Monday, April 18, 2011
When the Spirit Comes
In the 16th chapter of John, perhaps more than anywhere else in the Gospels, Jesus explains to His friends what influence the Holy Spirit will soon have in their lives.
They can expect much greater intimacy with Jesus and His agenda because of the Spirit's influence. They can expect an increase in the convicting power in their words, actions and demeanour, because of the sway of the Spirit. And they can expect a much greater degree of ostracism and persecution, just as their Lord had seen it.
Jesus is honest. He knows what is in the heart of man. He will not spare his friends the news that things are going to get tough. Idols will be shaken. Pass-times and associations will be held up to the light. Hypocrisies will become transparent. Man-made rules will be exposed in all of their futility.
Not only the wicked but the self-righteous are going to balk at this, even to the point of violence and murder, whether it be of the person or of the reputation. And when you stumble, which you will, the hounds will be quick to say, "See he blew it. He isn't perfect. This thing doesn't work. Forget about Jesus. Go on with business as usual." That is the spirit of anti-christ. It needs to be prayed down, loved down, served down by the extraordinary Person who dwells within us. (Acts 10:38)
And we have been assured that 'greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world'. Some who deal with us start out peeved or fuming, but end up drawn by our indomitable asset..."joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8). That too is the working of the Spirit. The fumers may become family. We are not to respond blow for blow, but rather blessing for blow. This takes supernatural love, and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, etc. (Galatians 5:22,23)