The Holy Spirit

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Jim1999, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    This man is preaching. Ten minutes into sermon, he stops. He says the Holy Spirit is directing him to preach in another direction...change his prepared sermon. How does he know the Holy Spirit is speaking.

    We often hear or read this type of statement, but seldom do we see a definitive answer. "Oh, I just know." Says one. "You will know when the Holy Spirit speaks to you." Come on folks, give me something to grab hold. Just how does this mysterious leading take place?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Jim,

    I have thought about this issue also. One question for you, though: Why do you need something to grab hold?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Jim1999

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    Joseph,
    I am leading into another area about preaching without notes.

    I do not have a problem with how I understand the Holy Spirit communicating with the believer.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Huh?

    Why did you ask then? Come on Jim, let's get to the bottom line here. I really am a bottom line person, you know.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. Precepts

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    Uh, then how do you even know He called you to preach? :confused:

    I know He called me because on the "inner voice", the witness of the Spirit. I have had the Lord change my direction and seemingly placed two angels with flaming swords before me to proceed no further in the direction I was going, other times He has put a stubborn donkey in front of me that would not budge, He spoke, but not audibly.

    Being extremely sensitive to the Spirit's leading is sometimes hard to do, but when "E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen", (not to disreverence the Lord by calling Him EF Hutton.)
     
  6. Jim1999

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    The bottom line is How does one define the speaking of the Holy Spirit to-day? Is it an emotional experience? Is it an intellectual process that concurs with what the scriptures say and what you know to be right? Then, How does one change the message whilst entering the pulpit, when one has prayed in study for a message and convinced then that that was the message? Did God change His mind? Did we fail to read His word?

    I find the former difficult, and the latter leaves the messenger suspect in his keeping in touch on a spiritual plane.

    In other words, we do the best we can to live according to God's word, and use our own intuition to determine the road to follow.

    On the call to ministry, all are open to that call. In our own minds, we come to the conclusion that we can do nothing else. Not that we are incapable, but that we are compelled. I am a qualified and able architect, yet I chose ministry. Do you know the financial reward difference? I had an all consuming passion for ministry. As to where? I went where opportunity afforded itself. The open and closed door concept.

    In Acts 2, the Spirit speaking was demonstrated by a wind..."there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind...there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." Was this actual or a sensation?

    I confess that I have never had such an experience. This is where my question comes into the picture.
    If this is not a common experience to-day, How does the Holy Spirit speak?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Precepts

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    Jim, your question and your reasoning both have caused me to think, but I must include that I do hope your reference to Acts 2 isn't the evidences of the charismatic influence having an effect.

    We have the completed Canon in our King James Bible. If that stirs controversy, that is not my motive, but I shall not be moved.

    A question arises, "Just who can know the Mind of God, His ways are unsearchable and past finding out?". To know the prompting of the Spirit is to really be in touch with Him.

    I say this not in boast, but in replying to your question, I have been "moved" by the Spirit to preach a certain message and even knew where and when I would preach it. I had a 2 year stint on a local radio station every Sunday, always live and never recorded. I gained tremendous experience to be prepared to preach. I must admit at times I wasn't really sure the Lord prompted me to preach what He helped me to prepare, but when I began to read the scripture and started to preach, the Spirit took full control, He "hammered it" into my soul at that very instant. I cannot recall a time He changed the message in the broadcast room, but I did feel led during the prior week to change directions by His promptings.

    I almost always preached to the lost, but at times the Lord confirmed in my heart there were those listening who needed more to help them in their walk with God. For instance, one morning , while on the way to the station, the Lord prompted me to preach "When I get saved, where should I be?" Hebrews 10:25,26. He helped me that morning in an undescribable fashion.

    To think the Spirit came upon the men as in Acts 2 and wondering if He still does, then we would no doubt spend endless hours discussing scripture in references to the subject.

    No, I don't believe the Spirit of God gives the "gift" of tongues today, excuse me, I am not trying to detract from the subject at hand.

