Welcome to the series on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. There are three parts to God, we call it the Trinity. God the Father. God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. So when we talk about the Holy Spirit, we are talking about God. God wants to live in you. The same Holy Spirit who brought Jesus back to life is the same Holy Spirit who wants to live in you. It sounds too good to be true but it’s true.
We started by saying that God sent the Holy Spirit to help move us from spiritual sickness to spiritual health. Scripture listed around thirteen symptoms of spiritual sickness that indicate that we are in control.
19 But when you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group-and there will be wrong doctrine, 21 envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. TLB Galatians 5:16-26
Then scripture immediately gives us the symptoms of spiritual health that show that the Holy Spirit is in control.
22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. TLB Galatians 5:16-26
Sam last week was given a big challenge. We wanted him to take the fuzzy, spiritual idea and make it practical. How so we walk with the Holy Spirit daily? It starts by admitting we need Jesus. We pray, and pray specifically. We need to have the faith to believe that the Holy Spirit is with us. Then is said the thing that is the greatest challenge, we then make right choices, we live differently. And we live with gratitude for what He is doing in our lives.
Today, I want to share a life truth with you. As real and obvious as gravity is, what I am about to tell you, it is also just as real and obvious. The problem with this truth is that we spend many years avoiding it. We waste are strength trying desperately to prove it wrong. But at some point in our lives, we will realize this truth.
Here it is: You are not enough. That means you don’t have the ability, the inner strength to save yourself. You don’t. You can’t produce the things in your life that you want. Joy. Love. Pure motives. After many years of failed attempts to be more than enough, we are left with sin, guilt and shame stuck to our soul.
It took me many years to figure this out. I grew up into this church stuff and as soon as I could get out from under it, I ran from it. I was young, healthy and thought I knew it all. I thought Christians were weak and lazy when it came to living life. So I began living exactly the way I wanted. Another way of saying it was, I was completely in control of my life.
Do you know what I discovered after many wasted years? I wasn’t enough. I simply didn’t have the ability to save myself. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t find joy. Love. Pure motives. I looked back in my life and accumulated sin, guilt and shame.
What I am saying is this: you can try to walk without the Holy Spirit. You can. It will be an epic fail. How do you know? You will be tired, burned out, confused and several other negative emotions. Please hear me clearly. You are not enough, you need the power of the Holy Spirit. Have you realized this yet?
13 The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 14 From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. 16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. 17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory – for all its strength, it cannot save you.
18 But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. 20 We depend on the LORD alone to save us. Only he can help us, protecting us like a shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in his holy name. 22 Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone. NTL Psalms 33:13-22
A great army isn’t enough for a king to succeed. Great strength isn’t enough for a warrior to succeed. An awesome war horse isn’t enough to save you in battle. What is scripture saying? You are not enough. You don’t have it in you. You can’t save yourself. There is something missing. Then verse 20, we depend on God alone to save us. Only He can help us. What is missing? It’s God. What is missing is the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Have you figured this out yet? That you are not enough? Have you realized that you need the power of God? 6 ways you know, you haven’t figured this out yet.
- You are so worried about the future so you take control. You think, if I get others to do what I want them to do, if I control my life, my marriage, my family, then maybe that will be enough.
- You have an inner passion, a drive to produce and succeed to look good to yourself and others. You think, if I prove to myself that I am a good leader or a success or get wealthy, then that will be enough.
- You find it easier to be a victim. You think, if I can blame others or blame life for who I am, I don’t have to deal with the real issues in my life, that will be enough to get me through.
- You jump into life trying to please everyone, no priorities, no focus, no awareness of God. You think, if others like me, that will be enough.
- You are entitled. You expect others to give you things you didn’t work for. You think, power, position, recognition, fame will be enough. Maybe if I take a selfie and 1,000 people like it, maybe, that will be enough.
- You refuse to forgive. You are hurt and growing in your bitterness. You think, your judgement and revenge will be enough.
If I were to add a seventh, I would probably talk about how we try to escape reality. Technology, social media, games on our ipads, etc. Alcohol. Pornography. Workaholic. Etc.
I’m here to tell you from scripture and from your life experience, you are not enough. And all our attempts to do life without God is a train wreck. But, God alone, is more than enough. Listen to what God says about all of our efforts to save ourselves.
GOD, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me – The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. 16 You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’ You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough! You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’ Do you think your pursuers ride old nags? 17 Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker. Before a mere five you’ll all run off. There’ll be nothing left of you – a flagpole on a hill with no flag, a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.” 18 But GOD’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right – everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. MSG Isaiah 30:15-18
What we need for strength is complete dependence on God. All other attempts to save ourselves will only waste years off your life.
Please hear me, you are not enough. All our attempts to save ourselves without God ruin us. But, complete dependence on God is more than enough. The day I discovered this was when I walked forward, kneeled and declared my complete dependence on God. I prayed, “I’m done trying to do life without You, I’m a mess and I need Your help.” To this day, I am learning what it means to be latelytely dependent on God because I still want to take control and do my own thing.
If you want to unleash the Holy Spirit into your life, you have to stop trying to save yourself. So let me ask you, how are you trying to save yourself? Control? Success leading to bigger, better and more? Being people pleaser? Being a victim? Being entitled? Unforgiving? Trying to escape reality?
Our invitation to you today is to be honest. Recognize that you are not enough. Recognize all the ways you try to save yourself are just waste, powerless, years off your life. Recognize, what you need is the Holy Spirit. What you need is to settle down and declare your complete dependence on God.
Why do we see powerless, spiritless, defeated, Christians? They refuse to declare their complete dependence on God. They think things like this, ‘I have to do this just in case God doesn’t… fill in the blank.’ Or, ‘I know that I shouldn’t but… fill in the blank.’ Or, ‘I know I should but… fill in the blank.’ Those are just attempts to save themselves.
Do you feel powerless? Do you feel spiritless? Do you feel defeated? You don’t have to. Today, right now, everything can change. You can declare your complete dependence on God.
21 Surely you know. Surely you have heard. Surely from the beginning someone told you. Surely you understand how the earth was created. 22 God sits on his throne above the circle of the earth, and compared to him, people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the skies like a piece of cloth and spreads them out like a tent to sit under. 23 He makes rulers unimportant and the judges of this world worth nothing. 24 They are like plants that are placed in the ground, like seeds that are planted. As soon as they begin to grow strong, he blows on them and they die, and the wind blows them away like chaff.
25 God, the Holy One, says, “Can you compare me to anyone? Is anyone equal to me?” 26 Look up to the skies. Who created all these stars? He leads out the army of heaven one by one and calls all the stars by name. Because he is strong and powerful, not one of them is missing.
27 People of Jacob, why do you complain? People of Israel, why do you say, “The LORD does not see what happens to me; he does not care if I am treated fairly”? 28 Surely you know. Surely you have heard. The LORD is the God who lives forever, who created all the world. He does not become tired or need to rest. No one can understand how great his wisdom is. 29 He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak. 30 Even children become tired and need to rest, and young people trip and fall. 31 But the people who trust the LORD will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired. NCV Isaiah 40:28-31
Please hear me.
You are not enough.
All your attempts to save yourselves are wasted, powerless, years off your life.
If you want to tap into the power of God through the Holy Spirit, you declare your complete dependence on God.