My church's series "Ghost" this month was really powerful. It was all about God's presence in our lives, His power, and how he can transform our lives. I've really gained a lot from each series that we've done so far. There have been points that have been refreshed in my memory, but also those that I had never considered until that point.
The first Sunday we talked about God's presence in our lives and whether we are sometimes afraid of the Holy Spirit to fully take control over every part of us. Should the Holy Spirit really be scary though? Of course not...God's spirit comforts us, counsels us, guides us, convicts us, and above all, will never leave us.
After all, God's presence is first shown in the very first verse of Genesis in the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God also created each and every one of us in His image. What could be scary about the God that created the very foundation for the world we live in today?
Next, we talked about God's power. This particular sermon really spoke to me because lately I have been going through some problems. It seemed that I'd hit a rough patch that I couldn't quite get out of. After this sermon, I realized that the reason I continued to sit in this problem area was because I hadn't gained the confidence to give God control over these situations. We talked about God's power being like dynamite--it's powerful, dangerous, and overwhelming...but with this power, there is nothing that we cannot do! I decided to give my situations over to God...not just part of it, but everything. It seemed that slowly, things started to get better-I had God on my side and I couldn't lose.
The third Sunday, we talked about having a spirit-filled life. This is probably something that all of us need to work on in one way or another. The bible verse was from Galations 5:8-18. In this Bible verse, it explains how every one of us is lost in darkness without God's light to show us new insight. It goes on to say that we should all rebuke the acts of the world and evil, and instead do what is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. We should not live as fools, but instead, live like those who are wise. Finally, we should not be drunk with wine, for it will ruin our life.
Paul says, "Don't be under the influence of alcohol. Instead, live a Spirit-filled life. Be under the influence of the Holy Spirit." While under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you will act differently, think differently, and even talk differently. Our pastor went on to say that there are many reasons that people may drink alcohol, but a lot of similar reasons involve that it gives them confidence or comfort. He did not say that having a drink was wrong, but it is wrong to drink for the purpose of getting drunk. Although I don't drink, I'm sure that there are other things that I or others use for comfort. Instead of these things, why do we not turn to the Holy Spirit for that comfort?
To wrap up our Ghost series, we talked about God as the transformer of lives. In Acts 9:1-18, is the story of Saul and how God transformed his life. Saul was transformed from from someone who hated Christians, to one of the most powerful missionaries. After Saul's "transformation," he decided that he could no longer use his actual name, and therefore changed it to Paul. Although God loves us the way we are, he loves us too much to leave us that way.
In Romans 7:15-24, Paul writes that he has all of these good intentions, but cannot get past his sinful nature. I believe every one of us is like this because we were all created with a sinful nature. Without God's presence, power, and spirit, we cannot be transformed into his design.