Recently, I preached a message at our church, Hope Baptist Church in North Little Rock-Sherwood, AR. I thought some of the points of that message would be important to share with our readers. The message was called, Living a Godly Life Style. You may listen to the message at http://mismallbusinessweb.com/LoveOfTheFamily/ministries/audio/
As a Pastor for many years and the Director of Hope Biblical Counseling Center, I have seen and heard about much destruction in Christian’s lives. It is our desire to always be a help and encouragement in people’s lives. We receive hundreds of emails from people who are in destruction mode in their lives. They do not understand how or why they have gotten to where they are. Many profess to be saved but are grieving, quenching, and insulting the Holy Spirit.
We desire to share the truth of a Spirit filled Christian life. We are not psychologists. We believe the answers to man’s problem are found in the Scriptures and that the Holy Spirit is here to teach us.
Romans 15:4, 13, For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
I share with people wherever I go in preaching and Biblical Counseling that mechanical Christianity does not work. So, what do I mean by that? They are “doing” their Christian life in their own power and the power of the flesh. They do not have a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God. They believe they will improve their standing with God without submitting to the Holy Spirit. They are not Spirit filled and controlled people. Sadly, many Independent Baptist people live their Christian life this way. As an example, they read their Bible sometimes or even daily, but they do not know what they have read when they are finished. Or they do it because they have to, not submitting to the Holy Spirit and learning. They believe they have had a daily time with God, when they are just going through the motions of reading their Bible. So, why is this person headed toward destruction?
Proverbs 13:13-15, Whoso despiseth (does not give proper attention to) the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. (14) The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (15) Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
So, if I do not read the Bible properly, submitted to, directed, and taught by the Holy Spirit, I will be destroyed. We see it all around us today. Notice the phrase, “but the way of transgressors is hard.”
Life gets really hard for a doer mentality Christian. They are neglecting two principles.
1. They are neglecting the Holy Spirit, not submitting to Him, and not allowing Him to teach them the Word of God.
2. They are destroyed because of it.
Through my study of the Scripture I have found that the Holy Spirit does at least 70 things in a saved person’s life.
When a person gets saved, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell them.
Romans 8:9-13, But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (10) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (12) Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
So, if you do not have the Holy Spirit in you, you are not saved! The moment you do get saved, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell you. Now you have the power to make spiritual changes that you were not able to make before as a lost person.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
When you get saved the Holy Spirit comes to indwell you and you are not your own. You are bought with a price, the precious blood of Christ.
Because the Holy Spirit indwells you, did you see the point in verse 20? You are to “glorify God in your body and in your spirit.”
When people come to us for Biblical Counseling you can rest assured they have not been practicing the principle of glorifying God in their lives. They believe they are their own and live like they want, and it has not been to glorify God. Yet they are angry at God and others because they desire to live their own way and things are not working out the way they want them to. They are now in conflict with God the Holy Spirit because of being disobedient in this regard of glorifying God and the full recognition that they are not their own and live the way they want.
John 14:15-27, (15) If ye love me, keep my commandments. (16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Holy Spirit), that he may abide with you for ever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (19) Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (20) At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (22) Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (24) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. (25) These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. (26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
There are some very important truths our Lord brought forth here:
- If you love him, you will keep His commandments.
- If you are saved the Spirit of Truth, will abide with you forever.
- The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit and does not see Him.
- If you love the Lord Jesus, He will manifest Himself to you by the Holy Spirit who will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.
- Through the Holy Spirit He will give you peace.
Some more important points are in John 15:26 and John 16:7-14.
John 15:26, But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
- The Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus Christ.
John 16:7-14, 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. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
- The Holy Spirit is sent to us by Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgement and He will show us things to come.
- The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and He will glorify Jesus Christ.
So, it has become apparent here that our relationship with the Holy Spirit is very important.
The Bible tells us we are to be filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:14-21, Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (17) Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (18) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (controlled) with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
- God does not want us to walk as fools (unwise), we are to redeem (take care of) our time for God and understand what the will of God is.
What is the will of God? Every believer is to be filled, (controlled) by the Holy Spirit.
What happens if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit?
- We will walk as fools, not spend our time spiritually correctly (wisely), and we will not submit ourselves to each other properly. We also will not be thankful people. We will live for the flesh.
So, how are we to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Every day we need to do some spiritual heart house cleaning.
Jeremiah 17:9-10, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Proverbs 28:25-26, He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. (26) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Every day I need to check my heart. I need to ask God to search my heart. Lord is there any sin in my heart that is standing between you and me?
