Day 8 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 2:12 min reading)
WE CAN GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are things we can do that will grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). If we do not daily seek Him and cooperate in following where He leads us, His power will wane, and our Christian experience will weaken.
God doesn’t force us to do anything. When we receive the baptism of the Spirit, He will have a greater impact in our lives. We will feel His promptings more strongly. The Spirit will daily put the desire in our hearts to obey God. He will call us to study God’s Word and pray more. The Spirit will cause us to begin loving righteousness and to hate sin. However, we are always free to disregard His promptings. When we do this, we begin the process of “grieving” or “quenching” the Spirit. Paul gave very practical advice in many sections of Scripture on how to avoid doing this. Paul’s practical counsels to the believer on living the Christian life are aimed at helping us to maintain the fullness of the Spirit in our lives. Two examples of such counsel are found in Ephesians 4:25-32, and 1 Thessalonians 5:14-19.
Paul knew that the Spirit of God dwelling in the believer would prompt him or her to do the things listed in these verses. If we refuse to yield to His prompting, we will be in danger of “grieving” and “quenching” the Spirit.
If you find that you have grieved the Spirit, don’t be discouraged. Instead, ask God to forgive you (1 John 1:9), and He will. Then ask God to fill you anew with His Spirit and He will (Luke 11:13). Ask Him in faith, and you will receive (Galatians 3:14).
David knew God was merciful. He had committed the sins of adultery and murder. He had walked away from the prompting of God’s Spirit in his life when he committed these terrible acts. Yet, when he was convicted of his sin by the Spirit he turned to God in prayer (Psalm 51). Note especially these words:
“Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” PSALM 51:9-12
When we find that we have been slipping away from God, we must not let another moment pass without confessing our sin, accepting God’s forgiveness, and claiming the promise of receiving the Holy Spirit to renew our lives as David did.
Then we will once again be strengthened in the “inner” man to be victorious over Satan (Ephesians 3:16-19).
Personal Reading for Discussion:
WE MUST EXPERIENCE THE EARLY RAIN TO RECEIVE THE LATTER RAIN OF THE SPIRIT
We are nearing the time for the “latter rain” to fall. If we do not experience the infilling of the Spirit, which is the “early rain” (Joel 2:23), we will not be prepared to receive and participate in the work of the latter rain. I believe God is moving among His people today and leading them into this wonderful experience. If you have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, don’t delay another day. His reception should be first and foremost in our lives. For this gift will bring all other gifts to us. The Spirit’s infilling will change our lethargy to excitement, our weakness to strength, and our witness will be with a power not seen since the day of Pentecost.
A NECESSITY FOR EXPERIENCING CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS
As I mentioned at the beginning of this day’s devotional, for us to experience Christ’s righteousness manifested in us we must daily experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Christ lives in us through the baptism of the Spirit (John 14:16-18, 1 John 3:24). This experience will lead us to become just like Jesus in our lives and service for Him. The Spirit-filled experience is not an option for those ready to meet Jesus when He returns. It is a necessity! Hence, it is my prayer that all who read this book will experience the Spirit’s infilling every day. The baptism of the Holy Spirit must become a consistent part of our lives in order for us to have the faith to make it through the time of trouble, to experience full victory over temptation and sin, and to be ready for Christ’s return
No other way exists for us to relinquish our complacent, faithless, Laodicean condition and be prepared for the final crisis before Christ’s second coming. Ellen White confirmed this with the words:
“Nothing but the baptism of the Holy Spirit can bring up the church to its right position, and prepare the people of God for the fast-approaching conflict.” LETTER 15, 1889
I pray that you will take God’s instruction seriously. If you are not daily claiming the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit do not let another day go by without seeking this marvelous blessing. For the Holy Spirit’s infilling bestows all other blessings on you and will lead you into the marvelous experience with Christ.
Day 8 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church and you to experience a daily
- Spirit-filled ministry for Jesus
- Those on your prayer list
Day 8 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 29 to 32 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 49 to 52 of the PDF version])
- If we find that we have grieved the Holy Spirit what does 1 John 1:9 tell us to do?
- How does Christ live in us?
- Did the Samaritan believers, Saul and the Ephesian believers automatically receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit when they were baptised in water? Acts 8:12-17; 9:17-18; 19:1-6 10.
- What was a common method used to enable believers to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost? Acts 8:12-17; 9:17-18; 19:1-6
- What does experiencing Christ Righteousness lead us to become?
- Why should the baptism of the Holy Spirit be consistent in our lives?
- Cite an experience in your life that your lethargy turned to excitement and your weakness to strength.
- What necessary actions should be done in order for us to take God’s instructions seriously?
Day 8 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 35 to 38 (pages 55 to 58 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 9.
- Prayerfully answer Day 9 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 9 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.