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Apr29FriApril 29, 2016Scripture makes it clear that by going our own way will lead to disaster. Judges 21:25 “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Then you see the results of going your own way in Ruth 1:1 “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land.” Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” We are in those days. Moses said Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” Moses goes on to say Deuteronomy 31:29 “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt.” Then we see the later kings are described by either doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as their father David had done or by doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. One or the other will describe us.Yesterday we talked about obedience. From the very beginning of the word till the end, we are told to obey. This also means we will be told what to do in our obedience. John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” If you have been part of the church you will see a desperate desire to find a way to make their churches grow. It seems men and women will try anything. So when a church appears temporally successful, the multitudes follow hard after them trying to do what they do but yet it seldom works. Most churches will have plan after plan stacked up somewhere. So instead of being lead by the Spirit, man wants to be lead by man. Yes some plans do work but will they lead to eternity with God or are they just a temporary fix? 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 1 Peter 1:3 “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” So much time and money has been spent on trying to build the kingdom of God with perishable seed. For some reason man thinks they know better. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened Acts 2:41 “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”As one person said, “Normal Christianity, as planned by our Lord, was not supposed to begin in the Spirit and continue in the flesh.” Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” The church today has taken up this demonic doctrine of church growth and has charged ahead in their own strength. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Jude 1:19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. Jeremiah 8:4 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “‘When people fall down, do they not get up? When someone turns away, do they not return? 5 Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. 6 I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. 7 Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.” Hosea 4:6 “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”If we truly understood the difference of being led by the Holy Spirit and following in our ways, we would humble ourselves before God immediately. God seems to be letting us find out the difference. 2 Chronicles 12:8 “They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.” I would say most of us do not know what it means to be led by the Holy Spirit. For example; can you tell who has a demon and who does not? Luke 13:10 “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Like Peter and John do you know when to look at someone and say rise and walk? Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.” Scripture shows us that God will lead us. Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” Revelation 7:17 “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”Following the Spirit leads to amazing wonders happening that man cannot produce. Paul tells us Ephesians 6:12 “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, principalities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We cannot battle these forces with man made principles. When the Spirit leads us, everything changes and we are then able to accomplish the mission God has for us yet so many try. Joshua 3:1 “Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” When we follow the Holy Spirits leading he leads the way making straight our paths and signs and wonders are included. The church that only has a form of godliness will not see this kind of power because they deny it. Joshua 3:15 “Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” Joshua 6:2 “Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Joshua 8:1 “Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.” 2 Chronicles 32:7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king.” Isaiah 37:36 “Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp.”They were told exactly what to do with amazing results. There is also something else that man cannot do. You have heard it said that a person wished that they could be a fly on the wall to hear a conversation. Here is an example of life in the Spirit. 2 Kings 5:26 “But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Colossians 2:4 “I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.” John 4:17 “Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.” Luke 8:17 “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” 2 Peter 1:21 “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”Walking in the Spirit is totally different the walking in the flesh. Galatians 5:16 “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:13 “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” Jesus showed us how we are to be led. Matthew 4:1 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Luke 4:1 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness”Being filled with the Holy Spirit and moving in power wasn’t just for Jesus but for us also. Romans 8:14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” If the Spirit does not lead you then you cannot call yourself a son of God and the promises do not apply nor will you have power. Jesus gave authority to His disciples but then the Holy Spirit was poured out onto all who believe but it was not one and done even as Acts shows us. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Just like the early church, we must also wait to be clothed with this power so that we can go and make disciples. We are not to go out naked. Mark 16:20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 2 Samuel 7:25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!” Revelation 2:7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”