August 29, 1999
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Before his crucifixion, the Lord had promised his disciples that in a little while, the world would see him no more. (Jn. 14:19.) Christ was going back to the Father
In John 16:7, they were told why he had to go back:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
The Holy Spirit could not come back until after Christ returned to the Father. Then in John 14:20, we read, At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
We see that the Holy Spirit was to come to dwell in God's people.
At times, we may think to ourselves how great it would have been to live during the time of Christ. But here we see that Christ told apostles that there was a better and higher way coming than his personal presence with them. And we live in this time.
Acts 1: 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Christ told his disciples of the necessity of the outward teaching of the word of God. He also told them of the necessity of being guided by the inward working of the Spirit. He told them of the necessity of being changed by the inward workings of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Christ told his disciples to wait at Jerusalem until they wouldreceive the indwelling Holy Spirit, for they could do nothing without that Spirit:
Acts 1:8, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The disciples were told several times that the Lord Jesus had to return to the Father so Christ could send back the Spirit. They were told that only after receiving the Spirit would they be proper witnesses in the world. Only after receiving the Spirit could they live the life required of them by God the Father.
One of the most resisted statements by the natural man of all that Christ is the verse we have used several times:
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5.)
We live in a day of self-esteem --- if you think enough of yourself, you can do anything. Every enemy of Christ has united in one voice to say, "YOU DON'T REALLY NEED THE LORD TO DO ANYTHING, EXCEPT MAYBE TAKE YOU TO HEAVEN. EVERYTHING ELSE YOU CAN MAKE IT ON YOUR OWN."
The religion of self also depends on human ability.
This religion of self is followed under the name of Christianity. Because it goes under the name of Christianity, it is more evil than was the Pharisees' religion of Christ's day. The Pharisees did not claim to be followers of Christ.
Paul warned us:
2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
Within a very short time after Christ, Satan was already working his mystery of iniquity. He was undermining the truth spoken by Christ to his people:
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Those who look to any other source than the indwelling Spirit for goodness, life, knowledge and direction in this life are no better than the Pharisees of Christ's day.
HOW DO WE DEPEND ON THE SOURCE OF THE INDWELLING SPIRIT TO DIRECT US?
First, we must be familiar with God's word. We MUST study to show ourselves approved unto God.
We can profess with our last breath that we want to follow the ways of the Lord and be led by his Spirit, but if we are not seeking his ways through his word, our profession is nothing but a lie, AND WE ARE DEPENDING UPON OUR OWN HUMAN WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING.
Second, we must humble ourselves --- we must admit to ourselves and to God that we do not have the proper knowledge and wisdom and strenght to see us through this life.
Third, we msut have frequent prayer. In this prayer, we must actively seek the Spirit's guidance in our lives.
In our spirit and by an act of our own will, we must resist any wisdom, knowledge and direction that does not come by the way of the work of Christ and his Holy Spirit.
WE MUST CHOSE which way we desire to go, and who we want to lead us SELF or GOD'S SPIRIT. And that choice must be made known by us to the Lord and to the enemy of our souls.
These three simple things will allow the Spirit of God to direct our paths and transform our lives.