Life In The Spirit Part 2

The Leadership Of The Holy Spirit Helps Us Experience God As Our Father

Tim Lundy
May 29, 2022    43m
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How do you view God's role in your life? When you believe in Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and you are immediately adopted into the family of God as his child. The leadership of the Holy Spirit helps you recognize and experience God as your loving Father. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:08] Well, good morning, Venture. I want to welcome all of you who are here. And I also want to welcome those who are watching from the classic service, we're glad to have you. And all of you who are watching online, all of you are catching the service, maybe as a family, you're watching together. And then some of you who will be watching this during the week, or maybe listening to this in your car as you drive, we're so thankful that you're here, that you're a part of it. We're so thankful that as a church family, we can connect in all of these different ways across different mediums, across different venues.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:08] And I'm excited today because as I told you last week, this is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible. It's one of the most exciting chapters because it talks about a person that we don't talk about enough, and I'm talking about the Holy Spirit. It talks about some of the ministries of the Holy Spirit that we don't emphasize enough. In fact, I would say today, we're going to talk about one of the most important things the Holy Spirit does in our lives. And yet, if I were to ask you right now to list all of the ministries of the Holy Spirit, I would reason to bet that most of you would leave this off the list. What, we're going to talk about what he does in our life, I think most of you don't even think about it because we don't talk about it enough, in fact, we kind of skip over it and move into it. We talk about the Spirit, we talk about gifts and all these other important things that he does. I think what we're talking about today is absolutely vital to your daily walk in Christ, your daily experience in that. And then if we don't really grab this well and understand this well, we miss out on a major part of how God wants to relate to us in life.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:57] Now, as I say that, some of you are kind of offended, you're like, I bet I would put it on the list, we'll find out. Why don't you turn in your Bibles to Romans Chapter 8, or pull it up on your phone with that? If you're here in the room, you can use one of the blue Bibles in front of you. One of the things we're trying to do in this series is, as I read along, you read with me if you can. Now, some of you that maybe you're watching or listening to this in your car, probably not good that you read along, you listen as I read. But for everybody else, if you can pull that up, Romans 8, if you're using one of the blue Bibles around 1121, right in there, you'll find this passage.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:35] And we started it last week, this great ministry, that there's no condemnation in Christ. And we talked about how the Spirit works in our life, and kind of in summary, if you go to verse 12, a summary of what we've been talking about, Paul says in it, "So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." Now, we've been in this extended passage where Paul's talking about, man, how do we live as Christians? How do we live in this daily? We know we've been saved by the work of Christ, but how do we actually experience it in our life, especially around this issue of sin, especially around these issues of the things I don't want to do?

Tim Lundy: [00:03:27] And we saw in 7, Paul's very honest, he says all of us struggle with this old nature, the sinful nature of the flesh, and we do things we don't want to do, we do the things that we shouldn't do, and I don't do the things I want to do in that. And what he's walking us through is the key to this whole experience, this whole wrestling, is the Spirit.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:50] And so in that, you see kind of the summary to bring us to experience the life God designed for me, I must allow the Holy Spirit to be in control. That's where we left it last week, what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? What does it mean to let him actually be in control? What does it mean in life? And even when I say that that can feel kind of strange, maybe that's a new phrase for you. How would the Holy Spirit be in control? It's not like we become zombies, like you wake up and you go, man, if I really become spiritual, the Holy Spirit is in control, and he's just controlling my body in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:22] There's a part of that as we think about it, it's how do I live this in two ways? And we've been talking about it, there's always a no and there's always a yes. The no is, I choose to say no to my flesh or my sinful nature. And so even in this verse, Paul said, hey, through the power of the Spirit, you're putting to death the deeds of the flesh. I don't allow that sinful nature, that sinful part of me, that frankly doesn't want to do what God wants me to do, that deceives me, that convinces me, man, my way is better than God's way, and it's actually robbing me from life. In this passage, Paul said that, he goes, It's really a matter of life and death. Man, do you want to experience life as God designed, or do you want to keep dying? John Owens, he was an old writer back in the 1600s, he had a phrase when he talked about sin. He said, "You must always be killing sin or it will be killing you." And what he means in that is it's keeping you from experiencing that life. Now, the problem for us, a lot of us could talk ourselves into, we see certain sins, but we kind of have our pet issues that we hold on to. Well go, it's not so bad, I'm in control of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:05:36] A great picture of this, several years ago, in The New York Times, they wrote about a young man, he lived in a housing project in Harlem. Antoine Yeats was his name, and he got into collecting exotic animals. Now, remember, he lives in an apartment in a housing project, a big building with that. And he kept adding to his collection, to the point that he ended up adopting a tiger cub, he named it Ming, and he loved Ming, until Ming reached about 400lbs in this apartment. His mother finally had enough, she moved out to a suburb in Philadelphia, she couldn't get away far enough. And at one point, Antoine couldn't even live in the apartment anymore he moved down to a neighbor's apartment, and he would go over to the door and open the door just enough to throw in raw chickens. When authorities finally were alerted, they came in and they got a team with high-powered tranquilizer darts, they were able to shoot Ming, they also discovered a large alligator in there as well. And at his trial, the reporter noted, here came Antoine into the trial, and he had one arm in a sling, another arm that was bandaged as well, all as a result of injuries he received from the tiger. And yet when he talked about the tiger, he was so sad. He said, Ming was my friend, maybe my closest friend in the world. And you look at this guy and you go, you're deceiving yourself into thinking, I can control something that can't be controlled.

