Holy Spirit Reliance. Lesson Discussion. The Challenges We Face

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1 Holy Spirit Reliance The Challenges We Face One of the challenges that disciples face is the tendency to rely on ourselves and our own strength and understanding as we step out in obedience to make disciples. We try to use our own wits and intelligence to do God s will instead of following the Holy Spirit s direction. We don t really understand how to rely on the Holy Spirit each and every moment. We have the tendency to think we know the problems of those we are discipling, and we forget that only the Holy Spirit knows what problem He needs to address in their lives. We don t realize that until we completely submit to the Holy Spirit in everything, we will never truly learn to rely on Him consistently. As a disciple of Jesus, we must rely more and more on the Holy Spirit, especially when we disciple others. It is the Holy Spirit s work to bring transformation into our own lives and the lives of those we are discipling. Lesson Truth The Holy Spirit is given to us to guide us and lead us into all truth. We must learn to rely on the Holy Spirit more and more every day as we follow Jesus and make disciples. It is the Holy Spirit who will show us God s will and how do deal with every soul He brings our way. Lesson Goal The goal of this lesson is to learn how to rely on the Holy Spirit more and more by taking the time necessary to involve the Holy Spirit in all our activities and dealings with others. Lesson Discussion Every interaction I have with another individual is an opportunity to demonstrate the Christian life through obedience to the Holy Spirit. Most interactions I have with people will be within the realm of my daily activities: at work, within my family, at the store, and at church. Other interactions will come about as I intentionally meet with people for discipleship training, counseling, and other opportunities where the focus of the meeting is to discuss and learn how to be and make disciples. As I walk in the Spirit and am led by the Spirit daily, I will be in the center of God s will consistently. I can only do this as I stay submitted and surrendered to Him. John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. When I am not truly submitted to the Holy Spirit, my reactions and interactions with others will most often be worldly, carnal, and in demonstration of living my own will, not His. When I am completely submitted to Him, I allow Him to have complete access to my life to do whatever He wants to do. It is His life in me that will be a testimony and witness to others, and He will transform and change others through me. John 16:13-15 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I 1

2 said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. As I learn to submit to and rely on the Holy Spirit, people will be drawn to Him through me. People are fascinated with Jesus and they can sense the supernatural lure that comes through the spirit. The Holy Spirit s Part An important point to remember is that any positive spiritual impact we may have on others is not a result of own effort, but is the work of Holy Spirit. Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. My part is to simply submit and obey the direction of the Holy Spirit. His part is to change and transform my life and the lives of others He brings along my path. The Holy Spirit is a tremendous influence in our own lives and the lives of others. He knows everything about every person you will encounter each day. The Holy Spirit is the only One who truly knows a person and what that person really needs. When we witness to or counsel others, often we make our own assumptions about the person s need or spiritual state and then try to counsel them in the direction we think they need to go. This approach of diagnosing and giving guidance is common in secular counseling, but has no part in the Holy Spirit s work when dealing with spiritual problems. We must understand the Holy Spirit s part in the work of helping souls so we are not trying to do His part ourselves. 2 Disciple-makers who are not able to discern the direction, guidance, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in regard to the person they are discipling will have the tendency to diagnose their condition from a humanistic perspective and apply remedies that miss the true cause of the problem. Since the Holy Spirit knows the true state of the individual, you must learn how to rely on and obey the Holy Spirit as you work for the healing of souls. You can actually get in the Holy Spirit s way and cause the person more problems if you try to help them using a humanistic approach. They may develop a false sense of security and confidence in things or ideas that will eventually fail them because the real problem has not been addressed. Humanistic Disciplines There is a lot of worldly knowledge and wisdom available today to help people solve problems. The Internet provides a wealth of information on virtually every topic. Worldly knowledge can be helpful to us in certain areas of our daily lives. For instance, we can learn math and it can help us in balancing our checkbooks and knowing how much change we should get back when paying for something. Learning to cook, sew, or fix computers are skills that do not necessarily require the Holy Spirit to learn. Plenty of people without the Holy Spirit can be trained to do these things. We can also learn a lot about human behavior by the study of current trends in psychology. The study of such disciplines can be helpful in understanding why people think and act the way they do. Much of the counseling knowledge available today is based on such disciplines. The problem comes when people try to apply humanistic psychology to spiritual problems.

3 The only way to solve spiritual problems is through the application of God s Word through the Holy Spirit. Until you come to this realization for yourself, you will keep trying to fix people s problems with humanistic wisdom instead of by the power of God s Word through the Holy Spirit. Secular counseling disciplines can only provide a temporary fix, but it leaves the underlying spiritual problem unresolved. As you rely completely on the Holy Spirit, you will be able to help others break through spiritual barriers that are preventing them from moving forward in their relationship with Jesus. Knowing the Holy Spirit As you learn how the Holy Sprit works and as you get to know Him on a deeper level, transformation in yourself and others will happen. Knowing about the Holy Spirit is not enough. You must know the Holy Spirit for yourself. As you give Him complete access to your own life, He will give you revelation knowledge of Himself. As your relationship with the Holy Spirit develops, your confidence in Him and your knowledge of how He works will increase. You will find that He has the solution to every problem or perplexity in your own life and the lives of those you disciple. At times the Holy Spirit will solve problems in ways that makes absolutely no sense from a humanistic perspective. As you learn how to bring the Holy Spirit into each encounter with others, you will be amazed at how He will show them the truth about their situations. The Holy Spirit s part is to help you identify the true problem and provide the remedy, which is usually God s Word or His truth spoken to their spirit. When the truth is followed in obedience, spiritual problems will be resolved. Learning to know the Holy Spirit is not a one time event. You must nurture and develop your relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit is simply the life of Jesus living in and through you. As you submit and learn to listen to Him, He do His work through you. If you do not nurture your relationship with the Holy Spirit, your spiritual life will dry up. This relationship is something that you must continually work at or else you will have nothing to give to others spiritually. Developing your relationship with Jesus is what being a disciple is about. This relationship is what facilitates the working of the Holy Spirit through us to others. If we are not continually abiding in Jesus by following Him, we will soon stop following Him. Any relationship that is not maintained through effort will deteriorate over time. Prayer time spent with the Holy Spirit and reading the Word is the only way to know the Holy Spirit and nurture our relationship with Him. Spiritual Counsel When your relationship with the Holy Spirit is right, you will find that things in your own life will be right and you will be able to help others get things right in their own lives. You keep your life right by confessing sin immediately and putting it behind you. Always address any known sin when you start your prayer time. Partnering with the Holy Spirit in spiritual counseling is simply letting Him be in the driver s seat. Whether you are dealing with your own problems or someone else s, learn to let Him lead and direct. The Holy Spirit knows the real problem and He also knows the only thing that will fix that problem. If you let Him take the lead and learn to follow that lead, He will solve the problem. 3

4 When you are dealing with those who are already Christian, they already know God s Word, but often they are not living it. That is why they cannot seem to get past their problem. They intellectually know God s Word, but they are not experiencing the reality of His Word in their lives. You can keep telling them the same Scriptures again and again that relate to their problem and what they need to stop doing or start doing. They may agree with what you say, but until they change and start living the truth, they will continue with the problem. This is common today and is a huge frustration point for many Christians. Often they stay trapped in their unbelief and then try to adjust their lives to compensate for it. These believers truly want to solve their problem, but something is in the way. Often, the real problem is unbelief in one form or another. The Holy Spirit can speak truth to their unbelief and get them set free. Other people you will deal with have not been saved and may not be interested in being saved. They might believe in God to some extent but they want their problems fixed apart from God. Some of these people are moral and upright, are active in their communities, and are enjoying a life of plenty. Others are not moral or upright, are lawbreakers, and they are enjoying their wayward lives. However, some of the individuals within these groups will at some point have a crisis that will pull them toward the need for something greater than themselves. These can become divine appointments where they may be open to the Holy Spirit s work. The Holy Spirit is the only one who knows what is going on in someone s life and their spiritual state of readiness to receive the gospel. He will begin using a crisis as an opportunity to convict the person and pull them toward the Savior. You may be the one the Holy Spirit uses to bring the good news of salvation to these people. The Holy Spirit will put in your mind what to say and how to bring these individuals to salvation. It is not difficult when they are under conviction and are seeking God. The important thing is to stay in tune with the Holy Spirit while He is working through you. There is a great temptation to take over and start leading the person where you think they need to go. Often your own ideas of what you think they need get in the way if you don t stay focused on the Holy Spirit. Much time in prayer with the Holy Spirit is necessary to prepare you for any encounter that God has laid on your heart. This prayer time helps get your own mind clear of worldly thoughts, ideas, wants, and needs so you can focus only on what the Holy Spirits wants. Relying on the Holy Spirit The goal of this lesson is for you to learn to rely completely and totally on the Holy Spirit in each and every encounter with another soul, whether it is a lost person or a believer who has lost his way, or even problems in your own life. Relying on the Holy Spirit means you have developed a relationship with Him so that you know Him and have complete confidence and trust in what He is doing. He guides and directs the encounter and then you leave the outcome completely in His hands. One of the ways we can detect mistrust of the Holy Spirit in our own life is after the encounter with a soul we are dealing with. If we have doubts about how we did, whether or not we really helped them, or we worry about what might happen next in their lives, we have failed to trust the Holy Spirit with the outcome. Our only part in the whole encounter is to listen to and be obedient to the Holy Spirit. Whatever He shows us to do, we do it. There is no negotiating or making excuses. 4

