Sunday, November 25, 2018

New Season (3) God has a Plan

God sent Jesus to win back the world for him. Jesus did everything that God needed him to do. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he poured out the Holy Spirit on those who believed in him. The Holy Spirit has been at work since the day of Pentecost. He has not stopped working. The plan for restoring the world by the Holy Spirit working in the church has not changed.

However, the activity of the Holy Spirit depends on the degree of cooperation that he receives from his people. God gave humans authority on earth, so the Holy Spirit needs our permission to operate on earth. He has no arms and legs, so he needs people to carry him where he needs to go. He has no mouth, so he needs people to speak through.

God has poured the Holy Spirit out on everyone who trusts in Jesus. Everything that God can do is available through his Spirit. We can grieve him, but God does not withdraw him from the world. He is always seeking to work where hearts are open to his grace.

When you have done something as wonderful as giving the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is hard to do a new thing that is better. So, the idea that God is about to do a new thing does not make sense. He cannot do more than he has already done by sending his Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of those who have chosen to follow Jesus.

If the Holy Spirit begins to move in a place, it is not he has changed his mind, but because he has found people willing to do what he needs them to do. If the Holy Spirit stops moving in a place, it is because people have stopped cooperating with him. The problem is never with God or his plan. The problem is always with us.

If we understand God's times and seasons, we will not see fickle and arbitrary changes in the way that God works on earth. The Holy Spirit came in the fullness of his power on the day of Pentecost, so God cannot send more of him. The powers of evil were fully defeated by the cross, so God cannot defeat them further.

When the Holy Spirit seems to be moving in a new way, it is most likely because he is able to do what he has always wanted to do because a group of people have opened their hearts to his purpose and allowed him to do it. Or possibly, the spiritual powers of evil have lost some authority, which prevents them from obstructing God’s purposes.

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