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Matt Hagee - The God We Ignore


Matt Hagee - The God We Ignore
Matt Hagee - The God We Ignore

The reason that I choose the title for this message, "The God that We Ignore," is because when you begin to discuss the Holy Spirit in churches today, you typically get one of two responses. When you say, "We're going to teach about the Holy Spirit," there's one group that pulls up all of their guards and all of their defenses, and they say, "No, thank you. I've got all I need with God, the father. I'm cool with Jesus Christ, the son. But you leave that Holy Ghost stuff to the snake-handling pew jumpers. I'm not one of them". And let me help you understand something. Snake handling has nothing to do with God. It has to do with idiocy. If there is a snake in this sanctuary, let it be on your boot. Then there's another group, polar opposite of the first group. "We're going to discuss the Holy Spirit in church today". "Whew! Hallelujah"! Break out the tambourines and let's run and shout and dance because the louder we are, the holier we get. No, you don't.

The reason that I call this ignorance is because both positions are equally wrong and they're filled with the ignorance of man rather than the wisdom of God's word. And they prevent us from receiving the promised gift that heaven wants you to have. Read Acts 2:38. It says, "When you are baptized for the remission of sins, you shall receive the gift". Who gives you this gift? God in heaven gives you this gift. Some people, in their ignorance, they say, "Well, that gift is not for me". Read the verse. This gift is for you. It's for your children. And it's for their children, too. What did Jesus have to say about this gift? Matthew 7:11, he says, "You being evil," he was speaking to fathers on earth. He's saying, "You being natural men". "If you natural men know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more", say that with me, "How much more will your father in heaven give good things to those who ask him"?

When he was talking about the Holy Spirit in your life, he said, "It is much more than you could ask, think, or imagine". Jesus Christ, speaking about the Holy Spirit in John 16, he said to his disciples, "It is to your advantage that I go away, because if I do not go away, the helper will not come. But if I go away, he will come and he will guide you because he is the spirit of truth". In Matthew 7, he's much more than you can imagine. John 16, it is to your advantage that we receive him in our life. The message is very clear. You need the Holy Spirit in your life because you cannot afford to live in this world without him. God has sent us a source of power that is there to help you in the hardest days of your life. It is the kind of power that will give you the ability to look at the world and say, "Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world". But many people are ignorant of the power of the Holy Spirit because they ignore what they don't know. That's ignorance, when you ignore what you don't know. When it comes to the Holy Spirit, you cannot afford to be ignorant about what you don't know. What you don't know, you need to find out because it is your connection to power.

Now there are four reasons why people are ignorant of the power of the Holy Spirit, and I'm going to share them with you. The first reason is your traditions. Jesus had trouble getting over the pharisees' religious traditions. As much power as he had, when they would use tradition in their argument, he never demonstrated his power in their life. This is what he said in Matthew 15:6: he said, "You have made the commandment of God to no effect by your traditions". Jesus was saying, there's power that's available to you, but you're not plugged into it because you've allowed the traditions of your father and the religious practices of your life to remove you from the source of power. That's what the Holy Spirit is. He is your point of contact so that you can accomplish the purposes of God in your life. Let's look at this handy appliance here. Every husband knows what this is for. It is for your son to use to keep his mother happy.

Now as much as you can do with this appliance, how effective is it unless it's plugged in? It's not. And whenever you begin to hear about God, the Holy Spirit, in your life, and you say, "Well, I understand what the Bible says, but I was taught". Whenever you go to your traditions of what you were taught rather than taking the Word of God and plugging into the power, you take your tradition and you unplug from the power. And the truth is, is every one of us deal with situations in our life that are just kind of trashy. Got the economy. Got the wrong people in office. An independent. Got the schools. Got all this other stuff. And when you're trying to do it on your own... it's ineffective. You're on your knees going, "God, I've got marriage problems, and I've got kid problems, and I've got money problems, and I've got all these problems. And why aren't you helping me? And why aren't you moving these problems out of my life? And why are they piling up"? And God says, "You're not connected to the source of power".

You can have all the power you need. Stop clinging to your traditions and clutching to what your vain ideas are about what God can do, and just say, "God, the Holy Spirit, I need you". And then get back to your practices. God, I need you to help me with my kids. They're sitting on the front row. I need you to help me with this pandemic problem. I need you to help me with this personal problem. I need you to help me with this physical problem. I need you to help me in all of these things so that I can learn to grow in you and have faith in what God can do. And I promise you, God will get involved in your life, and he'll start cleaning things up, and blowing things out. And the next thing you know, your life is an easy place to live. But that only occurs when you plug your life into the power that God provided for it. "It is not by might. It is not by power. But it is by," what? "The spirit". Get plugged into the Holy Spirit.

And the next thing you know, God can start moving heaven and earth on your behalf because that's the kind of God that we serve. The Bible says that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God said through the prophet Malachi, "I am the Lord. I do not change". Where do you see the Holy Spirit again even before the Book of Acts? Luke 1:35, Mary is a teenage virgin. She has no ability to carry a child on her own. She asks the angel a very practical question. "How shall this thing be since I know not a man"? And the angel looked at her and said, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you. And the power of the Almighty shall rest upon you. And that which God has called shall come into your life".

