Enjoying the Presence of the Holy Spirit
The presence of the Holy Spirit. What does that mean? Where is He present? When is He present? How is He present. What difference does His presence make? You will learn the answers to these and many other questions on this week’s episode.
today on the johnny Coburg show. My guest is Anne Graham lots. She was called the best preacher in the family by her late father Billy Graham an is an international speaker and a best selling author when an lost her husband of 49 years. She felt both shock and intense grief. Then just a few years later, her beloved father Billy Graham passed away and then six months after his funeral and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet through it all, she relied on the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit to help her. We invite you to join us on this edition of the johnny Karberg show to here and explain how you can rely on the Holy Spirit to be your constant companion. No matter what you are facing. Welcome to our program. I’m Jonah Goldberg and my guest today is anne Graham Lotz and I’m just so glad that you’re here and it would take the time to do this program And we’re talking about such an important topic that enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit. People say what and uh first of all, they really don’t know who the Holy Spirit is. They’ve heard about the Holy Ghost at weddings and communion at church, the benediction and so on. And uh you yourself had a problem with reconciling, what does that mean for me to talk about that. But then I want you to use an illustration that you have in your book from The Astronauts Christmas Eve 1968 when they boarded the Apollo eight spacecraft and orbited the moon and basically the whole world was watching and listening to them. And in a crackling little voice static that was coming over the air to the whole world, tell the folks what they did, but start off with, first of all, who is the Holy Spirit? You know, um, when I was in church, I’ve shared a couple of times before, he was referred to as the Holy Ghost. And um, and I didn’t feel comfortable with that and so I didn’t want to get to know him. I just sort of ignored him. And when I became an adult with studying the scripture, I realized that he’s not a ghost. He’s not a dove. He’s not a flame of fire, He’s not wind. He’s not all these things that he can be symbolized by because he’s invisible. So for instance, in revelation, he’s the lamp before the throne. We wouldn’t know, he was before the throne except the lamp was there and symbolized him. But he’s not those things. He has a living invisible person with a mind to think and well to act and emotions to feel. He’s the third person of the trinity, not because he’s the least, but God, the father revealed in the old testament. God the son and the gospels is God the Holy Spirit who is the third to be more fully revealed. And uh, and a lot of people john think that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. That that’s where he began sort of like jesus began at Bethlehem and don’t realize that Jesus of course always has been john chapter one verse one says in the beginning was the word, the word was with God, the word was God and then verse 14 says and the word became flesh and I’ve seen him, john said he was speaking of jesus, the word of God, that was in the beginning by which everything was created that is created is none other than the son of God. But we also see the Holy Spirit in Creation where verse one and in fact you, you referred to the Apollo eight astronauts and I know that was my generation, but probably a lot of people listening to us um aren’t aware of that, but you can find it on Youtube if you go to Youtube and put that in Apollo eight and the astronauts reading genesis chapter one verses 1 to 10 on christmas eve as they were orbiting the earth and you see the Earth as a, you know, just dangling like a blue marble out in the greatness of space and um of the blackness of space I guess it was. And then reading in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and void. And it says the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep and that Spirit of God is none other than the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit was hovering over planet Earth preparing planet Earth to receive God’s word. So in verse three and God said that’s the word of God going forth. That’s the son of God. Everything he said was so but it was working in connection with the Holy Spirit. So so I would apply the Holy Spirit’s presence to prayer today. So when we bathe something in rapid and prayer and then we give out God’s word or we’re in God’s word for ourselves. Day by day by day, there’s transformation, there’s change in the end. In genesis chapter one, Planet Earth brought pleasure to God. It was beautiful and he blessed it and said it was very good. Yeah, I’d like to put up that verse two that they read and again we’re talking about these three fellows, it was Bill Anders jim Lovell and frank borman and they read these verses and the whole world was listening and yet I think, and it’s just like you put in your book, I wonder how many people missed their reading averse to what it actually says. And it says this and the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God said, let there be light and