Blog In Audio:
The process of Christianity is one of abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us. As leaders we must set an example to those we lead in being a dwelling place for God in His Spirit. We cannot be the dwelling place of God for those we lead, we must inspire those we lead to be dwelling places in themselves. For this reason, Jesus said that there are many dwelling places in the house of our heavenly Father.
John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (NASB)
I believe that each of us are called to be a dwelling place of God by His Spirit. I also believe that we are meant to be joined to others as corporate expressions of God’s house. These two things are core truths to Christianity. Christianity is not merely a belief system. It is Christ in humanity to shine as the light of life to the world. When we know Christ in us we know the peace of God that surpasses all natural understanding. Christ in us is the testimony of knowing Holy Spirit in an intimate way. Leaders lead to inspire others to receive the true Helper in their lives. Jesus told this truth to His disciples and this same truth is real for us today.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
The peace that God gives us is not the absence of conflict in our lives. It is the presence of Holy Spirit in our lives in every good day and in every day of conflict. We never need to be troubled in our hearts or fearful. God is in us, upon us, and with us in all things. All we need to do is lean into our connection to God. Our life is in Him, not in the circumstances of our world.
As I have been blogging, being a place of God’s habitation includes pruning, abiding, being hated by the ways of the world, and ultimately bearing witness of Christ. As leaders we bear witness of Christ, and we lead others to do the same. It is a way of life. It is seven days per week, twenty-four hours per day. The testimony of God’s pruning in our lives is fruit that gives life to others. The testimony of our abiding in Christ is life to us and it is seen in our giving of life to those in our world. The testimony of being hated by those who adhere to the ways of the world is seen in our unwavering focus of giving life to our world. Bearing witness to Christ is the testimony of giving life to others in our world. Leaders lead to give life to those they lead and to inspire them to give life to their sphere of influence in this world. As dwelling places of God, we can know that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgment. These are attributes of Holy Spirit and not works of human ministry.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
When we were in the world, we practiced being disconnected from God, but Holy Spirit convicted us of our sin. Our sin was our disconnection from the One who loves us. Holy Spirit drew our spirits close to God and revealed to us that we have been reconciled to God by Jesus Christ. The blood that Jesus shed gave us access to the true source of life. Holy Spirit in our lives is the blood of the New Covenant. He is the source of life within us. Just as the life of the flesh was in the blood, the life of our spirit is only found in the Spirit of God. This is the power of Christ within us. This is why Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin. He convicts of sin only to welcome each and every one to find the true life within. Having been reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ, we should now live our lives empowered by the life of Christ within us.
Our connection with Holy Spirit in our hearts inspires righteousness in our lives. Being loved by God inspires us to be right and to do right things in life. God does not just forgive, He is forgiveness. It is the substance of who He is, that is why He forgives. He loves because He is love. Love is His character, nature, and way. He wants us to be like Him. He wants us to become the substance of love, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and all that He is. This is righteousness. Holy Spirit transforms our lives from within and inspires the manifestation of the character of Christ in our lives. The more we indulge in Holy Spirit, the more we have a sense of what gives life. We are drawn into the place of transformation that causes us to be the substance of life. Some days we will feel like we are not being real, but we are practicians. Holy Spirit is transforming us from within and what is partly real becomes fully real in the process of our relationship with Him.
Holy Spirit convicts of judgment because the ruler of the world is judged. This is not a judgement of condemnation to us. It is enforcing the condemnation of the enemy. One judgment was pronounced upon us and that was a judgment of mercy. The judgment of the devil and every spiritual enemy is that they have no more power over us if we willingly choose to embrace the judgment of God’s mercy in our lives. We can boldly come to the throne of God’s grace where we reach out and receive the mercy given to us and then we look around to find the specific grace needed to overcome the enemy in every situation of our lives. We have already been judged and our judgement was mercy. God’s mercy frees us from the strongholds of the enemy.
These three things are works of Holy Spirit. They are not works of leadership. It is not the responsibility of leadership to convict of sin, righteousness, or judgment. It is our responsibility to embrace these works of Holy Spirit in our lives and then lead others to do the same.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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