Faithlife Sermons

Seeing for a Change - Part 3

Living for a Change  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  47:20
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When you see as the Holy Spirit you will start living for a change.

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Introduction

AT MANY amusement parks and museums, they have 3-D movies. When you walk into the theater, you receive a pair of glasses. If you try to watch the movie without the glasses, you see a distorted picture. No matter how hard you strain and look and twist to try to make sense of what is happening on the screen, there is still a distortion because of the dimension through which you are looking. By handing you a pair of glasses when you walk into the theater, they give you the tool you need to see the screen without distortions.

One of the problems many of us have is that we have a distorted view. We see what we see, but we don’t see all that there is to be seen. If all you see is the physical, visible scenario, then you are looking at your situation without your glasses. We need to have a divine frame of reference in order to see what is really going on.

During the Great Awakening, when the Spirit of God revived much of our nation’s early faith, Jonathan Edwards was presiding over a massive prayer meeting.
Eight hundred men prayed with him. Into that meeting a woman sent a message asking the men to pray for her husband. The note described a man who in spiritual pride had become unloving, prideful, and difficult. Edwards read the message in private and then, thinking that perhaps the man described was present, the great preacher made a bold request. Edwards first read the note to the eight hundred men. Then he asked if the man who had been described would raise his hand, so that the whole assembly could pray for him.
Three hundred men raised their hands. Each had been convicted by the Spirit of their sin, and now they longed to confess. The Spirit of God showed them the ugliness of their sin and the beauty of the truth and they began living different, living for a change.
Then after 3 months of aches and pain and some times where I could not even walk after finishing a run my wife said “enough” get to the doctor. So I went two weeks ago and as the doctor examined my foot, he said, “I think I know what the problem is but you will not be convinced unless I show you on an x-ray.”
When we see as the Holy Spirit sees we will start living for a change.
Ha-Foke-Ba
On Screen-Bible: ;
Now let’s review. Up until now we’ve talked about the Holy Spirit’s power to bring about amazing life change. We saw what His portraits in the Hebrew Bible has always done taking people further, faster than they could have dreamed possible. The Holy Spirit puts in man what by nature, talent, education he cannot achieve.
We saw last week and this week that Yeshua thought and thinks it is better for us to have the Holy Spirit in us now then to have a time machine to go back to Israel with Yeshua. Why is that? He is the second advocate in our hearts defending the decision of heaven to you. Sin does not merely remove you from God’s shalom, into which the Spirit fights to bring you back, but the Holy Spirit advocates the decision of heaven to your heart so much so that it should radically restructure your heart from the inside out. A radical re-structuring in man as man, defending the new you to the old you so that you can lead a life directly opposite of sin and towards shalom.
The other major advantage that comes out of our passage(s) today is that to be filled with the Holy Spirit really means to have the truth shining. That when you are filled with the Holy Spirit you begin to see as He sees and that is when you will really start living for a change because you will see everything differently.
You will see more of reality.
Ephesians 5:18 TLV
And do not get drunk on wine, for that is recklessness. Instead, be filled with the Ruach,
Drunkenness contrasts fullness as blindness contrasts sight.
Drunkenness is a contrast to the fullness because alcohol is a depressant. Alcohol brings into your life joy, warmth, and courage. It does that by knocking out your ability to see parts of reality. It wipes you out. It makes it harder to see those parts of reality and, therefore there’s joy because your inhibitions are gone. There’s warmth because your inhibitions are gone. There’s courage because you’re just forgetting the ramifications of you situation.
Drunkenness is a contrast to the fullness because alcohol is a depressant. Alcohol brings into your life joy, warmth, and courage. It does that by knocking out your ability to see parts of reality. It wipes you out. It makes it harder to see those parts of reality and, therefore there’s joy because your inhibitions are gone. There’s warmth because your inhibitions are gone. There’s courage because you’re just forgetting the ramifications of you situation.
Alcohol is a depressant, it knocks out your ability to see reality, and therefore brings about warmth and joy and courage by inhibiting your ability to see reality.