Tim Lundy: [00:07:25] That's what Paul's talking about with our flesh and our sin nature. When we reach this point that we kind of go, you know, I could have this part of my life, yeah, I'm going to give this part to God, I'm going to let the Holy Spirit control these parts, but I'm going to kind of hold out in this area. I want you to just picture it for yourself, do you know what you're doing, you've got your own little Ming the tiger and it's only going to grow. And as much as you can think, well, it's just a part of my life, it's killing you. See, you're either killing it or it's killing you, that's the no part.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:02] Now, the yes part, he says, I choose to renew my mind daily and position myself under his leadership. Remember, we talked about this, mind renewal. Last week, I told you about ways that you can renew your mind, ways that you can fill your mind with the things you need to fill it with in order that you're saying yes to Christ all the time. And as we looked at that, it's that positioning myself under his control. So when we're talking about the Holy Spirit, it's not that you become a zombie in that, and sometimes it's hard to think, what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? What does it mean that he's controlling? He's controlling my heart and my mind, I'm positioning myself, I'm thinking about it.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:38] I love how James Smith, he writes, he said the best way he describes it, it's like going to sleep. When you think about it, you can't force yourself to go to sleep, but you can position yourself. Look how he describes it, he says, I cannot choose to fall asleep, the best I can do is to choose to put myself in a posture and rhythm that welcomes sleep. I lie down in bed on my left side with my knees drawn up, I close my eyes and I breathe slowly, putting my plans out of my mind. But the power of my will or consciousness stops there, I want to go to sleep, and I've chosen to climb into bed, but in another sense, sleep is not something under my control or at my beck and call. I call up the visitation of sleep by imitating the breathing and posture of a sleeper, there's a moment when sleep comes settling on this imitation of itself which I've been offering to it, and I succeed in what I was trying to be. Sleep is a gift to be received, not a decision to be made. And yet, it is a gift that requires a posture of reception, a kind of active welcome. And so what he's describing here, and what we've been describing, when you think of being filled by the Spirit, when you think of his control in your life, there's not this point that you can go, okay, I am filled. Boom, he's there. I can't control him, remember, he's God. But I'm putting my life in a posture, just like going to sleep, I put my life in a posture that I go, hey, fill me, I put my heart and mind in that posture of that. And so through his words, through prayer, through thinking on him, through my interaction with other believers, through posturing my heart in a place, just like sleep overcomes me, the life in the Spirit overcomes us and he leads us.

