A Heavenly Invasion
February 24, 2020

The Holy Spirit
A Heavenly Invasion

{Audio File: https://mega.nz/#!bY010aDA!k6w-Wk2UAbmgxtL4TfIbWSKSiy8fTFkTpj0y7Tk0ups}

There’s an age-old dilemma that accompanies our desire to live the way Christ wants us to live, and to walk on the narrow road leading to heaven, and that is, while we want to do what is right, we just can’t, and while we know what we’re doing is wrong, we are helpless within ourselves to stop it.

The Apostle Paul has this same dilemma and he said it like this.

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:15 NKJV)

So, how can we gain the confidence to move beyond our own self-destructive tendencies so that we can move beyond our fears and defeat the enemy that saps our spirits, demoralizes our incentive, and prevents us from moving forward?

Now, while sin is the major culprit that pulls us off the narrow path and unto the side of the road, there is another subtler detour we run into, and that is the multiple distractions from all the programs offering to help.
• Got a problem go to counseling, join a support group, read this book, do these four steps, take some pills, or wear this particular bracelet to reduce the pain.

Now, most of these aren’t bad, some actually help, but in the end they don’t destroy the real enemy or cause of our difficulties.
• They will not destroy the hold addictions have over us, nor do they stop the dark impulses of the human soul.
• And the promises we make to try and get better can never overcome the power of the world, our flesh, or the devil.

The power to overcome takes far more power than what we can muster.

When I read the Scriptures and the history of the church, what I see is God moving mightily on behalf of His people bringing both renewal and revival through a heavenly invasion.

The Lord speaks to this throughout the Scriptures, but no place more succinctly than what the Lord said to Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah.

“So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6 NKJV)

The unfortunate part is that this is not the invasion we’re experiencing within the church or our society. Rather what we are experiencing today is a technological invasion and we’re confusing the two, replacing heaven’s power with humanity’s.

Heaven’s power, heaven’s invasion is nothing less than the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people. It’s the power to equip and inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things for Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.

All the resources we need are found in the abundant power and supply of this heavenly invasion by the Holy Spirit.

“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:19 NKJV)

And Jesus knew this, which is why He told His disciples, “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.” (John 16:7 NKJV)

Jesus said that it was imperative, and it was to the disciples’ advantage that He leave, because if He stayed the Holy Spirit wouldn’t have come in this way. What this is saying is that the Holy Spirit, the Helper, Comforter, and Advocate who would lead and guide us into God’s truth, and through whom we can do greater things, could only be sent once Jesus left.

Consider the resources available to us through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit? It is this supply of power that is needed today. So no matter what difficulties confront us, we have a real power of God living inside of us to counteract these difficulties and bring us victory.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NKJV)

Jesus knew how much wisdom, discernment, and boldness we would need to survive and overcome this world. Therefore, without the power of the Holy Spirit, which is a power far greater than anything humanly available, and far greater than Satan and all his forces put together, we’ll never accomplish the tasks set before us.

The point is this, let’s not go anywhere until we’ve received this power. Or as one popular commercial said, “Don’t leave home without it,” or in our instance, “Don’t leave home without Him.”

Now, when we look at the problems we face today, our natural instinct is to blame the society and culture.
• It’s because the schools have banned the Bible and all mention of God, and they’re not only teaching evolution, but they are also teaching that sexual deviancies are right and normal, and they are allowing inroads to false religions.
• It’s the government and the systematic removal of our religious freedoms.
• It’s the media and the immorality and violence they’re spreading.
• It’s the false religions and New Age thinking
• It’s the Western industrialized culture that has removed the basic Judo-Christians values that have made it strong.

But society and culture have always been harsh and violent against the gospel of Jesus Christ. The early church faced obstacles and persecution from hostile religious and secular cultures. But when heaven invaded through an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, rather than talking about what’s wrong, or holding seminars on how bad things have gotten, they did mighty exploits for the kingdom of God.

Jesus knew what was needed, so He told the disciples to wait until they received this power, and they received this power in the upper room on the Feast of Pentecost, and through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit they overcame the powers that were lined up against them.

Yet, as they waited for this promised heavenly invasion, they were already filled with the Holy Spirit, and we see this happening 50 days prior when Jesus first appeared before them in His resurrected form, and it says that Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4).

And then, prior to His ascension into heaven, 40 days afterwards, Jesus said to them, “I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49 NKJV)

Consider the depth of meaning from those words. They were not only filled with the Lord God Himself, the third person of the Godhead, but they were also endued with and clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit, a power far greater than anything the world and Satan could throw at them, and it this is this same power, this same heavenly invasion, that is the great need of the church today.

We have far too many programs and strategies, and far too little of the power of the Holy Spirit. We are actually more like those that the Apostle Paul talks about as having the form of godliness, but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5).