Warmth: I just need it to take the edge off my day and calm me down.
Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
Joy: It is party time and alcohol increases my joy.
Courage: i want to talk about x so I can have a drink first and then.
Alcohol does not really give you warmth, joy, or courage. 10 out of 10 scientists and at least this former abuser of alcohol will tell you: alcohol does not give you more courage, alcohol reduces fear and removes inhibitions by blinding you to reality.
We have all heard the expression, “It is not him - it is the drink talking in him.” The real problem is that the person who is under the influence of alcohol really thinks to himself “this is the best me, the real me” and “the sober me, is the bad me.”
The Spirit of God shows you more of reality.
It says here that when you are filled with the Holy Spirit it is an ongoing present progression of sight. This is a present passive participle in Greek “be being filled” with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit’s is to be a fire-hydrant of warmth, joy and courage in the face of reality.
Illustration: How does he do this? One of my favorite engrafted believers Jonathan Edwards(tein) said it best in his sermon, “Divine and Supernatural Light.”

there is a difference between having an opinion, that God is holy and gracious, and having a sense of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and grace. There is a difference between having a rational judgment that honey is sweet, and having a sense of its sweetness.

Edwards says as wonderful as knowing the facts about honey may be nothing can compare to simply tasting honey. When I taste honey I have a present experience of honey’s sweetness, it’s texture, it’s density.
Application: Throughout my career in ministry I have seen that most people agree that being filled with the Spirit is better than being drunk on wine; yet, they live like being drunk on wine is better than being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Alcohol is not the only thing that blocks reality:
It’s not him - its the food talking.
It’s not him - its the praises of other people talking.
It’s not him - its the money talking.
It’s not him - its the new....talking
When I was a youth leader, back in the day about 17 years ago, I had this meeting with this Freshman in college at A & M and his mom and dad. You see, he had managed to fail himself out of all his classes. He was a good kid. He was raised in this charismatic congregation where the gifts of the Spirit and immersion of the Spirit was regularly taught and practiced. He had the gift of speaking in tongues and was raised up under great teaching in the word. He failed out of A & M not because he was intellectually inferior but because he was always drunk and living the “high life.” As I talked to him, I brought up this passage of Scripture: be not drunk on wine but be filled with the Spirit. He knew the passage well, he finished the quote for me. But here is what he basically said to me “How does being filled with Spirit help me get the girl, get more friends or get me in the fraternity?” There was the problem. He had what Jonathan Edwards would call a rational judgment about the truth but had not sense of the sweetness of the truth. What was more stunning is that all of the sudden mom started crying when I surfaced this real problem and starts talking about how every night when Dad has come home from work for the last 20 years he always has two whiskey sour’s on the hour to deal with life.
Maybe the reason you are drunk on whatever X is to you is not because you are really living but rather maybe you are just avoiding reality and maybe you prefer the sweetness of the world and like having all the facts, rational judgments about the Bible but none of its sweetness.
So, when you are filled with the Spirit you should be seeing more of reality not less. You should be experiencing more than just the rational judgments about religion and the Bible, you should be apprehending the sweetness of the truth and seeing more and more of reality.
How do you know if you are seeing more and more of reality? That is why we need to turn now to so I can show you what I believer are two marks of a person who is really seeing as the Holy Spirit sees.
You will see the world differently and be convicted and convicting.
John 16:7–11 TLV
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. “When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
John 16:8–11 TLV
“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
He is always throwing the spotlight (convict) on the world’s counter narrative.
He confronts the world current narratives through you and me. It would be nice to think that the Holy Spirit is going to do all the really “icky” work of exposing people’s sin. Notice how v. 7 and v. 8 are linked together. Yeshua says, “I will send Him to you (and) when He comes, He will convict.”
Notice the three narratives that must be confronted:
Sin - ultimately sin is unbelief in the Person and Work of Yeshua. That means the narrative is, “Those stories and myths you believe in the Bible aren’t real. At best He was just a Jewish teacher, sage, rabbi that is helpful but you don’t need to wrap your life around him.”
