Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, August 23rd. Sometimes it's just hard to know how to pray. But believers in Jesus have a Helper who guides us as we intercede before the Lord.
Here's more on the Holy Spirit as our Helper for all occasions. People usually turn to all different kinds of things when they need help. Then there are those people who deny that they even need help. And what they do is they say, I think I can handle it. And then there are those folks who just stuff it.
They just decide they're going to make it work no matter what. They just go on in life refusing to acknowledge the fact they need any help from anybody. But the truth is we all do. And sometimes people think it's a matter of weakness to accept the fact that, well, I need help at this point. It's not a matter of weakness.
It's a matter of just being human. And if you'll think about it, for example, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and He was about to be crucified the next day and He was undergoing some real heartache and real pain as He thought about being separated from the Father. It's interesting what He said. He said to His disciples, He said, I'm grieved and distressed. And He says, my soul is deeply grieved to the point of death.
Remain here and keep watch with me. At that moment in His humanness, He needed their presence. He needed the assistance of their presence with them. He needed to feel their presence.
He certainly was not weak. And yet there are moments in all of our lives when we do need help. For example, you have a flat tire at four o'clock in the afternoon on any Atlanta expressway right up against the wall. You desperately need help, believe me. Or you break your leg, you need help.
Your heart gets broken, you need help. All of us at times in our life need help. The issue is where do we go? What can we do?
And is there any real help? And sometimes we see situations that it appears that nobody else in the world can really help us. Then what do we do? Well, I want you to turn, if you will, to John chapter 14. He says in verse 16, I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may be with you forever.
That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it has not seen Him and does not know Him. But you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. Abiding with you now, but will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. And so notice what he says now.
He says, I'm going away, not going to leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Now with that in mind, let's think about what are the practical ways in which He comes to your help in mind. And there are lots of them, but I want to mention some that things that you and I have to deal with every single day of our life.
And the first one is this. The Holy Spirit helps us in our prayer life. Look, if you will, in Romans chapter 8 verse 26 for a moment.
And we certainly all need help in our prayer life. And Paul says in this 26th verse and 27th verses of the 8th chapter of Romans, listen to what he says. He says, in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness. He's been talking about weaknesses and we all have ours. He says, for we do not know how to pray as we should.
Now notice what happens. He didn't say, you Romans don't know how to pray. He said we, Paul included himself. He said, we don't know how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Now think about this. Why is it that you and I oftentimes don't know how to pray? Well, one of the reasons is we don't know the future. We don't know what the future holds. And so therefore, no matter how we pray, we have to pray with limited knowledge. So some things that we would say would certainly we want in life, we may find out later, no, we don't want those in life with the circumstances as they are. Or some things that we don't want in life, oh, yes, that is what we want in life. There's situations and circumstances in which all of us would have to come to God immediately, that is right up front, not knowing what the will of God is.
There are other situations and circumstances we know that of a doubt. We don't have to pray if it's thy will. And oftentimes that phrase, if it's thy will, is dropped on the end of our prayers as if it's some magical term to get it through to God. No, if you know the will of God about something, you don't have to pray if it's your will. There's certain things we know to be the will of God to be obedient to Him in a given situation is always the will of God. Now, here you are with an alternative.
You're in the process of making a decision about your job, and you've got two or three offers and they all look good. God, what is your will? When you first begin to pray, you don't know the will of God. And so what happens is we begin to cry out to God, Lord, show me your will. When He talks in this passage, if you'll notice, He says, the Holy Spirit Himself intercedes with groanings too deep for words.
Now watch this. That isn't the Holy Spirit doing the groaning. That's the Spirit of God taking our groaning because what we feel oftentimes is so deep and beyond our words. For example, there are times when we cry out to God, we don't know what to ask and what are we doing to think, God, show me what to do. Show me your will.
What's happening? Our Spirit is groaning. Something on the inside of us, we desire to know His will. We want to know His will. We long to know His will. We get desperate about some things in life.
What's happening? He is taking the groanings of our Spirit and bringing those groanings before the Father. And you know what? God will answer our prayers. Listen, when you and I come to Him, God, show me your will.
I want to know your will. Listen, He knows that if He shows us His will, whether we'll say yes or not. And so listen to this, God does not reveal His will to us for consideration. He reveals His will to us for obedience. He's Lord, remember, ruling and reigning, sitting there mediating for us. That is interceding for us, not for consideration, but for obedience that we would concur with Him.
