76: Be Filled with The Spirit


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Be Filled with the Holy Spirit


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  • Ericka Tapia says:

    I never realized the reality of man wanting to call everything a disorder rather than what it is, sin. I realize that I am overly cautious in the use of the word sin myself. Through this podcast I came into the reality that I am getting sucked into the worlds’ sensitiveness. I was putting peoples feelings above the truth of God, when in actuality if you expose sin in love and compassion but still confronting, the Holy Spirit will do it all and it is not my job to decide. Realizing we are sinning is uncomfortable, early in my relationship with God I remember sitting in church, hearing a message and feeling so offended thinking the Pastor was aiming at me, wondering how he even knew this or who possibly could have told him if nobody else knew. I now know it was the convictions of the Holy Spirit. I thank God for the Spirit of Truth making me uncomfortable enough to provoke change in me. Still to this day if I do not act upon those convictions my soul is so uncomfortable, I can’t think straight and I feel like I can’t even approach God in the same way, so yes, sin really is the root of our problems.

    I have received a lot of biblical council, as well as flesh oriented council, through the hardest parts of my life after receiving Christ. Marriage hardships and still today through difficulties with my kids and let me tell you filtering the difference is crucial. I pray that all we do or say we do it prayerfully filled with the Spirit. I never want to let the “self” council because i know the harm it can cause.

    Thank you for this Pastor, extremely important information.

    • Kyle Fox says:

      Hello Erica, great post! It’s really awesome that you were able to identify how you were sort of getting “sucked into the worlds’ sensitivities”. I have found myself doing basically the same thing from time to time. I have been realizing that the more time I spend on social media, listening to this voice from the word, the more I get sucked in as well. I’m thinking I should be taking a break from these things.

      • Ericka Tapia says:

        I completely know what you mean! I regularly have to fast from social media for exactly that reason. Actually, I take your comment as confirmation on a nudge I felt recently about it being time to fast from it again.

    • David Bowman says:

      Ericka, thank you for sharing those personal experiences. Sin has become a forbidden word in our culture today. It is immediately followed by this accusation, “You’re judging me!” The world doesn’t like conviction and really who does? As a believer, I understand the benefit of His conviction. However, many seek to escape the guilt and shame of sin through the terms “sickness, disorder, or condition”. The good news is that when individuals finally submit to God’s assessment of sin, they will find a perfect remedy in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    • Kevin W. Thatcher says:

      Ericka, spot on, the church has allowed the world to creep into the church in so many areas that it has weaken the testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. One of the greatest areas the world has infiltrated the church in is by redefining sin. Not calling sin, sin will not change the eternal consequences of sin. The only thing we can offer anybody is the word of God because God’s word in absolute truth.

    • Kayla Tracy says:

      I was also “sucked into” the world’s definition of disorders and diseases, and to be told “that’s actually sin” really opens up my mind to God’s reality. It is crazy to think that so many people are told “you have this” and get derailed into programs rather than pointed to Christ. Conviction is a heavy topic. I know for myself, I want to be convicted so I can change to how God wants me to be, but when it comes to others, I never seem to have a voice.
      Thank you for sharing.

  • Kyle Fox says:

    One of the main points of the podcast this week had to do with properly identifying the problems in our lives. As we give and receive counsel, absent the Holy Spirit, we are left with our own inadequate ideas and strategies. Man centered philosophy ultimately has no real power behind it. As Pastor Jeff mentioned, you may be able to end one habit and replace it for another, but at the spiritual level, at the heart, the source of the problem is left untreated. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means that we are enabled by God to address the real problems that people have. Instead of embracing the disease approach and tell people that its not their fault, as we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we can lovingly counsel people, and help them identify the sin in their lives. Helping someone quit drinking or quit using drugs is noble cause, however, if the spiritual problem is left unattended, we are just standing by and watching a former addict walk to their destruction.

