Sunday, March 2, 2014

Stopping the Lord

Stopping the Lord
March 3, 2014
Acts 7:51  "'You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!'"

The Lord is at work in and among us, even this very moment.  He does so by the power of His Holy Spirit that lives inside of us.  His Spirit is busy carrying out the Lord's will here on this earth, working in and through you and me.  The Holy Spirit does not necessarily accomplish all the work himself; He abides in us, empowering us to carry out the Heavenly plan.  The Holy Spirit loves a willing vessel whom He can work through, accomplishing important tasks.  But in order to do that, you and I must be available and willing to listen.  And once we are available and willing to listen, we must follow though, acting upon the impression in our hearts the Holy Spirit has made.

There was a follower of Christ who is an amazing example of being empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish the Lord's will.  He spoke boldly about the Christ, risking and even receiving death by stoning.  During his last public discourse, Stephen chastised the religious elite of the day, saying they believed in God and His plan but had hearts and minds that were closed to fulfilling that plan.  Stephen said they were resisting the work of the Holy Spirit.  The religious elite were set in their ways, set in their history, and comfortable with not moving forward.  They were not willing to accept an actively involved and constantly working God who challenged their daily lives to move forward with His plan.  The Lord's plan is always moving forward, regardless of man's willingness to accept it.  The religious elite liked to talk about it, but were afraid to do anything.

The Holy Spirit has a new work to do each and every day.  He has things to accomplish and would love nothing more than to empower you and me for the task at hand.  The problem lies in resisting that work, in being comfortable with not moving forward.  We might talk about the Lord's will or talk about His plan for mankind and what role we might play in it, but seldom do we walk in that plan on a daily basis.  Seldom do we actually listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and speak boldly the words He has for us to say.  Seldom do we actually listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and act boldly in the tasks He has for us today.

You've felt the voice of the Holy Spirit inside of you, but it is easy to disregard it as preposterous.  The voice asks you to move forward with things you and I feel are slightly out of the ordinary.  You feel foolish and convince yourself it is a silly idea, not prudent in fulfilling.  Stephen would say you are resisting the Holy Spirit and stopping the work of the Lord in your life.  Unfortunately, we probably do this more than we'd like to admit.  Someday we will all feel a little embarrassed and ashamed at what we could have actually accomplished for the Lord.  We will be made aware in Heaven of all the missed opportunities on this earth of the empowered life we COULD have lived if we had simply acknowledged the voice of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Try this for one day: try only speaking the words or fulfilling the role the Holy Spirit has for you.  Before you do anything, stop and ask the Holy Spirit what He has for you to accomplish.  You might say or do some pretty bold things, but it would be the empowered life you were meant to live.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Zech 7:12, Acts 5:3, Acts 7, Acts 15:8

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