Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Mark Batterson » Mark Batterson - Come Holy Spirit

Mark Batterson - Come Holy Spirit

Mark Batterson - Come Holy Spirit
TOPICS: Holy Spirit

20 years ago I took some of our team to a conference in California. That weekend we visited Mosaic Church, and Erwin McManus was one of my favorite communicators, one of my favorite writers. So I was stoked, super excited. We get into the service and they ask for a volunteer to do an interpretive dance of chaos. Which is the strangest thing I've ever heard in my life. And our team turns on me! Starts pointing to me, volunteers me, voluntold me. The next thing I know, I'm on stage at Mosaic Church and you've gotta understand, I had no moves 20 years ago. I grew up in a conservative church where you do not dance. I mean, come on. I could not even, I couldn't even churn the butter. I couldn't even start the lawnmower. I mean, I couldn't even running man. I couldn't even. I couldn't even floss. I had nothing, nothing.

So they start playing the music and it's not pretty. I mean, in retrospect, they asked me to interpret chaos which is really the only thing I could interpret through dance. So I'm dancing on the outside, like herky jerky weird movements. And I am dying on the inside. And I distinctly remember looking down and seeing this hero of mine, Erwin McManus, laughing. So I finished the dance, if you can call it that. And then they have their dance team do a choreographed dance that is so graceful and so beautiful that I have no doubt the angels in heaven were crying and clapping. Are you kidding me? That is so wrong. Now, I had dinner with Erwin many years later and I said to him, "I forgive you". But it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. You know what I would love to do today? I'd love to just go around the room, tell me about a few of your most embarrassing moments. Because what it does is it levels the playing field.

What it does is it humanizes all of us. Few things mark us like embarrassing moments. Is that fair? And this is a function of the way that we're designed. The stronger the emotion, the longer the memory. But one of two things can happen when we experience embarrassment, and this is where I want you to track with me. You can become more self-conscious, but wait for it. You can actually become less self-conscious. You can become more inhibited, or you can become less inhibited. Now here's what normally experience happens. When we experience embarrassment our natural reaction is to protect ego at all cost. This is where defense mechanisms, where adaptive strategies come from. And it's a catch 22 because the more you protect your ego, the more fragile it becomes. Maybe jot that down. The more you protect your ego, the more fragile it becomes. But you do have a decision to make. You can protect your ego, but here's another option. You can laugh at yourself. And I am convinced that the happiest, healthiest, holiest people on the planet are the people who laugh at themselves the most.

See, the problem with protecting your ego is that it becomes more and more fragile. And we cultivate these defense mechanisms. But here's what happens. We think we're protecting ourselves, but we're keeping other people out. And so what happens is, now I can't experience authentic intimacy with you. Because I'm too consumed by ego and something else happens. You cannot discover your true identity until you kill your ego. You just can't. You have to. Well, how do I do that? Short answer is Galatians 2:20. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me".

You gotta nail your ego to the cross. And if an embarrassing moment helps me do that, so be it. We're beginning a new series this weekend, "Come Holy Spirit". And what does any of that have to do with the Holy Spirit? It has everything to do with the Holy Spirit. Now, hold on tight. This is kind of a theory that's part of my theology, but I think I can substantiate it. I think that self-consciousness is part of the curse. Before original sin, they were naked and unashamed. But the second they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it says their eyes were opened. They become aware that they're naked. And what did they do? They made coverings. In other words, the the first human instinct to sin is to protect ego at all costs.

Now, the second manifestation of sin is shame scripts. The third manifestation of sin is the blame game. But please hear me. I think shame and blame are presenting problems. And the root cause is self-consciousness. The more self-conscious we are, the more blaming and shaming we do. I didn't read this in any books. I didn't learn this in any classes. This is just living my life for about 53 years, learning hard lessons about myself. Things like when I get up to speak and I'm nervous. My ego's in the way. So what do I do? It's why I kneel before every time I speak and I say, "Help me help people," 'cause I gotta get my eyes off of myself. And by the way, I trust the Holy Spirit between my lips and your ears to do what the Holy Spirit does. Occasionally, someone will walk out of a gathering, say, "Thanks for what you said".