    The scriptures say not to lean on our own understanding, but look to God and He will give us direction. With the Holy Spirit comes discernment that is not available to those who are not spirit filled and spirit led. We may have some great ideas and strategies for handling certain issues, but each individual is unique. Each case is different. As we are walking in the spirit and being lead by the Lord, we can trust that our counsel will be biblical, and it will penetrate the heart and get straight to the actual problem.

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      “Helping someone quit drinking or quit using drugs is noble cause, however, if the spiritual problem is left unattended, we are just standing by and watching a former addict walk to their destruction.” This is so true. Saw it first hand with a close family member as well as with a close friend of my daughters. Both are now freed of the bondage by the grace of God. However, this did not take place until they accepted that “professional help” was not working, that they weren’t a victim of an illness and that they needed a savior. Only then were they able to taste the freedom that the truth of God brings. All honor and glory to God.

    • David Bowman says:

      Kyle, you stated, “Man centered philosophy ultimately has no real power behind it.” This is exactly what many have said concerning the church and those who adhere to Christianity. Often, they will point to the same kinds of “disorders” in the lives of Christians and conclude that it doesn’t matter either way. This is precisely why we need to give and receive the right counsel. You are absolutely correct about having discernment for each and every unique case.

      The Christian who trades one sinful behavior for another has not been healed, only re-directed. The real issue is between our sinful flesh and the Spirit. We are instructed to be filled (controlled) with the Spirit as opposed to being drunk with wine. In other words, the influencing, directing, and behavioral effects of the Spirit in our lives should be similar to the effects of alcohol on the drunkard. I pray that we will all be filled with Him daily.

    • Rachel Henderson says:

      Hey there Kyle! Great summary. I recently just finished a class where we studied several educational philosophers and their theories and contributions. It was extremely interesting comparing (sometimes with great struggle) their philosophies to Scripture. One philosopher in particular has greatly influenced educational theory to this day and I believe it is because multiple parts of his theory aligned with Scripture. Whether or not this was intentional, anything man does right can be traced back to God’s wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.To Him belongs eternal praise!” (Psalm 111:10, NIV).

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      It is so true Kyle we should not lean on our own understanding but look to God and He will direct us. When we try and lean on our own understanding we are relying on self to figure things out but when we lean on the Lord by seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are relying on the only thing that is true. We fall short every day and when we depend on self we definitely are not seeking the right counsel the only counsel that is Truth is God’s counsel and when we walk in the spirit and are being led by the Lord we are dying to self little bit at a time.

  • Kevin W. Thatcher says:

    Pastor Jeff; so very true when God works in a person’s life; it is a permanent change for the better. When I was saved, things of the flesh easily fell off, but I tried handling one thing on my own that was drinking. I did okay for a while, and then one drink leads to three, then five hours later, well, you know. We were living in Hawaii; one night, I don’t know how I got home. The next morning my wife filled in the missing details. But one thing which shattered my world was when she told me if you keep this up, you will lose the people you love. That quickly got my attention. That Wednesday night at a home Bible Study, I asked for prayer and confessed to the Lord and to other believers that I can’t stop drinking. When I said Amen, the Lord took the desire away from me at that very moment. Its been since 1984. The effective healing of the Lord.

    I like your point on what the world does to sin, like renaming it or changing sin into a disease by doing that will make it better for that person in their situation. I believe everyone knows when they sin, that is the job of the Holy Spirit. But folks don’t know what to do with the results and guilt of sin, that’s when the church is to point them to Jesus. The problem of the world is sin. It is not our job to be little Holy Spirits running around the church sanctuary or neighborhoods pointing out sin in people’s lives. It is the job of the Holy Spirit; God will do a far superior job on a person’s life then whatever we good accomplish, for God’s change is permanent.