    I rarely preach the same exact message twice, I am not like most evangelists with a "pouch" full of "smooth stones" , if you understand what I mean. I have only been led to preach the same message a couple of times, always the Gospel Message, but not exactly the same "points and subpoints".

    Looking forward to other's imput.

    Brother Ricky
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Ricky,
    I too am non-charismatic, and I don't believe for a moment that Acts 2 refers to what is commonly called speaking in tongues..In that instance they were learnable languages, but unlearned by the speaker.

    You see, each person talks about a certain "experience" a certain "feeling" to confirm the Holy Spirit's dealing with him.

    As to radio, I am not familiar with a radio station in Canada that does not require a written manuscript in advance, but the USA could differ on that legal policy. I had to read my message word-for-word.I thought it was a requirement of the CRTC.

    I understand the "feeling" from the pulpit that a particular word is for a specific person (known or unknown to the preacher) in that assembly, but I am sure how to explain that "feeling".

    Do you see what I am diffing for now? I am confident that God speaks to us, but there are many young men to-day who don't understand how or what this speaking is. If older, more experienced pastors talk about this mystery openely and honestly, without worrying about specific theologies, just perhaps it will benefit the young person.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. GODzThunder

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    I know when the Holy Spirit is taking ahold of me when I start to say things that I have not thought of before and would not normally think of. I will preach my sermon and in the midst things, not really thinking much about the words I am speaking (just saything things that I have memorized or are in notes) I will begin to say things that just are not my thoughts. I cannot explain that any other way they just are not my own thoughts. It is as if someone put something in my head and then made me speak it!

    I know afterwards that it was the Holy Spirit even more so in the fact that someone pulls me aside always and tells me that the exact words I know were not mine was of the greatest help to a problem I usually know nothing about concerning that person.

    I must stop and praise God for his goodness and care.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    GodZ:

    With God's all knowing, beginning from end, what would prevent Him from giving that word of wisdom as part of your message in the study?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Trotter

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    I know when the Spirit is leading me during preaching. Without fail, my mind engages into fast-forward, and I have to strain to keep up. Pictures, images and words, come flowing through my head. I perceive angles to the passage I am preaching on that I had never seen before. Cross references spring to mind, one after another.

    It is a very scary feeling when this happens. I compare it to being in the front seat of a roller-coaster you have never ridden before. Once you crest the first hill, you are in for the ride of your life, but not in any real danger. All you have to do is hold on and enjoy the ride.

    The Spirit gives me the information, the inspiration of the moment, but He has never forced Himself on me. I have been guilty a couple of times of quenching His "input" so to speak, much to the regret of the congregation.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  12. amen_corner

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    A sermon is not a manuscript, nor is it notes. It's not a "textual idea" or an outline. It is the moment that it is spoken. McDill calls it "the moment of truth." There is something powerful and "Spiritual" about the oral communication of the Word. I always surrender my study to the control of the Spirit, and pray for His illumination. I lay my notes and thoughts out before Him, and then arrange the sermon in a way that I feel best communicates the truth of that text. But there have been those moments, those "God moments" when the presence of the Lord seems so close, and then a phrase comes to mind, or an illustration, or a cross-reference, that fits perfectly and makes more impact than I could have planned for in my study. Sometimes I sense that the very verbalization of my words is different...hard to explain...but you know it when it happens.

    I believe the Spirit does this to remind me that it's not my Word, but His. And it's ultimately His work through me, not mine. It causes me to hunger for that experience more, and to depend on Him even greater. And it keeps me from boasting in anything except the cross.
     
  13. gb93433

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    If one does not believe that God can speak to a man now about what he is to do today to be well prepared for tomorrow does not know the same God I know. One should read the prayers of Peter Marshall who had to publish his prayers before they were prayed in public. How they were so appropriate for the exact moment.

    Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

    Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
     
  14. j_barner2000

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    I have prepared my notes and thought out my sermon at least getting the concepts and illustrations in my mind... put them into my outline and even printed out the scripture references to have handy and had my sermon turned to meet the needs of someone who was in the pews.
    The first time i had the urge to deviate from my plans I held on and followed the outline. The pastor, in reviewing the tape with me asked at the very point when I felt the "urge" to deviate (and held on to my planned course) why I looked like I was "wrestling" with the pulpet. My face showed the conflict that I won.
    I have never since resisted the adjustment I believe God was directing in His Service. Can't explain it but I know God saw an immediate need and led me to meet it.
     
  15. GODzThunder

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    Well, to be quite honest, the same thing that stops God from being able to speak to all preachers in their study. Us!

    We are after all human, and being human we tend to do our Biblical study with preconceived thoughts and philosophies. Also, we pray and seek and then choose a subject (granted that I truly believe that the preacher in the will of God will be guided to choose a subject that is a help to the majority of the people's needs). Still, there will be that one person who will gain no benefit from your selected topic but God in his great wisdom will give you a little extra word of help to that person to meet their needs. Also, after your sermon is composed a tragedy can happen in the time between then and Sunday. I am thankful for God's grace.
     
  16. Jim1999

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    Concepts about the Holy Spirit and how He works in the minds and lives of preachers has always been a fascinating subject to me.

    First, I believe the Holy Spirit does speak and direct us daily, every moment of our lives.

    The question of emotion in our religion comes into play also. We tend to dismiss emotion as part of the Christian religion for fear of Pentecostalism. Yet, it plays an integral part in the human soul. We ought not to dismiss it too lightly.

    There are the hard, cold facts of theology, and we rest in these truths. We should never dismiss the fact that God, the Holy Spirit, can and does use all means to lead us into His path.

    My thanks to all who took part in this discussion. May we always be open to what God has to say to us each moment of our day.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  17. Precepts

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    J_barner, you hit the nail right on the head. I too have "wrestled" with the pulpit at times and I just made a big mess. My pastor got up right after me and said, "I hope SOMETHING was said..."

    I was devastated, but I knew he was exactly right. I only wish he had the maturity to have responded the way your pastor did. This man is not my pastor anymore, though I love him dearly, he was my pastor for 9 1/2 years, but the Lord had us move on. We've been right beside the "fire" for nearly 2 years now, growing like "wheat" and not "weeds".

    I am sorry I fought the Lord's leading for so long, I knew He was leading us out for a long while before we finally just "had" to leave, not for sin, but for Truth and Standard. This has defintiely shown to be the will of God. our children have grown so much in the Lord, they were at stake in the other church, too many ungodly influences, the evidence is too sorrowful to go into further details [​IMG]

    Please pray for the young people at LOBC, they are very dear and precious to us, but they are growing colder towards the Lord and the people of God. [​IMG]
     
  18. wayne0214

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    Why don"t you read about the Holy Spirit's ministry in John 14:16-31, 16:5-15? It has been my experience to have Him speak to me in at least 3 different ways:

    the inner voice. this often happens when we are doing something that is totally un-related to the Holy Spirit's words. A message out of context.

    inner impressions. this is the most difficult to discern, especially when we are caught up in what we are doing at the moment. Here He gives that "inner gut feeling". It is often a check on what we are doing or are planning to do.

    through circumstances. When we continually run into roadblocks in what we are attempting to do, it is the Holy Spirit, telling us to stop, and do something else.
     
  19. Jim1999

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    Wayne,

    How do you distinguish these three areas from the natural feelings and events in one's life so that you can definitively call it the "speaking" of the Holy Spirit?

    When a man falls in love with a girl, he has inner and outer feelings. He follows both, and ends up getting married. He calls it the will of God to marry that girl. How does he determine this? She shut the door on him three times, but eventually it worked out. Was God, and I don't mean to be irreverent here, playing games with his emotions the three times she shut the door on him?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I certainly understand your thoughts Jim and appreciate your candor in raising them. The same isues have been on my mind at times.
     

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