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Standing Strong  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:13
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I'm about you, but I just love that song.

Let's pray Lord. We pray that your spirit would invade this place that you would come. That you would come, that you would overwhelm us with your presence today that you would come and allow your spirit to move in this time in your word and that you would come and have your way and that you would do your work. It's not what we desire in this church. it's what you desire. And so lord. I pray that you would come and light a fire in our hearts and that you would burn to the power of the Holy Spirit within us. And now Lord may your blessing come upon us in amazing ways for all these things. We ask in your name. amen We have been doing a series of messages based on the full armor of God. And so we have been studying all the various parts of the armor of God. And so we're down to do the last couple here. It's this were talking about what the reality is to stand in the spirit. And so Well, I think I left I left I may have left a slide off. We need to understand a couple things about the who the holy spirit is.

And it's not working for me.

Well, I think I must have left the slide off. So anyway, where will we will get get to that you're going to have to follow along pretty close? Cuz these are in your notes. They should be in your notes in your bulletin. So who is the Holy Spirit? We wait we need to understand. First of all, the holy spirit is an eternal person. I think one of the things that we forget it we talk about the Holy Spirit. We talked about him. Like he's not a person. He's a person there is a person that is the only Spirit. He's one of the Trinity just as much as Jesus in the father. There's the Holy Spirit and so we need to understand that the holy spirit is personal. That there is a desire for a relationship with us that is personal through the power of the Holy Spirit. That this does not change. OK the Holy Spirit invelops the believer. Okay it is there so surrounds the life of the believer. I think many times we don't we do not understand this. Well, I am a firm believer that the Holy Spirit comes and allows us. The ability of live for Jesus is the person of the holy spirit that comes and helps us daily through the daily difficulties of life. So that we might live for Jesus better. The next spot there so that the holy spirit eases daily Christian Living that I don't know about you but somebody wants lied to me and said that in the Christian Life was going to be easy.

I don't know of anybody lied to you and told you that things were going to be easy while they're not. Don't believe it because the truth of the matter is that everything get stuff somewhere along the way. Come on. And so the Holy Spirit the work of the Holy Spirit helps us live the Christian Life through his strength. You get that and I think sometimes If we're honest with ourselves we get week we get run down and we get we get week now this week. There was a couple of very warm days. And honestly, I didn't go out much. But let me tell you the little bit I did I'm still paying for. You know what the doctors have told me that the heat is not my friend since my heart attack and and I thought silly is not my friend since you know it inside I think sometimes we need to remember that there are things that we need to do that aren't necessarily well easy in the holy spirit gives us strength to help us through the difficult parts of life the Holy Spirit and races the carnal nature.

Here, here's the here's the issue the holy spirit moves into our life. There is a second work called sanctification sanctification is the is the work in our human sinful nature that the work of the holy spirit is to ease our sin nature.

But you are not meant to live in the wallowing of your sand every single day. You are not meant to go back to it. You're meant to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is sanctification. That we are meant to have a second work of Grace moving our lives and our lives are we could be changed not just by the power of the Resurrection by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Listen to me. If you are having an ongoing struggle with sinfulness. You need the Holy Spirit to move in. Cuz here's what happened. If your life is not filled with the Holy Spirit is filled with you. And I don't mean this the wrong way, but as far as lives are filled with us we are in deep weeds. I come on now. I don't know about you, but I messed up up from time to time. I'm sure nobody else messes anything up at any time, you know a guy's I'm sure you don't get o not going to admit it, of course next to your wives or anything, but the but the reality is finally guys we mess up more than often than we're willing to admit.

Cowards I tell you but the reality but the reality is that that the fact of the matter is when we do the reality of the holy spirit is to help us so that we are that there is a gap that is bridged between where we are and where we want to be with God. And so this understanding the Holy Spirit bridges that Gap and empowers us for service. The carnal nature is cleansed. bouquet and we are empowered for service not let me explain a carnal nature really quick. I didn't do a very good job this let me explain it when I was growing up. We had a black walnut tree in our front yard. Black walnuts are a pain to work with. They are because they're called black walnuts for a reason. And so one day my mom told me go out and clean up the black walnuts. I wasn't thinking so I went and did it didn't look bad if they were still green. It did not matter that they were still green. I came in and my hands were guess what color black they were black. And so, you know what I went and washed and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. Guess what they were still black. I went and got special soap and there was this stuff that my brother used to take off grease it turn the black to a blue. Okay.

It was still there. I would love to tell you that I figured out how to get I'm an eye wash with all sorts of stuff and it's still didn't come.

It took weeks weeks literally weeks for that to come off.

