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Help Is Here | Max Lucado

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
December 3, 2022 1:00 am

Help Is Here | Max Lucado

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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December 3, 2022 1:00 am

If you’re drowning in questions you can’t answer and have problems you can’t solve, don’t miss this Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Author and pastor Max Lucado will encourage you to grab onto the life-saving strength of the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit and how can he empower you to become more joyful? Listen in to find out.

Featured Resource:
Help Is Here: Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in the Power of the Holy Spirit

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Hi, everyone. My name is Emma, and I serve as a producer here at Moody Radio. I want to take a quick second to tell you about our newest podcast, 52 Weeks in the Word. This podcast hosted by Trillia Newbell will walk you through the Bible cover to cover in 52 weeks. Each week, Trillia sits down with a guest for a 10-minute conversation about the weekly reading, Bible reading habits, and spiritual disciplines.

Some of these guests include our very own Chris Brooks, Jen Wilkin, Nancy Guthrie, and many more. If you've ever wanted to read the Bible in a year, now's your chance. Listen to the trailer, follow and subscribe on the Moody Radio app or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Episode one drops on January 1st. I believe that the Holy Spirit is a bit like the air traffic controller of our mind. And with his help, the lies and the deception of life, the fears of life, we can refuse to give them access to our mind. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . While many are living under a weight of stress with financial struggles, marriage problems, a health crisis, if you feel powerless to calm life's chaos, pastor and bestselling author Max Lucado has great news for you. Help is here. Max really believes you can find fresh strength and purpose for your life.

And we'll find out how straight ahead. Go to fivelovelanguages.com. You'll find out more about our guest day.

Click resources and scroll down to Building Relationships. And you can subscribe to the podcast there, discover more about Max and his latest Help is Here. Gary, we're going to talk today about the Holy Spirit. And as a pastor and counselor, have you seen the power of the Spirit of God at work through the years?

Absolutely, Chris. In my own counseling, I cannot tell you how many times I sit there and listen to the pain and the story of the person sitting in front of me and realize I don't have a clue where to go with this. And I silently say, Oh God, by your Spirit, give me wisdom to respond to this person.

And I end up saying things I never would have thought I would have said, you know, because they weren't my words. So, you know, the Holy Spirit is the hope for those of us who are trying to help people, as well as the hope for the people to whom we are talking, whether we're preaching or whether we're counseling. So yeah, I'm excited about our time today with Max Lucado on this topic. Well, let's meet him. If you don't know Max Lucado, he says he writes books for people who don't read books. He's America's best-selling inspirational author, currently serves as teaching minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, where he's joining us today.

That's where he and his wife, Denalyn, live. Our featured resource is Help is Here, Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in the Power of the Holy Spirit. You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. Well Max Lucado, welcome back to Building Relationships. Boy, it's a terrific honor. I hope you know how much I respect you and love you and admire the work, not just of the classic Five Love Languages book, but all your books, and deeply, deeply appreciate your steadfastness over the decades. Thank you so much. I love you and hold you in the highest esteem. Thank you. You and I both have been here for a number of years. That's the truth.

That's the truth. The attrition of ministers is severe. The challenges of ministry, the stress of ministry, temptations of ministry. Sometimes, as I guess we're all asked, how can I pray for you? I always say, just pray that our Lord above will help me finish strong. I just don't want to do anything stupid in my last chapter. I want to be faithful.

I want to continue to be fruitful, and I just don't want to bring any reproach on our good God. Yep. That's exactly what I pray for myself as well.

Right. Well, you know, in the last couple of times you've been with us, you've talked about anxious living and then finding unshakable hope. So this topic of the Holy Spirit feels like you're getting to the source of that hope and that help.

Is that true? Well, first, I'm just thrilled about this idea, this opportunity to either reacquaint or acquaint people with our Heavenly Helper, the Holy Spirit. I believe there's much bewilderment and confusion and many questions about the Holy Spirit. And part of that, as you know, Gary, is absolutely understandable. None of us understand Him, the Holy Spirit, because He is so beyond anything that we can comprehend. But none of us can understand the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Ocean either.