    I believe one thing I need when counseling or disciplining folks is to think back on where and what gutter the Lord pulled me out of. How long as the Holy Spirit and the Lord have been working on my life? We just didn’t wake up one day I announce to the world I have arrived. All of us have gone through valleys and mountain tops in our Christian journey. I look at Moses’s life where God had three, forty years segments for him.

    The key is found in Hebrews 12; we need to “Keep on Truckin” with Jesus. We need to continually look to Him, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Christians are like medics on a battlefield; people come to us who are wounded and heavy laden with their sin problems (Galatians 5:16-23) for counsel, prayer, and discipleship. We bandage them and then point them in the direction of Jesus, who is the Great Physician, The Wonderful Almighty Counselor, and Savior of the world. It is the Holy Spirit’s job, the Spirit of Truth, to convict and teach us all things concerning Christ Jesus. Walter Martin once said, “let them fall on the sword of the Lord” meaning when possible, let them read and hear the word of God for His word in Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    God has been so very patient with me in my Christian life over the years. I must remember that when counseling, to remain humble and reliant upon the Holy Spirit. I see the problem and the solution but they don’t. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce conviction and righteousness through God’s word in their life, not me. God makes all thing beautiful in His time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 That is why I need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be totally reliant upon God’s word, for in me dwells no good thing.

    • Melinda Evans says:

      Kevin thank you for sharing your testimony. Over time we can forget how the Lord worked in our lives through the working of the Holy Spirit. We can start out well and then allow the flesh to take over in how we minister one to another. I am thankful for what God allows in our lives to keep our eyes on Him. I’m not saying I liked any of it, but I am thankful. His word is enough to equip us to counsel and be counseled. Psalm 34 has been a life chapter for me. Where do I run to, who am I accountable to and I am vessel willing to be used to minister to others. Blessings.

      • KEVIN THATCHER says:

        Melinda: Psalm 34 is awesome, where can we go, for the Lord has the words of eternal life. John 3:30 He must increase, I must decrease. I am an living example of this verse Melinda, thank you for sharing this Psalm;

        Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

  • David Bowman says:

    Eph. 5:18, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”. In my youth, I was taught to seek the supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues. However, when I consider Eph. 5:19-21, I realize the wrong teaching that I received. An overemphasis on tongues distorted my understanding of the Spirit and discouraged me from churches that emphasized it at all. Thankfully, as I attended Calvary Chapel I was introduced to a balanced understanding of the ministry of the Helper, the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

    Evidence of the Spirit in the life of the believer is found in the fruit bore (Galatians 5:22-23) and in the outpouring of our lips (psalms, hymns, making melody in our hearts, thanksgiving, and submission; Ephesians5:19-21). It is unfortunate that so many have become cessationists due to the abuses of the Spirit in churches. We need the Spirit of God at work in our lives in every aspect of our Christian walk. A Spirit-less walk is burdensome, tiring, and fruit-less.

    • Kyle Fox says:

      Hey David, it is unfortunate, as you said, that people reject the gifts of the Spirt due to the past abuses. We see this in so many different areas. The pendulum swings from one extreme to the other, but often times, we need to be somewhere closer to the middle. I’m reading a book on Church Discipline, and we see the same thing. Because of past abuses in the area of discipline (forbidding to dance, swim, own a TV, etc.) now many churches has gone to the other extreme where there is no discipline at all. The Holy Spirit can help is be discerning in all these areas, and bring about balance, as you said.

  • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

    Thank you Pastor Jeff for sharing about what mankind refers to as “disorders” and pointing out that the vast majority is just sin relabeled. I remember sitting in my general psychology class when we were learning about the different “disorders” and then being asked what we thought could solve the problem. My thought was that Jesus was the only one who could truly solve the problem, but that was not an acceptable answer. My teacher wanted human solutions to spiritual problems which may work temporarily, but only Jesus could heal the issues permanently.