Righteousness - the world has this narrative that says, “the best kind of life you can live is the one that makes you happy.
Judgment - the world has this narrative that what is evil is religion and what is good is human freedom, or what is evil is any religion that restricts human freedom and what is good is the celebration of love, any kind of love.
Illustration: The world will only be convicted in the heart if you are convicted in the heart.
The man who led me to faith was convicted in His heart about leaving all behind and following the Messiah.
The Jewish man who was dying. Me and the Orthodox Rabbi coming in.
Application: Let this be a lesson to us all: Being filled with the Spirit is not just simply getting glory bumps in the morning service.
The way you know you’re seeing as the Spirit sees by asking yourself the question “do people who don’t know Messiah feel convicted about sin, righteousness and judgment when they are around me?”
Let this be a lesson to us all: Being filled with the Spirit is not just simply getting glory bumps in the evening service. The way you know you’re filled with the Spirit is there is a lasting and comprehensive impact in all of your relationships … your relationships with your parents, with your family, with the people at work. Relationships is the place you know you’re filled with the Spirit. If you say you’re filled with the Spirit, and your relationships are all a wreck and they continue to be a wreck, you don’t see any progress, you don’t see any healing, you don’t see any balance, then you’re not filled with the Spirit.
Is there is a lasting and comprehensive impact in all of your relationships … your relationships with your unbelieving parents, with your family, with the people at work. Relationships with the world is the place you know you’re seeing with the Spirit.
If you say you’re seeing with spiritual eyes, and yet you are never really convicting the word -your most important relationships - and you don’t see any real confrontation with sin, self-righteousness and satan, you don’t see any healing, you don’t see any restoration you don’t see any repentance, then you’re not seeing with the Spirit, your not filled with the Spirt or even worse you see but just don’t care to about what you see?
If you are seeing more and more of reality then you should be seeing the world the way the Spirit sees it being both convicted and convicting about sin, righteousness and judgment.
There is one more mark: See the truth progressively unfolding before your eyes and experiencing inward amazement and change.
John 16:12 TLV
“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now.
John 16:12–13 TLV
“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come.
John 16:12–15 TLV
“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”
The Holy Spirit progressively unfolds the truth to your heart.
There were many things the disciples were not ready to to handle. They could not make sense of all the Scriptural promises and prophecies because it just was not in their wheel-house to understand a Messiah who would make atonement for sins by a criminals death until the resurrection of the dead.
This is the ultimate fulfillment of Jewish prayer in the psalms to be guided in the personal reality of truth: ; ; .
There is this great passage in Lord of the Rings (I went back in it to try to find it; I knew it was in here somewhere) that really sank into my heart very, very deeply. Tolkien was a believer, and it’s fascinating because he was really the first guy to start writing fantasy, fairy tales, wild fantasy.
Today there are whole bookstores full of nothing but successors to The Lord of the Rings. It irks me when you read the successors. They have nothing like the spirit of the atmosphere you breathe when you go into Tolkien’s fantasy. He was a believer, and he based this imaginary world on the same basic infrastructure of reality, the same moral universe he understood as a follower of Messiah.
Some of you know about this. Some of you have read this. It’s about two characters. These two characters are on this quest, and they’re in this terrible dark world, which is full of orcs, and goblins, and ghosts, and so on. It’s just getting to them, of course, because they’re on this quest and every day they’re risking their lives. They’re fighting against this terrible, dark, evil king who’s called the Shadow.
One night, there’s a passage where one of the characters is asleep, and the other character feel like he’s in despair. This really gets to the essence of what it means to see the truth as the Spirit reveals it.
He looked up in the sky, and he says, “There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him.”
“For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.”
There’s a moral universe there that, even though this is a fantasy world, it’s based on the same moral universe a believer knows through the Bible. It says he looks up and he sees this star. All of a sudden, he says hope renewed because, “like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow …” all the things surrounding him, all the things that were threatening him, all the awful things that made his life look like a hell, he suddenly realized it’s a passing thing. Those troubles, and those evils, and those threats. Ultimately, what he called the Shadow, he realized it was a passing thing. There was light and high beauty far beyond its reach.