That doesn't keep us from explorations. And so this opportunity that we have to ponder the unimaginable gift of hosting the presence of God in ourselves as His followers is a topic that just truly excites me. And I'm thrilled that we're going to talk about the Holy Spirit. Well, you know, there are people, of course, who are kind of nervous when you talk about the Holy Spirit because they've seen things, heard things, you know, that they don't quite understand. And so they get nervous about talking about it. But the Bible talks about the Holy Spirit a lot.

And so I'm glad we're focusing on that today. If my math is correct, the Bible makes over 100 references to the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus said more about the Holy Spirit than he does about the church or marriage or finances in the future. So the Holy Spirit is an essential part of our story. And it does make sense if quantity means anything in theology, then an understanding of the Holy Spirit is very essential.

Yeah. Now you say, and I'm quoting here, the Holy Spirit comes with power, power to make good choices, keep promises, and silence the inner voices of fear and failure. It seems to me that there are a lot of inner voices that are calling at people, calling at us, all of us today. Everywhere and every day, we battle with what we're going to hear and what we're going to discard. And the beauty of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is that he will help us choose what to hear and what to dismiss. I believe that the Holy Spirit is a bit like the air traffic controller of our mind. With his help, we can allow the truth to land and the cargo to be released. And with his help, the lies and the deception of life, the fears of life, we can refuse to give them access to our mind. And since we are what we think about, this is really an important part of a healthy life and a spiritual growth. Thanks for being with us on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Our guest is best-selling author and pastor, Max Lucado. Our featured resource is his latest, Help is Here, finding fresh strength and purpose in the power of the Holy Spirit. You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com.

That's fivelovelanguages.com. Have you seen the effects in just people that you interface with on what's happened the last couple of years with COVID and then all that's going on in our country and around the world? What are your impressions of what has been going on the last couple of years? Well Gary, you know, we've read the statistics. I find them disheartening. 84% of Americans say they live under severe stress. 84%. That's stunning.

That's stunning. Anxiety and depression are on a rapid increase, especially among young adults and teenagers. The millennial generation is described as the loneliest generation in history. There's probably a variety of reasons for that, but part of it has to do with the access to technology and dependence upon technology.

So rather than developing lifelong relationships, there is more of a relationship to technology. But of course, the most sobering statistic is that suicide is the highest it's been since World War II of 33% since 1999. So much so, as we know, the government just created a three-number hotline, just like a 911 for people who are contemplating suicide. Is it all due to COVID? Is it all due to just the stress of life? Is it due to the very difficult political climate in which we live or all of the above?

It's probably everything that is contributing to this. Yeah, yeah. Talk to the person who's listening today, and they're going through a time of personal chaos in their own lives.

Maybe marriage, maybe parenting, maybe a job loss. And how does the Holy Spirit bring peace into that person's life? Yeah, yeah. Well, one place to start. In the book, I look at, I think, a dozen different metaphors of the Holy Spirit. The Bible introduces us to the Holy Spirit through these word pictures, through these word pictures, through these metaphors. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove in three of the gospels and as a dove, curiously, in the Gospel of Luke. He took the form of a dove. There is no more peaceable bird that I can imagine than a dove. To be honest, if I were looking for a bird to symbolize me, I would want an eagle or a hawk, some powerful bird, soaring high, majestic. But our dear Lord, when wanting to demonstrate the personality of the Holy Spirit, chose the dove, a dove. A dove is a very soothing bird.

In the days of Christ, the dove was a feminine, used to describe femininity. There are those who call the Holy Spirit the mother heart of God because of the soothing presence of the Holy Spirit. I think there's a lot to that. To those who are passing through a time of chaos, I'm so happy to tell you that the soothing presence of the Holy Spirit will calm you down.

You know, Gary, just last night, I had a hard time falling asleep. I had a whole lot on my mind. We just had a wedding in our family. We've got a lot of things going on in our family. They're positive.

They're positive. But even a positive change can be stressful. And so it took me a while to do what I'm trying to encourage our listeners to do today.

But eventually I was able to take each of my fears and concerns and each decision, lying there in bed, way past my bedtime. But finally, I was able to one by one say, Lord, please take this. Please take this. Can I give this to you?

Can I give this to you? And I felt the burden begin to lift again. It took me a while. I wish I could say that with one prayer, I was instantly at peace. Sometimes it takes some time.

Sometimes it takes quite a bit of time. But the good news is the Father is ever present in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to be that soothing dove that one who brings calm into the chaos of our lives. And he will help us find that power to surrender our thoughts to him. Max, you discuss in the book the unique role of the Holy Spirit.

