

    While many people look for some mystical expression to know that they are filled with the Holy Spirit, you can simply choose to believe that you already have it. And then take action on that belief.

    If you truly believed that God’s power was filling you and that through his power you could not fail, what actions would you take?

    What changes would you make in your life?

    Who would you help?

    What value would you give to the world that would be pleasing to God?

    Remember this power is within your grasp. God created it for you to use. Take advantage of it every day. Don’t leave home without it.

    This article was originally presented by Mike Strawbridge as a Sunday School lesson at North Cleveland Baptist Church.


Mike Strawbridge October 16, 2009

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