God’s Spirit Poured Out
The devil can package a six pack of ashes and make it look refreshing! Look at this statement that describes the idolater of the world: Isaiah 44:20: He feedeth on ashes, a deceived heart hath turned him aside.
What a contrast this is to the pouring out of God’s Spirit that refreshes the thirsty. The one who willingly eats ashes has a perverted appetite, yet they seem fully content to eat ashes. This is truly absurd food, because it tastes awful and it could never nourish. You will die eating ashes. This describes the idolater. Idolatry is absurd and leads to death. There is no life in it. Yet they eat their ashes and they can find a crowd to join them in their ash heap. The one who eats drunkenness, the love of money, or the idols and images of this world and pretends to be satisfied demonstrates how corrupt their appetite has become.
If everyone is eating ashes and they talk about how great it is, the weak-minded will be sucked into believing a lie. Mirages can look real on a hot summer’s day when you thirst for real water.
Israel was living in a land of idols, and their spiritual life was influenced by the worldly idolatry. Perhaps your spirit is dry today. God’s people often follow the One who died for them afar off. Israel had grown weary of God. They acted as if God wore them out (Is.43:22). Israel was wearing God out with their sins. They were growing spiritually tired; temptations were influencing them more and more on a daily basis. What does God say to a people who are weary of Him and who wear Him out?
YET now hear! Yet, though you have fallen into this backslidden state, yet, I love you, yet, I have chosen you. YET, the promise is still yours, you will restore the broken down waste places, and you will rejoice in me again!
Beloved, we need the Holy Spirit and fresh power today. We ought to pray daily for a fresh baptism with the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon us and fill us with all of His grace. We can argue about the best way to say it, but we cannot argue about this: we need His refreshing, life-giving, powerful Spirit to fill us and empower us in our lives! May God pour out His Spirit on us today! We do not need signs or wonders, tongues but we need fresh power. Fresh revelation is not needed for fresh power, but the power of Pentecost is available for us today!
The Pouring out of God’s Spirit is a:
1. A DIVINE Promise
God will pour out his Spirit:
Upon His Chosen Servants, v.1,2
These two verses are full of repetition of what God has already said. We need to hear some of the same things again and again! Twice He reminds them I have chosen you. He had already told them this again and again, but don’t we need to be reminded over and over of foundational truth that gives stability to our soul? Are you a chosen servant of God?
Isaiah 43:1: I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
Isaiah 41:8,9; But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken (grasped or seized) from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof.
2 Peter 1:10-13; Give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.
Can we say with assurance that we are the elect? Yes, for when we believe with our heart we know that we are the elect! Settling your salvation will stabilize your soul, beloved!
Reminding people of foundational truth is proper and necessary. We live in an unstable world. People are looking for: Identity: Who made me? Utility: What am I made to do? Destiny: Where am I going?
1. With PATIENCE: Many times Isaiah couples together the names Jacob and then Israel and then Jesurun. God writes this nation’s biography in three words. What is the meaning of this? Of what does it remind us? It reminds us of God’s patience in working with us. Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen! Jacob, the one who was a sinful schemer and deceiver. God pours out His Spirit upon SINNERS who hold on to Him and will not let go! Israel, the One who wrestled with the angel and prevailed. God is so patient with us! We are Jacobs and He patiently works with us and sometimes wrestles with us that we might be PRINCES, or the Israel of God. God does not quit or grow discouraged in His work in us!
Phil.1:6; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
God pours out His Spirit upon sinful schemers seized by Him. God pours out His Spirit upon Jacobs who supplicate, wrestle, agonize, and struggle in prayer while seeking His face! Hosea 12:3,4.
2. With POWER: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb! God has made us, the power belongs all to Him. He made us and formed us. What do we have that we did not receive? How can we boast in anything, how can we accuse God of wearing us out?