Tell me what I said and it's not what I said. It's better than what I said. That's the Holy Spirit. I mean, at some point in every message, you ought to stop listening to me and start dialing in to the still small voice of the Spirit. Now the Spirit of God begins to work in you. So I just think that the only way you overcome self-consciousness is with the help of the Holy Spirit. I mean, we're kind of diving into the deep end. But Ephesians 5:18, "Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit". Okay, alcohol is a cheat code. We get drunk so that we can experience what it's like to be filled with the Spirit. We're trying to take a shortcut back to Eden where we're naked and unashamed, but the problem is this, alcohol will help you become less self-conscious, less inhibited.

The problem is, is we wake up with something called a hangover because we do and say things that we regret. Don't shortcut this thing, Paul says, "Be filled with the Holy Spirit to the point where you are drunk with the Spirit," to the point where you are not self-conscious, to the point where you are God conscious. And now all you care about, "Spirit lead me, Spirit fill me". How are you working? Where are you working? What are you doing in that person's life? Help me not react. Spirit, gimme a word of knowledge. Give me a word of wisdom. How can I be the Spirit of God? How can I be Jesus to this person? And by the way, it's a present imperative verb, in other words, keep on being filled. The ultimate goal of this series is Spirit led, Spirit filled, anything less than Spirit led and Spirit filled is dead religion. And it's boring.

Do you know, by the way, Soren Kierkegaard said that "Boredom is the root of all evil"? Which is, so I have thought about that for years. And what I'm convinced of is this, you cannot be Spirit led, Spirit filled and be bored at the same time. In fact, never a dull moment. The Spirit will turn your life, turn ordinary moments into little adventures. Wow, how did that happen? The Holy Spirit. And the words of Simon, "Ponds be to be filled with the Holy Spirit leaves no room to be filled by anything else". So the title of this series, "Come Holy Spirit," is actually an ancient prayer. Rabanus Maurus, eighth Century wrote a song, "Veni Creator Spiritus," "Come Holy Spirit".

And so, over the next few weeks, we pray a prayer. In fact, would you just over the next few weeks, would you prioritize House of Prayer? Would you maybe just, let's just seek after God, see what the Holy Spirit wants to do. Those Thursday nights are like the Holy Spirit's playground. And we're aiming at Pentecost, the outpouring and infilling of the Spirit. Alright, crash course in pneumatology. I want you to turn to Genesis one. I think we're gonna get to John 20, but I can't promise. We'll make a few stops along the way, ready or not, here we go. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," Bereshit Elohim bara, verse one. Verse three God said, "Let there be light". Those four words still creating galaxies at the outer edge of the universe. Words create worlds. But right in between verse one and verse three, and I went to seminary for this, is verse two.

And we read right over it. We read right over it, but it is the first revelation of the third person of the trinity. "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God, Ruach Elohim, was hovering over the face of the waters". English has 171,000 words. Hebrew has 8,000 words. So English has more words, but I would suggest that Hebrew words have more meaning. And there are two Hebrew words in verse two that need to be part of our vocabulary. The first word is rachaph, and it's this word that is translated hovering, almost like a hummingbird. The Holy Spirit always hovering where there's emptiness, I'm gonna fill it. Always hovering where there is darkness, I'm gonna bring light. Always hovering where there is chaos, let me bring order out of it. But that word can be translated and I love this. Relax.

That is so fascinating to me. It's almost like from the get-go, the Holy Spirit is saying, "Let go and let God". It's like the Holy Spirit is saying, "God's got this. God's got you. It's gonna be okay". Why? 'Cause the Holy Spirit is hovering. Now my theology can be reduced to two simple statements. God is bigger than big and God is closer than close. He's God most high and he's God most nigh. Theologians call it the transcendence of God, the imminence of God, God is great, not just because nothing is too big, God is great because nothing is too small. And that brings us to the second Hebrew word. He's hovering over the face, the face of the waters. Oh, but don't miss this. He is hovering so close you can feel his breath. He's hovering. You cannot get any closer than he is hovering. Why? Because this Hebrew word panim, two-dimensional in regard to time. Are you ready for this?

