Today’s Scripture:  “7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”  John 16:7-8

Introduction:

Today’s message is going to be on the third person of the Trinity…the Holy Ghost.  So…since the message is going to be about Him…I think it’s only proper that we seek the help of the Holy Ghost to make sure that we have a good…solid…and sound message come from today…Amen!?!

Opening Prayer:

Lord God…we first of all want to just thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that You desired to send us One just like You to lead and guide us into all truth…and to help us along our walk and journey with You.  It’s with this knowledge…Lord God that I seek the help of the Holy Spirit this day for this message…and ask that I would speak only as the Holy Ghost would give utterance and unction…and the anointing that only comes from the supernatural ability of the Holy Ghost.  I ask Holy Spirit that You would overtake this message now…and speak that which You would have to speak to us…that we all would have ears to hear what You would have to say…spiritual eyes to see what You would have us to see…and most importantly hearts to receive and respond to Your Word.  I ask these things in the name of Jesus…Amen & Amen

Today’s Message:

I love the Holy Spirit. He guides, counsels, comforts, and protects, to name a few.

I couldn’t agree more with Mrs. Beall’s opening statement.  I love the Holy Ghost.  I’ve gotten to know the voice of the Holy Ghost so much better since I’ve been writing these messages over the last six months or so…and I can tell you that it’s such an exciting thing to write messages…and have the Holy Ghost take over.  There are many, many times that He inspires me to write something or gives me an illustration to use that I would never think of on my own…and over the months…it’s clear that when I am writing under the anointing of the Spirit…my messages are much better, much more powerful, and much clearer.  Then again…when you rely upon the Word of God like this ministry does…there’s going to be power from the Holy Ghost…because the Holy Ghost responds to the Word.  I’ve said it many times in many messages that if you’re wanting more power in your ministry…get back to the basics of being rooted, grounded and founded upon the Word of God…and watch the power surge back into your ministry as the Holy Ghost confirms the Word.

One of the things that’s of great encouragement to me is when I hear preachers speaking about what the Holy Spirit inspired me to write.  I can’t tell you how many times the Holy Spirit has let me know that I’m really hearing from Him by some times having even my own pastors at New Life Christian Center preach almost verbatim something I’d written…and for the most part I know they don’t read my messages.  So…it really gives me a boost of faith and confidence when I hear what I write preached on Sunday…because like I said a moment ago it gives me the ability to know that I’m really on the right page…and that I really am hearing from the Holy Ghost.

So…I love the Holy Ghost myself.  It’s awesome to be writing, and suddenly get something that I know is from the Holy Ghost.  I absolutely love writing these messages, and I can only imagine what it was like for the writers of the Word of God to be inspired to write the Bible…but I can imagine it must have been pretty cool…and very exciting…cause I know just the little bit of anointing I have at times is just awesome…and I must admit it’s fun.

I appreciate the guidance that comes as a gentle nudge to write a much-needed note to a friend who is hurting. I am amazed at the council that falls from my lips when I have no earthly idea what to say to a woman in need. I adore the comfort I get when I am hurting and no one on this earth can do the trick. I love knowing that my children are protected within a hedge erected by the One True God.
But He also convicts. And dang if I don’t like that.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I love the outcome of conviction but am just not a fan of the discomfort that goes along with it. But, it’s necessary. It’s necessary for growth and a changed life. And I want a changed life.

I can’t think of anyone who enjoys being disciplined…especially by the Holy Ghost.  She’s right about the discomfort that comes from being convicted, but I am so glad that when it comes down to it.  God causes ALL things to work together for God to those who love God and are called according to His purposes…and I’m even more grateful that conviction comes…because as long as it continues to come…we know we’re children of God.  No parent enjoys having to discipline their children…but know that it’s necessary to lead them on the right path.  So…the very fact that we face conviction ought to be encouraging because as long as we are being convicted…that means we’re children of God…and that helps to keep me grounded knowing that I belong to Him.

