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Tony Evans - The Dove

Tony Evans - The Dove
TOPICS: The Names Of The Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit

The name or symbol or identification we wanna give to the Holy Spirit today, is that of the dove. It says, when Jesus was baptized by John, it says that "The dove came from heaven and rested on him," and of that he spoke of the Holy Spirit. So, to speak of the Holy Spirit, last time we saw, we speak of him as a helper, this time we can speak of him as a dove. It is interesting in the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which talk about Jesus having this dove come and rest on him, Luke says something very, very interesting that Matthew, Mark and John don't say. Luke says in Luke 3:22 that, "The Holy Spirit came down in bodily form as a dove". The others don't say that.

So there was a physical representation of the Holy Spirit, but like a dove. We saw last time, he comes as a helper. This time Luke says, he came in bodily form like a dove. That tells you that sometimes the way the Holy Spirit ministers, his particular ministry to you based on what you need or what he has to give, he does so in bodily form, that is, he comes in a physical feature. So when we talk about the Holy Spirit, yes we're talking about this invisible person of the Godhead, but he will often show up physically, that is, through a physical expression. You never know how the Holy Spirit is going to manifest himself, but one of the ways he does is in bodily form. This is why the scripture tells us to not turn away strangers, because you can do it, you can be turning away an angel unawares. So the Holy Spirit is becoming even more real to me, because my need of him is greater.

Now, the question is, why would the Holy Spirit come like a dove? While one of the early mentions of the dove in the Bible is Genesis chapter 8. In Genesis chapter 8, verses 9 through 12, Noah is on a boat because the world has flooded. Forty days and 40 nights it has rained and Noah needs to know whether the rain has subsided. So, Noah sends out a dove, but the dove flies back meaning there was no place for it to land. He sends out the dove again and the dove flies back; there's no place to land. But this next time Noah sends out a dove, and the dove comes back with an olive branch in its mouth. That means that vegetation has begun to arise. That means that that there is trees and olive trees, that means that the judgment is over and now it's time to be released to a renewed life.

When the Holy Spirit shows up as a dove, he is renewing something in your life and in your circumstance from some negative circumstances that have engulfed you. The world has been engulfed by water and a flood, but the good news of the dove, is that the negative is over, renewal has come, and there's new life to be experienced. The reason why you want the Holy Spirit as a dove, is he wants to let you know, that what's ahead of you is better than what's behind you. That all the negative things of the flood are now over, and I've got an olive branch. Now, an olive branch is a branch of peace. And so, the coming of the Holy Spirit as a dove lets you know that conflict has ended and peace is on horizon. According to Psalm 55 verse 6, doves come to bring you rest. "O that I might have wings like a dove so that I could fly away and be at rest".

The reason why you want a Holy Spirit encounter and why you wanna be in dynamic fellowship with this third member of the Trinity, is that he can give you rest in the midst of chaos, because he can give you wings, "Although I had wings like a dove so that I could fly away from being where..." Anybody ever need to fly away from a situation? You need to be able to fly away from, say, if you ever seen a dove fly, they can fly quickly. Because sometime you want a quick escape, from an emotional, physical, or circumstantial or relational scenario. "O that I have wings like a dove so that I could get to a place of rest".

We live in a world of chaos, and conflict, and doom, and gloom. The Holy Spirit is the sensitive member of the Trinity. Isaiah 38 verse 14 talks about how they were cool when things are coming close to them, they will react. The Holy Spirit is the sensitive member of the Trinity, but watch this, stay with me, but he is the member of the Trinity who has specifically been placed on earth to work with us now. The Holy Spirit cannot be changed. He reacts quickly to things emotionally.

Now, why do you need to know that? You remember last time Jesus said, "The Holy Spirit will be with you and will be in you". Since the Holy Spirit is alongside of you, and at the same time within you, and he is sensitive, he gonna be reacting to stuff. If he's unhappy, you're gonna be unhappy. If he's sad, you're gonna be sad. If he's frustrated, you are gonna be frustrated, because he is in you and with you. Some of the emotional ups and downs we are going through as Christians, is simply us feeling what the Spirit is feeling inside of us. In other words, if you have made the Holy Spirit unhappy, don't be surprised you are unhappy, because he is unhappy in you. Conversely, if you make him happy, you'll be happy, because the Holy Spirit is not only with you, he is in you, and since he is the sensitive member of the Trinity, you are going to experience his sensitivity, unless you get rid of it. We'll talk about that in a moment. So like it or not, regardless of your personality, you have somebody in you, who will react quickly because he is sensitive.