Refers to the split second before something happens and refers to the split second after something happens. It's like the Holy Spirit forms this parentheses in time. It's like the Time Stone in the Marvel cinematic universe, chronokinesis. And in regard to space, it refers to the place right in front of us, but wait, and the place right behind us. In other words, he hems us in behind and before. Now, A.W. Tozer said it this way, "God is above, but he's not pushed up. He's beneath, but he's not pressed down. He's outside, but he's not excluded. He's inside, but he's not confined. God is above all things presiding, beneath all things sustaining, outside all things embracing". Can you feel it today? "And inside all things filling". I don't even know how to wrap my mind around things like this. So I often turn to science. Science is our friend. Every ology, a branch of theology.

Romans 1:20, "The divine nature is known by what He created". Now scientifically speaking, the shortest time is 5.399 times 10 to the negative 44th power. It's called plank time. Anything shorter is simultaneous. The shortest possible distance is 6.4 times 10 to the negative 34th power. And it's called plank length. Any shorter and you can't tell the difference between here and there. Can I suggest that the Holy Spirit is plank time, that the Holy Spirit is plank length, that the Holy Spirit is an ever present help in time of need. And I'm so grateful today. Oh, he is also our paraclete. That's what the New Testament calls him. The Roman military formation where two soldiers would stand back to back. How beautiful is this? The Holy Spirit has your back.

So relax. Because the Holy Spirit is fighting your battles for you. The Holy Spirit is our rear guard. The God who goes before, the God who comes behind. Thank you Lord. The Holy Spirit is hovering. So the church fathers had a name for this, perichoresis. And it's this idea that one God, three persons, but it connotes this idea that creation is a divine dance. That Father, son, and Holy Spirit are dancing. And they're right here in Genesis one. And as they dance, creation. So when I dance, I create chaos. When God dances over your life, He brings order out of the chaos. He turns the ashes into beauty. By the way, the closest I can find in scripture, let me connect a couple of dots.

The closest I can find is 2 Samuel 6:14. Do you remember this moment? David's bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem and he dances before the Lord, like so uninhibited. The least self-conscious. You would think is the king, you better walk in with a little bit of pomp and circumstance. I mean, there was a coronation yesterday, right? It was fancy. Like you better act like a king. But no, this is the moment where David says, "Forget the king stuff. There is a king of kings and I'm gonna dance before Him. I'm gonna worship Him like there is tomorrow". His wife doesn't like it. And what does David say? He says, "Watch this. I will get even more undignified than this". I don't know if he did the Nae Nae. I don't know what he did, but there's something about it. But dig down just a layer or two. And the word before, "He danced before the Lord" is the Hebrew word lupini which is both a preposition and an adjective. And this is so beautiful.

As a preposition it means before. "David danced before the Lord". But as an adjective it means with. "David danced with the Lord". Worship. Is entering into perichoresis. It's entering into the divine dance. All of creation began with a dance. And now we get in on it and we begin dancing. The Hebrew word for dance, karar, only used twice, both in this passage, but pay careful attention. It's pure joy in the presence of God. It's almost like a little child that all the self-consciousness out the window, all the inhibitions out the window, not thinking about himself, but in this moment, totally caught up in the presence of God. And it is pure joy. But that word also means to spin around. And I just, I love it. So I'm just gonna do it. Like, ah, it's like a little kid, right? But here's what the Jewish rabbis, woof. Here's what the Jewish rabbis said. This is so beautiful. It's spinning around to throw off ego.

Wait, what? As we worship God, we become less and less self-conscious. We become more and more God conscious. And now once we nail that ego to the cross, now we can discover who we really are in Christ. This is not a series, this is a prayer. "Come Holy Spirit". So I'ma throw out the rest of the message I have prepared because I woke up this morning and it's rare, but occasionally in that place between sleep and consciousness where you aren't really awake yet, but you can hear thoughts. The very first thought today was a prayer. I woke up just with, I think this has been in my heart for months, this series. And so I just woke up praying today, "Come Holy Spirit". That's how I woke up today. "Come Holy Spirit". And then I got in the shower and I kind of am waking up and I feel like the Holy Spirit says, "Mark, just make it personal 'cause I had some pretty fancy pneumatology".

We're not done yet, you know? I just, I wanna tell you about my friend, the Holy Spirit. I love the Heavenly Father. I love Jesus. Can I just go on record as saying I love the Holy Spirit. I grew up in one of those churches where you read the KJV and he's called the Holy Ghost. That's pretty scary for a kid. So the last thing, you don't wanna get too close to the Holy Ghost. You know, it's kinda really the way I think the theology of some of those churches. It was father, son, crazy uncle. And so I lived much of my life, not really understanding who the Holy Spirit is or what the Holy Spirit wants to do. And so I wanna just tell you a few things that I love about the Holy Spirit. I love his voice. I love his still small voice. I love that gentle whisper.