I am so thankful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost…let’s face it…without His guidance I wouldn’t be writing these messages.  I couldn’t write these messages.  I need the Holy Spirit”’s help and guidance otherwise these messages would be horrible.  I’ll be honest enough to tell you that I’ve tried writing messages without the leading and guidance of the Holy Ghost…and let me tell you…you should be glad they never got posted because they were just horrible…so thank God for the leading and guiding of the Holy Ghost because without Him I’d be a horrible writer…and that’s the truth friends.

Many people often say they “feel guilty” about something. Others say they are “convicted”. Guilt is not from the Holy Spirit. Guilt does nothing but condemn you and want you to feel bad and wallow in your shame. Conviction, on the other hand, is from the Spirit. It brings freedom to make a wrong, right. An easy way to remember the difference is this: Guilt paralyzes, conviction motivates.

Oh…how beautiful it is to know the difference between guilt and conviction.  Listen…whenever you’re under anything that drives you to depression…it’s NOT God.  There’s rest for the weary.  There’s rest for those of us who trust in the Lord…and even when He brings something to our hearts that’s against His will for us…He brings it in a light and gentle manner.  Yes…friends…even the conviction of the Holy Spirit isn’t meant to bring us down, but to build us up.  The truth is…beloved…if you’re feeling heavy and shackled then what you’re experiencing isn’t conviction…it’s condemnation…and we all know what Romans 8:1 says:  “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

Friends…the if the Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus…then it stands to reason that even in times where He has to chastise us…there’s going to be an ease…a peace…and a rest in knowing that God’s at work in our lives.  Yes…there’s truth that we may experience sorrow over the condition of our hearts, we may experience sorrow over our sin, but what is noticeably different is that when the condemnation of the devil comes it’s like an oppressing weight of heaviness…in other words…it’s a yoke…a yoke of bondage.

What does Jesus say to us in the Great Invitation?

(28) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28 – 30

Listen…everything that comes from the Lord is going to be light and easy.  So…whenever your feeling heavy and burdened then whatever it is you’re feeling is NOT from God…it’s from the devil.  I hope that helps some of you to understand the difference between condemnation and conviction.  One comes from the devil…heavy and burdensome.  One comes from God…easy and light.  One is designed to get you down, make you feel inadequate, and to get your focus off of God and on yourself and your failures.  One is designed to draw you into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God.  One is designed to bring you down and keep you there.  One is designed to bring you to a place where you realize you have things that can help you grow and mature in your walk with the Lord.

See…the Holy Ghost’s job isn’t to weigh you down, but to lift you up.  It’s to lead and guide us into all truth…and to constantly point us to the Cross…because it’s the Cross where we begin and end.  I saw this on Twitter this morning from sister Taffi Dollar…and it fits right into this message…she tweeted this gem:

“@TaffiDollar: “By walking in Jesus’ completed work we are now made more than conquerors thanks to His victory! (Romans 8:37) #KnowYourID

We ought to be walking in Jesus’ completed work…He said on the Cross “It is Finished”…that means HE completed all the work necessary for us to be MORE than conquers through Him.  STOP working & start walking!

Listen…anything that takes our focus off of the Cross, and brings it to ourselves isn’t from God.  The devil is constantly striving to get us to take our eyes off of Jesus and the Cross…and place them upon ourselves…because he knows if he can get us to stop looking to where our help comes from that we will start getting into those feelings of guilt and condemnation…and he also knows that we will some times mistake those feelings as conviction from the Holy Ghost…and once we start viewing condemnation as conviction that’s where the feelings of being unworthy come in…the more unworthy we feel the more likely it is we will take a step back from our relationship with the Lord…because we’ll begin to feel unworthy to keep walking with Him.

Isn’t it interesting that the only condition for having no condemnation is to constantly be walking in Christ Jesus.  But…that’s where Taffi’s tweet comes in to help me to finish off this message…Jesus did all the work that we would ever need to do…therefore there is no more work to be done…Jesus did it all on the Cross.