What is that unique role? Of course, the Holy Spirit, the invisible expression of the Godhead on earth. He is executing the will of God right now in our day. And there are two or three things that I think are often forgotten about the Holy Spirit. And maybe at the top of the list would be that his primary task is to reveal Jesus to us. The classic teaching on the Holy Spirit is from, of course, the teaching of Jesus himself in the upper room discourse recorded in John 14, 15, and 16. And multiple times Jesus makes comments to the disciples about the Holy Spirit.

He says, I must leave so that he can come and that when he comes, he will bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you about me. So the Holy Spirit exists to bring to our remembrance Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is bullish on Jesus. The Holy Spirit wants you and me to see Jesus. If you and I understand the miracle of the incarnation, the beauty of salvation, the power of the sanctification, all these beautiful gifts that Jesus brought, it is because of the unique assignment of the Holy Spirit.

He is our teacher. He is the one who helps us come to a deeper understanding about Jesus Christ. Jesus in those scriptures calls the Holy Spirit our helper. Some translations say advocate, others intercessor. There's one translation that says the Holy Spirit is the one who comes alongside.

And that's kind of a literal translation of that Greek word paraclete, one who comes who helps, one who comes alongside. These are all words that work together to help us remember, Gary, that we're not on our own in this life. We're not on our own in our quest to understand Jesus, but that we have within us, we have the privilege of hosting the presence of God in the form of the Holy Spirit. That's a beautiful gift. It's a beautiful gift.

No doubt the greatest gift that we are given. But the emphasis in the scriptures on the Holy Spirit. Why do you think that the Holy Spirit is such a foreign concept to many Christians today? What a great question. What a great question.

Well, you're right. You know, as somebody describes God the Father, they can conjure up an answer. Say, describe God the Son and Jesus Christ.

There's a clear image because we read about Jesus walking on the earth. But if you want to see somebody hem and haw and kick the dirt and scratch their head and change the subject, just say, tell me about God the Spirit. Maybe even the phrase Spirit sounds mystical to people. We, especially in our Western culture, have been taught to trust that which we can see and touch and feel and hear.

We're very touchable, rational people. And the Holy Spirit is like a wind, Jesus said. That is to say, we don't know where he comes or where he goes. He is a force, but he's an untouchable force. I think there's also two reasons, though, that complicate or make our understanding of the Holy Spirit a little more difficult. One is the number of people who have either used the Holy Spirit as a way to elevate themselves or who have taken it upon themselves to police the Holy Spirit. Does that make sense?

Yeah. What do you mean by policing? Policing are the people who, anytime you say Holy Spirit, their word is don't and won't.

Don't do that. Don't exercise that gift or don't think that or the Holy Spirit won't. It's almost like they feel like they have to protect the reputation of the Spirit or keep everybody from going too far. And then on the other extreme are those who do go too far. And they feel like it's their ministry to boast about all the gifts they have, to present themselves as kind of buddy-buddy with the Holy Spirit. They'll have what you and I never have and they're somewhat proud.

They platform their gifts. And so those two extremes discourage the sincere seeker from understanding the Holy Spirit. But please don't be discouraged if one of those two extremes has impacted you either and caused you to walk away from the Spirit because you're turned off or walk away by the Spirit because somebody has told you to. Open yourself up to a fresh understanding of the Holy Spirit, because in between there is the God-seeking, Scripture-revering, Spirit-longing saint. And that person, either he or she, is about to be blessed. And you can be one of those people because the Spirit is the presence of God on the earth today, sent here to encourage, equip, and prepare God's people for eternity. Max, what was the turning point in your own life when you came to understand more fully the Holy Spirit and his ministry in your life?

We have three or four hours for this answer. No, I can do it in a couple of minutes, but if I can just quickly relate that I was raised in a church that seldom, if ever, discussed the Holy Spirit, so I don't blame my church. Please hear me. I was introduced to Scripture, I was introduced to God, the Father, and Jesus the Savior, but I did not hear anything about the Holy Spirit, my helper. Again, I owned a Bible, I could have read about him, but I think, Gary, you'll appreciate this story. We're kind of of the same vintage. When I was a junior and senior in high school, by then I had given up on faith.