The day before, he had fought a battle. He realized when he was fighting that battle, it said here, “His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now for a moment …” when he realized there was light and high beauty that was going to triumph over any shadow, suddenly, “… his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him …” and he was finally at peace. See, he was finally seeing the truth of all of reality.
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Now he suddenly got an eternal perspective. He suddenly realized the things that threatened him so greatly, that looked like they were about to engulf him were tiny things. They were passing things. They were transitory things. They were things that could never actually ever reach or overwhelm the light and high beauty of the truth. He went to sleep because, suddenly, his own fate no longer troubled him. The truth the Spirit reveals is different than what the world calls “truth.” It’s where the truth shines.
You suddenly say, “There’s light and high beauty. There is a God who loves me. There’s light and high beauty forever beyond the reach of all these things that trouble me. If he is mine, and I am his, what happens to me today and what even happens to me tomorrow is a small thing. It will be all right.” He is committed to his own glory. If he is committed to his own glory, the nature of things is such, as a Christian I know if he is glorified, I will be fulfilled and gratified. If he is glorified, I’ll be gratified. I realize he has to put down all evil. There is light and high beauty forever beyond the reach of all these things troubling me.
I don’t even care that much what happens to me today or tomorrow because I know with him, I win. I know with him, he is mine, I am his. I have nothing to worry about. Sam threw himself into an untroubled sleep. That’s what it means to be guided into the truth by the Spirit. The truth shines. The Spirit glorifies Yeshua in your eyes.
We also said this seeing is subject to degrees. We said there’s an ongoing kind of revealing of the truth by the Spirit that comes when you’re simply repenting and obeying, day in and day out. Praying, and repenting, and obeying. Repenting, and praying, and obeying. It is a gradual unfolding of the truth that shines.
Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
It says here the Spirit is guiding you into all truth, it is an ongoing present progression.
John 16:14–15 TLV
He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”
It says here the Spirit is guiding you into all truth, it is an ongoing present progression.
John 16:13 TLV
But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come.
It’s supposed to go on regularly forever. It’s also subject to degrees. There are times in which there are tremendous times of anointing, and of power when God makes himself very real to you. The image I think we used was here I am walking down the street with my children. I’m their father. They’re my children. For some reason, on one particular occasion, the child says something or something comes into my heart. I suddenly stop him and I get down on my knee. I hug him and I say, “I am so glad you are mine.” They cry and they say, “I’m so glad you’re mine.” And we go on and there are times my kids have to remember that moment at school
We said there’s an ongoing kind of revealing of the truth by the Spirit that comes when you’re simply repenting and obeying, day in and day out. Praying, and repenting, and obeying. Repenting, and praying, and obeying. It is a gradual unfolding of the truth that shines.
It is also the Spirit give you eyes to see the future. He does this in three different ways:
He convinces you of future history based on past prophecy.
He convinces you of future outcomes based on clear and predictable patterns from the Bibel.
He convinces you of future outcomes based on supernatural knowledge: Words of prophecy, Words of Wisdom and Words of knowledge.
When I was very early in my ministry career as a rabbi I had received a real clear word from the Holy Spirit about a family in our congregation. It was a very unsettling word about something that was going on in the life of the wife of a certain husband. The Holy Spirit had spoken clearly to me that she was unhappy in her marriage of 13 years and that she was toying around with a relationship at work with another man and if something did not change it would lead to an affair and a destroyed marriage. I was unsettled by that word and really felt uncomfortable and pained by it. I prayed and I fasted because I did not want to release that word and be wrong the consequences would be devastating. I spent the better part of a month praying and fasting over this situation and the burden would not go away and I saw no signs of anything happening in the marriage. I would have constant conversations with the husband and wife asking “how are things going?” and “how is life and how is work?” and “is there anything I can pray for?” Nothing was really surfacing and then one day the husband came to me and asked if would pray with him about their busy life and schedule because it seemed like work was really consuming his wife and she could never seem to catch a break and was always at her office.
