How to Seek the Holy Spirit – John Piper


Father our prayer is that you might now not let us be put to shame When we put our hope in you But that you would pour out your Holy Spirit into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us This is the experience that we long for Among many others. This is Central Lord You will not let us be put to shame in our hope because the love of God has been poured into our hearts Manifestly Experientially by the Holy Spirit so come now Continue the worship Continue the communion of this moment over your word now. I pray in Jesus name Amen My approach in this message is to spend the first half of it Enticing you to seek the Holy Spirit and the second half To talk to you about how to do it December 6 About a month ago 6:45 in the morning was sitting in my chair In our living room, it was still dark outside. I Had on my one little Reading light here creating a little bubble of light in the room had my iPad open in my lap to its appointed Bible reading for the morning and I had Just spent 36 minutes on the treadmill in the attic had showered made myself a cup of hot tea and Settled in to enjoy a time of fellowship with Jesus Which I do every morning Over his word. I remember pausing Before I began to read my four appointed places in the Bible and thinking I Love this quietness. I Love this room. I love this carpet Its furniture its fireplace I Love this chair and how it supports me I Love the lighting this little small spot where Jesus and I Meet I love the warmth of the cold morning. I Love the feeling in my muscles. I Love the this orange wool sweater with the brown elbow patches in the hole in the front And I love the sweetness of this breakfast tea with two bags of Splenda and I have no pain anywhere in my body And then my mind shifted Because I had been reading the book avenue of spies by Alex Kershaw about the French Resistance in Nazi occupied Paris during world war ii and I had read how the gestapo would arrest anyone in paris suspected of disloyalty to the Nazi regime and supportive of the resistance and How they would if the prisons became over full simply March 50 of them out and shoot them dead. I Read about the tortures and I tried to Think about that In my exquisite comfort and my cushioned chair and my woolen sweater my hot tea and That quiet stillness and I pictured myself being arrested Stripped plunged into a tub of ice water and Just when I could resist screaming no longer Be held down under the water until I sucked water into my lungs Some never recovered they died and Others knowing that did recover and were asked again if they would betray the others in the collaboration or be plunged Back under the water only. I was imagining myself not in Paris Resisting the Nazis but suffering for Jesus and some hostile environment All I had to do all I had to do to get back to my chair and my tea and my light will say Jesus is not my Lord Jesus is not my Savior and Jesus is not my treasure. That’s all I had to do to have this place again and I wondered and I pleaded the reason I remember that very day is because I just pleaded God please Give me enough of yourself. Show me enough of the father and of the son by the power of your spirit so that Nothing, nothing. Nothing would ever move me to say such a thing Whatever I face Oh God granted it would not happen that I would not want this sweet moment So badly, I would pay for it at the cost of denying you Corrie ten Boom Died in 1983. She was a Dutch Christian who helped Jewish people escape the Nazi Germany during during the war and she was herself imprisoned at age 52 in a concentration camp and She had the same question as a little girl. You’ve heard the story probably Would I be able she wondered to suffer and not give in and so she was telling this story once and Reported this instance with her father daddy She said one day I’m afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr Jesus Christ Tell me Her father was he responded when you take a trip on a train from Harlem to Amsterdam When do I give you the money for the ticket three weeks before? No, daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train That’s right. He replied and So it is with God’s strength our wise father in heaven knows When you are going to need things, too today You do not need the strength to be a martyr But as soon as you are called upon for the honor of facing death for Jesus, he will supply the strength you need Just in time. I Took great comfort in my father’s advice Corey told her audience Later, I had to suffer for Jesus in a Nazi concentration Camp he indeed Gave me all the courage and power I needed As she told that story in the midst of opening first Peter chapter 4 verse 12 through 14 if you have a Bible I invite you to turn there with me because that’s where most of my thoughts are going to originate first Peter chapter 4 verses 12 to 14 It is one of the most precious promises concerning the Holy Spirit in our lives and one of the greatest Enticements, I hope and pray For seeking him with all our heart So I invite you to go there with me I Have often taken heart from the sixth that the Holy Spirit would rest upon me In such a way that what seemed impossible sitting in my chair Would be possible Even at age 72 Suddenly perhaps Miraculously, so let’s read it beloved First Peter 4:12 beloved do not be surprised at the fiery trial or the ice-water trial When it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you but rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings that You may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed If you are insulted for the name of Christ It might only be an insult or fire or ice You are blessed Because the spirit of glory and of God rests on you That may be a repeated experience of your life Or it may be the one final work of the Holy Spirit before you die The final manifestation of the spirits Christ exalting power in your life the spirit of glory and of God rests On you as you endure your final sufferings if You are insulted for the name of Christ. If you are reproached if you are rebuked if you are disgraced if you are Plunged beneath the ice water if you are exposed to the flame you are blessed because God’s gonna show up The spirit of glory and of God rests upon you the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you Now if you’re inclined to think when you read that Well that only applies to Persecution suffering not cancer I Don’t think that’s right It is the immediate context, of course But think about it when you’re in the final throes of Cancer or moving toward death with cancer and You resolve in and through cancer To suffer as a Christian to magnify the name of Jesus You are experiencing the same thing that a person does when he’s persecuted for righteousness Sake, how are they essentially different? The question before your soul is not essentially different there’s persecution or cancer. Here’s the question Will I turn against Jesus in anger, or will I trust him? It’s the same issue Same principles are at stake Will I trust him or become angry and despairing at the way he is either treating me or Letting me be treated as a sovereign Savior who could do otherwise If you receive your suffering with the prayer and the hope of magnifying Christ In it whether persecution or cancer You will be suffering as a Christian And this promise will be true for you In the hour of trial the question will be thrown in your face Where’s your God You can’t stop this persecution Can’t stop this cancer. What good is he? Where is he? And According to this text the answer that God Himself will give you is I am here Resting on you in your death throes With glory and God What we will feel in that moment And the shame of it the degradation of it the misery of it the utter non romantic Moment of it. What we will feel is the furthest thing imaginable from glory You all feel like glory it will look like glory the cross didn’t look like glory It’s not glorious it’s ghastly But the Spirit of God Will not let that be the last word Because he’s not only the Spirit of God But the spirit of glory verse 14 again the spirit of glory and of God rests on you That’s what you can count on as the child of God What does he do when he comes I’ve seven things what does he do when he shows up as the Spirit of God and the spirit of glory and These are meant to be Enticements why wouldn’t you want to see the fullness of this spirit? Number one He is the spirit of truth according to John 14 17 fifteen twenty six sixteen thirteen and he brings to our minds Whatever truth we need little or much. He will bring it to your mind All the forces of darkness will seek to confuse you and obscure the light of truth in that hour all the Proportions of power in the world will appear to make God look distant And small and ineffective like nothing That’s the goal of Satan always That’s the goal of sin Make God look useless make him look worthless in this hour and The work of the Spirit of Truth the work of the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth in that hour is To lead you into truth to give you whatever measure of truth in your mind may be just a fragment Whatever measure of truth you will need in order to be faithful You have a bad memory Spirit doesn’t And he will be there with what you need to remember number two Jesus said when the spirit of truth comes he will glorify me John 16 14 The ground and the center and the goal of all the truth that the Spirit brings is the glory of Jesus Christ That’s the goal. That’s the ground that’s the center of all the truth that he brings the glory of Jesus Christ the greatness the excellency the beauty of Jesus the essence of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit is to magnify the beauty of Jesus Christ in The hearts and minds of human beings. That’s the essence of His work without that nothing else that he does counts Because we’re gonna be hell bound without that Jesus said I will be with you always to the end of the age Matthew 28:20 always Always I will be with you including the final hour of testing and the work of the Holy Spirit is to cause you to Remember him and with the eyes of the heart if he’s into 1:17 with the eyes the heart see him there That’s the work of the spirit of glory and of God Resting upon you causing the fulfillment of Matthew 28:20. Be real for you I’m always with you and the work of the Holy Spirit is that’s true. And here he is Number three More than that He rests upon us the spirit rests upon us to sustain within us love to Christ Love to Christ not just seeing him or remembering him but loving him he doesn’t merely the spirit doesn’t merely Reveal the beauty and the power and the wisdom and the love of Christ the spirit communicates to our heart the preciousness of Christ It communicates it He imparts it He is it in experience Christ is precious He spoken by the Holy Spirit or not at all or hypocritically He makes the worth of Jesus to be known and felt says in Philippians chapter three verse three Christians worship by the Spirit of God What separates you from the workers of iniquity is That you don’t just worship you worship by the Spirit of God in other words, it’s the spirit that gives to our hearts a sense of the worth the worthiness of Jesus of the father It’s he who causes us to feel that this light momentary affliction can’t be compared to the glory that is to be revealed namely Jesus Christ number four He is resting on us as the spirit of glory what in the world does that mean how do you experience the spirit of glory resting on you in a ghastly non glorious moment of death The spirit of glory and of God rests on you, I think it means at least two things One he causes