Tim Lundy: [00:10:25] Now when I do that, how does he lead us? And this is where I go back to my opening thing, when you think of the ministries of what the Holy Spirit is going to do in our life, and being led by the Spirit, if I were to ask you, I want you to list out all the things you think the Holy Spirit does in your life, it's fascinating to me when Paul talks about this leadership of the Spirit, what he immediately turns toward of what the Spirit does in our life. Look at it with me and read starting verse 14, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

Tim Lundy: [00:11:28] I want you to go down to verse 26 because he's picking up on the same theme of this Ministry of the Spirit and how he leads us. Look in verse 26, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." And so as we look at this, here's the fascinating thing, here's where I would go. One of the key ways that the Spirit leads us, when you put him in control, he leads us in how we see God, and how we actually interact with the father.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:13] You can see the point in your notes, a key part of the Spirit's leadership is how we see and interact with God as Father, how we see God as Father, I mean, right out of the gate, and this is what's fascinating to me, because remember, we're talking about struggling with sin. We're talking about how do I put to death these old things? How do I really embrace this life of Christ? And I think for many of us, we would move, okay, leadership of the Spirit, man, all right, let's deal with some sins, let's go. Come on, Spirit, let's focus on what I'm doing wrong and how to get my life in gear and all these things. And the Spirit goes, whoa, whoa, whoa, let's start our leadership here. How do you think about God? How do you relate to the Father? Do you even know how to relate to him in the way that you should?

Tim Lundy: [00:13:02] A.W. Tozer, the writer, I've always loved this quote. He says, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." When you just stop and go think God, Tozer saying that moment, whatever you think of is the most important thing about you, that it will literally shape the rest of your life. Another theologian, J.I. Packer, he puts it this way. I want you to listen to this quote, he says, "If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God's child and having God as his Father.: Now, if you know anything about Packer, I mean, he is an unbelievable, writer, theologian, all these deep thoughts. But Packer says, hey, if you want to start with how well somebody really understands what it means to be a Christian. I think for many of us we would immediately go, well, they need to understand the atonement, they need to understand this, all these other doctrines. Packer goes, no, here's your starting point, how do they understand God as Father? He says if this is not the thought that prompts and controls his whole outlook on life, he does not understand Christianity very well.

Tim Lundy: [00:14:15] And again, I think this point and this ministry of the Spirit is so important on the topic that we're talking about, because we're talking about, man, I'm struggling with sin, I'm struggling with the parts of my life that I want to put to death, I'm talking about how do I look more like Jesus. And Paul immediately says, here's what you've got to embrace, in order to experience that kind of life change, when the Spirit starts leading your life, one of the first things he's going to force you to wrestle with or want you to focus on is how do you understand God as Father?

Tim Lundy: [00:14:50] And the reason this is so important, just in years of doing ministry, you know, I've been a pastor 30 something years now. And as I interact with people, especially in counseling at different times, man, I have seen there are so many different ways that we can see God. And it does impact you, it impacts your daily walk, and it impacts how you relate with him. For some people, they see God as a watchful police officer, he's the watchful police officer who's watching all the time and ready to write a ticket. Have you ever had that experience, you're driving down the road and you look in your rearview mirror and there's a police officer behind you? For me, I don't know why, I get nervous. Does anybody else feel nervous? Like you're suddenly like, you know, you're going, am I in the lane, are my hands at ten and two? And especially if they stay behind you, you're kind of like, okay, what's going on? Am I going fast enough? And you're going to find me like, okay, I'm going to go like one mile below the speed limit. And man, you're working those blinkers, you're doing everything you do because there's just this sense of nervousness about, man, he's watching. And for some of you, when I say that whole concept of being led by the Spirit, letting him be in control of your life for you, you know what that feels like? It feels like inviting a police officer to drive behind me all the time, and I don't know if I really want that. It's because you see God this way.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:30] For some, it's even more than that, they see God just as the angry judge. You know, you've screwed up, you know what you've done. And you know, man, if I were to really face it with God, he's going to throw the book at me. Probably well deserved, because he's got a little bit of a temper and he can't wait to point it out.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:54] It was fascinating, years ago. I don't even know if they still have it, but when a lot of the apps were coming out and some of the first games that came out on the Apple phone, one of the most popular games was this game called Pocket God. And you got to be the God over a little island with these islanders. And as God, you could decide what you wanted to do with them. Listen to the options, though, here's what's fascinating, when we're designing what it means to be God. Here are the options, you can throw the islanders into a volcano. You can use islanders as shark bait. You can go bowling for islanders with a large rock. You can create earthquakes to destroy the Islander's village. Everything about it means the sense of this is what it means to be God, you get to mess with them and pick on them.