Yes, that is your will and that is exactly what I want to do. All of us have difficulty praying, but we have the Holy Spirit, listen to this, we have the Holy Spirit when we don't know how to pray. And there are times, many times when our heart cries out to God, whether it's a broken heart or whether it's some decision you have to make, sometimes you don't know how to pray. Sometimes you don't know how to pray for other people. Someone comes to you and tells you about a problem in their life, they say, will you please pray that God will remove this from my life? Your first response is, yes, I will pray for God to remove that. Then you begin to pray and something happens.
You get static in your soul. You begin to ask now, Lord, is it your will to remove that or is it not? And so then you have to back off and say, okay, God, show me how to pray for this person. What is your will?
Do you want to remove this or do you want to do something else over here? We all need the Holy Spirit and He is there to help us. So what does He do? He not only lifts our prayers to the Father, but He will clarify for us. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not your own understanding and all your ways acknowledge Him.
He will direct your path. Listen, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to clarify for you and me the will of God. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the will of God.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make it plain to us and to enable us to walk in it. One of the areas in which we need help is we need help in our prayer life. One of the reasons that people oftentimes just quit praying about things. They say, well, and I've heard people say, well, I don't want to pray about that because I may ask the wrong thing.
Don't you let that wear you one bit in the world because the Spirit of God isn't going to bring to the Father. Listen, the wrong request. Well, He's asking for this. God, you and I both know that's not right, but that's what He's asking for. You know what? That never gets there. You can just forget that because He knows exactly what our Spirit is. Listen, watch this. You and I can sincerely ask for the wrong thing. Does that upset God?
No. What happens? You know what He does? Because He says the Spirit knows our spirit, our heart. He intercedes for us asking for the right thing.
And so what happens? The fact that we've got somebody helping us in our prayer straightens our prayers out. And so if I come along asking for the wrong thing, here's what He'll do. He will impress upon my heart either that this is not the right thing or He will sort of let me wear myself out over it until I finally concur with Him. That's not your will, Lord.
Now what is your will? And so God does work in our pray. Listen, He knows how absolutely weak we are. He knows how fleshly we are. He knows that we are naturally going to ask for what we want. I mean, what do you expect?
We're human, right? We're going to ask for what we want, what we think will satisfy us and gratify the flesh or meet our needs. And so what does He do?
Knowing the future, knowing what's best for us. You know what He does? He takes our prayers. He turns around. He sends us what's best.
And we think, God didn't answer my prayer. Here's what I asked for. He didn't. Yes, He did.
You know what He did? He answered the prayer that He knew we would want if we knew what He knew about the present and the future and the consequences. That is the awesome, wonderful work of the Holy Spirit. So if you're not praying because you're afraid you asked the wrong thing, keep praying, friend. He'll get you on track.
That's one of His first works. A second very practical work of the Spirit, and listen, another area in which all of us need help is in understanding the Word of God. Now I'm going to give you three words.
Listen very carefully. The first word is revelation. Revelation is truth that God gives to man he could not get any other way. Truth, listen, revelation is truth that God gives to man he could not get any other way.
Nobody will understand God unless, listen, apart from the work and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in that person's life. People have searched everything imaginable trying to find out what's the real highest good. The highest good in life is to know the Lord Jesus Christ, to know God the Father.
The highest good in life is to know God through His Son, Jesus Christ. This book is not just some book. This book is a treasure. It is a treasure because it is the revelation of God of Himself.
You say, but now wait a minute. What about Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and those old books? My friend, God is on every single page. God is revealing Himself in every single one of those sacrifices. God is doing His work. God is on every single page. This is not a history book.
It's not a science book. It is a, listen, this is the revelation of God, of Himself, how He deals with men, how He deals with persons in different situations and circumstances of life. First words, revelation.
Second word is illumination. Illumination is what happens when you and I begin to read the Scriptures and what happens? The Spirit of God opens our minds, reveals to us the truth of a passage, and all of a sudden we say, wow, I do understand what that means. Now I understand.
I've read it and read it and read it. Now I understand. I want you to listen to what the Scripture says. Look, if you will, in 1 Corinthians chapter 2.
And you see, I want to say this because you should say this to your children. You should say to them now, when, when you read the Scriptures, ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding.
That's what illumination is all about. All right, look at this. Listen to what Paul said beginning in, in verse ten of this chapter. He says now, for to us, God revealed him speaking of truth.
He just, well, look in verse nine. He's talking about things which eye has not seen and ears not heard and which have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us, God revealed these things through the Spirit, through the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. But who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may, listen, we may know the things freely given to us of God.
Now, slip down if you will to verse fourteen right quick. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God. They're foolishness to him. He can't understand them because they're spiritually discerned. You cannot expect the Holy Spirit, listen, to illumine your mind to the very treasures of the mind of God and at the same time be walking in sin and disobedience to God because He's not going to do it. You may have some surface truth.