In Genesis 1, the spirit is hovering. In Luke 1, the spirit is overshadowing. Go all the way to acts now, and the Bible says, "And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, suddenly there came a sound from heaven that filled the whole room as a mighty rushing wind". What happened? The church got plugged in to the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Bible says that there was fire resting on their heads. The same spirit that hovered over darkness, and the same spirit that hovered over a virgin was now hovering over believers in Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus Christ promised us, "Greater things than these shall ye do". "Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world". Before, they only heard about the power. But now that that power was resting upon them, they had the ability to pull down strongholds in the mighty name of Jesus. Now they had power to lay hands on the sick and they would recover. Now they had power to say, "Silver and gold, I do not have. But what I do have, I'll give it to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk".

Now they had power to bind and to lose. Now they had power to set captives free. Now they had power to shape the very gates of hell. Child of God, what I'm saying to you is this: the same power that was in Genesis is the same power that was in Luke, is the same power that was at Pentecost. And it's the same power that's here today! The question is not, does God have the power? The question is, are you plugged into the source? If you're not plugged in, it's not God's fault. You plug yourself in through the Word of God. You plug yourself in through praying. You plug yourself in through faith and obedience. But the second that you pick up your tradition instead of his promise, you have disconnected yourself from where God wants you to connect. A second cause of ignorance and disconnection is personal experience. The second group might not have that much religious tradition, so what they do is they base their beliefs on what they have seen, what they have heard, and what they have felt.

Now what you need to understand is your experiences are not invalid. Your experiences are yours. But your experiences are not more powerful than God's truth. Experiential people, they say things like, "I know what the Word of God says, but let me tell you what I've seen". Experiential people say, "Well, based on what I've seen", I'll give you an example. An experiential person would say, "Every time someone gets saved and they say the sinner's prayer, they cry. So if you don't cry when you receive Jesus, you're not really saved". Now that sounds silly, but often times, that's just about how deep we get. Here's what the Bible says. Romans 10:9, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". Now who reads in that verse that tears are a required part of the event? Believe in your heart. Confess with your mouth. You will be saved. No tears required. So an experiential Christian says, "Oh, no. No. No. I've seen people get emotional". I have, too. Emotions are good. But emotions do not validate the work of God in your life.

When you base your theology on an experience, you immediately begin to drift towards your understanding instead of God's leading. God's power is not hemmed in by your tradition or your experience. He is God. He can do what he wants, when he wants, like he wants, any way that he wants. And the question is not, who is God? But the question is, are you connected? Now here's the third reason for ignorance. And it takes tradition and it takes experience and it creates something else. And this is called "Misconception". When your tradition and your experience become the basis of your understanding, you are most of the time in a misconceived position. They have a little bit of tradition. They have a little bit of experience. They have a lot of immaturity. And they need more understanding. But instead, they just take all these bad ingredients and they cook up a story and start telling people, "Well, this is what I believe". If it's not in the book, don't believe it. And this brings us to the fourth source of ignorance and that is a lack of desire.

And that's the most dangerous one of all. Your traditions can be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit the second your life connects with the source. Your experiences can be overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit the second your life connects with the source. Your misconceptions can be erased by the power of the Holy Spirit the second your life connects with the source. But if you don't have an appetite for God, there's nothing he can do about it. It's up to you. Jesus said that blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. In John 6, he said, "I am the bread of life. And whoever comes to me shall never hunger. And whoever believes in me shall never thirst". The Psalmist wrote, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is," what? "Good". But what do you have to do before you get to his goodness? Taste and see.

You know where appetite comes from? Eating. If you don't eat it, you don't have an appetite for it. But the second that you eat it, based on your experience with what you're taking in, your brain tells your body good or bad. You don't have to feed ice cream to a kid but once before they have an appetite for it. Why? Because based on what they've eaten, their appetite says up or down. And if you don't have an appetite for the things of God, it's because you haven't taken the bread of life and ingested it and allowed it to work in your life. If you don't have a thirst for God, it's because you haven't drank from a well of living water and been quenched in a dry season. Here's what Paul said to the church in Ephesus. This was a church that he planted. He was the pastor of this church and he said to his church in seven verses, chapter 3:14 and following, he said, "For this reason, I bow my knees". He said, "This is what I pray for when I pray for you, church". He said that you would be strengthened through the might of the Holy Spirit.

Where does that strength come from? The Holy Spirit. He said that you would be rooted and grounded in love, that you would know the length and the depth and the height of the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. If your life is filled with the fullness of God, there's nothing lacking, nothing physical, nothing spiritual, nothing emotional, nothing financial. You've got all that you need and so much more. How do you know his love? How do you experience the depth and the height and the breath and the width of it? How do you have his fullness? It comes from the Holy Spirit. Keep reading and you get to the end of the chapter, and he says, "Now to him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that you could ask, think, or imagine".