Tim Lundy: [00:17:42] And yet a lot of people, it's fascinating to me and sometimes I'll talk to people that have been far from God and I'll invite them, hey, you ought to come to service, come to church. And I've heard this phrase more than once where they'll go, Oh, no, if I came into a church on Sunday morning, God would strike me with lightning, whoo, if you knew all the things I did. And there's part of it where like I'm fascinated, like, he already knows, he's not waiting for you to come to church. Like, suddenly you walk in and he goes, what, you've been doing that? But see, this sense of God is shaping all of their interaction, it's shaping some of your interaction.

Tim Lundy: [00:18:26] For some, he's a demanding boss, I can fall into this. I'm not saying a bad boss, but a demanding boss, that there's a lot that he wants me to do and I'm trying to stay up on it. And I kind of got my checklist, and when I'm going through the checklist, I check in with the Boss. And I could find myself reverting to this place that I think God is happy with me if I've been the good employee, that did all the things that he wants me to do. But you can reach this point, where starts getting a little exhausting, we feel like maybe the list is longer than I can keep up with, and in those moments, you don't really want to check in with the boss. Or when you know that you've not kept the list, and you find yourself pulling back.

Tim Lundy: [00:19:18] The universal one that I found the most with different people is this one, God's a distant Father, he's a distant Father. I know he's God the Father, but you know, he's out there. I don't know that he really cares about me or is noticing me. Or sometimes there's some distance between people and God, and unfortunately, so often this has been created because of so many wounds’ people have with their own fathers. Where Dad wasn't there, maybe it was through divorce, maybe it's through death. Or maybe Dad was there, but he wasn't there, there was an emotional distance in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:14] You know, in my years and years of teaching men, in particular, there's a lot of us that have a father wound, and it impacts how we see God. In fact, one of the saddest quotes I read recently was from Bo Jackson. For those of your younger, you may not realize, that Bo Jackson is the greatest athlete that ever walked this planet. I mean, he could do everything, and he played pro football, he played pro baseball, at an all-star level with both of them until he had an injury. I remember watching him when he was in college at Auburn, and then when he went into baseball, the minor league team he was in would come to my hometown in Memphis and play and watching Bo Jackson hit home runs out of a minor league park, it was unbelievable. Listen to this quote from Bo, though. He said, "My father has never seen me play a football or a baseball game, not a single game. He says, can you imagine? Here I am, Bo Jackson, one of the so-called premier athletes in the country. And after the game, I'm sitting in the locker room and I'm envying every one of my teammates who is dad would come in and talk or have a drink with them after the game. I never got to experience that." Do you feel that woundedness? Do you feel the distance? You look at it, for many of us, we would go, man, Bo Jackson, he arrived at a level, and at a heart level, he's going, man, I've got a gap here.