3. With AFFECTION: The word Jesurun means the righteous people. It is like a pet name that only the family uses. This is God’s affectionate title for His people. What intense love God has for us! God sees us with all of our potential. I have known many families that have pet names for their children. Many of you are called by something other than your real name. You know who your friends are, the ones who really know you call you by your Jesurun. This is the name that a husband only calls his wife. This is the name that a father calls his son or daughter. (Jesurun is also used in Deut.32:15, 33:5, 26)
God loves you, dear friends who He has chosen! I have loved thee with an everlasting love. How far back does God’s love go? It goes back into eternity, before there was time, space, or matter. God had us written upon His heart and the children of His love. What a rock upon which to stand: God’s eternal love for us individually.
Are you afraid or afflicted? I have loved you! Are you tempted or tried? I have loved you! Are you tossed and turned with life’s circumstances? I have loved you!
What a foundation that gives stability in storms!
God also pours out His Spirit:
A. Upon His CRAVING Children, v.3
Acts 2:39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
1. A Promise for US
This is a promise for us and for our children. The FRESH water here poured out upon the barren, dry wilderness is a picture of the Holy Spirit being poured out in our lives. The water He pours produces floods. Floods change and rearrange everything in their path. When God pours out His Spirit in our life, He changes things! God would pour out his Spirit. The ultimate fulfillment of this was on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was poured out and God’s people were filled. May we know the blessed power of Pentecost so that we may witness for Him.
The pouring forth of the Holy Spirit is not always sensational or loud. Deut. 32:2 the word is translated distil: My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
God’s word drops upon our fragile life that will soon wither like the morning dew. We need His doctrine to settle upon us each morning, to refresh us for the day ahead.
The refreshing water poured forth out of a rock in the wilderness: Psalm 78:16 says, He brought streams (same word as floods in Isaiah 44:3) also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
Water is poured only on those who are thirsty. We need a craving for God. You know what a craving is: for chocolate, coffee, for a donut, or a Big Mac. We need to have a thirst for God and lament your sinful condition. The Holy Spirit enters in fulness the heart that can boast of nothing but an aching void!
We must not just talk about THEORY, we must talk about TRUTH, and experience the refreshing power of His Spirit!
Psalm 42:1, As the deer panteth after the water, so my soul panteth thee, O God. The Living God! The truly happy person is the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness.
Are you bored with God or do you pant for Him?
The source of our strength is the Spirit of God:
I was reading about cities this week. Alexander the Great conquered the world in about 323 B.C. Do you know what Alexander used the city for? The city was his tool to spread his Greek culture around the world. The city was the leading instrument in spreading not only the Greek language, but the Greek religions, politics, and immoral philosophies. Cities became centers for vice, wickedness, and witchcraft. The city of man thrives today, and God allows the system of Babylon to live on. How can we overcome these strong spiritual forces and still stand for God?
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We are in a battlefield, and this battleground is not for the fearful.
Married couples: Beg God to pour out His Spirit upon your home! Debbie read me this week an old statement of Ben Franklin: Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. Most of the times, the opposite is true. Before marriage, couples have their eyes half shut, after marriage, they are wide open to all the faults and flaws, defects and drawbacks.
The only way to keep from the world is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Fill us, we pray, O Spirit of Power! Keep pure, those of you who live alone.
What controls you? Circumstances? Bitterness? Anger? Your job? Your flesh? What makes you happy? Spending money? Making money? We are not to be controlled by these forces. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
We are having an evangelistic meeting at the end of September. Pray for revival! Duncan Campbell said revival is a community saturated with God. May God pour out floods of water upon us!
2. A Promise for OUR CHILDREN: I will pour my spirit upon Thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring
Judges 2:10: And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. Oh the sadness if our children grow and do not follow and love our Lord Jesus Christ. This promise is for us and for our children. Do you realize what is really important? To teach your children the way of God and the warfare of God. To know God and His works.