First time I heard it, I was 13-years-old. Code Blue, Edwards Hospital. Think I'm taking my last breath. But God spares my life. A prayer team from Calgary Church comes to our house. And the next thing I know, they're praying and we say, "Can we pray for a miracle that God would heal my asthma"? And a miracle happened, but not the one I expected. I woke up the next morning and I still had asthma, but all the warts on my feet were gone. This is a true story. And I'm thinking to myself, is this like a game of telephone? What is happening? Like, did something get confused between here and heaven? There's someone somewhere who's breathing great, but still has warts on their feet. And that's when I hear the still small voice of the Spirit say, "Mark, I just wanted you to know that I am able".

And not just able, able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine according to his power that's at work within us. I have held on to that since the age of 13. He is able. Never forget the cow pasture. 19-years-old freshman at the University of Chicago. "God, what do I do? Where do I go? I don't know. What do you want"? And in a cow pasture about a two mile prayer walk in the middle of that cow pasture, I heard the inaudible yet unmistakable voice of God. And I knew that I was called to ministry. Gave up a full ride scholarship at the University of Chicago, transferred to Central Bible College. And I look back on it and I'm so grateful I heard that voice one day walking by 201 F Street. The Holy Spirit literally said, "That crack house would make a great coffee house".

It's now Ebenezer's Coffee House, but it began with a whisper. Everything begins with a whisper. There are so many moments. Walking by 205 F Street. And I have this prompting to call the owner. I met him one time, almost a year before. I think his name is Robert Thomas. This is pre-Google. I couldn't even Google it. So I looked in the White Pages and there were eight Robert Thomas'. So it was like Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. I pick up the phone by faith and I make a call. Robert Thomas answers and I say, "Hey, I don't know if you remember me, Mark Patterson, pastor National Community Church over at Union Station". He said, "I was just thinking about you". He said, "I was thinking about putting my row house on the market and wondered if you might be interested in buying it". I said, "Let me pray about it, yes".

But if we don't get 205 F Street, there's no way that we can build the adjoining property, which was 201 F Street, which was the crack house, which is now Ebenezer's Coffee House. I love his voice. I would rather have one word from God than 10,000 sermons. And I pray the same thing for you. May we learn to hear his voice and love his voice. I love his promptings. Never forget a moment. August of '96, we have given about 25, you have, given more than $25 million to Kingdom causes. Praise God. You have built a $5 million dream center that is impacting lives day in and day out. It's impossible to calculate what God is doing all around the world because of your generosity to a common fund. To a dream fund. Just your tithe in the way that that is making a difference all around the world.

But can I tell you where it started? With a prompting in August of '96 when our church income was $2,000 a month and it cost 1,600 to rent the DC Public School, which left $400 for everything else. And I felt like God prompted us to start giving to missions. And we wrote the first $50 check and it seems like nothing now, Do you know how hard it was to give? Like this makes no sense. How can we give what we don't have? We weren't even self-supporting until year three. But you know what? I have learned to obey those promptings and when you do, they become the tipping points and the turning points. And wouldn't you know at the next month, our giving tripled as we started to give, "Give and it will be given unto you a good measure. Press down, shaken together, running over, be poured into your lap for with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you".

I love the way the Holy Spirit comforts. I love the way the Holy Spirit convicts. I don't like it. But I love it. And I've learned, might wanna jot this down. If you don't listen to everything the Holy Spirit has to say, you aren't gonna hear anything the Holy Spirit has to say, I love the way the Holy Spirit guides. There was this moment as a senior in college, thank you Holy Spirit, where I got a job offer from one of the pastors who would speak in chapel, who was like my favorite. He was like a kind of this, I mean it's just so charismatic and incredible leader. And I thought, are you kidding? I could come outta Bible college and I could learn under one of my favorite preachers? And I remember, but I better pray about it 'cause I've learned to give the Holy Spirit veto power. It can't just seem good to me, it has to seem good to the Holy Spirit, Acts 15:28.