us to feel That the glory we are losing in This shame filled ghastly Moment isn’t worth keeping Second the glory you are about to gain in a few minutes or hours Is infinitely better That’s the work of the Holy Spirit and if you don’t feel it right now, that’s why you came to this conference Our prayer is that you taste it here And grow in your confidence that whenever you need to taste it fully You will And set you on a course of seeking its fullness till the day you die or Jesus come In first Peter 1:23 The Holy Spirit is the imperishable seed By which we are born again What’s the point of that When the imperishable spirit enters us He brings this conviction all flesh is like grass and all its Flower or glory like the flower of grass the grass withers the flower falls But the word of the Lord this imperishable seed abides forever and if you’re born of him you abide forever that’s the work of the Holy Spirit in the hour of trial the Holy Spirit the spirit of Glory will cause us to feel all the glory we’re losing Is not worth keeping and all the glory we’re about to gain is infinitely better The spirit of glory will cause you to experience the reality of first Peter 5:10 Listen to these words first Peter 5:10, and after you have suffered a little while The God of all Grace Who called you to his eternal glory In Christ will restore confirm strengthen and establish you To him be the Dominion for ever and ever. Amen As the spirit of glory Rests upon you he will give you a taste of that eternal glory a taste of it just around the corner If you don’t come up out of the water conscious you go there go to the glory You come up out and regain consciousness. You’ll rest upon you you’ll have enough You will be if you’re torn Restored if you’re crushed You will stand in triumph If you die in utter weakness, you will be given unshakable strength if you sink in quicksand You will find you are owning her eternal foundation. I saw those four words signify You are called to eternal glory in Christ And the work of the Spirit is to seal that hope to you. You can’t do that on your own you would never Survive that moment in faith and hope without him number five In the hour of trial the Holy Spirit will overcome your doubts and Give you the assurance that you need You struggle with doubts, of course you do you’re a liar if you don’t Everybody walks through seasons of greater or lesser Shaking And you wonder then what will it be like at the end? What if they assailed me at the end? You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear But you have received the spirit of sonship When you cry Abba Father And that may be the only truth you can get out of your mouth Abba Father When you cry Abba Father it is the Spirit Himself Bearing witness with your spirit that you are the child of God And if children then heirs heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ Provided you suffer with him in order that you may be glorified with you the work of the Holy Spirit in the hour of trial is to preserve you from Faith destroying doubt and to give you the sweet gift of assurance Number six If the opportunity arises In this trial to Speak for Christ to your doctor or your persecutor The Holy Spirit will bring to your mind what you need to say Right mark 13 11 do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say But say whatever is given you in that hour for it is not you who speak but the Holy Spirit The spirit of glory and of God is going to rest upon you in that hour and one of his Ministries when he does is to lift anxiety from you and just give you the simple words this doctor or this persecutor needs to hear and You have no idea when that time is coming who they’ll be and therefore you can’t rehearse this You can be anxious about it and that’s not good He says don’t cuz I’ll show up and One of my works when I show up is give you what you need to say in That hour take heart be bold launch Without knowing all the answers ahead of time the spirit of glory and of God will rest upon you If in his power he wants you speechless You need say nothing And if he wants you to speak He’ll give you words count on it trust number seven In your hour of trial The spirit of glory and of God will give you himself And in himself, he will give you the father and the son You will taste with no pressure to have a quick articulate doctrine of the Trinity ready to hand No pressure you Will taste in that hour the living experience of second Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit Be with you In other words may you experience the precious personal presence of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit The father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God We know that but there are three persons and each of them will be experienced in the hour of trial The father’s care and tenderness for his child the Savior’s redeeming love covering all your sins that Satan is throwing at you in that hour and the spirits sustaining and upholding of your faith You may not be articulating the complexity of the Trinity error You just enjoying the father’s care the sons covering the spirits sustaining and it will be So if God promises in verse Peter 4:14 That the spirit of glory and of God is going to rest upon you with that much personal precious helpfulness in the hour of trial Why wouldn’t you want to seek Him? Why wouldn’t you want to spend all of your life? Getting as near to him and as much of him as you possibly can And if we add to first Peter 4:14 the wider scope of the Spirit’s work The enticements get better and better and more and more. We know from John 3 that It’s the Holy Spirit that causes us to be born again truly truly I say to you unless one is born of water and the spirit. He can’t enter the kingdom of God We know from first Corinthians 12:3. No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit we know from Romans 8:13 that you must put to death the deeds of the body by the spirit or perish we know from 2nd Thessalonians 2:13 that all our efforts to pursue holiness will be hopeless because Sanctification is by the spirit we know from Ephesians 1:17 that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of wisdom and That without him you will live lives of absolute foolishness Look around the world in sanity Because the holy spirit inhabits so few and he’s the spirit of wisdom we know from 1st corinthians 12:7 that to each believer is given a manifestation of the spirit for the common Good We know from Romans 8:11 if the spirit of him who raised Jesus Dwells in you then he who raised Jesus from the dead will raise your mortal bodies through The spirit that dwells in you no spirit. No resurrection. No Spirit no new birth. No spirit no confession of the lordship of Jesus No spirit no victory over sin. No spirit. No progress in sanctification. No spirit No spiritual wisdom. No spirit. No spiritual gifts and no resurrection Why would you not seek him Why would you not Day after day cry out For him, so let’s Spend the rest of our little while talking about how to do that because I’m assuming that you’re not idiots and What this? He’s a person He’s not a force We know this from John 14:16 I Will ask the Father and He will give you Another helper Intercessor Advocate to be with you forever So I’m your first helper. Jesus says I’m your first helper person And when I’m gone Another one like me he’s coming He’s a person a helper a friend Relates to you not as a wind, that’s a picture He’s a person From new birth At a point in time to new creation off in the future. We owe everything to this. Good. Holy person We owe the planning of it to the wisdom of God we owe the purchase of it to the Son of God and we owe the power of it to the Person of the Spirit, so why not? Why not? seek Him Why not You might answer Because we already have him So what’s this seek talk? That’s true Romans 8:9 says Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him? period You don’t have the spirit. You’re not a believer, but That’s true of faith as well You don’t have faith you’re not a believer and Jesus said o you of little faith, so Even though the Holy Spirit is not in parts in pieces like I’ve got four And you got six pieces of the Spirit even though the Spirit doesn’t come in pieces The experience of him does It’s a partial it’s always partial in this life even When it’s experienced as fullness But Paul does say if he’s just 5:18 don’t get drunk with wine For that is debauchery be filled with the spirit He says that presumably because we’re not Usually Be filled Be filled Bethlehem Conference for pastors be filled with the Holy Spirit is the is the command? Flows out over you in this conference be filled with the Holy Spirit seek this Seek this be filled with the Spirit. He hasn’t come in pieces but your experience of him comes Fragmented and you want all the fragments to be gathered into one be? complete Full yes, that’s what Paul wants for you that all the spirit can be for you He is for you seek it don’t quench it. Don’t grieve it It The experience Don’t quench him and don’t grieve him for he Wants to come in fullness. So here’s my question. How do you do that be four steps? one Meditate on what God has said in his spirit inspired scriptures God established if that sounds simple and wrote to you God has established a Life-giving connection between his spirit and his word You don’t make this happen. This is God’s design Try this verse out and spend a lifetime thinking about it John 6:63 It is the spirit who gives life the flesh is of no help The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life What The words are spirit and life Do you want him listen? You want a taste listen You want to live? listen In the morning in your chair With your arm sweater on And you t desperate? Or Another connection between spirit and word Why is it that in Ephesians 5:18 and Colossians 3:16 the same thing is said so Similarly and so differently listen be filled with the spirit Addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing and making melody To the Lord with your hearts and his Colossians Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly Teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom singing Psalms and and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts Why does he say be filled with all the spirit in Ephesians 5:18 and let the word dwell in you richly in Colossians 3:16 Surely it is because the words that I speak to you are spirit and life That the word of Christ dwell in you richly Be filled with the Holy Spirit there is more there than any of us can discern or plumb the depths of don’t treat it as rote o bobl reading You’re talking about a Tremendous miracle Number two and second seek him by believing What you hear? in the word I’m gonna unpack Galatians three five in my next message on Wednesday morning Much more fully but let me just point you there I think it’s one of those important passages on the spirit in all the Bible Galatians three five. Does he? Who supplies the spirit to you and works? Miracles among you do. So by the works of the law or hearing with faith That’s an important statement Well, of course the answer is no no. No. No you do. Not nip You late manipulate this spirit and get him to be supplied and work miracles by works of the law No, no, no, no. No you listen and you believe you listen and you believe So when you are reading your Bible early in the morning, and it’s quiet nobody else is up And you read promises and you read? beautiful descriptions of Jesus and his work in the world and big descriptions of a Magnificent God don’t close your Bible and not say anything about your faith Right Say I Believe I believe this Think what would that mean