Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Recognizing God’s Spirit At Work In Our Lives

JOHN 16:13-15-When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

Every true Christian yearns for spiritual growth in the grace, knowledge, and conformity to the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans8:28-29, 2 Peter 3:18). He or she must. It is part of God’s work of new birth. He creates a new creature in Christ with new desires, new pursuits, and a huge part of this newness is the desire to become more like Jesus and be with Him (Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). But the question is, “How does this work of God occur?” Well, there are two parts to that answer. We find them in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He writes, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). We are responsible for growth in the grace, knowledge and conformity to the Lord Jesus by our “work of obedience” to His Word. And God does His work in us by His Word and Spirit. So, there is a “team effort” going on here in the Christian life, but how do we know or recognize God’s part by His Spirit? Today’s scripture provides two of the chief marks of the working of God’s Spirit in our lives. If we want to know if the Spirit of God is alive and working in us, here is the evidence.

First, the Spirit of God, as the Author of Scripture (2 Peter 1:21) always works by His Word, in harmony with His Word, and never outside the safe boundaries of His Word. Jesus tells us“ When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak of His own authority.” If we hear teaching, preaching or read a book that claims to be of God but lacks the centrality of the Scripture, and not just has some Bible sprinkled in, run–fast and far. It is not of God no matter how it makes us feel or sounds. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and He uses His truth to work in us.

Another certain evidence of the Spirit of God at work in our lives and churches is the supremacy of Jesus Christ in all we do and seek. Again from the Lord Jesus, “He (the Holy Spirit) will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you.” When the Spirit of God is at work, Christians become increasingly passionate to know Christ, be with Christ, be like Christ. We won’t have prayer meetings addressing a “generic God” nor will we have fellowship with other Christians restricted to “what God is doing” or “what we are doing for God.” No, a Christian and church experiencing the work of the Spirit will find the supremacy of Jesus Christ everywhere. Our testimonies match that of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church–And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

Recognizing the work of God’s Spirit. It is not difficult. He will be known by the centrality of the Bible and supremacy of Jesus Christ in all His workings.

PRAYER: “Father, may my life be one increasingly consumed with Your Son, the Lord Jesus.”
QUOTE: “Christ is the Christian’s all in all and that will be verified by an increasing in the likeness of His character.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim