Have you asked your Lord to guide you by His Spirit? This is one of the continuing miracles of the Christian life. You can be guided divinely in the steps of ordinary life.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Yes, that greeting has, for 25 years, been identifying the fact that this is your good friend, Bob Cook. And that I’m glad to be back with you, and that you and I can be kept by the power of God. Even though we’re in a dirty world, we don’t have to be of it. Jesus, our Lord said, “I have chosen you out of the world, that you should go and bear much fruit.” Thank God, He can keep you, He can guide you, and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today.
Last time we got together, we were talking about the work of the Holy Spirit. In Verse Eight, He convicts, and in Verse 13, He guides, and Verse 14, He glorifies the Lord Jesus. In Verse 14 and 15, He shows the things of Christ to us. Now, you remember, I talked about this matter of conviction. You, my dear friend, are the only Christ that people will see. He said, “You convict the world of sin, because they believe not on me, of righteousness, because I go to the Father of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” The great sin, the condemning sin of the human race, is rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But then He said, “You convict of righteousness.” And He said, “I’m going to the Father.” What was the point? “I’ll be gone. My physical presence will be at the right hand of the throne of God. You are the only ones who’ll be here, and the Holy Spirit in you will present the righteousness of God, it’s reality, and it’s demands.”
“Christ is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” says Paul. So when He has come to you, He will convict the world through you of their unbelief, and Christ rejection, and of their lack of God’s righteousness, which can only come through His gift of grace, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Then He’ll convict the world through you of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” How do we demonstrate that? Well, that’d be the victory that God gives you over Satan. He’s a defeated foe, and you and I don’t have to cave in under the pressures, that Satan and all of his demons might put upon us, pressures of trials, and troubles, and temptations, and times of discouragement.
Have you ever felt depression coming over you like a cloud and you didn’t know why you felt so bad? Well, listen. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. And Satan is a defeated foe, but he’s still fighting. And the only way then, to demonstrate that the war is really won, and is over, is for you and for me to show that shining victory in our lives. “Thanks be unto God,” says Paul, “Which giveth us.” ‘Giveth,’ that’s present tense, linear. “He keeps on giving us, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let the Holy Spirit of God tell other people today what Jesus is like and let Him tell them through you.
Now, in Verse 13, the work of the Holy Spirit. He says, “When He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth. He will show you things to come. He will guide you into all truth.” That word ‘guide’ is interesting, it means to lead you, to lead you, as a person would say, “Come, follow me. I’ll show you the way out of this maze.” People sometimes come to visit us and they say, “Where do you live? I can’t find you.” And I’ll say over the phone, “Well, where are you?” And they’ll say, “Well, we’re at such and such a gas station.” [chuckle] And I’ll say, “Well, just stay there. I’ll come get you and I’ll lead you.” He shall guide you into all truth.
How does the Spirit guide you? Number one, He dwells within you and He witnesses with your spirit, to the reality of your relationship with Jesus. “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God, and if sons, then heirs, joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” The Holy Spirit of God does His beginning wonderful work in your heart the minute you trust Christ, as savior, by reassuring you that you are indeed His very own. And this reassurance comes by the Word of God. “Faith cometh by hearing,” says Paul, “And hearing by the Word of God.” And so as you look at God’s promises, and make them you’re very own, the Holy Spirit witnesses with your spirit. He tells you effectively the truth. He guides you into the truth of the fact that you are the child of God.
Gilbert Howe used to have an evangelistic work just outside of Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and he would have services there in a little tabernacle structure across the road from the entrance to that embarkation point for Uncle Sam’s soldiers every night. And then, again, many times he would go onto the base, and visit in the barracks with the GIs. On one occasion, he told me he was visiting in the barracks, and there was a young man seated on his cot looking very glum and morose, and Gilbert went over, and interrogated him. The young man said, “Well, there’s nothing you can do for me.” And Gilbert said, “Well, tell me about it. I know the Lord can do something for you.” He says, “Don’t tell me to pray.” He said, “Feel my knees,” and Gilbert Howe reached over, and felt his knees, and through the cloth of his uniform, he could sense that they were all calloused. He said, “I’ve gotten callouses on my knees by praying, and I’m still scared, and I’m still not at peace.” And then he said, “How do you think you can do anything for me? Look at that crucifix there on the wall.” And he said, “Take it down and look at it.”
