I hear so many Christians murmuring about their imperfections and their failures and their addictions and their shortcomings and I see so little war! “Murmur, murmur, murmur, why am I this way?” MAKE WAR! If you wonder how to make war go to the manual. Don’t just bellyache about your failures. Make war!
Hindering the Spirit’s Working in Your Life
John 14-16 and Acts 1-2 are passages that provide us with a rich description of the Holy Spirit’s working in the life of the believer. Three particular aspects of His work stand out:
- The Holy Spirit has a permanent intimate presence in our lives
- The Holy Spirit will empower us to accomplish God’s kingdom advancing agenda for our lives
- The Holy Spirit ultimately wants to Exalt Christ through us
We also see at least Five Hindrances to the Spirit-filled Life that are either explicit or implicit in those passages:
1. Unrepentant Heart – Sin skews our perspective and hinders the Spirit’s working in our lives. In particular, an unrepentant heart. When the Holy Spirit reveals sin in our lives and we do not take action against that sin, we are hindering the work of the Spirit in our lives. This is not a call to living lives of sinless perfection, but living lives in continual reliance upon God as we walk the walk of repentance. Do not quench the Spirit’s working in your life through an unrepentant heart. (John 16:8…convict the world of sin)
2. Pride – The Spirit’s aim is to exalt Christ in the preaching of the gospel in order that sinners would repent and turn to Christ therefore advancing God’s kingdom. The awful nature of pride is that it is concerned about me, myself, and I. It is derails any attempt of exalting Christ and, in its ugliness, exalts ourselves. (Acts 1:8, be my witnesses; John 15:26-27 he will bear witness about me, and you also will bear witness about me; John 16:14 he will glorify me).
3. Prayerlessness – When we see the role prayer played in the life of the believers as they waited for the arrival of the Holy Spirit and in their community after the Spirit had arrived, we see God’s mighty working in the power through prayer. Prayer is a posture of heart in which declares, “I need you, Oh Lord.” Prayer submits ourselves to God’s will…to be used by God for His purposes. (Acts 1:14, devoting themselves to prayer; Acts 2:42, devoted themselves to…prayers)
4. Apathetic mindset toward the lostness of people – When our hearts grow cold and apathetic and are no longer moved by the helpless condition of people who are walking in the path of destruction-the path to eternal separation from God-we are not living as Spirit-empowered witnesses. When we are no longer concerned about the advancement of God’s kingdom through declaration of the Gospel, we are hindering the Spirit’s working in us to accomplish that purpose. (Acts 1:8, be my witness in Jerusalem, etc.; Acts 2:36, let all the house of Israel know…)
5. Wordless Living: Failure to let the Word dwell in you richly – The Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth (John 14:7, 16:13) he will teach us and remind us of Jesus’ teaching (John 14:26). We see this at play in Peter’s message in Acts 2 where he quotes three different OT passages in declaring Jesus is the savior of the world (Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11, Psalm 110:1). We thus need to be people of the Word!
At the end of the day, God has provided His Holy Spirit to intimately and permanently dwell in us and powerfully work through us to advance his Kingdom and see Christ exalted.
Oh that we would be used as vessels to glorify our great God!