When God shows me, I need to confess the sin and turn from it. As each sin comes up, I need to deal with it in the same manner. Now I can have fellowship with God.
1 John 1:8-9, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Then I need to submit myself to God and ask the Holy Spirit to control me and be my teacher today. “Lord, fill me with the Spirit, control my thoughts and actions, open you’re Word to me and teach me.”
James 4:7-10, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
When I come to God’s Word each day I am now a teachable person because I have submitted to God the Holy Spirit to teach me.
Wonderful things can happen then. Spiritual growth and Jesus Christ becoming real to me. That is what the Holy Spirit does, He makes Jesus Christ real in my life and yours when we submit to Him to be taught. The doer mentality person substitutes emotion, anger, activities, and worldly fleshly living for the Holy Spirit in their lives. If they do this they are on the way to destruction not even knowing they are doing so. They believe they are a good Christian, until their life falls apart and they want to know where God is because their fake joy has turned into anger, depression, and disillusionment.
The definition of disillusionment: a feeling of disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be.
In essence, they thought they had a relationship with God, but were “doing” the Christian life in their own power. A doer mentality Christian is a person who is saved but not submitted to the Holy Spirit. They really do not have the joy of the Lord even though they think they do.
The doer mentality Christian is a deceived person. Satan’s desire is to get them to substitute things for the Holy Spirit in their life thus deceiving them.
When the Holy Spirit lives within me and I am unwilling to submit to Him, I can grieve, quench and insult the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:29-31, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Look at all these things that grieve the Holy Spirit in these verses. Grieve means someone has caused great distress to another person. To sadden, upset, distress, wound, or hurt. In this case, to the Holy Spirit.
When a person is trying to live the Christian life in their own power they speak evil, are bitter, angry, and argue. They become hurtful malicious people. They are very angry when their life is falling apart. Their marriage is in trouble, their children do not go on to live for God. They still do not understand why they are there and they blame others.
Sadly, that sounds like most of the Christians we counsel and many Christians who attend church each week.
As hundreds of people contact us about their life, children or marriage through Hope Biblical Counseling Center, it is always the same process. The devil does not have to change his program. He has been pretty successful clear back to Adam and Eve as to the way he has operated.
1 John 2:15-17, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
- Lust of the flesh-consuming desire to do. The person always has to be doing something. Got to go here or there and always must have something to do. Sports, trips, some kind of activity or friends to hang out with. The desire is just have fun. They believe quality family time is “doing something” rather talking meaningfully with their children. It consumes their life and makes them an unfaithful person.
- Lust of the eyes-compelling desire to have. They always have to have something or someone new. Always looking for the next toy, car, boat, person, or house. It consumes their life and makes them an unfaithful person.
- Pride of Life-a conceited desire to be. Of course, it is always something they want to be, but not what God wants them to be. It consumes their life and makes them an unfaithful person.
They cannot be a Spirit controlled person, because they have allowed all these other desires in their life.
They rationalize their unfaithfulness to God and the things of God.
Satan wants to derail your life and destroy it. He makes war on babies, and he will make war on your babies.
Listen to me carefully, parent. You must have a real relationship with God and convey to your children how to have a real relationship with God. Exposure to information about God will not be the answer for your children; it will lead them to disaster. It will lead you to disaster as well. They will be destroyed by the destroyer through unrighteousness or their self-righteousness. You will be in great pain as they will. The sad part here is that Christians do not know how to turn their lives around. They end up in the hog pen and do not know how to get out. They do not fit in at church, they do not fit in in the world, and they are miserable. They are seeking pleasures from the world through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The devil continues to put outside pressure on them, and the Holy Spirit continues to convict them of their sinfulness. What a miserable, wretched experience.
Many times when Christians are seeking to live a life of self-righteousness, (doer mentality) they eventually tire of keeping up the grueling self-work with very little joy. They have no answers, and so they spiral down and quit. The destroyer is destroying their lives. So who is the devil looking to destroy? It is the one who does not have a real relationship with the Lord. The one who is not controlled by the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Galatians 5 explains this in detail.
Galatians 5:16, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
The answer is the Holy Spirit who indwells us and wants us to be Spirit controlled. Our walk is our daily life. The promise is if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
So, the answer is to have a real relationship with God by walking in the Spirit.