    I sometimes find it difficult to find the happy medium with the Holy Spirit. I have seen it abused and I have seen it completely ignored. One thing that helps me is to remember that the Holy Spirit is our helper, but not for our own glory. He is here to help us glorify God. I definitely want to grow in this area and learn to rely on the Holy Spirit more especially when it comes to counseling, but also in daily life.

    • Michelle R says:

      Hi Rebekah, It’s very sad when we I cannot say that Jesus is the way to healing an “disorder”. In mans pride and blindness it doesn’t allow for such truth. the pride of man is very dangerous and has lead so many astray from being whole and redeemed. Praise God, that He is raising th those in the church to boldness and confidence in sharing His restoration power. Thank you for sharing. Blessings

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    I have received both biblical counsel and counsel of the world and from going to both of these at different times in my life. I see how the world labels everything as a disease or a disorder that you can not get cured from just get it under control with treatments and drugs. When you see a biblical counselor you get down to the core of it and its Sin, and you can get passed it by allowing God in your heart, confessing your sin, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do work in you. To many times I see people get in self mode, I am guilty of that sometimes and it can lead to so much chaos and self destruction. But when you are Spirit lead and the Spirit lead you and be your guide you can get to the root of the issue because that is when we are not lead by our own fleshly ways but by the truth of the Spirit.
    I try to remember when I am around other people that struggle with the things I have been delivered from, that I was once there and it wasn’t myself that got me to where I’m at know and it takes time and God getting a hold of me and the work of the Spirit living in me to get me through and its not for me to judge it’s for me to come along side of them and let the Lord use me as His tool.

    • Rachel Henderson says:

      Hey there Margaret! Praise God for the victories Jesus has won in your life! You mentioned that you have had both secular and biblical counsel; how sweet that the Lord can use those experiences in your life to relate to and reach out to others. Though I don’t want to place all secular counseling under the term “evil”, I was just thinking how the Lord takes all things and works them for our good as it says in Romans 8:28.

      You made such a great point too, that the growth we see in ourselves is only because of the work of the Lord. There is nothing in which I can boast about, because the credit and praise goes to Jesus. Paul said it best, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14, NIV). Just as Paul was saying, we as Christians are justified through faith, forgiven because of Jesus’ work on the cross, and no longer need the approval of the world. I pray the Lord continues to use you as a strong and warm light to those around you who might not know Him yet. Thank you for sharing!

    • Kayla Tracy says:

      Thank you for sharing. Your message really speaks to me. When I was going through my hardest life choices, it was my good friend convicting me of the painful life of sin I was enduring. If it weren’t for the Holy Spirit working through her and in me, I would probably still be in a self destructive life because of my sin. I will remember to ask Jesus for the Holy Spirit to lead me when I talk or counsel those around me, so Life and Truth can shine through me. I have to remember to come along side and comfort those in need, and not be judgmental.

    • Melinda Evans says:

      Amen. The bible is the treatment for the hurting soul. Worldly counsel is still human counsel and knowing this human I’m not always right. Psalm 119:89 says Forever, O Lord Your word is settled in heaven. It doesn’t change.

  • Rachel Henderson says:

    Throughout listening to this week’s podcast I could not stop thinking of the word *presence*. These three verses tell a story of the stages towards true repentance. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Galatians 3:8, ESV). Sin wrecks the relationship, that closeness, between me and the Lord. I can allow the conviction that comes with my sin to either draw me away out of fear of the Lord’s righteousness or push me closer to His forgiveness. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8, ESV).

    “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11, ESV). As I am led by the Holy Spirit to overcome my fear and selfishness and ask for God’s forgiveness, being in His presence breathes life back into me! His presence brings joy back into my circumstance because we can be close again. This was a great (aka convicting) reminder to stop running from the presence of my Lord and Savior because His thoughts toward me are full of peace and hope.

    • Michelle R says:

      Hi Rachel, Love what you wrote about being in his presence. Great insight! Thanks for sharing it with us. Blessings!