Now, the Holy Spirit, he's called holy is because he is pure, that means unmixed, undivided, totally separate from evil, so we must relate. When you are around a sensitive person, you kind of have to kind of watch what you say, or how you say it, 'cause you know they'll get a little squeamish on you, you know, and you'll say, "Well, I ain't mean anything". But because they're sensitive, they felt you meant something. So let's get this straight now, if you are a Christian, there is a very sensitive person with you and in you. You might not be sensitive, but he is, okay? And since the Bible calls him a he, then men can be sensitive too.

Now, look at Ephesians chapter 4. Ephesians chapter 4, beginning with verse 25. "Therefore laying aside all falsehood speaks truth, each of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry and yet do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals, steal no longer, but rather let him labor performing with his own hands what is good so that he will have something to share with the one who has need". Watch this, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption".

The Holy Spirit is sensitive, so that he is easily grieved. Let me say that again. He is easily saddened. He easily cries. He easily feels pain and he is in you and beside you, and he quickly grieves. What makes the Holy Spirit weep, grieve, get sad inside of you or with you? Two things. "Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth". You grieve him with your tongue. The Holy Spirit is grieved when you use unwholesome language designed to tear down and not build up. That means the Holy Spirit is listening to your vocabulary, because unwholesome words causes him to be sad because, and you can't get rid of it because you're sealed with it. He says, "The Holy Spirit is locked in you," so you can't get rid of the sadness 'cause you can't get rid of him. But he gets real sensitive when he sees you talking the wrong talk.

Ephesians 5:4, puts it this way, "And there must be no filthiness or silly talk of coarse jesting which are not fitting, but the rather of giving thanks". So every time you use profanity, every time you cuss, every time you tell dirty jokes, every time you take your tongue and you use it as a illegitimate weapon, the Holy Spirit reacts. The Holy Spirit is watching your mouth and the devil is watching your mouth. Both of them are listening to your talk, and when the devil sees illegitimate use of the tongue, it becomes an open door to invade the life. So one of the reasons we can't get over stuff, is the Spirit's crying and the devil is happy. The devil is happy, the Spirit is crying, and as a result, there is no work of the Spirit in our lives because we are letting the devil's tongue control our speech. And once that happens and the Holy Spirit shuts down on you because he's been grieved by you or by me, then the reason he's been given to us, is not operative.

And that's why see all the devil needs is an opportunity. He says, "Don't give the devil an opportunity". You don't have to formally invite him in, all you have to do is be talking wrong talk, and the wrong talk is his invitation to take advantage of the opportunity. So he is saying, you gotta watch your mouth if you don't wanna make the Holy Spirit. Now I know we quote the Holy Spirit, "Greater is he that's in you than he that's in the world". And the Holy Spirit is greater than the devil except when you don't have a rock in your mouth. Because when you don't put a rock in your mouth, that is control your tongue, you have given the Holy Spirit get sad, Satan gets glad, and now he can take over the operation, which leads to the second reason that grieves the Holy Spirit. He's grieved according to Ephesians chapter 4 verse 25 and following, when we are hurting other people.

When you are illegitimately hurting another person, the Holy Spirit is grieved, saddened, because he's real sensitive. And when he gets saddened, his work is not, and I'm gonna show you that in a moment, activated in your life and in your circumstance. The Holy Spirit, Isaiah chapter 63, verse 10, let me read that. Isaiah 63 verse 10 reads as follows, "But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. Therefore he turned himself to become their enemy and he, God, fought against them". So watch this. When the Holy Spirit is saddened by your speech or how you are treating people wrongly, illegitimately, then the Bible says, "God stops working for you and starts working against you," because he's too sad inside of you.