Same issue with our human nature or human nature is staying by the reality of sin. It doesn't just come off in one time. The holy spirit is the cleansing agent of God to cleanse that carnal nature to cleanse the sin and the consequences of sin out of our lives. Does that make sense that we are not meant to live the same way. We used to it's the Holy Spirit allows. We are empowered by the holy spirit for service. In other words. The fact of the matter is God wants us to serve him and because he wants us to serve him. He empowers us with the Holy Spirit to make it happen. Good not great. Do you know I just love this because I know my own abilities. They're not that great. At answering so I need help and so God sends us the helper. So it were able to serve him better. And it finally the Holy Spirit equips Believers will gifts. Listen to me. Every person who believes in Jesus has a gift at least one. At least one I figure the reality is that there are multiple its own the truth of the matter is that we've been given gifts so that they could be used not for our benefit, but for the benefit of the kingdom of God. And so I think sometimes If we're honest with ourselves. We don't always do that very well. Because I had somebody in one of my charges tell me will that those abilities are mine? They're my abilities. Do you really think that if God didn't want you to have it you would have it seriously come on everything. Every ability we have is because God gave it to us, whether its abilities whether it's gives all of those talents and abilities are because God gave it to us right? Come on. Well, let's look at the scripture passage very quickly from Ephesians chapter 6. If you just shut your 6 verse 17 my paraphrase a little bit stand firm then take up the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. So what is the purpose of the sort we talked about all sorts of different things. What is the purpose of the role of the sword Brisingr sword was the only reason what Paul is saying is the only means of a defensive capability the swords the only weapon everything else is defensive. And so this whole understanding is that if the Roman army was going to go on the offensive they had to have especially close to head to hand combat had to have a sword and the Roman short sword was devastating. It was one of the most devastating weapons in the ancient near East. Here's why because they could protect themselves with a shield get the opening and drive the sword in It was double bladed and so what I mean by that it was double edge and so it was sharp on both sides. So it cut going in and coming out on both ends mean by that is they went went when the Roman sword went into somebody it cut them on both sides of the of the edge. She was a double wound. That was one of the reasons the Romans were so successful militarily because they use a quick weapon and quick Jabs work with it. They would devastate in maze scary Spears butt with a primary weapon that they use this hand to hand combat with the short story. The Roman short sword is what they typically used. It was double edge and it was used primarily. In hand-to-hand combat has made a lot of people talk about having swords and different things I've ever there was a young man of my last church. He would buy these swords. I don't know why but he would. They were decorative. They were not to be used the same way as a Roman short sword would be they were decorated.

Roman short sword was designed to be lethal. It was designed into the we need to understand if you were stabbed with a Roman short sword. Even if you side by the stab you probably wouldn't wouldn't survive the wound. Back in those days you could get infections. You could bleed all all those things. That's why the Roman shorts were was so devastating in combat, and it's designed to conquer opponents. If you get stabbed with a Roman short sword, you're not going to still be on your feet. That was the goal. When a Roman soldiers would go into a fight. They would go with the goal to put down the enemy. That's reality. It's a year was the Roman short sword was designed to conquer the enemy. It didn't matter who the enemy was.

Remember the Romans conquered pretty much the entire world. Part of the reason was their technological advances and one was the short sword. It was incredibly lethal and very well used and because the soldiers were trained out of use it right. I mean you wouldn't want to put something in this somebody's and they didn't know how to use it, right? The same is true here with the Roman the Roman soldiers. Now, let's talk about this for a second of the spirit. So how does the Holy Spirit act like a sword? Will the Holy Spirit? First of all is a Difference Maker? I believe the Holy Spirit moving in the church and moving in a person's life is the Difference Maker. The I believe wholeheartedly churches are meant to have that difference-maker moving in their church every single way. The it makes a difference. She thinks the holy spirit makes a difference in the hearts of people in the holy spirit makes a difference in the way. We receive God's word the holy spirit in velops the place and inhabits the Praises of people and this whole understanding is that we experience God in a different way because of the Holy Spirit. Come on. Are you with me this morning?

It's a little understanding here is that the holy spirit is the Difference Maker for the Holy Spirit defeats the problems we face.

Let's be honest. What is the greatest problem we face?

send the temptation to go back No, I had somebody in one of my church and they said you know what Pastor I never get tempted. You know what my question to them was. Are you still breathing?