I became a very heavy drinker. I was the kind of guy you would not want your daughter to go out with, and an evangelist came to our little West Texas town from the far-off country of California. This would have been back in 1971 or 72, and you recall the Jesus movement, Gary, that was sweeping the country? This guy was a convert from the Jesus movement, this evangelist. He showed up in our little town, again a little two-stop lot town, he showed up in a bus that was painted with flowers, and he parked in the school parking lot, and he stood on the top with a megaphone and shared the gospel.

Well, I was intrigued. He invited all of us who wanted to to go to different homes. He passed out addresses, and I was given an address to go to someone's home that evening. It was actually a trailer in a trailer park, and there they talked about the Holy Spirit. That's my first recollection of anybody saying, would you like to receive the Holy Spirit?

And Gary, of course, I said yes. My life was a mess. It was just a mess. I wish I could say that was a Damascus Road moment, but I left that trailer, though very impressed with those people, and by the next night, I was back in my old life again. And I eventually did receive the grace of God in my early 20s. I went to seminary, became a preacher, became a missionary, came a preacher again, when, to answer your question, I was about 33 years old. I experienced burnout as a pastor. I was utterly exhausted.

We had three little kids at home, two in diapers. I was about to just give up on being a pastor. I didn't think I was very effective. And late at night, in the middle of the night, I began to sense the mysterious presence of the Lord.

Everybody else was asleep. I couldn't sleep, but I sensed strength coming into my life. And little by little, over a period of about three months, Gary, I want to say two to three months, I literally went from a gray sky to a blue sky and felt a power that was always there. But I think in my desperation, I was calling out for that power. And I came to understand what Jesus was talking about when he talked about our heavenly helper. So I would really trace my relationship with the Holy Spirit back to my early to mid-thirties as a young pastor at the church that I'm still serving at to this day. That's interesting because some of us, it's earlier in life, some it's more in the thirties, some it comes much later. But a lot has to do with whether we are reaching out, right, in our own desperation.

Yeah, absolutely. I have a friend who says, the soil out of which the Holy Spirit grows is a childlike heart. I love that. You know, sometimes we think, I don't experience the Holy Spirit because I'm not spiritual enough.

I'm not smart enough. No, that's not it. It's a childlike heart. It's an openness, a humility. And whenever I think I've got it all together, then in essence, I'm quenching the Spirit, I'm resisting the Spirit. But whenever I'm humble before him and saying, Lord, I'm desperate, I need you. One of the beautiful assignments of the Holy Spirit is to take our prayers, according to Romans 8, in those prayers that are more groans and sighs than anything else when we do not know how to pray as we ought. He takes our prayers and presents them to God on our behalf. And so it's during those times of desperation that I think our hearts are truly, truly open to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for joining us for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Our guest today is author and pastor Max Lucado. Our featured resource is his book, Help is Here, Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. We alluded to this a little earlier, but there are those who, when you bring up the topic of the Holy Spirit, they think in terms of some extreme reactions because of things that have happened in their lives. Just think of one, when someone simply says to someone else, you know, the Holy Spirit told me to tell you this, and they tell you something that you in no way can see how that could have been the Holy Spirit. How do we respond to people who go through that sort of thing? Yeah, what a great question. That is a great question.

I'm not a big fan of using terms like that first. If I have to say, the Lord told me to tell you, that may be evidence of an insecurity on my part. If the Lord really told me to tell you, Gary, something, all I need to do is tell you. Just say, Gary, God loves you. I don't need to say the Lord told me to tell you, God loves you, because that's a kind of posturing, I think, a little self-elevation. If God really told me to tell you, just say it, and God will carry it. So that wasn't part of your question.

Your question is, how do I respond to it? Well, my response when people say that is, you know, Gary, I've had people call my office and say, the Lord told me to tell you to come and preach at our church. Maybe you've heard things like that. The cynical part of me says, well, he didn't tell me. I think there's a little, if God's trying to convey a truth, he'll talk to both of us. And so there's a knowing, there's an understanding. In the book, I talk about how to hear the Holy Spirit.

Again, we begin with the childlike heart. We submit ourselves to him. And then God will speak to us through primarily two tools.