there was light. So when the word came down, the Holy Spirit who was hovering did it and that should tip people off to who we’re talking about when we’re talking about the Holy Spirit. Even to the fact that he is in our lives personally. He’s very God, He is just much God is the father of the son. You have a God who has One nature, three persons and the Holy Spirit has been there forever, just like the father and the son. But what we’re talking about is us people here on earth, christians have come to know, jesus, the fact is we don’t realize that the Holy Spirit was given to come into our lives to do a whole list of things that jesus wanted him to do. Well. You know, um going back to that verse two and just thinking to make application and it may be somebody that you’re praying for, who’s in darkness, you know, depression, um ignorance in a fluid like condition, there’s no stability in their lives, there’s no sunshine of joy or happiness and they’re just like Planet Earth was in the beginning, just dangling like a blob in the universe, good for nothing until the Holy Spirit came along and hovered over it and prepared it to receive God’s word. And so one way I pray for friends that are in that condition in verse two, just looking at Planet Earth and thinking about friends who maybe have that same spiritual condition and pray that the Holy Spirit would hover over their hearts and their minds and prepare them to receive God’s word and then I want to see them get into God’s word, invite them to church, invite them to a bible study, maybe share a verse with them or sometimes just pray and ask the Lord maybe use somebody else to bring God’s word into their lives because the Holy Spirit and we can talk about this later. But one of his names is the Spirit of Truth and he works through God’s word. And so if you can get God’s word into that person bathed in prayer and he, he has the power to transform people’s lives today, Verse 26 27, I believe shows us that we’re not talking about three gods, talking about three persons. The one god, we might not understand it all we’re doing is telling what God has revealed to us. And down there it says God said, let us make man in our image, in our likeness and God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him indicating that God is one God yet more than one. In other words, you go from the singular and the plural and then back to the singular in the hebrew. And the fact is is that it shows us that the Holy Spirit is God, but he’s his own person. And the fact is he’s the one that comes to live in our life and jesus is the one that told the disciples just before he got crucified. The fact is that he was going to send the Holy Spirit and uh when you read acts, you find out that they, we were wondering what all this meant, but they prayed and they prayed that they would get that holy Spirit that Jesus had promised them talk about Pentecost, what happened at Pentecost? It was an amazing event and Pentecost was once and forever, just like Bethlehem was once and forever, the crosses once and forever, there’ll never be another Pentecost, we we can pray for another. Pentecost were just wanted an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But but Pentecost was a point in time that will never be repeated um in a historical sense and so it took place after jesus um was crucified, rose from the dead, he ascended back to heaven 10 days after his ascension and for 10 days the disciples had been in that upstairs room as you pointed out praying and I know one of the things they were praying for was you know jesus send down your holy spirit, God the father send down the spirit in your son’s name. And so they were praying but on the day of Pentecost, I’m assuming they went to the temple because of what happened next and they were gathered there together and there’s about 100 and 20 it said in that upstairs room, so they were gathered together at the temple and suddenly there was a sound of a rushing wind and the the wind wasn’t blowing, so the leaves weren’t scurrying in the trees weren’t bending. It was just the sound of like a hurricane or a tornado coming through. And john looked at James, he had a little flame of fire on his head and James looks at Matthew has little flame of fire on his head. And Matthew looked at Peter and his little flame of and and suddenly they were overwhelmed with that sense of the presence of jesus and they opened their mouths and the symphony of praise and all of Jerusalem who they’re probably a couple of million people there who had come to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. They all heard the gospel in their own language and the disciples knew the Holy Spirit had come. So if I could just um describe the drama of this john because we were so familiar with it, we may miss it, but in the old testament, the Holy Spirit, as we pointed out, has been there since the beginning, but he would come upon somebody to equip them for a job, to work in the Templar to work with gold, or the best example is when he came upon saul of kish and anointed him to be the first king of Israel and he transformed solid fish from being a keeper of donkeys to being a great leader. And then solid kish Sind and God removed the Holy Spirit from him. And so he placed him upon the young shepherd boy, David and anointed David to become the