COOPERATING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!!
“Let the Holy Spirit change your way of thinking!”
(Ephesians 4:23 CEV)
The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives on a daily basis is vitally important to our continuing spiritual growth as a believer and our moving forward as a church family. Throughout the Bible we see an important truth illustrated over and over: The Holy Spirit releases His power the moment we take a step of faith. There are many illustrations we can point to but consider this one from the life of Joshua that we preached about last Sunday. When Joshua was faced with an impassible barrier, the floodwaters of the Jordan river, the instruction was that when the feet of the priests touched the water they would part or recede. Did the waters part and recede? Yes, but only after they stepped into the rushing current in obedience and faith. (See Joshua 3)
Joshua’s story is significant because the fact is that our obedience unlocks the door to God’s power. God waits for us to act first. This is the act of faith. We must not wait until we feel powerful or feel confident. Our feelings cannot always be trusted but God’s word can!! Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to move ahead, doing the right thing in spite of fears and feelings. This is how we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, even when we don’t always understand everything.
We are told, throughout the New Testament in particular, to “make every effort” to grow in faith, to become more like Jesus (for instance read Luke 13:24; Romans 14:19; Ephesians 4:3). It is important that we don’t just sit around and wait for it to happen. Our inaction instead of our obedience and cooperation with the Holy Spirit causes us to fall short of God’s plans and purposes for our lives and for the church corporately.
It is also an important principle to remember that we deepen our faith each time we are obedient to the commands of Jesus. This is true also in our cooperation with the Holy Spirit as He leads. For instance….
● We must choose to let go of what we want for what the Holy Spirit wants.
“Everything…connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!” (Ephesians 4:22 – The Message)
If we cling to our old ways, which would include our way of thinking, it would mean we’re unable to know the mind of the Spirit which is crucial to our cooperating with Him. So……
● We must change the way we think.
As our text above says..
"Let the Holy Spirit change your way of thinking!” (Ephesians 4:23 CEV).
Notice that it says ‘let’. This is a strong word in the Greek language that instructs us to quickly and deliberately ‘allow’ or ‘permit’ something without question or hesitation……wow!!
● We must ‘put on’ the character of Christ.
The scripture strongly admonishes us to…..
“Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians. 4:24).
It was always the character of Christ to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His life and ministry. Look at the narrative of Luke 4:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me because He has anointed me…”
When the Holy Spirit anoints us and we learn to cooperate with Him all of a sudden the impossible becomes possible, the unthinkable becomes a reality, the unimaginable starts happening. Why?.........because we chose to cooperate with the One who has the power to make it happen when we take that step of faith in any situation of life where He instructs us.
Mmmmm…..think about it!!