WHEN THE SPIRIT COMES Andy Hollifield 8-9-18
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
A thought came to me the other day and I began to think about the difference that the Spirit of the Lord makes when he comes on the scene. As I was reading different instances where it happened, I was surprised that it doesn’t say it in those words very often. The phrase, “the Spirit of the Lord” is used only 31 times. “The Spirit of God” occurs only 25 times. There are some really notable verses beginning in Genesis 1:2 where the bible says “…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Also, Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” There are also some using the phrase “the Spirit of the Lord.” In 1 Samuel 16:13 talks about how that “the Spirit of the Lord” came upon David after Samuel anointed him and in the next verse it departed from Saul.
One of my personal favorites is in Luke 4:18 where Jesus reads from Isaiah 61:1 saying, “The Spirit of the Lord” is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” and in the next verse “To preach the acceptable year of our Lord.” I may not perform the miracles that Peter and the other disciples did, but I am thankful that the same Spirit they had and that Jesus read about is the same one that called me to preach in 1986. It is that same Spirit that guides me when I preach and speaks to my heart whether I am preaching, praying, studying, singing, or writing.
The Spirit of the Lord enabled people throughout the bible to do some incredible things that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. God raised up Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, to be deliverer for Israel and they had rest for forty years while Othniel ruled. In Judges 6:34 the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet;…” God anointed and called him to be a deliverer for Israel also and Israel also had rest while Gideon ruled for 40 years. He was a reluctant ruler and short on faith until God’s Spirit came upon him. His first act as a ruler was to cut down the groves that were planted to honor Baal. The Israelites wanted to kill him for that kind of sacrilegious act against their false god. Little did they realize that it was going to be Gideon that would lead them to victory and deliverance from their enemies. The mighty feats of strength that Samson did would have never occurred apart from the Spirit of the Lord coming upon him at those times.
The Spirit of the Lord can come upon anyone and give them the ability to play music. Others may receive gifts such as carving, sculpting, sewing, and blacksmithing as folks did in the preparation of the Tabernacle. The bible says in Exodus 35 that everyone whose heart got stirred up and whom God’s Spirit made willing brought offerings and did the work for it. The Spirit of God came upon men and they prophesied, fought battles, killed wild beast with nothing but their bare hands. The Spirit of the Lord took Phillip from one place to another and also took Ezekiel into the inner court of the temple. By the name of Jesus, Peter and John healed the cripple man on their way to the temple. In 1 Thessalonians 4:8 the bible says that God has given us his Spirit. Simeon was led by the Spirit into the temple the day that Jesus was brought for dedication to the Lord. In Acts 2, all of those gathered in the upper room experienced a filling of the Holy Ghost to the extent that they began to speak with other tongues, languages they didn’t know, and the Spirit also enabled everyone at Pentecost to hear in their own language. The Spirit was so important to Elisha that when he was offered anything he wanted if he saw Elijah depart, he not only wanted the spirit of Elijah but also a double portion of it.
The bible says in John 4:24 that God is a Spirit and we “must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 6:44 says that no one can come to Christ except the Father draws him. If all of these things I have mentioned are contingent upon the Spirit coming, it would seem that the presence of the Holy Ghost would be of the utmost importance to have in our lives to guide us, and in our hearts to testify of Christ to us and to make intercession for us before the throne. I hope this is encouraging to you in some way. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what the Spirit can do in our hearts and lives when we submit ourselves and our will to the will of God. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!