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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Things that Grieve the Holy Spirit

Micaiah Ministries will be at Living Waters Fellowship Friday @ 7p.m. and Sunday @ 11:15 a.m and 7p.m.

I've been thinking about what causes the Holy Spirit to be grieved....which means to have sorrow or to be distressed. Pastor John's message Got Mud: Take the Presence of God with You speaks of desiring to seek God's presence for your life. That is certainly the will of God for his people. What are things that would hinder that from happening in our lives?

Here are some things that grieve the Holy Spirit.


Not Believing and trusting Him. (Psalms 95:9-11, Psalm 78:39-41, Isaiah 63:9-11, 1 Corinthians 10:1-5, the book of Exodus)

This one is a hard one. All of these verses say the Holy Spirit was grieved. When I read the book of Exodus I ask myself if I would be any different than the children of Israel . What would I do if an army was closing in on me, if the food supply was non-existent, or I was dealing with a parched throat because of lack of water? Would I be among those who saw the miracles of God and doubted God when each new crisis arose? Reading Exodus lets us know that God's heart was always to provide....He longed for His people to trust Him and to believe that provision was His will. He wanted them to seek Him not run turn tail. I don't have to go far to see what I would do. All I have to do is examine my reactions to my own circumstances. Do I remember the works of the Lord in my life and others or do I panic at every turn. Don't get me wrong...I know sometimes things happen that can rattle us....but what do we do when that occurs? Do I run to God or do I run from Him. God wants us to seek Him and to trust Him remembering His mighty hand. The Psalm 78 passage says , "again and again they tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel." Imagine that, when we don't believe God can help us we are putting limits on God. The Holy Spirit is blessed when we trust even in hard situations, when we don't give up on our faith in the face of difficulty, when we seek Him even when our emotions are in an uproar...when He is our solution not our complaint.


Not knowing His Ways ( Psalm 95: 9-11)

God said that generation did not know His ways. That is a sad commentary. Every Father wants his children to know him...to trust his love for them and to understand and pass on the integrity they learned from him to their children. God was basically saying...this generation just didn't get it. They didn't know Him...they knew of him but didn't grasp His heart. It is not that they didn't have opportunity. The Word says in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 that everyone in the wilderness had the same opportunity to see God's mighty hand and let faith rise in their heart. Most of that generation ended up dying in the wilderness leaving their offspring to see the fulfillment of God's promise by faith. God said, "they didn't know my ways".

God talks a lot about the Moses generation...they are called examples to us. They are examples of how not to act and how not to relate to God. There were some fine exceptions Caleb and Joshua. God is desiring us to know His heart, to know his ways, and to know Him.

Rebelling and turning from Him (Isaiah 63:8-11)

In this passage God shares His heart. His love for Israel...His heart for them as His people. When they were in distress He was distressed for them and had a solution. Verse 10 tells us they rebelled against the God who had shared his tender mercies and it grieved His Holy Spirit. A read of the entire chapter shows a spirit of repentance which God accepts. Yet here we see that God has experienced the sting of being rejected by His people. Just as parents or grandparents desire good for their loved ones God loves and desires our good. He invest His love in us and it hurts His heart when someone walks away or rejects His loving correction.

Corrupt Speech, Anger, Strife....unkindness (Ephesians 4:29-32)
In between exhortations to not allow corrupt speech, anger and strife in your life and another passage stating that we need to be kind and tender hearted and forgiving...are the words , "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" The way we use our mouth and the way we treat other people matters to God. Is it not incidental that these areas are found together because often our mouth gets us into trouble with other people and causes hurt and divison. Some folks think that it is just "them and God"....but this passage lets us know our mouth and our relationships with others matter to Him. They matter so much that when we mess them up we can actually grieve the Holy Spirit. Thank God for His mercy in these areas. He is faithful to help us overcome habits that hurt others and can wreck havic upon our life. He is willing to take Spiritual soap to our tongue and help us to have right attitudes. Our treatment of others matters.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stand

Click here for Sermon: Who are you Partnered With Part 2 and Sunday School.

This week...I've come upon many people that are in situations that require standing firm.