second king of Israel and equipping him to be not just a shepherd of sheep, but the greatest king that there has been uh until jesus. And And then at that point when David Sinned with Bathsheba, but you remember in Psalm, 51 he prayed. take not your Holy Spirit from me because he knew the Holy Spirit could be given and the Holy Spirit could be taken away. The thrilling thing is that at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down. And when you and I put our trust in jesus, and we, we claim him as our savior, we ask him to forgive us and cleanse us of our sin. We receive the eternal life that he offers. We invite him to come into our hearts. He comes into us in the person of the Holy Spirit and Hebrew says he will never leave us and he’ll never forsake us. It’s a permanent relationship. Yes. And that’s so important because the fact that some of us doubt once we sin even as christians, the fact that you say, do we still have the Holy Spirit? What’s the answer to that? You know, the Holy Spirit to the answer is that he will never leave you never forsake you. You could do nothing to deserve his coming in. You can do nothing to deserve his going out. In other words, it’s permanent, but if I can share also in the old testament, uh, the saints of God were made right with God. When they put their faith in God’s word that says they were to go to the temple sacrifices simplified, but they sacrifice a little lamb and when when they did they would take the lamb and grasp it with their hands and they would confess their sin. It was as though the guilt of their sin traveled along their arm was conveyed to the lamb. The center took the knife, killed the lamb. The priest would take the blood of the lamb, put it on the altar and that made atonement for sin. But hebrews tells us that the blood of bulls and goats can’t take away sin. So think of all those people who walked away wondering am I really forgiven, am I really right with God? But they were exercising their faith in God’s word and doing what he said, but every time they did that it was like God giving them an iou note iou forgiveness iou forgiveness. And then came the day when john the baptist is beside the Jordan river and jesus. I was walking by and he says, look there goes the lamb of God who will take away the sin of the world, There goes the man who will pay up all the Iou notes and when jesus died on the cross, he was God’s sacrifice for sin. The perfect lamb of God. So that before the cross they believed in jesus, they put their faith in the cross, they didn’t know his name, They didn’t know the details, but when they exercised their faith and sacrifice that lamb God gave them the iou note that jesus paid in full you and me on this side of the cross, praise God. We don’t have to go to the temple, kill the lamb, blood spurting everywhere, but we still have to come by faith to the lamb of God and we grasp the lamb of God with our hands of faith and he’s there on the cross. And we confess our sentences though the guilt of our sin is transferred down our arm conveyed to the lamb of God. And it’s our sin that put jesus to death, we can argue is that romans is the jews know it was me, it was my sin, He died for me and when I believe that and I confess that the guilt and the judgment is transferred to jesus and he dies in my place and it’s his blood that covers me and cleanses me and makes me right with God. So so it’s still the cross that stands in the center of time before the cross. They didn’t understand everything, but they put their faith through the sacrificial system after the cross we look back to the cross, but we still put our faith in the lamb of God who fulfills all that law and the ceremonies. But in addition we have something that the old testament Saints knew nothing about And that’s the indwelling of the Holy Spirit give you the verse, I will pray the father and he will give you another helper. That’s the word we’ve been defining that. He may abide with you forever. So I’m answering my own question I gave you before he knew that we would become christians and he knew that some of us, even as christians would sin. But the Holy Spirit isn’t like in the old testament where he’s just ripped out the fact that he’s there now inside of our heart. We lose fellowship with the father at that point and we’ve got to come back and we’re gonna say, Lord I sin. And the Holy Spirit helps us with that. And he lets us know that we’ve broken his laws. But the fact is he is so wonderful to do that and he doesn’t leave us and he won’t leave us. He can get firm with us if we insist on going our own way. And some of us are very stubborn. We don’t want to give up our sins, our secret sins or the ones we’ve always done since we were a kid. The fact is, no, he is there until the end. And you can have joy. The joy of the Holy Spirit that is like nothing else this world has to offer. I mean, there have been times when I did things that God told me to do to help somebody else that put me in trouble financially. And yet I knew God wanted me to do that. And when I did it, the joy that came into my life, I couldn’t explain it to anybody. It was just, it was just there the presence of the Holy Spirit was just was just rejoicing you never forget those kinds of experiences. Then God provided the financial need after I gave, he gave back to me, I wasn’t