One is the verse and the other is the voice. There's the verse of scripture. God speaks to us through the Bible, through pages. He owns the Bible, created the Bible. And the scripture is the sword of the Spirit. And he speaks to us through the voice. That's that inner sense, that inner knowing, that conviction that we have when we read a scripture or when somebody like that tells us, the Lord told me to tell you this. There are those occasions in which I say I received that.

That's true. I recall one time I was talking at an event, speaking at an event, and one of the other speakers was just a godly man who by then was, I was in my 40s, he had to be in his early 80s, Gary. And he came up to me after my talk and he said, can I just have a word with you?

And I said, sure. And so we stepped off to the side in the hallway and he said, Max, don't sacrifice your family on the altar of Christian ministry. And it just went right into me.

It went right into me. I believe that was from the Lord. He was kind. He was perceptive.

It is what we call a word. He had received a word. Why God used him to say that to me?

I do not know. And I can be honest and say I never saw that pastor again ever. He was from Los Angeles. I was from Texas.

He's in heaven now. But I received that because I just felt like that truly is a message from God to him. And I think I was beginning to neglect my family. And so he corrected me. He corrected me.

And it was a necessary correction. And I think we should always be open to that. I've usually said to people, especially if I didn't sense at the moment that what they were sharing was really from God, I would just say, well, I appreciate you sharing that.

And I'll certainly give some thought to it. And I do give thought to it in prayer. God is a truth in what they're saying. One of the things you discuss in the book, Max, is the whole thing of asking the Holy Spirit. That is, in a sense, praying to the Holy Spirit for direction and help. And how does that differ from asking God the Father or asking Jesus the Son?

We know they're one, but how does that differ? I think, number one, it's so encouraging to acknowledge that we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, that we are in such a desperate need of guidance, because every day all of us stand at crossroads trying to determine are we supposed to turn right or turn left? And we need help. We need help to guide us.

And so maybe there's somebody today who thinks, who's listening, who thinks that it's up to them to find the path through life. But the truth is, God will help you. He will guide you. And then secondly, the way He guides us is through the Holy Spirit.

I was surprised when I was studying for this book. I had never realized that it was the Holy Spirit who directed the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire that led the Israelites through the wilderness. But I came across a scripture in the book of Nehemiah, of all things, that says, you sent your good spirit to instruct them. You sent your good spirit to instruct them, and you did not stop giving them bread for heaven or water for thirst. So the Holy Spirit was active in the days of Moses, directing the children of Israel. And the Holy Spirit is active today in directing us.

And yes, there is a question. Do we pray to God, the Father? Do we pray to God, the Son? Do we pray to God, the Spirit?

I have been accused of oversimplifying things, Gary. And so forgive me if this is one of them. But I feel that you pray as you desire. You lay before the Lord, whatever you say. And if you want to say, Father, like Jesus taught us to pray, our Father who art in heaven, if you want to say, thank you, Jesus, you're my sibling in the faith, you're my Redeemer. If you want to say, blessed Spirit, guide me today. The power of prayer is always in the one, our blessed Lord who hears the prayer, not in we who say the prayer.

I don't want to ever place power in a formula or power in my ability to poetically pray. I think our blessed Lord hears us. He just hears us. And he will guide us. And I think that's the great promise from Scripture. Yeah, yeah. Whichever member of the Trinity we address, they're all involved because it's one, right? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Yeah. Now we talk about the power of the Holy Spirit. What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give us? Well, just scripturally, if I can, well, thank you for the context. Recall that the disciples, after the resurrection, before the ascension of Jesus into heaven, Jesus told them, you shall receive power from on high.

You shall receive power from on high. He told them to go to Jerusalem and wait until you have received the power of the Holy Spirit. I think it's interesting that though they had been in the presence of Christ for three years, they had yet to receive the indwelling power of Christ. And even Peter and John and Andrew who had had countless hundreds of meals with Christ, who knew the sound of his voice, who had walked in the shadow of the Savior, they were not ready. They needed power.

How much more so then do we receive and need power? This power comes with a variety of expressions that are really worthy of exploration. Some of this power is displayed in what the Bible calls the fruits of the Spirit, love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and self control. So all these expressions are fruits of the Spirit. So if you feel like you're in need of, let's just say, joy in your life, you can have it because the Holy Spirit will help you. So today, talk to the Holy Spirit and say, I just feel so sad or I feel unhappy.