    • Jocelyn Padilla says:

      Hello Rachel, that’s such a great word being presence. It being present in His presence. In His presence, there is no more for darkness or sin.

      Gosh, we have an amazing savior! Its true even in the Spiritual Gift, a fruit is joy. The Holy Spirit fills with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

      • KEVIN THATCHER says:

        Jocelyn: I tried on my own to stop drinking several times, I was a new Christian. However, it was not until I realized if I did not stop, I would lose everything I loved and counted dear to my heart. I was a new Christian and newly married, my poor wife, what she went through. It was the power of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ who healed me from my sin.

        Good use all sorts of people, tools and circumstances to work in people’s lives to bring them to the knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ. Praise God for your Husband’s faith in Christ and his desire to see others saved.

    • Melinda Evans says:

      Thank you for being so open to share how He ministered to you this week. His word does assure us He is with us especially when we can’t feel or see Him. Blessings.

  • Jason Corbett says:

    In a complicated world with all of its labels and diagnosis concerning problems that people have I am so grateful for the simplicity of Gods Word and the healing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I do recall a time where I tried to find the solution to problems in the worlds ways and it never measured up. When I got saved and Holy Spirit came into my life for the first time I had what I was looking for. He, the Holy Spirit, is not another solution to a problem He is the solution to the problem.

    When I say problem i mean sin. Sin can be that which you have done. It can be that which someone else has done to you and it has affected you in some way. It can also be a situation that is going on in the world and has indirectly affected you. When it comes to issues of sin many wax eloquently concerning why and what we are supposed to do about it and the answer is far more simple than much of what is being said…we need God the Holy Spirit in our lives and we need to make sure that we make Him the centerpiece of any conversation that we have with others about problems.

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      I like how you said the Holy Spirit IS the solution to the problem. It is so true, however people want a genie in a bottle snap of the finger type solution. The Holy Spirit navigates us through the layers and layers of issues to get to the source of our problems. The more we follow His truth and guidance the faster we get to the source, that as you said is called sin. You said it perfectly, the ways of the world will never measure up, I’m grateful for the gift of the Spirit.

  • Michelle R says:

    To hear Pastor Jeff speak about receiving regular counseling was very convicting. To have someone or others in your life to that will bring accountability your life was good to hear. It is not spoken enough to biblical counselors to have an accountability partner in your life. Which is very important, the word say”s “as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 we need these kinds of friends in our lives to help us be accountable to our ministries, our issues, and walk with the Lord. This is spiring and encouraging me to prayer about having a Friend/Accountability partner in my life.

    • Melinda Evans says:

      Hi Michelle, prayer is the best place to start. The Lord has brought me a few ladies into my life to keep me accountable. My pastor’s wife who was a friend first, then a couple of ladies outside my church. God has been my primary accountable partner. He sees and knows my heart which no one else can see. I appreciated Pastor Jeff’s words on accountability. God first, your spouse if married, those dear sister’s in Christ who will hear you and not judge, but take you back to His word.

      • Michelle R says:

        Hi Melinda, What a blessing for you to have women around to speak into your life. the words says to seek a multitude of wise counsel. May God continue to bring you wise counsel. Blessings!

    • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

      I agree Michelle. It is so important to have an accountability partner and people who can pray for and counsel you. There have been many times that God has used other people to guide me through a hard situation. I recently moved and have found it difficult not having a church community to rely on and people I can trust to give me Godly counsel.

      • Michelle R says:

        HI Rebekah, I too have had in my life someone to speak words of wisdom and it helped me during difficult times. It is definitely hard to connect with the body when youre the new girl in town. Please be encouraged God will bring friends into your life. Until then keep leaning on the Lord. Blessings!

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      I agree with you Michelle the best place to start is in prayer asking God to place people in your life to hold you accountable. God has put so many new people in my life to help hold me accountable and keep me leaning on truth rather them self. Every time I have one of them speak to me in love and correct me or remind me of truth through the scripture I thank God for putting them in my life to hold me accountable to truth.