expecting that. But he did it. But in the meantime I just love the joy the Holy Spirit can do and he he can give that to us in all kinds of situations. Well, you know, he he does come in us, he’s the Holy Spirit. So he’s Holy. And so one of the things he’ll do is to start to clean us up. We don’t have to worry about it. You just come as you are. You do not have to clean yourself up. You do not have to get perfect and get right and do all the, you know, you just come to God as you are. And and he will put his Holy Spirit within you and it’s the Holy Spirit who will begin to clean you up and he does it. One thing at a time, you know, if you’re feeling everything in your life is wrong and you’ll never be any good and God could never love you. That’s not the Holy Spirit, that’s the devil, the Holy Spirit comes in and he convicts you of one thing at a time. It’s sort of like, um my son once a year, would come home to visit and he would clean out my garage, my garage, just put everything I didn’t want in the garage. So you couldn’t even get into it. And he would lift up the gate and let the light in. And then he would say, mom, we’re just gonna start with this thing. And just one thing at a time, the thing closest to you, the Holy Spirit lifts up the gate and he shines the light of God’s truth in your heart. And then he says, all right, we’re gonna start with this thing. Just one thing at a time. But the Holy Spirit is in your corner. The Holy Spirit is for you. The Holy Spirit loves you. And the Holy Spirit wants to clean you up in me because he knows that he wants God’s best for us and it’s sin in our lives. That keeps us from experiencing the fullness of God’s blessing and keeps us from fulfilling the potential that God has for us. So the Holy Spirit wants to clean us up for our own benefit for our own blessing. And he does it with gentleness and with love. But as you pointed out if we resist him, If we reject him, if we refuse him, he won’t leave us. But he can get very firm with us. And so one of my prayers is, you know, Holy Spirit, I want to learn the first time you nudge me, I don’t want to have to go through all that discipline in your book. You talk about a secondhand relationship with the Holy Spirit in relationship to your own conversion, tell me what you mean. Well, people can have a second hand relationship with God, they go to church, they hear about them, they sit with somebody, so I could be with you and you have the Holy Spirit and I can sense the Holy Spirit here because he’s in you and but then if I leave, um and I’ll leave you, I’ll leave the Holy Spirit. So jesus told his disciples in chapter 14, the Holy Spirit is with you, but he’s coming to live in you. So he was saying that he would send down the Holy Spirit, who would that they had been with because he fully and dropped jesus and but he would come down to be in them and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. And so it’s a firsthand personal relationships. So I was a little girl and I can’t remember the the year I remember it was a good friday, I was eight or nine years of age, I’ve been watching a picture about jesus on television, came to the scene of the Cross and I knew he had died for me and I didn’t, I don’t know how I knew that it’s just the Holy Spirit, You know, The Holy Spirit is the one that convicts us of sin and righteousness and judgment and the Holy Spirit came into me and convicted me of my sin. And I got down on my knees beside my bed and the upstairs of my father’s house and told God I was sorry for my sin, all the wrong things I’ve done. I asked him to forgive me and invited jesus to come live inside my heart. I claimed him as my savior and my Lord. I didn’t understand all of that. I didn’t understand Jesus couldn’t come into me because he’s in a man’s body up in heaven, getting ready to come back and rule the world. But but he knew what I was talking about. So he came in in the person of the Holy Spirit. I remember john after I prayed that prayer, I got up and went down the back stairs to my mother’s room and and I was a little girl, but I remember feeling a burden had lifted. I felt lighter. Um and I told my mother what I had done. And uh and I believe at that point in time I was born again into God’s family because God doesn’t have any grandchildren, you know, just because I’m Billy Graham’s daughter doesn’t mean I’m a child of God. I had to make that decision for myself. So I did um many years ago and he placed, The Holy Spirit within me. It’s been a process. It’s a journey as the Holy Spirit has worked in my life and his primary aim is not so much to clean me up, but to conform me to the image of jesus to make me like jesus, which in that process would clean me up. But all right, we’re talking to people all around the world, but in the United States and Canada as well. And the fact is I want you to say a prayer, we’ve got about a minute 30 left and I want you to say a prayer for people that maybe they’ve gone to church, but they don’t have a reality in their life about the Holy Spirit being there maybe never got saved. Okay, they never really invited jesus personally to come into their life or there are people that this is the first time they’re hearing it for all of those folks that want to start this relationship with jesus and have the Holy Spirit come into their life and empower