June 19, 2013

Are You Guided By the Holy Spirit?

(Bible Teaching for Proper 13, 2013 by Rev. John Gishler)

1.     Paul is teaching us the difference between those who are guided by their selfish human nature and those who are guided by the Holy Spirit – applies to individuals and church congregations

Question is who or what do you really depend on for guidance in daily life?
·         Before we become a serious Christian we are naturally guided by a mixture of our fears, wants and ego – “the flesh” or “my way
·         Hebrew people were mainly guided by the Teachings of Moses
     Galatians 5.1, 13-25 teaches us a new way to grow in love, control our       fears and selfishness and be guided by the Holy Spirit in daily life

2.     When we are guided by our fears and selfish desires we do not have a happy life
·         Focusing on what we want all the time is a failure to love others
o    Other people do not want to be around us – we end up feeling rejected and sad
o    I.e. conversation where one person talks all the time – all about them
·         Focusing on what we want all the time is a failure to love God
o    Distracts us from what God is trying to do in our lives – loose our way
·         Pride or fear of failure can focus us on what we can get instead of what we can give
·         Nobody like a person who is always taking – healthy relationship has give and take – two people listening
·         Selfish desires for sex ,alcohol and drugs leads to addictions and destroy other peoples’ lives
·         We become separated from God, our families and end up in poverty
·         Selfishness is  rebelling against God - gets us into idolatry, deceit and sorcery – separates us from the Holy Spirit
·         We lose our spiritual protection and are vulnerable to spiritual attack
·         Selfishness ‘my way’ gets us into anger, divisions, jealousy and strife
o    We become separated from God and open to spiritual deception and attack
o    Satan deceives  us into destroying families and churches
o    Notice even the great Prophet Elijah is humble in deferring to what he Holy Spirit will do in providing a successor
o    In my Interim Ministry I try to follow this example and leave room for the Holy Spirit to act and guide a congregation

3.     When guided by the Holy Spirit we have a better life here and are assured of eternal spiritual life

 Love - Self-giving love is the first gift of the Holy Spirit to all believers
        Realize how much God loves us and has forgiven us
        Our selfishness and fear is replaced by love for God and others
        Our focus becomes what we can do for God and other people
       Able to resist the temptations of materialism, wrong sex, power and popularity

         Joy – Being guided by the Holy Spirit gives us joy
       When we know we are loved by God, we can overcome our fear and have joy
       When we know we are loved by God we respond by loving others and find joy
       Joy helps us resist addictions to alcohol and drugs to ease the pain of life

 Peace  - Being guided by the Holy Spirit gives us peace with God
·         We know we are forgiven for past sins – helps us forgive others and find peace
·         We know we are in right relationship with God – at peace
·         Peace helps us overcome the temptations of materialism, power & control

         Patience – Love, joy and peace lead to patience in dealing with the              challenges of life
·         We can relax and depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us – no fear
   When things go wrong we do not get as angry and upset – able to solve the problem

Serious Christians are able to accept forgiveness, overcome their destructive desires and be guided by the Holy Spirit in a life of love, joy and peace

My goal as Interim Priest is to help congregations become healthy and thrive as communities that have chosen to be guided by the Holy Spirit and offer forgiveness and healing to those who are fearful and self-centered.

1 comment:

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