Do you teach your children to know God? To know His works? Do you go over your Sunday School paper with your children? Patch the Pirate club books? Do you require your children to obey right away? If you have to ask your children to obey you five times before they do what you ask, then they are not right with God.
No doubt one of the greatest obstacles to the salvation and Spirit-filled living of our children is the inconsistency of the parents. Pretentious parents produce carnal children.
We must use the rod in love to bring our children to God and drive foolishness out of them. As far as I can see in Scripture, there is no other way to discipline our children. This is God’s divine method.
We must discipline our children with a rod. Never hit your child with your hand, and never discipline anywhere but the soft rear end of a child. This part of the human anatomy is made to be lovingly spanked!
Wisely, set the guideline.
Clearly, give a warning. After the warning is given, then do not give a second or third warning. The child will learn to get away with disobedience if the parent gives warning after warning.
Privately, get with them. Do not publicly spank your child, and do not spank them around your other children or their friends. This will only embarrass your child.
Ask, What did you do? They must see that their actions were disobedient and require the parent to discipline them.
Lovingly, spank them using a neutral object, a rod. This could be a plastic kitchen spoon. Give them two or three sharp swats on the soft rear end. If you hit your child on any other part of the body, this is not loving. If you hit your child with your hand, this also is not loving.
Gently, hug them. Let them hug you back. Do not allow them to be angry with you. Let them cry for a while, but after a while, their crying can punish you. Do not let them punish you with unreasonable crying.
Faithfully, pray with them.
Proverbs 22:15, Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child: but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Compare to how deeply engrained foolishness can become in a man, Prov.27:22.
Two verses that speak about Biblical discipline show us that the rod can lead to the salvation of our children. No wonder the world does not want us to lovingly spank our children!
Prov. 23:13,14: Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Prov.29:15: The rod and reproof give wisdom
Do you know what scares me in Scripture? Eli had Hophni and Phineas. David had Absalom. Solomon had Rehoboam. Noah had a Ham. Isaac had Esau. Hezekiah had Manasseh. That should scare us all, for the saved parents can have children that will break our hearts.
Let us claim this promise for our children! Our seed has great need, the Holy Spirit to be poured out in power upon their lives. How can we live for God in this city whose message is sex, money, and power? It is not easy to stand up and live for God in New York City. How can we keep from getting trapped in its octopus like tentacles? If we are not trapped by one arm of the world, watch out for another. If it is not drugs, watch out for that arm of alcohol. If it is not alcohol, then beware of fornication or adultery. It could be something innocent like laziness or spiritual apathy.
Let us pray that some moms here at Heritage would raise some Timothy’s and some David’s would raise some wise Solomon’s to serve the Lord all the days of their life.
2. Has Definite Results, 4,5
When God pours out His Spirit, there will be definite results in the life.
A. RAPID GROWTH, like the willows, v.4
A willow is a fast growing tree, and it grows even faster when it is by the waters. A willow by the river grows vigorously and beautifully. I realize that growth takes time and we cannot force growth upon our children, but when a tree is by the waters, it will grow. An old proverb says, A willow will buy a horse where an oak will not buy a saddle. The willow grows fast and the wood can be cut down and sold much more quickly than the oak.
For something to grow, the soil must be good. Are there rocks in the soil of your heart? Are their weeds that are in the soil of your heart? The weeds of the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things will choke the word of God. This world has an unlimited amount of other things. So many believers are stuck and have not grown in years. Some people need to beg God to pour out His Spirit so they can get out of their ruts!
Is there evidence of life in you? Are you wallowing and languishing or are you growing in His grace like a willow by the watercourse? If you were brought into court to testify your faith, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
When God pours out His Spirit, He changes our want-to as well as our world view. He rearranges our priorities, our values and our decisions. When God pours out His Spirit we abide in Christ, sinking the roots of our soul, heart, and mind into the Word of God. Our mind is renewed and God begins to change our character from the inside out.