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. "Ephesians 6:11

1. Standing firm means that we bear up against the things that are trying to come our way to bring destruction to us and those we love in someway. Standing firm, just like accepting Jesus as Savior or living right, requires first and foremost that we recognize that by ourselves we are powerless to succeed. It is only through Jesus shed blood and the ransom paid that we can ever hope to succeed in any spiritual endeavor. " Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" Ephesians 6:10

2. Standing can be lonely and grueling. We find in the famous Ephesians six passage that our enemy is seeking outright destruction. The hard truth that our real enemy is not a person or group of people but Satan and the demonic reminds us even more that we must totally rely upon our Savior for victory. It is not always easy to stand. Sometimes it would be easier to give up and not hold to our faith. To give up would be to let the enemy win and to not allow God's glory to be seen. It is God who gains the victory...but it is we who stand. Standing involves believing God to work in our life even when it looks like all is lost. It means doing the right thing, treating people well, and standing on the promises of God even when doing so is the hardest thing in the world for us. Standing requires a refusal to give in attitude.

3. Standing in faith is active. Sometimes we want to fix our situation ourselves. Believing God requires that we be willing to listen to His voice through the Word, or through the Holy Spirit speaking to our heart. Sometimes He will give us an action to take and sometimes He will tell us to stand down and see the salvation of the Lord. Either method is active because it requires our faith to be stretched.


4. Standing in faith brings rewards. Having faith in God and His ability will never fail us. Each circumstance that requires standing feels as if it will never end and that our failure is certain. Putting our life in God's hand and being willing to obey Him and the Word of God can be scary in the natural....but when we ask God with a grateful heart to intervene He gives us His peace. It is not that we are blind to the situation...we simply know He is in control and well able to meet our need . Looking back over our life I can see many such situations that were resolved in ways we'd never dreamed possible for our good.

Maybe some of you have testimonies of standing firm in faith that you'd like to share with us here on the blog. Feel free to send a comment. Even if you don't comment take a minute to remember what God has done...when you stood firm refusing to give in to the devil.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

God in times of trouble

Sermon: Who are you partnered With? Part 1 and Sunday School with Bro. Larry

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! NLT

Easy to read
The verse may be quick and easy to read but when you are actually looking at a picture of a mountain crumbling around people ....and the fear and mayhem a sudden disaster can bring it puts the significance of this verse in perspective. Take a look at the clip from Youtube my cousin Mark posted to facebook showing a recent (Feb 2010) landslide in Italy.


When I watched this clip Psalm 46 immediately came to my mind. You don't need to speak Italian to hear the panic in the hearts of the people. The little town had to be evacuated and it is certainly evident that there was great loss. The Psalmist uses graphic illustrations to make his point about God's faithfulness in times of trouble.

Don't Deny the Reality of what you or others are going through.

Storms are never denied to be real in the Bible. The Bible describes both physical disasters and crushing circumstances. Even in the midst of the storms of life God's blessings can be seen. Faith in God can move mountains. We've seen financial miracles, physical healings, hearts mended and restored to health and a host of other blessings in our faith walk. The faith walk clings to the promises of God and speaks them despite stinging circumstances...one thing it doesn't do is pretend they don't exist. Our Father helps us navigate through them. Best of all He is willing to speak to our heart about nagging questions that trouble our mind. (see Luke 13:1-5)

The News
News is filled with things that should bring us more and more to a point of fear and dread. Yet the Word tells us that God wants us to see Him as a refuge and strength even when things around us may be crumbling. Whether the news is a natural disaster or bad circumstances we serve a God who says to us that He is more than enough and that He has made a way for us. The causes of bad circumstances can be anywhere from our own doing, the wrong doing of someone else in our path, the work of the enemy, to the groaning of the earth.

Peace Be Still
When ever I read or hear the story of Jesus calming the sea....I wonder at His statement, "Ye of little faith". Picture the disciples in the midst of the storm with Peter barking orders, water overtaking the boat and the wind whipping at their back, adrenaline high as they struggle for survival. Meanwhile Jesus is asleep. When he is awakened He calms the sea with a word. Notice he doesn't say..."Guys what are you talking about there is no storm" We too can speak to the storm with the Word of God.

There is peace in knowing God is with us in the storm and that we can trust Him to answer us even when we are trying to keep it together and speaking in faith to still the storm.



















Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Protection of God

Sunday School and Sermon: Just Do it
Video: Coffee with Jesus How do you pray

Usually I write a blog entry...but this week I'm just going to share a chapter of the Bible that is precious to me.

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91, New King James Version)