5 If the person obeys the Holy Spirit, they will receive the blessing of their obedience. If they choose not to obey the Holy Spirit, they will receive the consequence of their disobedience. The outcome of any encounter is not our responsibility in any way. As we let the Holy Spirit guide and direct the encounter, the outcome is solely between the person and the Holy Spirit. Your have no responsibility for the outcome as they step out in obedience to the Holy Spirit. You can continue to pray and intercede for these souls, but the outcome is in the Lord s hands. This is the most difficult part for those who disciple others. Learning to let go and let the individual be responsible for their own relationship with Jesus and for their own moral choices is a must. You must not feel guilty or responsible for anything anyone else does as you disciple them. Remember, you must cast all your cares and burdens on Him and leave those encumbrances with Him, and not take them back onto yourself. The Holy Spirit is certainly capable of handling any situation. All we have to do is listen to and obey Him, and everything will be exactly as God determines. This is where having faith in and trusting God plays a crucial role. Isaiah 14:24 As I have planned, so will it be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand. If we let worry, fear, or doubt dominate us as we disciple others, we have a trust problem in our own life that we need to give attention to. You will soon burn out spiritually if you try to disciple others and are burdened by their lives. Those burdens belong to the Lord, not to you. If you are not willing to learn how to completely rely on the Holy Spirit and trust Him no matter what the outcome in another person s life, you will soon become discouraged and may stop discipling others. You can absolutely rely on the Holy Spirit because He is the very nature of God. The Lord is a loving God and He is absolutely just. His rule over everything is absolute and perfect. Learn to rely on Him all the time. One Step for Living This Truth The foundation of the One Step series you have been reading is to be able to live God s truth, one truth at a time, one step at a time. Next we will suggest the specific action step you can take to allow the truth taught in this lesson to be lived in your own personal life. You only have to do this one step to master this lesson. Your focus and effort should be to make sure you consistently and persistently do the one step as directed. The goal is to make sure you are living this truth before you go on to the next truth. It is very important that we learn to completely rely on the Holy Spirit at all times for the healing of souls. You can only do this if you intentionally make the effort to develop, maintain, and engage your relationship with the Holy Spirit at every turn. ACTION STEP Continue to strengthen your relationship with God each day by spending at least 30 minutes with Him. The focus for this time is to reflect on your relationship with the Holy Spirit and whether or not you 5

6 are submitting to and relying on Him consistently. First you must pray and connect with the Holy Spirit before any spiritual encounter with another soul. Pray for that soul and get your heart and mind right with God. As you are interacting with others, frequently stop and ask the Holy Spirit what you need to know and how you should minister to that particular person. Throughout your day, acknowledge the Holy Spirit and ask Him for guidance for any situation in your life where you are perplexed, worried, upset, fearful, or stressed. Rely on the Holy Spirit more and more. You will have completed this lesson when you know that you are more steadily relying on the Holy Spirit as you work with others and as you go through your day-to-day activities. Continue to read a chapter in the Gospels each day. Write down thoughts or Scriptures that relate to the one thing. As you continue to practice living this truth, you may need to come back to this lesson often. Don t be in a rush to start the next lesson. Even if it takes several weeks to get this truth integrated into your life, keep it as your primary focus until you feel you are living this truth. Remember, the most common problem with Christians today is that they know many truths about the Christian life, but are not able to live them. Make sure you are solidly living this truth before attempting to tackle the next truth. 6 Other Scripture Verses Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:9-11 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:13 It is written: I believed; therefore I have spoken. With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 11:4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the

7 one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those super-apostles. I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 1 John 4:1-3 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 1 John 4:4-6 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 7

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