You know what? They told me. They said no Christians aren't supposed to be tempted ever. An anti-acid do we forget the reality that Jesus was tempted by Satan? The last time I checked he was a whole lot better off than you are. You know what? I think reality is that the Holy Spirit helps us deal with the issues that come are awake spiritually so that we are able to deal with Problems of Temptation and those kinds of things that come our way the Holy Spirit directs us through life that there is a direction and guidance that comes from the holy spirit that guides us through our daily lives. Let me give you an example. I was asked it was substitute teaching one time and a student came up to me and asked me about some bizarre passage in Scripture.

It was bizarre. It was it was it didn't know what the reference was. It was bizarre. I immediately came up with a reference. Trust me. It was not me. I believe how hard it is this Holy Spirit gave me because I'm just quoting it didn't understand it cuz I didn't have my Bible with me. So we looked it up on the school's computer. And the truth of the matter is if I hadn't been able to come up with it. Part of the reason. I just read it a few days before.

You seek God works in ways that we don't always understand or comprehend. It's a we have to let him work so that we might be able to do in accomplish his work the Holy Spirit displays his work through our daily living is I believe it's evident that were Christian was also evident. They were led by the Holy Spirit and what I mean by that is that we are able to live a life that is that is not just typical.

The women to live a life that is a typical that we are meant to live a life that is empowered by the holy spirit so that we are able to live for Christ and live for the kingdom of God in such a manner that we honor and glorify him in all that we do.

That is displayed through the work of the Holy Spirit. The holy spirit gives the Christian the desire to serve.

Yeah, one of the things that I had somebody in one of my church and they told me they said no past. I just really don't. I have the desire to do anything in the church. And I thought wow. You know what? I prayed and I prayed for this person. I prayed for them daily. And I prayed so that I pray that the God put the Holy Spirit on this person. So heavily so incredibly that their life gets change and they get a desire to serve. They became one of my best people when I best go to people.

The truth in that if you don't have a desire to serve we're going to change it real quick.

Because the truth of the matter is you don't get a retiring Christianity until you make it all the way to heaven. So you're you're you're you're there is no retirement plan until you get to heaven. So guess what? My plan is which all the work.

Because there is work to do. Okay, then we have gifts and abilities that are meant to be used. All right. Now, let's talk about the word of God. Why is the word so important that you send me the sword of the spirit is the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. There's two things happening here. I believe is Paul is talking but there is the work of the Holy Spirit which of the person of God, but the person I've got also in part of the word to be recorded. The Bible is a unique book. It is not just the writing some some however many authors.

It is the inspired word of God. It is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit and what is written in that book is inspired? I don't mean this the wrong way if I pick up another book, I like reading John Maxwell. John Maxwell is a great leadership author. I read a lot of his books. I'm going to be honest John Maxwell's book in the Bible or not on the same category right? Come on. The Bible is inspired now was John Maxwell inspired to write sure. What was he led by God to write I believe he was cuz he's Christian. But it's not on the same level totally different levels. Okay, does it make sense of the word illuminates the mind in other words when we come didn't come to have the word when we read the word when we read the Bible illuminates our mind. It is a light unto our path. It opens our eyes to things that we might not otherwise see I think one of the reasons that people don't read their Bible. Is they don't want to be illuminated?

Because the truth of the matter is sometimes it's just easier to stay in the dark. But I don't know about you, but when I chat I tend to maybe not this doesn't happen to you but I 10 when I walk around in the dark. I tend to injure myself.

I'm sure nobody else does the same thing? I don't know how it is. But I seem to find the wrong placement of furniture every single time. I'm walking around in the dark. And I usually find it with. The show that I broke or whatever and all this stuff. I find it with the wrong thing right? Come on. Come on, y'all don't do the same thing. Yeah, whatever. Remember we are in church not supposed to lie in church. But anyway Nation for life gets inspired by the word that we lack inspiration to work and serve God because we're not in his word. We got to be in the word so that we get the word ignite passion that there is a passion. Holy one that you know, what there is a desire when you there are times when you get up from reading the word man, you are pumped and ready to roll.

I are you out are you out of read scripture every time before you walk in the doors of the church because that makes you helps make you ready for service.

Come on, radical 5, you know, I believe that that when we read the word it ignites within us a passionate move nights with Innocent desire so that we are able to to do more for God. There's a passion and I'm sorry passion is free. Come on, we got to get some passion. I don't mean this the wrong way, but I'm coming in and sitting in the Pew just ain't enough. We better get some real God driven passion. Because we need it. The word also imparts wisdom that the reality is if you if you need wisdom. It's in Scripture. I got a lot of times we short-circuit God's working with our lives because we just don't read scripture enough. Just thinking. Hey, I'm just saying it like it is.