So when God the Father sees you take the third member of the Trinity and make him cry, he not gonna help you by making one of his Godhead weep, because they are interconnected, intertwined and close. So by our speech and how we relate, that's why 1 John 4, you can read the chapter, the whole chapter almost talks about how you relate to others affect how God relates to you. So if you are mean spirited, if you're nasty to other people, just if you're cursing out people, if you're doing all of this, God says, "Not only will I not help you, I will work against you". It's easy to hurt and to be harsh. He doesn't condemn joking, he condemns coarse jesting.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 says, "Quench not the Holy Spirit". Quench, that's a picture of a fire that you pour water on, to quench the fire, put the fire out. "Quench not the Holy Spirit". Because one of the Holy Spirit's job is to convict you when you're off. One of the Holy Spirit's job is to say to you, "You shouldn't have said that". Or "You shouldn't say what you thinking about saying". Many of us have been hit by the Holy Spirit's trying to hold us back and we poured water on it. In other words, we hushed it, we turned the alarm off and we quench, we pour water on the Holy Spirit. Because what the Holy Spirit does, is he creates a burn, a discomfort about our actions or reactions. What do we do? You've got a dove inside of you.

Doves are very sensitive and very pure. They retreat quickly, they react quickly, and you can't do anything about it if you're a Christian because you've been sealed, he says, till the day of redemption. So you may not be a sensitive person, but you carry sensitivity inside of you, and with you, because that is what the dove is. We'll close by looking at James chapter 4. James chapter 4. James in the first ten verses talks about our relationship with God. In the first 3 verses, he talks about prayers not being answered and wrong motives. When we pray about conflict, he says, "And you have not because you ask not or when you pray, you have wrong motivation".

And so, he complains, what is the problem? He comes in verse 4, "You adulteresses you do not know friendship with the world is hostility toward God. Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God". He's writing to Christians. What's the problem? Here it is, verse 5. "Or do you not think that the scripture speaks to no purpose? He jealously desires the Spirit which he has made to dwell in us". Let me tell you something about the Holy Spirit, he's jealous. "He jealously desires the Spirit," don't miss that. We're told, that "God, He, jealously desires the Spirit which has been made to dwell in us".

So he is talking to Christians. The Spirit is in you, and He, God, jealously desires the Spirit which is in you. So God the Father is jealous that the Holy Spirit who is in you is not compromised. God is jealous, that you only want to be intimate with him. So he says, "Friendship with the world," that's the other lover. "Friendship with the world," that's the side piece. "Friendship with the world," he says, "Makes you an enemy of God," but he's talking to people who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. He says that, "When you do that, you become a double-minded believer, you become an undecided voter". You're trying to mix AM and FM. Unleaded and diesel. And he says, "And you cannot be a friend of mine, I am jealous for the Spirit".

When the Spirit sees that you love the world, that system headed by Satan that leaves God out, "When the Spirit and I see I'm jealous for him, you hanging out with the world, I can't be your friend too". And so, many Christians are enemies of God. Many Christians are living in spiritual conflict, not knowing that it's because of a jealousy issue. The Father is jealous that you're messing with the Spirit in your commitment to the world. He is jealous for you, and that leads to not hearing his voice, not seeing him work. God is not interested in gold diggers. Folk who only want from him, but don't want a relationship with him. Who just want the benefits, but who don't care about the relationship.

So what do we do to get back on track? We're told in verse 7 of James 4, "Submit to God and resist the devil, draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep, let your laughter be turned into mourning and let your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and he will exalt you". If you and God aren't close like you wanna be or used to be, he hasn't moved. So he says, "Draw near to me, and I'll draw near to you 'cause I ain't going anywhere, I'm in my spot, but you keep moving over to the door. And the way you do that, is because you want the world more than you want intimacy with me".

So the issue today is to draw near. Drawing near is more than going to church. Church is important, church has its place, but it cannot replace daily wanting to draw near. Sensitive folk remember stuff, and God knows that just because you are here this morning, he knows that you're gonna forsake him tomorrow. So he wants you to draw near to him and no longer leave him out of your everyday life, decisions, choices, goals, that he is now included in all of life, and he promises you, if you will come to him and repentance, if you will acknowledge him, he will draw near to you, to me, and to us, and give us a fresh experience of his Spirit at home in our hearts.
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