      • Michelle R says:

        HI Margaret, What a blessing for you to have people in your life that you are/have been able to lean on. I totally agree that we need the body of christ to speak God’s truth into our lives. May God continue to bless you with wise and spirit filled people in your life. Agape!

  • Caleb Franks says:

    I have multiple friends who have been to jail for drug and theft charges. They have been to different rehabilitation centers over the years. Some will get better, but I notice that the motive is often selfish (e.g., “I don’t want to go back to jail” or “I don’t want people to look down on me”). Also, the employed methods of the rehab centers often lack the mention of sin. Pastor Jeff really hit home when focusing on the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s work of convicting both the unbeliever and the believer. While counseling, bringing up scriptures like Galatians 5:16-21 has greatly benefited my attempts because it clearly shows to a person what God regards as sin. I find that the Holy Spirit then takes those scriptures to bring conviction and guidance for one’s life. This is so much greater than man’s rehab methods because the Holy Spirit has the supreme goal of bringing every person closer to Jesus. If I can say this, I think that NOT using the Spirit is abusing the Spirit.

    • Jocelyn Padilla says:

      Hello Caleb, I totally agree with you! Rehab does not have address the sin issues. The success rate in Rehab is not that high because of that. The desire to stay sober should not be self service or self imagine , “I don’t want to go back to jail” or “I don’t want people to look down on me”

      The work of Christ is the opposite of let’s address your sin. What plank in your eye. Christ through the Holy Spirit wants us to live sanctified lives.

      “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

  • Kayla Tracy says:

    I think I often forget, or maybe even refuse to believe, the greatness of Christ and how available His Spirit is to me. This week I have felt harassed with all these things I must do, and this morning I tried to remind myself to pick up my cross, and my mental thought was me grimacing, and gently kicking the cross in hopes that it would move itself. Submitting is a hard one, and I have been really trying that this week’s lessons will sink in deep. This episode gave me the reminder to be aware of the reality of God, that He is the ultimate reality and not what I simply see before me. Psychology needs to be Evangelism; that’s what I will take with me in my notes. I think working on Galatians 5:16-26 is going to really help transform my mind. Thank you.

  • harry e innerst says:

    I spent thirty five years in the Fundamental Baptist church movement. I will be forever grateful for their zeal for evangelism which the Holy Spirit used to reach me. Consequently during that time I was always taught the cessation’s point of view on the gifts and the Holy Spirit. Because of the abuses we just steered clear of the subject. We treated the Holy Spirit like the strange old uncle who lived in the attic. Ten years ago the Lord lead us to Calvary Chapel Greer, Sc. There I discovered the person of the Holy Spirit and a whole new world was open up to me. He has become a great teacher and comforter to me and revolutionized my walk with Christ. The Lord has brought individuals into my live who needed counseling, because of the bad back ground that they got saved out of. I see clearly that the Holy Spirit brings those people, and He gives me ideas to share with them, and then He works in their heart to bring them to a decision of change. It is all His work and I am just a vessel. Without Him nothing much gets accomplished.

    • Douglas Gehm says:

      Harry, some of my best friends have come out of unhealthy ministries that resisted the Holy Spirit. Cessationism has run pretty rampant in Christianity and now it seems like things are swinging to the other extreme of overemphasis on experiential and emotional evangelicalism today. Thank you for sharing a balanced picture from your experience.

  • harry e innerst says:

    Good observation Ericka. We can get so caught up in trying not to offend people. The word sin can do that. That disease model is very destructive. I believe that there are more people than we realize who will appreciate the truth. Either way we have to stay true to the scripture and call it what God calls it.

  • harry e innerst says:

    Good point Kyle. I fear that I spent far too many years of my Christian life sharing truth with folks without the power of the Holy Spirit behind me. Gods truth just doesn’t make seance to those still in sin. Only the clarifying voice of the Holy Spirit can break through.

  • Jocelyn Padilla says:

    My husband is recovering alcoholic with seven years of sobriety. He came to know the Lord in 2015. We are currently holding AA meetings in our home. As Christian man, I asked about alcoholism being a disease and he said yes and no, alcoholism is known as our shortcomings. The Big Book was original written by Christians and centered around Christ which later in 1939 they removed Him from the Big Book to be “inclusive” to others. For example third step used to be “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God” and now reads “as we understood Him.”

    In my husband life, God used the Twelves Steps to lead him to Jesus. My husband was sponsoring a man (who is one of my husband best friends now) who just got saved and he evangelized to my husband. Now my husband has walking with the Lord for five years. In our church, he leads the recovery ministry. He uses the twelve steps with the scriptures, to give guidance to men to get out of sin. Ultimately, only God and the Holy Spirit has the power to salvation.

    My husband said “The Twelve Steps can keep man sober but it cannot save a man soul only Jesus can do that”. He goal his AA meetings to bring Christ back to the recovery community that men experience true freedom in Christ.

    • Douglas Gehm says:

      Jocelyn, I really appreciate that you and your husband are partnering together for ministry! I think that’s amazing and pretty rare from my own observation. It sounds like you both have a unique ministry right in your home. I like when you said, “only God and the Holy Spirit has the power to salvation” and your husband’s understanding from your quote of him about Jesus as the only way to save a soul. Thank you for sharing this post.

  • Douglas Gehm says:

    I have always looked at the passage Jeff references in John 16 about the Holy Spirit as one of the most interesting and convicting comments Jesus made during His earthly ministry. If I was given the chance right now to either physically meet Jesus, or to continue to grow in the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit, I’m afraid I would choose to meet Jesus. I know that’s not a bad thing in and of itself of course, but it also seems to flow against what Jesus said there. He says it’s is to our advantage that He leaves so that He can send the Helper to us.

    My honest reaction to this passage is proof to me that both my understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit in my life are nowhere near what God intends for me. It leaves me questioning what needs to change in my life. I feel like a kid trying on his dad’s shoes and realizing they don’t fit yet.

    • Abigail G Burt says:

      I understand completely. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how far I am from God’s image of perfection. That is why I made up a phrase to constantly remind myself not to be discouraged. “God does not expect perfection from us, He expects us to strive for perfection.” He simply wants us to learn to love and aspire to be like Him, which is exactly what the child is doing when he tries to put on his Fathers shoes.

    • Caleb Franks says:

      That’s a good point Douglas. Jesus said that is better for us that we receive the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I have a golden-age mentality. I think “If only I could have seen the pillar of cloud in the wilderness” or “If only I could have walked alongside Jesus.” This is the wrong thinking though. Being the temple of the Holy Spirit is an unfathomable gift, and the conviction that He brings is the catalyst to solving many of our problems.

  • Melinda Evans says:

    This week’s episode was self-reflecting for me. It took me back to how I have come along side women in ministry. It was not all in the flesh, but boy the ones that were in the flesh are still vivid in my mind. The phrase Professor Jeff stated, “Point them to the Lord leaving them prepared for their next issues of life.” really spoke to me. Counseling in the Spirit is paramount because we do not know what they will face in the future, but the Lord does. I was reminded of how much of the work, is the Holy Spirits. I am responsible to abide in the word, be filled with the Holy Spirit and to be empowered to minister one to another. Directing them to the Word for His Word is sufficient. It’s not me or my counsel, but His counsel. I’ve been encouraged to see counseling/admonishing one another differently. Ephesians 4:1-3 and Isaiah 61 are the verses that are grounding me in this journey of biblical counseling. I am currently in a situation where I must speak to someone who has struggled with the same issues from the past in ministry. My prayer is healing for her and allow the Lord to do the work within, it’s not me, but Him.