And so as the minister looked at it, he saw that it was worn, the finish was off of it. And the young man said, “I’ve worn that finish off by praying over it, and holding it, and I still haven’t any peace, and I’m still scared.” Well, our brother took this young man into John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” And he explained what it meant to receive the Lord Jesus. It’s not just praying. It’s not trying. It’s not doing something. It is rather opening your heart by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, and allowing Him to come in, and be your Savior. And then he explained to the young man what it means to believe on Christ’s name. “Even to them that believe on His name.” His name is Jesus. If you believe on somebody’s name, you trust them to do what their name means. In the old days, they used to name people by their occupations. Even today, we have the holdover from that. We have Mr Shepherd, and Mr Baker, and Mr Banker, and I’m Mr Cook. Now, if you are going to trust someone to do what his name says he does, you would allow him to do that. Now, the name of Jesus means ‘savior.’ And so if you believe on His name, that’s another way of saying, “Trust Him to do what His name means. Trust Him to do what He does best. He saves you.” You trust Him to do that. You invite Him in and you trust Him to save you.
And so he explained all of that to the young man, and they got down, and they prayed, and the young man invited the Lord Jesus into his life. He’d never done this before. And then he told our Lord that he was going to trust Him, to save him from his sin, and make him a child of God. Alright, they got up off their knees, and Gilbert Howe then opened his Bible, turned it upside down, so that the print text was facing the young man, and he said, “Now, read that verse for me.” And the young man read John 1:12 aloud, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” And Gilbert said, “Are you in that verse now?” And the boy looked at him uncertainly. He said, “I don’t know.” And Gilbert said, “Read it again.”
And so the boy read, once again, aloud, “But as many has received Him… ” He didn’t get any farther. He said, “Why, yes, I’m in there. I received Him and I trusted Him.” His face lit up, and somehow, from the depths of his being, the blessed Holy Spirit was guiding him into the truth, that he was indeed God’s child. That’s the start of the guidance of the Spirit of God. Now, He will guide you in your life’s work. An illustration of that is found in Paul’s ministry. He said, as Dr Luke tells the story, that they tried to go in one direction and the Spirit didn’t allow them to. They tried to go into another direction and the Spirit didn’t allow them to. Let me read those verses. I’ve turned now to Acts Chapter 16, “When they had gone through Phrygia, and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.” He said, “Don’t do it now.” “When they were come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered ’em,” it means allowed them not.
And they came finally down to Troas, and that’s the place where Paul saw the vision of the man of Macedonia saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” And immediately, he said, “We endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathered that the Lord… ” See, there’s a reference again to the blessed Spirit of God guiding them… “Had called us to preach the Gospel unto them.” How does the Spirit guide you? He guides you in knowing that you belong to Christ. He guides you in the decisions of everyday life. Oh, have you asked God for advice recently? Have you asked your Lord to guide you by His Spirit? This is one of the continuing miracles of the Christian life. You can be guided divinely in the steps of ordinary life. Not everything in life is religious, as you know so well. But everything in life can be guided by the Holy Spirit of God, from programs, to parking places, and from management decisions, to marital decisions, and from household matters, to matters that may span the globe, the Holy Spirit of God will guide you step by step.
He teaches you in the Word also, doesn’t He? “Which things we speak, not with the wisdom of the world,” says Paul, “But that which the Holy Ghost teacheth. The wisdom of God that the Holy Spirit teaches. Now, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God, which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” God will teach you His truth. Well, we get on with this the next time we get together. Time runs out.
Father God, today, oh, may we be guided by the blessed Holy Spirit. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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