It's a this understanding of the word is important because this understanding is it increases our spiritual Vitality that when we are in the word increases are by Town spiritually it is a spiritual book. It is not just some written thing that the word of God imparts to us wisdom from God and it also allows us to become more spiritually Beitel right? Come on.

Are you awake with me this morning?

There's a spiritual Vitality that happens when we're in God's word the word Infuse a spiritual strength. Just like the Holy Spirit Works in our lives. The word is infused spiritual strength. I think sometimes when we deal with difficulties, this is just my own personal opinion personal experience that God sends things that I didn't even really remember I read

Trust my memory is not that great sometimes but that God gives a word that I remember and I remember it when I need it. If I never read it, I wouldn't have it.

The truth of the matter is that its strength comes from being in the word? Okay, the word and Strikes through the spirit that this whole understanding instructs our spirit is that make sense what I mean that we get in spiritual instruction through the word of God right that that we learn heard. The Bible is a roadmap for life or the guidebook to life the handbook for Life by teaching us how to live.

And if we're never in it, how do we ever learn how we were meant to live?

I think sometimes we we we just depend on the preacher on Sunday morning and we go in and print you'll give me the word and we're good. I don't mean this the wrong way. But I'm good. I'll be good, but I'm not that good.

If all you're getting out of the word of God is what you getting Sunday morning. You have a major major major spiritual problem that you need to correct that there needs to be an understanding that takes place that you have. God working in your life. And so this word initiates transformation. I think it's another reason people don't read their Bibles and because it transforms them. If you're reading God's word, you can't stay the same because it makes you realize there's a need for a change. That there is initiation of Europe transformation. So the reality is you want life to change you better beginning the word.

How often do we deal with problems we try to deal with it all our own in different ways when we don't go to password. I argue that the vast majority of problems in life are resolved by studying scripture.

Do you get that that that that that that the problems that we faced God already has Solutions. The problem is I think we we don't want to find them because we don't also want to obey them.

Come on. You know what? Somebody's somebody told me one time there they came to me this word. We're in serious financial problems.

What should we do? And I said, I haven't have a book on my shelf. It was biblical wisdom for finances. It was scriptures scriptures read this and you like what is this? I said it's scriptures on out of the Bible on money in the Bible. Does it talk about money that much?

More than any other topic in life more than faith more than salvation the Bible talks about finances.

But I said if you just read through this and do what it says. God will bless your finances. They read it and they came back and they said that's can't believe you had us read that what a waste of time.

And I said, you know, what? What's the problem? What's the problem and they told me they didn't agree with some of the scriptures and you agree with it or not. It's what God says that we follow what God says. God will work in our lives and he'll initiated transformation. Hebrews 4:12 says this for those word of God is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword it penetrates to the even to dividing Soul and Spirit joints and Marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Wow. sharper than what a two-edged sword centristic What did Paul say it was like? the sword of the spirit It's understanding here that when we look at this. How does the word help us with the word number one accomplishes the purposes of God?

If we are bad.

The word comes to us and it it it should convictus of the issues that we're dealing with it. So this understanding is that did they accomplish the purpose of God if we allow it to? The word generate spiritual power. I am convinced that there was more power in a person's life when they're in God's work then when they're not the truth of the matter is we don't know how to live our lives we need to get in God's word pure and simple. I'm the word moves in a proactive manner. It is alive meaning that it moves and Mary never returns void right not in this for God's word never returns void. Its there's always acts in persistence.

There is never going to be a time when the word of God stops. Even when time comes to an end when all of history comes to in God's word will still remain. There is never going to be a time when God's word stops.

CIA, I think that's one of the reasons that we meant to give out scripture. It never stops. It never returns void it always moves that always works in the hearts and lives of people.

Had a individual come to our church image of Gideon and insured story that The Gideons giveaway little New Testaments and they're often bright colored, right? You know what I'm talking about. Will this particular get in Gideon was talking to a guy who had gotten saved? And he had been given a Gideon Bible.

Through it through it near didn't want anything to do with the got home through it. Well a couple of weeks later he was up on the roof of his barn cleaning out the gutters. Guess what he found? the Bible you guess what he did. He threw it again. I don't remember exactly where it landed but He comes across it doing some other things and so this happens to him three separate occasions. And so finally he opens it up and the page that opens to the but this time it's wet and it's nasty and you guess what my page it will be open to the way of salvation.