them to change and he does the work in your life step by step by step and he loves you and he continued to love you. Okay, would you pray a prayer that they could prayer with, they could pray with you and they could invite the Lord jesus to come into their life and put the Holy Spirit there as well. Yes, absolutely. So if you know that you’ve never received jesus by faith or if you lack the assurance that you have, just pray with me so father God, we bow before you now and we thank you so much for loving us before the foundations of the world relayed you plan to send jesus to be our savior, to take away our sin, to bring us into that right personal permanent relationship with you. So right now Lord, for those who are not sure that they’ve ever been saved or they know they’ve never been saved. But right now Lord, we just reach out our arms of faith and so I cannot put this in the first person again and just pray this prayer for yourself that dear God, I come and I grasped the lamb of God with my hands of faith. I believe Jesus died on the cross as your sacrifice from my sin. I confess that I’m a sinner, I’ve done many wrong things and I’m sorry, but I believe Jesus died for me and I claim him as my atoning sacrifice and I also believe he rose up from the dead to give me eternal life. And so I’ve received the eternal life that he offers, which I know is heaven when I die. But also this personal relationship in the person of the Holy Spirit, I open up my heart and invite jesus to come live inside of me in the person of the Holy Spirit. So Lord jesus, I take this by faith in your word, not in what an says or john says? But your word says, if I confess my sin, you’ll be faithful. And just to forgive me, your word says, if I open up my heart, you will come in to live within me. Your word says that if I ask you to give me eternal life, you will. Your word says that the Holy Spirit will never leave me nor forsake me. So right now by faith once and for all, I just say thank you, thank you that I’m saved. Thank you that I’m forgiven. Thank you that I have eternal life. Thank you. That one day I’m going to go to my heavenly home and live with you forever. And it’s in jesus name and for his sake Amen. And folks, if you prayed that prayer, there’s another promise romans 10 13 whosoever shall call. If you prayed that prayer, you call to the Lord, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. That’s what God did to you, you can claim that for your own. I’m so glad that you joined us today. We’re going to have more next week. But I’ve got a personal word. So please stay tuned and I’ll talk to you in just a moment. Stay tuned, john will be right back. Let me ask you. Have you ever transferred your trust from yourself to jesus for your salvation. The bible says all men and women are separated from God? Because we have all broken his moral laws, we have sinned against him. Do you realize that second the bible says, when jesus was on the cross got picked up our sins and they were placed on jesus and he died in our place, Jesus took the punishment we deserved and could never repay and he paid it in phone. It’s his gift to us. Now, if you’ll come to jesus and admit that you’re a sinner and ask him to forgive you, he’ll do just that. You only need to say a prayer to him and entrust yourself into his hands and then he will make you a christian. He will forgive your sins and give you the gift of eternal life. When you die, The bible says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. It’s not your faith that saves you, but a real jesus who really did rise from the dead and the one who said he was God and can forgive your sins and give you eternal life. He’s The one. You must place your faith in faith is really sticking your hand out to jesus and saying, I’ve got nothing. Please give me your gift of eternal life. He promises he will right now, would you pray and place your faith in christ? Put yourself into jesus hands and trust him to give you eternal life. If so, you might say something like this, God. I know I’m a sinner. I know my sins have earned from eternal separation from you. But I believe jesus died in my place when he died on the cross and I accept his death as the full payment for my sins. I accept him right now is my savior. Thank you for saving me. And in jesus name, I pray this amen. Now if you prayed that prayer, the bible says this, whosoever who’s sort remains, you shall call upon the name of the Lord. How do you call you pray? That’s what you just did. Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Those last three words. What God does. He’ll save you. He saved you. If you ask christ to come into your life. But if you’re taking God for granted and doing things that you shouldn’t do, that’s what I want. And to talk about today, let’s talk about, first of all how much power the Holy Spirit has, who can measure his power, john he’s he is God. So all the power we think of being in God the father God the son is wrapped up in the person of the Holy Spirit. There’s no limit to his power. There’s no measure to his power. He’s the same one who was in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the Deep. It’s the Holy Spirit that hovered over the face of the deep and prepared it to receive God’s word and be transformed. So he’s he’s more powerful than we could ever estimate.