    • Abigail G Burt says:

      That is something that I always remember, is that God does not contradict Himself. It is because of this that we can use the Bible to discern whether what we or another feels they are saying in the Spirit is truly of God or if they are being misguided. If we stay in the Word and learn to better understand Gods character and what He has told us is true, we can compare it to what we feel is the Spirits guidance and less likely be deterred. It is good that you direct people to Scripture so that they can more clearly hear His voice when He calls.

    • Caleb Franks says:

      Melinda, your focus on the future issues that people encounter really spoke to me. Worldly counsel, in its insufficiency, pinpoints solutions to the problems at-hand. This is so much less than the Lord’s counsel. Like you said, God offers preparation for the future issues of life. How much greater is it if I can offer someone a foundational truth that they can know and hold onto for every battle they come across!

  • Abigail G Burt says:

    Today is the feast of Trumpets and, to celebrate, my family attended a messianic church. The feast of Trumpets deals largely with the topic of repentance. Something Jeff said rang true in regard to this season. He said that, “Without the Holy Spirits conviction, there is no real true repentance.” The Jews, for a long time, had the laws and worked diligently to keep them, but they did not have the gift of the Holy Spirit yet available to them. Because of this, despite their valiant efforts, we hear how over and over they fell back into their sin. God blesses them, they fall into sin, God punishes them, they repent, God blesses them, etc… Their repentance was not genuine. It was only to get out of trouble. We go to church and are convicted. If we are really moved we go home and change something about our lifestyle. But how often do we repent at a shallow level only to get out of trouble and later go back to that sin again? To make that bad feeling in the pit of our stomach go away so we can feel good about ourselves once more? How often do we take that secret sin out of our life completely and forever? We hear about fasts, removing leaven from our homes, things that we know are bad, and yet only endure knowing that we will receive it once again into our lives. Things that we so eagerly agreed to depart from just to come back to them once again. A real true repentance is a permanent repentance. It is a repentance that is only possible by the extreme conviction of the Holy Spirit, Gods strength to stand against it, and the Scripture that we might continue to grow in our walk with Christ and not fall back into that sin. Where is this repentance in our lives? When was the last time you experienced such conviction? We often suppress the Holy Spirit because we know what it wants and we are to afraid or unwilling to let go. We pretend that everything is fine, when we know deep down that we are avoiding God’s call for repentance. We need to soften our hearts to this real, true, and permanent repentance or we will never reach the promised land God has for us.
    I share this not to attack but because it is what the Lord has been showing me recently. Repentance is deep and meaningful and should not be treated in such a shallow way. If you want to be right with God, take that secret sin that’s been bothering you and throw it away FOR GOOD. Don’t play games with God. None of that, “I feel great today because I haven’t watched that bad show or listened to that profane music for x amount of time.” Be rid of it! Permanently! Only then can the Spirit move freely within and through you.

  • Audra Downs says:

    I have to be honest, for many years John 16:13 terrified me. The last part of the verse, “He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” preyed on my mind. I was afraid of “what is to come”. While, I tried to run from God for a period of time, I knew He was pursuing me and would never leave me alone. On the other side of my ultimate submission of my life to God, the Holy Spirit’s pursuit is absolutely beautiful but I remember vividly God’s Word actively doing in the middle of my rebellion is what Hebrews 4:12 describes as “cutting between the soul and spirit, exposing our innermost thoughts and desires.” I had to submit my fear of whatever purpose God has for my life to the Lord. Also, if God prepares me for something that is going to happen sometime in the future, I am called to trust Him which is part of denying myself, taking up my cross daily and following Him.
    Part of growing up under the weight of extreme legalism is that I experienced not a reverential fear of God but an utter terror of Him. God broke through that bondage by the Word of God and ministered to me through the Holy Spirit as I began to pursue God in His Word. I love how patient and faithful God is to grow us up in Him and to reveal false teachings and sins that need to be purged. Thank you Lord!

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