What in the world do you think:  “It is finished.” means?  It means that all the work, all the striving, and all that could need to do in order to be in right standing with God was done by Jesus.  There’s no more work to do…just walking.  Walking in the Spirit…walking in the grace and mercy of God…walking with the assurance of knowing that we who have confessed Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior are safe and secure in the arms of our loving Father.

We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  We are sanctified and made holy by Christ Jesus.  We are redeemed by Christ Jesus.  We are complete in Christ.  We are dead to sin and our old nature, but we are alive in Christ.  We are sitting at the right hand of the Father…seated in heavenly places right now…and there’s absolutely NOTHING you or I can do to NOT be there.  Why?  Because there was never anything we did to NOT be there.  The whole reason we weren’t going to heaven isn’t because of anything we did or did not do…it was because of what the first Adam did.  We came into this world sentenced to death because of Adam’s sin…not ours.

So…when we confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior…we were taken out of the first Adam…and placed into the second Adam (which was Christ).  We instantly changed places, destinations, and instead of being on the road to hell…we are right now seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.  Don’t believe me?  Well…I’ll show it to you in scripture.

IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Colossians 3:1 (AMP)

Listen…if the Bible says that we’re new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17), we’re alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:5), we’re accepted in Christ (Ephesians 1:6), and we’re crucified and made alive in Christ (Galatians 2:20)…see the whole key to all of this is that we are IN Christ…so if we are IN Christ…then where ever Christ is…we are too…and in case you missed it…Colossians 3:1 (AMP) says that we have been raised with Christ…and Christ is now seated at the right hand of God.  Therefore…since Jesus is at the right hand of God and we’re in Christ…guess where we are seated?  That’s right friends…we are sitting right along side of God.

Guilt is not from the Holy Spirit. Guilt does nothing but condemn you and want you to feel bad and wallow in your shame. Conviction, on the other hand, is from the Spirit. It brings freedom to make a wrong, right.

So…as we finally draw this message to a close…I just want you to remember that if your feeling guilt and heaviness…if you’re feeling the yoke of bondage…that’s not from the Holy Spirit…and in order to get out of that…we just need to respond to The Great Invitation (Matthew 11:28-30).  Maybe the easiest way to tell the difference between condemnation and conviction is what Mrs. Beall writes…Condemnation brings bondage…and Conviction brings freedom.

Points for Pondering:

  • How do you feel when you’ve done something wrong?
  • Guilty or convicted?

Be A Doer Not Just A Reader:

  • If you experience guilt to where you can’t seem to make amends, recognize that is a tactic of our spiritual enemy.
  • If you experience conviction, let the Spirit guide you to making the situation right again.

Conclusion:

I don’t know if this message made any sense at all.  I feel like I could’ve said so much more, but I hope that you were in some way helped and encouraged or maybe even challenged by this message.  I believe the greatest thing we need to all take from this message is the difference between guilt and conviction…and recognizing where guilt comes from…and where conviction comes from.

If it’s guilt…then you’re under attack from the devil…and as he reminds you of where you’ve been…you have the ability and the authority to remind him that you’re a blood bought believer and that you belong to the King of kings and Lord of lords…and while he’s reminding you of your past…you can remind him of his future…and tell him to get thee behind me in the name of Jesus.

If it’s conviction…then seek the Holy Spirit as David did in Psalm 51.

Let’s Pray:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me…Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  Help us, Lord God to know when Your Spirit is convicting us and when the devil is condemning us…and help us…Lord God…to walk in the completed work of the Cross…knowing that we’re more than conquerors in Christ Jesus…we love You…we adore You…we exalt You…and we need You more than ever to help us to understand and live this surrendered life that we’re seeking to learn more about…Oh that our lives would bring You glory…and that YOU would consume and saturate our lives with Your presence, Your Spirit, and Your love.  In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen