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Draw Me Nearer . . . Nearer, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
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August 31, 2022 7:05 am

Draw Me Nearer . . . Nearer, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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August 31, 2022 7:05 am

Flying Closer to the Flame

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Today from Chuck Swindoll. When you have Christ, you have the Spirit. And when you have the Spirit, you have the anointing.

You know something that cannot be taught. You have an inner compass that directs you. A discernment, if you will. You have an inner awareness. You have a sixth sense. It is something that the whirling does not have because he doesn't have the Spirit. Honestly now, think back. When was the last time you experienced a genuine prompting from God's Holy Spirit?

And here's another question. Have you become adept at sensing the Spirit's presence in your daily activities? Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues his teaching series called Flying Closer to the Flame. In this portion of our study, we're attempting to strip away old habits. In order to cultivate a meaningful friendship with God. One that's deeply personal.

In the event that you missed our last program, Chuck begins with some helpful highlights. We just read from Ephesians, be filled with the Spirit. And here they're saying we want Spirit-filled men to do this. And so they chose Stephen. And please observe, immediately it says, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.

There it is again. Full of faith and also a man in whom the intimate Spirit was carrying out his dynamic. We might paraphrase it. He was moving through life, obviously, with the hand of God upon him. There was something about Stephen and these other six named for us in verse 5. They brought these men before the apostles and after praying they laid their hands on them. And God honored this. Stephen, full of grace and full of power, verse 8 tells us.

Performing these remarkable things among the people. But, verse 9, there's a sudden obstacle with that little particle. But some men from what was called the synagogue of the freed men, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. This is the beginning of what led to the stoning of Stephen. They secretly induced men to say, we have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.

That was a lie, of course, but they got people to say that. They stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and dragged him away and brought him before the Sanhedrin. This was the Jewish Supreme Court, the council. And they put forward false witnesses who said, this man incessantly speaks against this holy place and he speaks against the law. For we have heard him say that this Nazarene Jesus will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us. Notice how they're twisting the truth and they're building a case against him based on the sinking sands of lies, false information. Look at the 15th verse.

Don't just run on to the next chapter. Look at the 15th verse. Fixing their gaze on Stephen, all who were sitting in the council saw his face like the face of an angel. And standing there with that face like an angel, he begins the history, the precise, he delivers it with precision, precision timing, and comes right to the point of their guilt in the death of Christ.

And they can't stand it. He knew they couldn't. He knew his hours were numbered.

I'm going to the end of chapter 7 verse 54. When they heard this, they were cut to the quick and they began gnashing their teeth at him. They were livid and being full of the Holy Spirit.

Isn't that it? Now why would they say that? Why would Luke suddenly add that? Because that was the dynamic of his power. That was the dynamic of his invincibility. He was able to stand firm and I'm rather convinced that his voice didn't even tremble. Full of the Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and he saw the glory of God.

That I know must have been light. He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God and he said, Behold, I see heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. He told them what he saw because they couldn't see it. I wonder if those filled with the Spirit at certain moments of crisis in their lives see things no one else can see.

Just wondering. And they cried with a loud voice. They had heard enough and they covered their ears and they rushed upon him with one impulse.

We cannot stand another word from this man. And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. That's later going to be Paul the Apostle. Here he is, unsaved, agreeing with their act of violence as he hated Christians. And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them.

And having said this, he fell asleep. Very emotional scene. It was almost as if his being filled provided the man with some kind of special anointing. Ah, anointing. The word is found only three times in the New Testament and all three times in the same little letter. In fact, the same chapter. 1 John chapter 2.

Good for you. Turn. 1 John 2. We learned last time, 1 Corinthians 2, that we have received the Spirit who is from God.

Now listen to this. We have received the Spirit who is from God. That we might, verse 12, know the things that are freely given to us by God. 13, that we might speak the thoughts given to us by God, comparing spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. And number three, that we might appraise all things. Appraise, sift, discern. Is that part of the feeling?

I think so. Filled with the Spirit, I am given a discernment that filters incidentals from essentials. That filters truth from error. I'm given this inner filtering system. 1 Corinthians, you read it for yourself.

2, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, right along in there. It talks about the Spirit of God giving us that discernment. I think that's part of the feeling.

The capacity that's there within you. You don't have to pray for it. It's there. You need to apprehend it. Appropriate it.

That's a better word. Now, 1 John chapter 2, this is a letter clearly written to believers, called throughout the book children, little children. We are seen by John as little children, perhaps because of his age.

John's writing it about 95, 96 A.D. He's an old man. He's on the island of Patmos. He's finishing his life.

Not yet written the book of Revelation, but soon will. This is the Apostle John, not John the Baptizer, the Apostle John, who walked with Jesus, was banished to Patmos to die. Tradition tells us they tried to kill him and they couldn't, so they got rid of him out of suspicion.

We don't know if that's true, but tradition, the legend says that. So John is now living on Patmos alone with his thoughts, with his Lord, and writing under the inspiration of the Spirit of God about the anointing. Don't be afraid of the anointing. He mentions it.

It's in the book. I remember years ago reading of it and thinking, oh, I don't want to touch that, and I wonder now why I didn't want to touch it. Because I'm afraid of it. It sounds spooky. Plus, I've known a lot of people who said they had the anointing and they did weird things. You know, they see faces of Jesus in an enchilada or cloud formation that says, you know, go preach.

There's a great Greek word for that. It's hogwash. That's not the anointing.

That's a person who uses a biblical word to explain a non-biblical and unjustifiable act. Don't be afraid of biblical words. Just put on your discerning cap.

Keep thinking. Keep being filled with the Spirit. That gives you discernment.

Now, look at what he says. 1 John 2, 20. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. The earlier renderings, that is, the earlier other versions of the Bible, let me put it that way, put the all at the end, and you know all. It sounded like when you have an anointing, you have all knowledge. I think, rather, the original text suggests that all is the subject. You all know.

So it's for everyone. Little children, you have an anointing, and all of you, therefore, have a knowledge. There's something connected. There's something linking anointing and knowing.

I haven't figured it all out yet, but it comes up each time. That's the first time anointing appears. Verse 27 includes the next two times, and never again. And as for you, the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing, there's the third and last time, as his anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in him.

Period. Now, if I'd been writing on it, I'd give you a whole chapter on anointing. I'd explain it, go into it, and 1 John would have six chapters instead of five. But I'm not writing it. And so we're left to deal with what's here.

Let's see what's here. First of all, what does it mean? Charisma. It's the word C-H-R-I-S-M-A. That's the alliter- that's the, uh, um, what's the word I want? Can't think of the word. That's the Greek word in English.

C-H-R-I-S-M-A. Charisma. Charisma. Think of the word ointment.

And you'll not be far from it. Charisma, in ancient days, was an oily ointment. It was like a thick oil. Kings were anointed with charisma. Thou dost anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.

Remember David said that? Psalm 23. Priests were anointed when they were inducted into the office. So, this ointment, this anointment, this anointing happens once. You have the anointing. You know, we're never told to pray for the anointing, unlike what some are teaching now, or that it's for a special few.

It says you all know. We all have, in this great reservoir of provision, the anointing. We have, whatever it represents, whatever it is, we have it.

You have, verse 20, so we have it. How long does it last? Verse 27, it abides in you, so it's permanent.

It won't leave, this anointing. What does it provide? It provides knowledge. The word is oida, O-I-D-A, unlike ginosko, which is an experiential knowledge. Let me give you an illustration.

It just comes to my mind. Yeah, in my home is electricity. I know that, oida. I know it intellectually. If I get a hairpin and I go to a socket, I ginosko electricity. I experience the electricity that's in my house. There you go. It's an experiential knowledge.

That's not the word. Something about the Holy Spirit gives me an innate knowledge. That's part of the anointing. You have that anointing.

Isn't this intriguing stuff? You have an inner awareness. You have a sixth sense. It is something that the whirling does not have because he doesn't have the Spirit. When you have Christ, you have the Spirit, and when you have the Spirit, you have the anointing. You know something that cannot be taught and cannot be learned. He says that in 27.

It's not a lie. You have an inner compass that directs you, a discernment, if you will, awareness. Let me give you in question form some observations that intrigue us, okay? Here's the first question, just asking, not making anything fixed in your mind or mine, just asking. Would this anointing explain what we commonly call intuition? Are we giving credit to intuition that belongs to Holy Spirit?

Probably so. We talk about a woman's intuition, and hats off. Women have a spiritual sensitivity that normally men do not have, and I think that the female believer has that sense, and it's more actively engaged in her life, in your lives, you women. We men want that. We long for that.

We at times envy that. We'll be interviewing someone for a position, and my wife will say to me, I don't think he's the one. Oh, man, look at his record. It's impeccable.

Look at this resume. I don't think he's the one. Something's wrong. Oh, come on, honey. Give him a break. I am giving him a break.

I just don't think he's the one. How do you know that? I just know. Woman's intuition.

And you know what? She's right. I just hate that sometimes. It's amazing to me. No, really, that's an admirable thing. I just wish I had that.

I wish I had that in active form as much as some of you have that. I think it's the work of the Spirit. I think it's the anointing. I think it's the Spirit of God. If we are full of the Spirit, as Stephen was, can we envision things others cannot?

Just asking. Can you envision things that I cannot envision? Or can I that you cannot?

Since the Spirit searches all things, couldn't he give us insights and discernments that transcend human ability, learning, and training? Yes. And he does. It's the exciting part of walking with him. As he does that, wouldn't those who oppose us find themselves unable to withstand? Yes, like with Stephen. It's what I call a supernatural sense of invincibility. And at times I've experienced it, and I've loved it. Because without any credit to myself, I have had this sense of absolute confidence, and I'll stand absolutely alone.

Like Patrick Henry. It's a matter of life and death. And there's no crowd that's going to turn me away from that position. That's what I mean. Could that be part of the anointing?

I'm opening a door, asking you to look in. And lest this get kicked sideways in your mind and twist up some awfully good theology, let me give you a word of caution. Balance is always preferred to extremes. Keep your balance in all things.

The scriptural word for it is moderation. Stay reasonable, Christian friend. Don't go home and start praying for some visions.

You don't, we've never, that's not biblical. Keep a level head. Don't get weird. Don't start writing me about UFOs in the middle of the night. Don't start setting dates on Jesus' return. Don't play with snakes and scorpions. Don't leave your solid roots and orthodox theology for a lot of strange experiences.

Don't start attending meetings where legs are lengthened and teeth are filled. That's hogwash. It isn't of God. That is not the anointing. The anointing is a knowledge.

You know something, you sense something. It is an inner protection. It's an awareness. It's a strengthening.

It's a glory to God. And let me also add, because this concerns me as much as anything about opening a door like this, it's a risk I'm willing to take, but I must warn us. Stay with the scriptures. Go as far in your investigation of biblical truth as you possibly can and don't get afield into experiences. If you do, you will place as much confidence in your experience as you do in the word of God and you'll be awash.

And you won't be able to find your way back. I have pastor friends who did that, and today when I talk with them, I find that they do not believe that the Bible is God's final word. He's still giving his word. Then how do I know where his word is coming from?

Well, he has to tell me. One theologian said this very well. The issue of biblical inspiration and authority lies close to the heart of Christian theology.

It is the continental divide running through the center of its landscape. The distinctive mark of theology in our day is its dreadful ambiguity. The chaos of American theology can be traced back today to its roots in the rejection of biblical infallibility. Preaching is not the act of unfolding our personal convictions. It is the duty of informing men and women of all that God has spoken. To move off from the pages of scripture is to enter into the wastelands of our own subjectivity. Let's not do that. A final suggestion, and I'm through.

A final suggestion. I want to suggest there is much more to the Spirit's work within us than you and I have ever known or dared to experience. There is much more to the Spirit's work within us more than you and I have ever known or dared to experience. Do not be deceived. Stay with the truth. And if I can return to the earlier word picture, fly closer to the flame. You won't get burned. Don't be afraid. It can revolutionize your prayer life, your word of witness, your self-image.

I mean this. Your confidence in God, it can give you strength in the midst of sickness. It can give you confidence even on your way to death.

I cannot promise you 100% healing all of the time, but I can tell you there will be a peace that will accompany the sickness like you'd never know. It's part of the anointing. Lord, how grateful we are, how grateful we are for this will of yours, for this word of yours. Help us in the midst of the search to be kept from error. And while doing that, Lord, protect us as we fly closer to the flame. Take away the fear. Give us a holy boldness in faith.

Stop us when we tend to run afraid of such new truths as this and help us come closer to listen better. And may we discover in the process a sweetness of relationship and a depth of intimacy with you we have never known before. All for your glory.

All for your glory. In the Savior's dear name, amen. And with Chuck Swindoll's closing prayer, we conclude a message that started on the previous program called Draw Me Nearer, Nearer.

This is message number six in a 14-part series titled Flying Closer to the Flame. This is insight for living. To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at insightworld.org. The resources we offer, along with this daily program, are made possible through the voluntary contributions of people like you. And when you give, your gift is channeled directly toward providing Chuck's Bible teaching for others so that they can benefit just as you have.

For example, I thought you'd be encouraged to hear these comments from one of our friends in Washington State. He said, through a tragic recurrence of cancer in her spine, my wife of 52 years just passed away three days ago. My purpose in sharing our story is to thank you for your small book, Perfect Trust. I've read and reread Perfect Trust many times as I cared for the love of my life over a nine month period. Your book was used by God to get me through the darkest of valleys. Thank you, Chuck, for being there for me.

Well, God's timeless wisdom is powerful and comforting, especially for those who are walking through a dark valley. You'll find this book, Perfect Trust, at insight.org slash store. And bear in mind, it's your voluntary giving that makes this program available on your station and to thousands of other stations all over the world. Thanks for investing your personal resources so that others have access to insight for living. To give a donation of any amount today, call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or go online to insight.org slash donate. Treat yourself to a vacation you'll never forget on the insight for living ministries cruise to the great frontier with Chuck Swindoll. Honestly, I had no idea that a cruise to Alaska could be so much fun. And without a doubt, the stunning views took my breath away. God's artistic genius is on full display in Alaska.

In fact, I guarantee this. You'll come home refreshed and filled with awe for his majestic creation. Yeah, at one point our ship was getting chased by dolphins.

They were playing and spinning in the waves. It was amazing. You'll have plenty of time for adventures on shore, lingering conversations around mealtime and strolling through the idyllic ports of call. You'll be a part of some of the best parts of our day, laughing, singing and celebrating our God. Plan to come with us, won't you? The dates are July 1st through July 8th, 2023. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. That's 1-888-447-0444. Or visit insight.org slash events.

The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll describes what he calls those unidentified inner promptings. Thursday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Draw Me Nearer, Nearer, was copyrighted in 1992, 1993 and 2003. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2003 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-04 08:22:16 / 2023-03-04 08:31:39 / 9

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