Tim Lundy: [00:21:50] And I've talked to so many people over the years, they feel that same gap, that distance. And whether we realize it or not, it is often shaping how we see God. I remember years ago, I was preaching a message on having a close relationship with God, and how it transformed your life. And I had a guy come down, he'd been a part of the church. He came down and he goes, hey, I want to get together and talk. And so we met, and as we met, he goes, I hear you, you've been talking about having this close relationship with God, there's part of it that's intriguing. But he said, I don't ever want to do that to my family. I was, like, confused, I was like, wait for a second, how does having a close relationship with God, it's bad for your family? He says, it is horrible for your family, so I've kind of chosen I'm not going to be close with God because I love my family too much, and I was like, there's a disconnect here somewhere.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:45] The guy's name was Ben. I was like, Ben, tell me about your family growing up. And he said, well, my dad was a pastor. And I was like, Oh, I think I know where this is going. He says, you know, he was a good man, very faithful in his job, but very harsh at home. And boy, that's a hard environment, that Christian environment that is really firm in that, probably all the right doctrine, but, man, an environment where it's hard as a kid. And as he was talking a little bit, he kind of was meandering all over. So at some point, I was just like, hey, Ben, just, if you were to describe your dad in three short phrases, how would you describe him? And he said, Well, I guess he loved me, yeah, he loved me. But he was always watching, always waiting for me to mess up, and he couldn't wait to jump in and point out when I did. I was like, oh, man, that's tough. And we got to talk a little more, and then we moved over into just relating with God, and finally, at one point, he again, he was kind of meandering with it, and I said, hey, Ben, if you were to describe God in three ways, how would you describe him? And when he wasn't even thinking about it, but he started talking, he said, well, you know, he loves me, I guess he loves me. Yeah, he loves me, but he's always watching, always waiting for me to mess up, and he can't wait to jump in when I do. And even as he said the last phrase, it was kind of like the light bulb went off, well, that sounds exactly like Dad. And in that moment, we just sat in it for a moment, and I just said, Ben, no wonder you don't want to have a close relationship with that God.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:03] There are a lot more people, maybe all of us, but some of you, you had a great relationship with your dad, I'm so thankful. Don't, hear me, don't take it for granted, don't take it for granted. One of my best friends, he's been phenomenally successful in business, in different fields, different companies. I mean, lead, was the CEO of a Fortune 200 company, and different ways with it. One of the things I've always loved about him is he has an unbelievable relationship with his dad, and it impacts the way he sees life, it impacts how he sees God. In fact, my friend will say...Because he'll do these things, and these great things happen, and he'll always say God loves me and he knows it to his core. And I think part of the reason that he knows it so deeply is his dad. So if you've had that, if you've got a relationship with your father, and it's coming up on Father's Day with that, man, don't take that for granted.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:08] But here's what we all want, is that devoted Dad, that devoted Dad, not a distant Father, but a devoted Dad. I mean, I know I wanted that, my dad died when I was six years old, he died in a car wreck. I went years without a dad, several years later, my mom remarried my stepfather, he was a believer, he's a good man in a lot of ways, but didn't know really how to be a dad, didn't know how to connect emotionally, lot of distance there. And teenage years meant you're growing up and you long for that, and they ultimately ended up divorcing as well.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:51] There were things, I didn't even realize that gaps that were there until Lea and I were dating, and she was the oldest of five kids, and she had siblings that were all the way down, even in elementary school when we were dating. And I remember coming over to her household and being at her house and watching her dad interact with the kids. And I can't tell you how many times I'd look up and I'd go, oh, dads do that for you? Well, that would have been nice, and getting this crash course of what that looks like in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:27:27] Here's my point with it, I think all of us long for a devoted Dad, but many of us struggle with believing that God could be this in our life. We long for this, but we struggle with really believing it at a hard level. at a core level. I know I have in even relating to God, I think based on those gaps with that. The thing that's probably helped me the most is having kids and getting to be a dad. I mean, I still remember, and we went through almost nine years of infertility and all the struggles and all the heartache of it, I still remember the day when Kate Lundy was born in Baylor Hospital. I remember holding that baby girl for the first time, I remember the feelings inside, I did not know I had the capacity to love like that. And as I held her, I was sitting there just looking at her and everything in me said, I love you and I'll love you for the rest of your life, no matter what. And in that moment, God said to me, that's how I feel about you. I wish you'd embrace that; I wish you'd believe that.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:46] See, it is so fundamental, and I think all of us long for this, we long, but we struggle to believe that he could be that in our lives. So one of the core ministries that the Holy Spirit does, when you look at this passage, he shows us that God is our devoted Dad. I mean, you look at the attributes of a devoted dad and walk through this passage with it. Look at it, the first one, he really wants us in his family. He says we don't have a spirit of slavery, we have a spirit of adoption, that God adopted us, God adopted you. Out of all the ways God could have chosen to relate to us, and He still would have been a good God, if God saved us and brought us into His Kingdom as slaves, he still would have been a good God, we didn't deserve that. If he saved us and brought us as just citizens of the kingdom. If he had saved us and decided, I'll make you one of my neighbors, you get to be near me, all of those things would have been awesome. Do you know what he chose to do? He saved us and he adopted us, he made us family. And adoption, for those of us who have adopted children in our family, it is not an easy process, there are a lot of ups and downs that go with it. But, you know, at the very core of it, the very core is a parent or parents coming together and looking at a child and saying, I want you to be a part of our family and choosing to love them unconditionally in that. And some of you, do you know what you need to hear today? God wanted you, God chose you, God made you family. Not a servant, not an employee, not somebody that's got to go earn your worth, you're his son, you're his daughter. He looked at you in all of your brokenness and said, yeah, I want you, I want you in my family. See, we don't have a spirit of slavery, we have a spirit of adoption.