I want you to notice in Galatians 5:19-21 that a person who is not walking in the Spirit will be involved in the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:19-21, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (unbridled lust), Idolatry, witchcraft (same word we get our word drugs from), hatred, variance (person who quarrels with everyone and everything), emulations (an attitude of deep rage, jealousy and envy), wrath, strife, seditions (division and dissension), heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings (orgies, carousing), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
If a person can continually and habitually do these things and is never convicted about them by the Holy Spirit, he or she is lost. However, there are people who are saved who do such things and are miserable as they are convicted by the Holy Spirit. The end result is the person is deceived.
Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsover a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
So, if I do not have a real relationship with God through the Spirit of God, I will have a disaster even though I go to church, read my Bible daily, pray, and memorize the Bible. The person who does these things without a real relationship with God is mocking God (means they treat God with contempt). Unfortunately, a number of people in church fall into this category. They sow to the flesh because of a lack of a relationship with God.
Notice Galatians 5:25, If we live in the Spirit (we are saved), let us also walk in the Spirit. Folks, we have to have a real relationship with the Spirit of God to control our walk. Otherwise, the devil will control our soul and he will control our walk. God speaks to our spirit from the inside of us. The devil seeks to control our soul by putting outside pressure on us.
Our relationship with God is a matter of worship which is the Holy Spirit of God speaking to our spirit. One of the great joys of my life is to daily have God speak to me through His Word.
John 4:24, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
My daily time with God is worship. I need to be taught by the Holy Spirit, not live a doer mentality.
If I am living a doer mentality, I quench the Holy Spirit’s work in my life.
1 Thessalonians 5:19, Quench not the Spirit.
Quench means extinguish, put out, smother, douse, or snuff out.
This is serious business, but there is one more thing that we must truly understand which is very serious business. It is the matter of insulting the Holy Spirit.
Most people we counsel believe they are more faithful than they are. They are deceived about their faithfulness because they live a flesh controlled life rather than a Spirit controlled life.
God desires each one of His children to be a servant.
Ephesians 6:6-7, Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
A doer mentality person is doing his work unto men or pride fully for himself. A real servant is a person submitted to the Holy Spirit, and he does his work from a heart that really wants to submit and serve.
God’s program for this age is the local church. The writer of Hebrews discusses this at length and with some very strong words.
As a pastor for almost 40 years I have never seen a person be an effective servant of God without a real relationship with God and without establishing their priorities to be faithful to the house of God.
Hebrews 10:23-31, Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised: (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (26) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (28) He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite (insulted) unto the Spirit of grace? (30) For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (31) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
- We go to the house of God to encourage others.
- We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together in the house of God.
- If we sin willfully in this matter, we leave God no other choice but to judge our life.
- If we do despite (insult) the Holy Spirt, God says vengeance is His.
When spiritual delusion is in our life by not being a submitted Spirit controlled people, we allow the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, to keep us from the house of God. The desire to do, have, or be, is more important than attending the house of God. In Hebrews the writer is encouraging these Jewish believers not to allow that to happen.
Sadly, we see it all around us today. If something comes up (lust) that is more important to us, we are just not in the house of God. Therefore, we are not a faithful servant because we have a heart issue. Because of their lusts just like the Jews under the Mosaic Law, we are treading underfoot the blood of Christ and count the blood of the covenant as an unholy thing, we are doing despite or insulting the Holy Spirit.
We are rejecting Christ and what He wants us to be, a faithful servant. We cannot be a faithful person without submitting our self to the Holy Spirit and being filled and controlled by Him.
People who make every excuse or any excuse to not be in the house of God, their local church, to learn, worship, and encourage others are on dangerous ground. Destruction is ruling and reigning today because of a doer mentality and unfaithful Christians who destroy their lives, their marriages, their children, and their families, by living a worldly fleshly life. They are deceived.
We should not insult the Holy Spirit in this manner when Christ sent Him to teach us! We cannot be taught if we do not desire to be taught by having a daily time with God with the Holy Spirit teaching us and being in the house of God, our local church, for the Holy Spirit to teach us. One of the great sadness’s of this hour is the lack of real servant’s in God’s house. You cannot serve in the local church effectively if you are not a faithful person. You cannot serve if you are not present! You also do damage to other Christian’s in the Lord’s house because of your unfaithfulness. If you ae a member of a local church be faithful to it because you have a real, intimate, personal and passionate relationship with God by being rightly related to the Holy Spirit.
If you need more help understanding what it means to be a Spirit filled and controlled person and how to have a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God or how to have a daily time with God, please click on this link.
Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (destruction); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.