I knew this was the moment I had to say something even with all that I was about to risk, I knew this was the Spirit. So I told him, “Brother, about a month ago I was praying and I could be wrong and I hope that I am wrong but I think there is something going on at your wife’s work that could lead to even greater heartache and trouble than you are currently facing.” He looked at me very strange and he said, “She is just busy and nothing else.” I said to him, “Maybe you just need to ask your wife this specific question, “Is there anything going on at work that you want to tell me about that might be threatening our marriage?” He was a very godly man so he said he would pray over it and then talk to his wife.
A couple of weeks went by and I did not see them at our congregation. They came to me privately, both of them. As we sat talking they were both in tears but knew I had heard the Spirt of God and so I had an idea of where this was going. The wife said to me, “you told my husband that about a month-and-a-half-ago the Spirit gave you a word about something at my work threatening my marriage?” I said, “yes, that is right.” She was sobbing and said, “That is true. I started to day dream about what it would be like to be married to somebody who made more money than my husband and was more successful and could provide for me better than he did. And, so I started light flirting around with one of the recently divorced upper corporate heads at my company. I was about to take the next step and have a private dinner with him when my husband came to me with this word.” Through her tears she said, “I just got tired of the life we had and I was about to do the unthinkable but I am wrong, I love my husband and I only want to be with him.”
She was repentant and contrite of heart. It was not easy and there was a lot of work that had to be done to restore the trust, love and relationship but now 10 years later they are celebrating their 23 anniversary and are fully satisfied with one another and the life that God has given to them.
I want to be careful about how you interpret what I just told you. This is probably one of three times in the last 18 years of ministry that the Spirit has given me that kind of word about the truth of the future. I am very cautious and very, very, very careful about releasing that kind of word. I don’t believe that the Spirit gives that kind of a word all of the time and I am entirely skeptical of people who receive “prophetic words” every week for somebody. I have some real issues with this because when you study the Scriptures think about the number of times Abraham received a direct prophecy about someone in his life and yet he is called a prophet in Genesis. The number of times Rabbi Paul got a direct word. They are very, very few and far between often times 10-20 years between. For the most part, the Spirit always shines his light on the Word of God to guide the People of God and only sometimes does he give a prophetic word to guide the People of God.
When we come to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, I hope I will be able to give you a few practical pointers about this matter in more specificity. For now, we need to know that the Spirt reveals the future primarily through His word and only secondarily through personal prophecy.
Conclusion:
I want to sum up what I have said so far: When you see as the Spirt sees you will start to live for a change because you see more of reality. And there are two marks that are really seeing as the Holy Spirit sees (1) you see the reality of a fallen world and are convicted and convicting about it and two you see the truth of reality (past, present and future) progressively unfolding before you.
Three hundred men raised their hands at that meeting I told you about earlier because each had been convicted by the Spirit of their sin, and now they longed to confess. They saw as the Spirit saw things. I am sure each one had a different “seeing” experience but each one felt convicted personally about the truth.
Eight hundred men prayed with him. Into that meeting a woman sent a message asking the men to pray for her husband. The note described a man who in spiritual pride had become unloving, prideful, and difficult. Edwards read the message in private and then, thinking that perhaps the man described was present, the great preacher made a bold request. Edwards first read the note to the eight hundred men. Then he asked if the man who had been described would raise his hand, so that the whole assembly could pray for him.
When you see as the Holy Spirit sees this is what happens: the heart is convicted and longs to repent. A repentant life is a life seeing as the Spirit sees. Rather than hiding sin, or minimizing it, or blaming others, the person who sees longs to repentant and longs to confess what he or she has seen by the Holy Spirit.
Three hundred men raised their hands. Each had been convicted by the Spirit of their sin, and now they longed to confess. When you see as the Holy Spirit sees this is what happens: the heart is convicted and longs to repent. A repentant life is a life seeing as the Spirit sees. Rather than hiding sin, or minimizing it, or blaming others, the person who sees longs to repentant and longs to confess what he or she has seen by the Holy Spirit.
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