And that scripture passages walk him through it. He gets saved and walks in and gives The Gideons a massive check. from his Harvest

because he got saved. God has a way of working that the word is always persistent is proactive and so God is it that the understanding is this proactive that God is always at work through his word that there is always a proactive measure that happens with the word of God. Okay. So that's always moving. It's always active the word of God is protective what I mean by that is it protects us in our daily walk with God. You can't get this whole understanding is that the word gives us protection the Roman soldier lock protection offencive opportunity without a sword, right? Without the word of God, we don't have a weapon. We are meant to go on the offensive with the word of God.

because the word propels us to act second one of the problems in a lot of churches today.

Is it we just don't act? We come in. We soak it up we go back out we come back next Sunday. So cut up. Go back out come back. So get up. I said something in a couple weeks ago in my Sunday school class tonight, and I think I might have been misunderstood Bible study.

We don't need another Bible study. What would you do? What we need to do is start acting on what we've already learned.

I think in reality.

William Fay who dude who did without their Church 2 years or 2 years or more your over-educated.

I think sometimes we just like coming in. We like soaking it up. We like talking about things but you know what the time for talk is done we got to do. Because last time I checked Jesus is coming soon.

We need to get after it.

Talk is cheap.

It's time to get things done.

so How should we handle the sword of the spirit? How should we handle this understanding? Concept whoops. I'm sorry the concept of word. How should we respond to the word number when two words you raise our level of faith? That when we look at the word that did it should raise our level of belief our level of trust our level of faith in God. The understanding also it is that the word should give us the desire to fight the good fight. I don't mean this the wrong way, but the word is the sort of God. We are I don't want to go out and fight. We're living in a culture that's dying and going to hell that's worth fighting against. Do we live in a culture that their Christianity is dying? That's worth fighting for we live in a culture that people don't know Jesus.

It's worth fighting for isn't it?

Do we also understand that the word should give us the give us the foundation of any strategy. We have no just go do stuff we do it because the word gives us our strategy everything we do in the church ought to be strategize through the word of God. right Will have scriptural principles to everything that we do that there there is an understanding that. We should always use scripture to understand what it is what we need to do. Well, you're not going back. Well, I think I'm going back and keeps moving on me. How should we handle this spirit? The spirit should move us forward.

I think sometimes you please don't take this the wrong way. Sometimes we want to rest on what has already been done.

Well, I serve the church for X number of years and I've done this and I've done that and you can make a big long list.

Can I say something? God is more concerned with the future than he is with the past.

Because the reality is the church is dependent not on the past but on the future. It's where we're going and I'll tell you right now. I will go any direction you all want to go as long as it's forward.

Because the truth of the matter is we need to be moving forward, but the spirit gives us the ability to follow. I don't mean this the wrong way, but but

when I was a kid, we would play Follow the Leader. Now I'm going to be honest. I never want to be the follower. ever I was wanted to be the leader and make everybody do what I wanted them to do.

I think sometimes we get the same attitude in church. That we don't want to necessarily follow.

We want to be the leader.

The truth of the matter is we are never going to be the leader. Neither. Am I? Not at least on that on the big end, but the reality is we're going to be held responsible for what we do and for what we don't do. I think sometimes we forget that we think I'll you know, I have not done anything bad. I've never I've never done anything bad. I've never done this. I've never killed anybody whatever that is.

What have you done?

On come on. But I think we need to look at this from another perspective and the spirit should help us to remain focused. I think one of them one of the real as we get distracted by all sorts of stuff. I'm guilty right come on. I'm guilty. I'm I'm constantly looking at time and all this even as I'm I'm preaching here. I'm looking at I'm worried. You know, why? Forgive me that this is God's time.

And if it's after 12, and we got out the door the world's not going to come to an end.

right Glad y'all agree.

But the truth of the matter is we get distracted by stuff, right? I can remember about mom when she would have some that she would put stuff in the oven. I don't know why she would do this. But you're worried about it while we're sitting in church. Call my mom. What why did you would say something? We got to get out of here because the meatloaf or whatever is going to burn. And I was like Mom why?

That's the way she would she would do if she would work and my mother my mother. I think she had the gift to worry. because she worried about everything there was

but the reality is I think if we're honest with ourselves and we allow ourselves not to get focused worries, one of the things that we get focused on that. We're not to

I'm glad to hear that. But the reality here we need to understand. Is it God wants to work in our lives?

The problem is often. We don't let him.

Because you know it's easier. To stay where we are going to move to where God wants us. And come on. Well is a praise team comes? Let me invite you for just a moment the invites you to the altar this morning if you want to recommit to the fight if you want to get active, maybe you need God to work in your heart in a different manner. I don't know with a reality this morning is I want to give you the opportunity if you would please stand. If God is Spirit has been speaking to you.

I want invite you to come. You need to recommit. If you need to refresh your your connection with the spirit, we invite you to do so this morning. He Alters open.

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