And so I'm pacing and praying in the chapel balconies. It's where I learned to pray as a senior in college. And there was a moment where God said, "No". And there was a check in my spirit. I'm like, "Lord, this doesn't make any sense. I don't have any other offers and this one is perfect on paper". There was a check in my spirit. Decided to go to seminary instead. It was about a year later that that pastor had a moral failure. Which can we just talk about that for a moment? It just breaks my heart 'Cause it gives all of us a black eye.

Now I want you to hear me today. Anytime I hear about anyone that has a failing or a falling, "I know, but for the grace of God there go I". To live with integrity. To be faithful to our vows. And can I tell you today, it's gonna take the Holy Spirit's help? Mm. I love the way the Holy Spirit gifts. Every gift a manifestation of his Spirit. It's a gifting that allows you to do things beyond your ability. I love the way the Holy Spirit sanctifies. I love the way the Holy Spirit surfaces things in my subconscious. I love the way the Holy Spirit renews my mind in ways I can't even explain. I love the way the Holy Spirit gives God ideas. I'd rather have one God idea than a thousand good ideas. I love the way the Holy Spirit anoints. That's what I wanted to give a little teaching on.

I mean, turn over to Exodus 31 Bezalel and it's the first anointing. Do you know when I was 22-years-old, I felt called to write, but I also took an aptitude assessment that showed a low aptitude for writing. In others words, whatever you do, don't write books. Writing is not a natural gifting. If you had told me at 22, even though I felt called, even though I know that God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies to called. If you had said, you know, you'd be on Book 24, that those books would sell millions of copies. I don't know. I really don't know. What I do know is this, I don't type on a keyboard. I worship God with 26 letters of the English alphabet. And I feel his anointing come on me. And then the next thing you know, you're saying things that you know are way past your pay grade. And I just wanna say today the anointing is for everyone in the house. Do you know it was before that first book came out in October of 2006 that I was at a conference.

Tommy Barnett was speaking and he he gave the strangest altar call I've ever seen. He asked anybody that wanted a multiplication anointing to come forward. And I have a simple rule of thumb, if the altar is open, I'm there. I'm just gonna live my life at an altar. And I came forward that day and I think God gave a multiplication anointing. I knew going into that first book, 3% of books sell more than 5,000 copies. Explain to me how even that first book has sold more than half a million copies. Listen to me. I know because a prayer team was formed from the get-go and prayed. God put the right books in the right hands. Please hear my heart today. A book sold is not a book sold. A book sold is a prayer answered. And the anointing is the key to the whole thing. Do you know why I try to hang out with as many different leaders as I can? 'Cause I want some of their anointing. I wanna bump into their anointing. I want more of the anointing. Anoint me, anoint me in a fresh way. Anoint me in a new way. Give me a new anointing for a new season. God, I want your anointing on my life. And that is only possible through the in working of the Holy Spirit.

Do we understand today that Jesus did what he did because he was Spirit led and Spirit filled? The Spirit led him into the wilderness and he came back out of the wilderness filled with the power of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the X factor. The Holy Spirit is the it factor. Without the Holy Spirit, I'm a two-thirds Christian. We don't just believe in John's baptism. Thank God for baptism by water. It's powerful. It's how we publicly profess our faith. But what happened when Jesus came up out of the Jordan River, the dove descended and landed on Jesus. We need a baptism by fire. We need a baptism in the Holy Spirit so that the Spirit of God, we become less self-conscious, less inhibited. And now the Spirit of God is gifting. I'll end with this. I have a theory of everything. The answer to every prayer is more of the Holy Spirit.

But what about love? What about joy? What about peace? Some of you're chuckling 'cause we've been around that block so many times. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control are fruit of the Spirit so what I need is more of the Spirit that produces more of the fruit. We find ourselves in a moment where please God, we need the supernatural demonstration of God's love and power. And that happens through the ministry gifts and through the miraculous gifts. So we need more of the gifts of the Spirit. Amen? But what we really need is more of the Spirit that produces more of the gifts. Now we get out of the way and look what God can do. When we nail that ego to an old rugged cross and say, "God, your will, your way. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else". When I say, I love the Holy Spirit. I'm talking about a relationship of decades. I would not be who I am. I would not be where I am without the Holy Spirit. I love the Holy Spirit. I trust the Holy Spirit. And I say, come Holy Spirit all over again. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Are you Human?:*