if I believed it? What does it feel like to believe? What does belief looked like I don’t want to just read this word and walk into my job. I want to believe and you get up and you believe into the kitchen you believe it is a bathroom and you believe onto the porch and onto the street and in the car and into the office believing Does he who supplies the spirit to you and works? miracles among you do sell by the works of the law or by hearing with believing answer hearing with believing so step to Believe Number three Hold fast In obedience to what you have heard and believed John 14 22 really bothers some people. John, 14 22, here’s what it says lord How is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world And jesus answered If anyone loves me You keep my word And my father will love him and We will come to him and make our home with him This is not unconditional love This is profoundly conditional I’ll read it again Lord how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world to us. We have disciples If anyone loves me he will keep my word And my father will love him In a way that he doesn’t love everybody My father will love him We will come to him to that one who loves us and keeps our word. We will come to that one make our Home our abode with him there is an experience of intimacy and At home miss with Jesus and the father that comes only through obedience Those who love me so much that keeping my word is not the works of the law, but The overflow of their affections for me and how could we not Move into such in such a heart with the fullness of the at home Ness that you longed for If anyone keeps my word holds fast treasures it in obedience That person will not be quenching the spirit that person will not be grieving the spirit but will know the fullness and sweetness of Fellowship with the father and with the son if you’re watching pornography every week do not expect this experience you Won’t have it if you’re if you’re harsh with your wife You won’t have it Meditate on what God has said in his spirit inspired Word believe what you hear and see In the word hold it fast. Keep it keep it. Hold it fast in obedience To what you have seen and heard and number four finally In all your meditating all your believing and all your obeying Desire the spirit desire the spirit. I know this overlaps with number two, I Don’t think there is any authentic faith without desire But Desire is not identical just overlapping with faith Desire all that God is for you because jesus said this if anyone thirsts let Him come to me and drink Now this he said about the Spirit Whom those who believed in him were to receive Thirst if anyone thirsts come Drink, you won’t come to drink if you don’t thirst if you don’t desire if you don’t lean in and long and yearn I want To drink at this fountain. I want to drink so deeply at this fountain that I know the experience of Fullness at this fountain if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink Now this he said about the spirit as a deer plants Pants for the flowing streams. So my soul pants for you O God my soul thirsts the Living God It’s on 42. Oh God, you are my god earnestly I seek you my soul thirsts for you my flesh Faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there’s no water. Can you say that if you can’t then pray that you can pray that that would happen at this conference you Came here without the ability to thirst That’s really dangerous really dangerous in the ministry You lose your capacity for thirsty losing everything in the end It must be rekindled. That’s why we’re doing this. We would like to be the instruments of rekindling reawakening thirst For this experience my soul thirsts for you my flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there’s no water So his Promise for your final trial the spirit of glory and of God will rest upon you Will prove to be worth more than all the money In the world at that hour You will not care how the stock portfolio is doing when they’re pushing you under the water You will only regret that you didn’t get to know him better you didn’t seek Him more Seek him Seek him in this conference seek him now as we close seek him In your hotel room ask Don’t you love Luke’s version of this word ask and you will receive Seek and you will find Knock and the door will be open to you for everyone who asks receives Everyone who seeks finds and to the one who knocks the door is open For which of you who has a son who asked him for an egg? Would give him a serpent or if he asks for a fish would give him a scorpion If you Being evil What you love the way Jesus was blood like with his disciples. Ouch If you my disciples my loved ones for whom I’m going to die if you being evil know How to give good gifts to your children will not your father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask This is your father and this is his greatest gift Himself and his son through his Spirit and He has yet more of himself to give to you If you meditate believe obey desire ask him and keep on asking Now I’d like to stop here and suggest that we take just a few minutes and do that So I’m gonna be quiet and you’re gonna do either alone Bowed or perhaps even more preciously reach out and get two three four others and take maybe three minutes and just say We welcome you if you would be pleased in this confer To give us a deeper taste a fuller experience of yourself In those terms that Pastor John just opened would you come so do that? however you feel comfortable doing it right now in little clusters or alone and I’ll come in in just a couple or three minutes and lead us in closing prayer Spirit of the Living God For the fresh on me Spirit of the Living God For the fresh on me Melt me mold me fear me use me Spirit of the Living God For the fresh on me

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