Summer Wind Pt 5: The Lord is at Work
Dr. Sam Huddleston
The wind of spirit desires to blow through us, the river of the spirit desires to rise in us, yet it is restricted because of our focus. In the message translation of the bible Acts 1:8 is translated to say, “When, (not if but when) the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
The writer of the book of Acts is saying in this verse, God’s desire is for us to be powerful witnesses of his grace. However this cannot happen without the power of the Holy Spirit filling us on daily, moment by moment bases.
You see without the constant filling of the Holy Ghost our focus is on the wrong things. Some focus on the past unable to experience the forgiveness that is available at the foot of the cross. Others look back with a giddiness thinking of, “the good ole days.” Either way they are held captive by memories. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, (Egypt) they would have had opportunity to return.” (NIV) The message records Hebrews 11:15 this way, “If they were homesick for the old country, they could have returned gone back any time they wanted.”The New King James says it this way, “And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out they would have had opportunity to return.” IT’S A CHOICE MY FRIENDS, VICTORY OR VICTIM.
In other words what you allow your mind to focus on will determine the road you travel. It will be one of constantly struggling because we keep focusing on the past, VICTIM or one of VICTOR because our lives are focused on the risen Christ in us.
Acts 2:42-47 tells us what to focus on TOGETHER;
- Biblical teaching
- Rich fellowship
- Breaking of bread
- Praying together
When we focus on these things TOGETHER we can overcome as we surrender to the Holy Spirits power at work in us. We need the wind and river of the spirit today. How did the powerful spirit filled miracle working church become the weak, anemic church it is today?
Allow me to use the Old Testament story of Samson found in Judges to help illustrate this point. You see Samson’s focus caused him to lose his sight.
Here is some background.
Israel had sinned or done evil in the sight of the Lord…AGAIN.
Israel had repented and was crying out to God. Now where is the focus? Just like in Exodus chapter 3 when the Children of Israel cried to God in brokenness God responded. He heard, he saw, he came through a person to deliver them. He is here today for those who have a broken spirit. He has heard your cry, seen your problem/struggle and is here to bring personal deliverance by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is where we are in our story today. Israel needs deliverance from the Philistines and God is preparing a deliverer. The real deliverance Israel needs is from themselves, does that sound familiar? Back to our story.
- Samson’s Mother Gets An Angelic Visitation:
- She gets specific Directions on Rearing the Child.
- She is Told The Child Has A Call From God on his life…from birth
- Samson grows up.
- Rebels against his upbringing.
- But Gods hand never left him. “He grew and the Lord blessed him.” (13:24)
- He was supernaturally strong.
- He was very handsome.
- But he was spoiled.
- Hung out with the wrong crowd. (In his case it was female beauticians).
- Listen to these words from chapter 14 of Judge.
- Samson wants a lady, HE SAW/FOCUS, but his parents said no.
- God had a higher calling for him and his parents knew it.
- Samson has grown up; he is rebellious to his child hood teaching.
- It appears his parents prayers had fallen short of heaven.
- It appears they were doomed for a life of disappoint with this God called child.
- Yet, in the midst of his rebellion, wanting to get what he saw, it appears his parents are struggling for the bible says, “his parents did not know that this was from the Lord, (14:4a).
This Old Testament story helps us to understand the weakness of the church today. We have drifted from our first love. The wind and river of the spirit is hindered. Our hair has been cut and we like Samson initially don’t even know it.
The devil has us where he wants us blind, away from God thinking we can never make it back. We feel trapped in a self-imposed prison because of the choices we made. We are going in circles like Samson in the prison grinding wheat…AGAIN.
Linda and I traveled for 12 days with a Jewish scholar in Turkey who said Romans 8:28 is to be understood to say, “God is at work in All things.” This is what we see in this story of Samson. God is working the parents don’t see it or even understand it, but God is working. The same goes for us today. God is working. We don’t have to see, hear, feel or taste it, but God is still moving.
You know this story is not about having long or short hair? It’s about FOCUS and making a series of bad choices until you end up in a far off place away from a loving relationship with God feeling like there is no way back. The devil is good at telling us that. He is the dealer of HOPELESSNESS.
You are sitting here today thinking my life is a total mess. Samson was physically bald and you are spiritually bald have lost your sight and going in circles. You have said to others I have lost my purpose and I’m far from God; you feel you are too deep to turn around. You feel powerless to change AND YOU ARE.
Pastors Terry and Mary who love you dearly have brought me here to tell you your hair can grow back and unlike Samson you can regain your sight. For in the midst of your mess, the Lord is at work the wind of the spirit is blowing and the river is rising. You are in a spiritual battle and only Jesus can deliver you from YOURSELF. But you must SURRENDER to him.
Back to the words we began with, WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME UPON YOU, your focus will change, your thirst will change, your hunger will change and your hair will grow back. You will see your way back home to Jesus…AGAIN. You will be empowered to be a witness for some of you…again.
You will begin to FOCUS… AGAIN on the essentials of a Christ follower:
- Biblical teaching
- Rich fellowship
- Breaking of bread with other Christ followers
- Praying together
It’s your choice and it can begin today.