Church, what he's saying is that when you connect with the source of power, you are in touch with a God who can do more than you could even ask for. My prayer for this church is, father in heaven, pour out your power. Build an appetite in us for the presence of God. Give us a thirst in our heart, soul, mind, and body to see your hand move mightily. Hover over the lives of the members of this church and speak your word so that a manifestation of your power would be seen. Lord, as this world gets darker, let your Holy Spirit build a fire in us that burns brighter. Send your spirit that we might witness to a lost generation. Send your spirit that we would bring unity to the body of Christ: to be the blood bought church, the redeemed who are unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Make us mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds.

Let us lay aside our traditions. Let us lay aside our experiences. Create in us a clean heart, oh God, that we would stand before you an open vessel ready to do what you want us to do, to go where you want us to go, to be who you need us to be, that we may be boldly declare your great name in all of the earth! If you don't connect your life to God, our father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, which means you cannot ignore him, you have to receive him. Hebrews 12:27, it starts to discuss a nation and a world that's shaking. "Everything that can be shaken will be shaken until what remains is unshakable". And then verse 29 says, "Our God is a consuming fire". Say that with me. "Our God is a consuming fire".

Now remember, I stated earlier that every time you see or hear fire, it is a manifestation of God's presence and God's power. So we live in a world that's shaking. And in this shaking world, I believe that the Holy Spirit of God is asking us, "Do you trust me? Do you trust me? Are you going to clutch to the things of this world? Or are you going to cling to the promise of God"? And you say, "What's the difference between clutching and clinging"? When you clutch to something, you're holding on to it hoping that it won't get away from you. When you cling to something, you are holding on to something that is holding you. So while this world is shaking, are you going to clutch to the things of this world and try to hold on to them? Or are you going to cling to the unshakable God that's holding you? You see, the Bible says, "Our God is a consuming fire".

So let's just say that this fire pit here represents your life. If you're connected to the source of power, which is the Holy Spirit, then the fire of God burns in your life. If you're not connected, then you have no fire. And when you clutch to the things of this world and they start shaking, you've got no place to take them and they'll tear your life apart. But when you cling to the God who's holding you, you can take every problem you've got and you can let the Holy Ghost touch it, and you'll find out what the consuming fire can do with it. For example, parents, they're always worried in this world about their kids. I'm worried about what my kids are doing. I'm worried about where my kids are going. I'm worried about who my kids are hanging out with. I'm worried about the school programs they're in. I'm worried about peer pressure. I'm worried about bullying. I'm worried.

You know any parents like this? And the more they worry about it, the more they clutch it. They tell their kids, "You better be good or God's not going to send you to heaven. And I'm going to be really sad for eternity without you". You can't Bible beat your kids into the kingdom. But if you cling to the God who's holding you, you say, "Father, train up a child in the way he should go and when he's old, he'll not depart from it," suddenly, you start clinging to God instead of clutching to this world. And the next thing you know, the Holy Spirit does something in your family, and your whole family is touched by the fire of his love.

Businessmen are worried about their finances. They're trying to figure out how they're going to make ends meet. They're looking at a sorry first quarter followed by a bad fourth quarter, and they don't know who's going to be in charge next quarter. And they're all worried and looking at forecasts. And the experts said this, and the president said that, and oil's doing this. And how many of you know people who are clutching to an economy that's just shaking them? God, I don't know where we're going to turn. We can't retire. We're 906, and we're still working. Well, you can either clutch to the things that are happening in this world or you can cling to the word that holds you that says, "My God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches and glory". He says, "I've never seen the righteous forsaken, nor God's seed begging bread". It says, "Honor the Lord with the first fruits and he'll fill your barns with plenty, and your vats will overflow. He'll open the windows of heaven and pour out upon you blessings that you cannot contain. He'll rebuke the devourer for your sake".

You've got problems with a spouse that doesn't want to know the Lord, you're not going to go lecture your spouse into the kingdom. You just say, "Heavenly Father, touch him. Change his life. Bless him". You're worried about all of the things that are happening in this life. You can either cling to them or you can turn them loose and let God have them. And I promise you the fire of the Holy Spirit will change your life. When you plug into the source of power, you'll begin to see God do things in your marriage. You'll see God do things in your children. You'll see God do things in your business, heart, soul, mind, and body. He can change your life in a day because you have plugged into the consuming fire that turns your world upside down. Child of God, he can do more than you could ask, think, or imagine. Give the Lord a handclap of praise!

I want every person in this sanctuary to bow their heads and just have a moment in the presence of the Lord to examine your own self. Ask and answer the question, am I plugged in to the power of the Holy Spirit? Or is my life disconnected? Am I clutching to the things of this world instead of clinging to the God who is holding me? And I want you to repeat this prayer with me.

Lord Jesus Christ, today I ask you to forgive me for the moments when I do not trust in you like I should. You have never failed me. Your word does not return void. So today, through the power of your Holy Spirit, connect me with your promise: that your plans for my life are perfect, your provision in my life is sufficient, your grace and your mercy in my life are overwhelming, your joy is my strength, and your peace surpasses understanding. I receive this today by the power of your word, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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