Would you grant me your joy? Also, Gary, we can point out that not only does the Spirit come with fruits, but the Spirit comes with gifts, with gifts. And these gifts are intended to glorify Christ as we serve Him. If my math is correct, there are about five occasions in the Bible where examples of these gifts are given. And these would be gifts like leadership, hospitality, mercy.

There's some supernatural gifts that tend to be a bit controversial, but they're there. Gifts of healing, gifts of discernment, gifts of praying in a heavenly language. And so I urge people to explore the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, because these are available to us. Explore them and seek them. Paul said, earnestly desire the gifts of the Spirit. Not all of the gifts are given upon conversion. Throughout life, God may equip us with further gifts because He has further assignments for us.

It's a beautiful thing. So it's like an adventure to receive the fruits as well as to receive the gifts, all of which come with power. We hope you're enjoying the conversation today with Max Lucado about his latest book, Help is Here, Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" .

You can find out more about us and our featured resource at fivelovelanguages.com. You know, earlier, Max, you gave a metaphor of the Holy Spirit as being like a dove. Are there other metaphors or do you have a favorite metaphor of the Holy Spirit as shown in the Bible?

Yes and yes. Yes, there are more metaphors. The Holy Spirit is described by Jesus as the wind. I love that picture that He blows where He will. We cannot control Him. The Holy Spirit is described as the seal, S-E-A-L, the seal of the saint. For this reason, we have a sure salvation. We don't have to live in constant fear that we're going to lose our salvation, but we have the Holy Spirit who seals us. The Holy Spirit is a fire, and this is a picture of the sanctifying work or purging or cleansing work of the Holy Spirit within us.

But if you ask, is there one of these, and there are several others, but is there one that's my favorite? I think the one that I enjoy discussing most is that of the Holy Spirit as our intercessor in prayer. I just yesterday sent a verse of scripture to a friend of mine out of Romans chapter eight, and that's where the apostle Paul said, we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Holy Spirit with size and groans presents our request to God. I sent that scripture to a friend and the friend responded with one of those beautiful statements like, he said, how did you know? How did you know? I lost my job this morning and I've not even known how to talk to God.

Whenever you see that, how did you know? Well, we know the Holy Spirit knew. And what he said was, I did not know how to talk to God. And I'm sure someone is listening who doesn't know how to talk to God. Now, that could be because they're so broken hearted.

Gary, you've seen this a million times. They're so broken hearted. They cannot even put their longings in words. Could be because they're angry.

Sometimes we get angry. God doesn't meet our expectations and we don't even want to talk to him. It could be because we've been told that you have to pray in a certain way or certain ability. Again, what we alluded to earlier, that the power of prayers and the one who offers the prayer, not the one who hears it. But I think this picture of the Holy Spirit hearing Gary Chapman's prayers and taking those and presenting them in the presence of the triune God, saying, here's what Gary needs.

Here's what Gary needs is such a wonderful, beautiful illustration of the kindness of God. It displays the tenderness, the tenderness of God. And it makes me want to pray.

It makes me want to pray. We talk of the peace of God, or the peace of the Holy Spirit. How does that differ from maybe a common idea of what peace is? Well, the promise of Scripture is to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I think it's important that the Scripture there in Philippians 4 says the peace of God, not peace from God. So peace of God, my peace, Jesus says, will be with you. God exports his peace into our lives. Whatever peace God feels, we can enjoy.

Now think of the peace of God. Is God ever worried about impressing people? Is God ever worried about getting accomplished what he wills to accomplish? Is God ever anxious about the future?

No, no and no. So there is a peace of God, a God-like peace that comes. The Holy Spirit brings this peace. And as we grow in the Spirit, we begin to experience this peace of God. You think about the most peaceful moment in your life and multiply that by several billion. And there you have the peace of God. And God will export that and deposit that in us. And as we grow in Christ, we begin to experience that. Well, somebody might say, well, how do we see this?

Do we ever see this? And as we're talking here, Gary, my mind went back to my father who died of Lou Gehrig's disease, which is a tragic condition, and left him in the last weeks of his life in bed, unable to move. But he was at peace. He was truly at peace. I know he did not want it. He did not seek it.

Had he been given the choice, he would have taken a different way to exit the world. But I can honestly say I never saw anxiety in his face. He was at peace. So that's a peace of God that allowed him to face his final moments. And even in his passing, his life was a testimony to me of God's ability to give us what we need when we need it to face the challenges that come.