What God did on the day of Pentecost was nothing less than pure power, which is what we need today. We see the Holy Spirit descending in several outward manifestations of this power.
• First we see the Holy Spirit as the breath of God as that rushing mighty wind. This wasn’t the sound of a light breeze rustling through the trees, but of a violent windstorm. Why such a violent wind, because we need God to blow away all the junk we’ve accumulated in our lives. We need this same mighty wind, because our lives need more than a mere adjustment; we need a major overhaul and renovation.
• Next we see the baptism of fire spoken about as individual flames of fire settling over their heads. The idea here is of purging. We need the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn away the dead wood that is clogging up our channel to God.

What we see in these manifestations is a major house cleaning taking place. And from this house cleaning they began to move forward in a mighty way, something that they were unable to do before.

These men and women weren’t religious or political leaders, nor were they university professors or scientists. They were ordinary men and women like you and I, who were invaded by the Holy Spirit and raised up to do amazing things.

It’s this same powerful invasion that I believe God wants to do in our lives and in the life of the church. This should then be our desire, that the Holy Spirit would fill and change us forever, revolutionizing our spiritual lives to meet the challenges of our day.

It’s not enough to have the knowledge of the Holy Spirit and how He moves; rather we need to experience Him personally, and in far greater depth than we presently have. If not, we’ll accomplish little if anything for the kingdom of God, not to mention finding it more difficult to walk out this life as a believer in Jesus Christ.

This idea of fresh power, that is, receiving something fresh from the Holy Spirit to effect our current situation is seen in Acts chapters three and four.

Peter and John were heading to the temple for afternoon prayers. Right before they entered, Peter stopped, obviously being led by the Holy Spirit, and looked down at a crippled beggar. Peter said to the man, “Silver and gold I don’t have, but what I do have I’ll give it to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6 paraphrased)

Peter then pulled the crippled man to his feet and the man began walking and leaping and praising God. This drew another crowd of people, and Peter once again shared the gospel message, and over 5,000 came to faith in Jesus Christ.

The religious leaders weren’t too happy about this and put Peter and John in jail. The next day they questioned Peter and John and it says, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said.” (Acts 4:8a NKJV)

I wondered why Luke thought it necessary to insert this. If the Spirit’s infilling is such a standard part of being a Christian, this is a redundant statement. It’s like saying, “Then Peter, who was still breathing at this time, said.”

But Luke is pointing out something very important, and it’s something we need to pay close attention to.

Peter wasn’t a simple fisherman answering their inquiries, nor was he quoting something Jesus said. Rather Peter was controlled and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Peter was filled with Holy Spirit power, and the religious leaders were amazed. Peter wasn’t an unschooled Galilean bumpkin, a simple fisherman, nor a Hebrew High dropout as they thought him to be; rather He was a man under the control and power of the Holy Spirit.

So the religious leaders threatened them never to speak in Jesus’s name again, which Peter replied that they would obey God and listen to Him rather than listen to the voice of man.

Now a choice had to be made. What would they do?
• Would they flex their new collective muscle having an 8,000 plus congregation and mount a demonstration to change the law or its leaders.
• They could also just throw in the towel and say it’s too hard to fight city hall.
• Or they could remember what happened in the upper room and stand upon that.

This is where a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit comes in. They did none of the above; rather they did something completely radical, they called a prayer meeting. They didn’t rely on the past, but rather they wanted a fresh anointing and that’s what happened.

“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31 NKJV)

This is what we need today, a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit to meet the new complexities and challenges of life. This was something the people of God knew and wanted from the beginning. I love the way the prophet Isaiah calls out for this fresh anointing.

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence … When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your presence.” (Isaiah 64:1, 3 NKJV)

And this is what we cry out for. We want and need to experience a new heavenly invasion where the Holy Spirit will descend in a new way, which is exactly what the Lord did for the people of Isaiah’s times as they waited for Him (Isaiah 64:4).

This is what the disciples did leading up to their Pentecostal experience where the Lord opened up heaven and invaded their lives. They waited upon the Lord, which is a combination of waiting and activity, of prayer and service.

No matter what the difficulties may be that confront us, God is calling us to receive this great promise of power as a living, breathing reality. God’s heavenly invasion is His way of providing His people with the power to face the difficult moments in life.

That’s the greatest need in our present hour. We need a God invasion for our lives and the life of the church.

And so when we pray, especially in this time of new beginnings as we’ve entered into our new sanctuary and we get ready for Easter, or what is also called, “Resurrection Day” to celebrate Jesus’s rising from the dead, let’s pray…

• That God would stir up our hearts to reach out to Him and His promised power.

• That God would forgive our sins, our indifference to what He desires to do, and our dependence upon human capabilities, and that He would transform each of us, and His church, with a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.

• That God would empower us to be those witnesses of His love and grace in both word and deed.

• And that God would send a revival, and that this revival would begin inside of each one of us, and extend outward into the church, our community, and into the world.

And so, let’s start praying for a heavenly invasion today, and that God would move in our hearts and in the heart of His people.

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