Here are some areas of want to that God changes:
Want to read the Bible and pray. We feel we do not have enough time to read all of the Word of God that we desire. We are hungry for His word and His word gives us joy. We feel God. He is not distant, but we see Him, and we experience Him in a real way.
We want to hear preaching, especially of Jesus Christ. We want to be on time for the Bible Study Hour as well as church. Should we give God less than we give some airline? We are on time to catch a plane, right? Should we not be on time for church?
We want to be in prayer meeting. We look forward to Wednesday night because we love to worship God in public ways. We love to be with other Christians, not to gossip but to encourage and exhort one another.
We want to live holy. Sins that once satisfied us not repulse us. We mourn over our sin. We see our depraved state more clearly because the closer you get to the LIGHT the more you see the dirt.
We want to give. Imagine if you could be transported to heaven and see the multitudes of saints in glory, praising God. Then you came to earth, realizing that the only way for heaven to be yours is Christ. Would you not want to give?
We want to evangelize, and we look for opportunities to give out the Word of God. We are praying and looking for ways we can steer the conversation to our God.
Many Christians play hide and seek. They come to church one week and then are gone for the next two weeks. They hide, and we have to seek them or else sometimes we are accused of being unloving! The one who is not being loving is the one playing that kind of game with God! If people loved God and were filled with the Holy Spirit, they would be loving to obey the Lord!
The way to grow is to plant yourself by the rivers of water. Sink down the roots of your mind and soul into the Word of God. Let your mind be filled with divine truth that will strength and settle you. Make this your meditation. Obey the Lord. Be faithful in the little things.
B. REAL PROFESSION, v.5
Isaiah 44:5 has four parts. The first and third part coincide with one another and relate to our personal identification with God. The second and fourth part coincide and relate to our public identification with God’s people.
(1) I am the LORD’s (2) Another shall call himself by the name of Jacob (3) Another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD (4) Surname himself by the name of Israel.
1. Personally Identify with God Himself:
I am the LORD’s. Oh, that people would not be ashamed to personally and boldly stand for the One who loves us and gives us His power. I am not ashamed to be named with my God. I am His and He is mine. I belong to Him. (See 1 Cor.6:19,20, Acts 20:28, Titus 2:14-15)
I am the LORD’s. I am His to obey, to love, and to know. That is a song for your soul, I am the LORD’s!
He has found me and claimed me. I will glorify His Person. He has loved me and bought me, I will submit to His plan. He has gifted me and blessed me, I will serve His purposes.
The phrase, they shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD. They sign their name on the contract that they are bought with a price. The give themselves as a lifetime subscription to the Lord! They sign their life over not to an organization or to a church, but to God Himself!
Are you the LORD’s? Have you made your confession? You know in your heart if you believe or not. If you are saved, can you write on a piece of paper, SAVED. If you are not saved, write CONDEMNED. Now, which did you write? If you wrote condemned, you can be saved.
2. Publicly Identify with God’s people:
The Christian life is personal and public, but it is not private. Isaiah uses two phrases that deal with a believer’s identification with the people of God. He again uses the two name, Jacob and Israel.
When we identify with the name of Jacob, we recognize that God calls Jacob’s: schemers and sinners. All of us are like Jacob! I, too, am a Jacob, not righteous in myself, but God has called me and saved me by His grace. This one is not ashamed to be named by the lowliest title of the people of God. We are not ashamed to associate with imperfect people, growing into Princes or the Israel of God.
Do not be ashamed to be named with the people of God. I am thankful for the local church, for this is God’s work, this is God’s plan.
One of the best ways to declare your allegiance to the Lord and to identify yourself with Him and His church is to be baptized. Any baptism where true confession has never been made, or there is no personal knowledge, is a mockery of true baptism.
Are you feeding on ASHES? Do not be satisfied with ashes when you can have fresh water.
Are you the LORD’s and filled with His Holy Spirit?