You may have some truth. This is why people can live and go to church for years and years and years and have such a poor understanding of the world of God and read it very seldom and don't feel like they have any need to read it. And I think about, I had an overwhelming sense of this experience in my own life. I was reading a passage of scripture and all of a sudden it's just like it just came pouring into my soul, feeding my soul, just nourishing my heart.
And I think about, I felt like what I feel when I drink one of my big milkshakes every morning and I put enough stuff in it energize anybody. And so when I get through I immediately feel energized and feel good. I'm down there kneeling and opening the scriptures and reading this passage and thinking, God, that's what you're doing to me. My soul's getting refreshed. My soul's getting inspired.
My soul's getting motivated. Third word, listen, we said first of all there is, what's the first word? Revelation.
Second word, illumination. And the third word is inspiration because here's what happens. When the Spirit of God illumines our minds and hearts and gives us understanding what happens? We get inspired.
In other words, we get motivated to do what? We want to apply it to our heart and we apply it to our life, something happens. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. That is the work of God. Now, how in the world are we going to live a Christian life? How are you going to live your life in a wicked, sinful, vile world and expect to live holy?
Can't do it. That's the reason the Holy Spirit came. Why did He come? One of the reasons He came is this, in order to live through us a life He knew, you and I could never live.
Can't do it. You and I are not strong enough. It is Christ living His life in and through us through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, here is the contrast. Look, if you will, in Galatians chapter five. He says in verse sixteen, But I say, walk by the Spirit. That means in submission to the Holy Spirit who lives within us. You'll not carry out the desires of the flesh. That is, you'll not carry out those sinful desires that are natural, normal, a person's life. If you walk submissive to the Spirit, you won't carry those desires out.
For the flesh, that is our naturalness, that's its desire against the Spirit who lives within us and the Spirit against the flesh. Look at the conflict, the tension that goes on. This is why you, for example, you come up and somebody makes you some offer and maybe some financial offer and something about it tell you say, I don't think that's exactly right. And all of a sudden, here you are, you're pulled. Well, it'd be a big profit right now, but it's not exactly the thing ought to do.
Big profit, now I could do this, but in other words, what tension, any kind of temptation. And so what does he say? He says, for the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, for these are in opposition to one another so that you may not do the things that you please, but if you're led by the Spirit, you're not under the law, you're not bound by that.
Now watch this. Now the deeds of the flesh, you want to know what natural living is like? Here's what it is. Immorality, impurity, sensuality. Idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envy and drunkenness, carousing, things like these are which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you before, he says, those who practice these things not inherit the kingdom of God. He said, you know what, look, you wonder why the world's acting the way they're acting? This doing comes naturally.
You know what, they can't do any better. Now watch this. But the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the believer, not the fruit of the Christian, the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law. Now if you had a choice, which one of those two groups would you choose? We'd all choose the last one. Look, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Here's what he's saying. Every single one of us knows we get impatient. We don't love everybody. We're not always gentle. We're not always kind. We're not always got everything under self-control. And you know what? As long as I try in my human effort, I never will.
So the best thing we can do is give up and say, God, I am a failure at living the Christian life. I need help. And here's what he says.
You already have it. Living on the inside of you is the Holy Spirit. And it is His responsibility to produce through you, to express through your countenance, your personality, your gifts, your skills, your life, your ministry, your relationships. It is His responsibility to express through you what?
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Now think about this. We can't. That's why He sent Him. He sent Him to live in us, that kind of life.
Watch this now. When does He express those attributes through us? When you and I are submitted to the Holy Spirit. That is when we submit ourselves to Him, when we yield ourselves to Him, when we are committed to His way and to His will and saying, Spirit of the living God, express the life of Jesus through me today.
God, allow your Spirit to express through me, to express to me the fruit of the Spirit today. You know what? That's exactly what He desires to do. Will we do it perfectly? No.
We still have humanness. Is that the will and purpose and plan of God? Yes. Will He enable us? Yes. Listen, it can become a way of life for us.
That is, these characteristics ought to be what people see most. Will they ever see impatience? Yes. Will they ever see a lack of self-control at times?
Yes. But you know what? These are exceptions in our life. That would not be in the Bible if it were not the will and purpose and plan and the provision of Almighty God. And that's one of the reasons the Holy Spirit was sent, because He knew we could not live it, but He assumes responsibility for living it through us. And what He desires of us is submission of our Spirit to let Him do it. Thank you for listening to part two of A Helper for All Occasions. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 06:59:27 / 2023-03-07 07:08:12 / 9