Yeah. You know, you mentioned the word anxiety there. And early in the program, we talked about the high level of anxiety today.

Max, be personal in your own life. What role has the Holy Spirit played in fighting anxiety in your life? The area in my life where I have struggled with anxiety is raising kids. Raising kids. That's a challenge, isn't it, Gary? It is, absolutely.

Yeah. And my kids are all married now, especially as you and I are making this recording. I just enjoyed our third wedding.

I have three daughters over about three days ago, married off my third daughter. And I think parents struggle with anxiety because of the many battles that come at our kids. And we wonder if we're doing the right thing or parenting in the right way. Here is where a dependence upon the Holy Spirit is so beautiful. I married a very wonderful woman. And of all the reasons I love my wife of 41 years is that she's a woman of prayer. And more than once when our children were small, I would watch her send them off to school in the morning. I always drove the carpool of our kids, but she was the one who got everything ready and got their meals and lunches packed and got them dressed. But before they would walk out the door, she would stop and say, I've got to place my hand on you.

I want to pray for you. She just simply refused. And I can't tell you how many times those girls rolled their eyes at their mother, you know, God bless them. And they were, you know, as teenagers or so, but she just was so determined to leave them in prayer. And then there were times I came home, Gary, in the middle of the day and I would hear my wife upstairs in the daughter's bedrooms, just praying out loud. And she had taken time in the middle of the day to walk around and pray over the house. And so I believe that my wife has helped me understand that in this tough challenge of being a parent, we face those challenges through prayer, by praying in the Spirit, praying for our children in releasing those concerns to Him.

Yeah. You know, this topic of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I think, is so needed in today's world. What impact could we have as Christians on our society if all believers let the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit flow through our lives?

What do you think would happen? Well, we would have the revival that we're all longing for, wouldn't we? Gary, I respect the government. I respect and appreciate everything that our institutions of learning do.

But I have long since given up on D.C. or a university to change our society. We are in a dark season. This is a challenging season. A Gallup poll was released. I read it a month ago that listed eight different values, things like the value of marriage, the value of sexual purity, the value of the preborn child, and had eight different kind of controversial values and pointed that over the last 20 years, we have made major shifts away from traditional values in each of these areas. And so those times that we say, you know, this doesn't seem like the good old days.

Well, there's some validity in that concern. Things have changed and they're changing quickly. What we truly need is a visitation from the Holy Spirit, as did happen in the Great Awakenings, as did happen in the great Welsh revival of the early 1900s, and really as did happen in the Jesus movement of the 1970s. The good news is that we can pray for and long for a fresh visitation of the Holy Spirit, a supernatural, sovereign downpour of the Holy Spirit upon a society or all societies.

And there will be really remarkable changes in that. And so I'm praying that the promise of Jesus will come true. Jesus said, come to me, all of you who are thirsty and out of you shall flow rivers of living water. And John then adds in that scripture and Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit. So may that day come in which out of all of the saints flow rivers, refreshing rivers of the Holy Spirit, that would truly bring about the change in our society that we're longing for.

I think all true Christians certainly have that longing. And I hope our listeners will just join together and let's continue to pray for that kind of movement of the Spirit in our day. Well, Max, I want to thank you for being with us today. I mean, the conversation has just been, I think, led by the Holy Spirit.

And I think this book, pointing to the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit, is one that's going to help Christians experience His reality in our lives. So again, thank you for being with us today. Well, and again, Gary, thank you a million times over on behalf of the countless numbers of people who have been blessed and encouraged by your words, your ministry in person, your ministry on the page. I'm deeply indebted to you myself, and I'm just so thankful for you. And whenever I get the chance, I urge people to look at your practical yet inspired teaching, not just on the marriage, but on just mental health, on soul care. You're really a servant to all of us, and I thank you. Well, thank you, Max.

That's Max Lucado. And if you want to find out more about our featured resource, Help Is Here, just go to FiveLoveLanguages.com, finding fresh strength and purpose in the power of the Holy Spirit. We have a link there, FiveLoveLanguages.com. And coming up next week, how to live moment by moment in the love of God. Author and musician Ron Block will join us. A big thank you today to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Backing. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in Chicago, in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry at Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-03 03:03:06 / 2022-12-03 03:19:39 / 17

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