Tim Lundy: [00:31:01] The second thing he shows, he's welcoming and approachable. Look that phrase in there where he says as we go to the Father and we can call out to him, "Abba! Father!" Abba! Father! I mean, just think about that phrase, that Abba is like daddy. It's like the court thing, in fact, in almost every culture, if you look at in every language, little children have a little phrase where it's a double repeat of like papa, dada, and Abba is the same. It's that at the core level, like a child crying out to their father, they don't know any other word, but they know how to say, oh, there's Dad, that's how I can approach him.

Tim Lundy: [00:31:49] I remember when I would come home when the kids were little, I used to love it, especially when they were real little. I mean, there's nothing better, when you're a dad and you walk in and you hear that, daddy, daddy, they start running. You know, mom, who's been there all day is like, yay, Daddy. Yeah, so glad you celebrate with dad. But if you're dad, you're like, yes. Now, when they come to you, especially when they're little, they're a mess. You know, you've got a bunch of kids, somebody always has something, there's snot all over their face, their hands are all gunky. But you never once look at him as dad and go, woah, why don't you get your life cleaned up, and then we will interact child. No, what do you do? You pick them up in all the mess and all the gunk. See, the Holy Spirit wants us to realize that even in the mess and the struggle and all the mess of my life, I never have to be afraid of running to God and calling out, Abba. Daddy. And never once will he look at me and go, why don't you get your act together first?

Tim Lundy: [00:33:05] See, look at this as well, what else do we see? We respect him, but we're not afraid of him. We respect him. He says we don't have to fall back into a spirit of fear, notice, he says fall back. We used to live our life afraid all the time. You don't have to be afraid when God's your Father, no, you respect him. And as a dad, this is that balance I want to have all the time, I need my children to respect me, not because I'm so great, but because of the role God's given me in their life, and part of that respect is disciplining them. Hebrews says that God's a good Father, he disciplines us, so there's a respect that comes out of it. Why does he discipline us? Because he doesn't want our life caught up, he doesn't want Ming. The tiger's running our lives, so he disciplines us to go, hey, you've got to deal with that, but I don't have to be afraid of Him. And as a dad, I struggle with balancing that well. I always want to make sure, man, I want them to respect me, and I never want my children afraid of me. I don't always do this perfectly, but here's what I know, God always does. That's why John says, "Perfect love casts out fear." And he also tells us that God is love. So the God who is perfect love, always knows this perfect balance of when he's disciplining me, I always know it's out of perfect love. I want to respect him, but I don't ever have to be afraid of him.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:34] Look at this, we can talk to him at a heart level. We can talk to him at a heart level. I'm not just talking about a matter-of-fact level; I could talk with my very heart. That passage in 26 and 27 says the Holy Spirit searches your heart, even when you don't know how to pray, he helps you pray. Even when you don't know how to talk to him, he knows what's really going on in your heart. And that's a fascinating verse to me, I think about it, especially when I was a teenager, my stepfather was a very quiet, man, and he didn't know really how to carry on a conversation. And I don't mean this is a fault, but I can remember several times, if it was a matter of fact, if it was about chores around the house, or if was something that needed to be done or something, we could talk then. But the few times I would try to kind of open up with like what was going on in my life, I can remember it, one time I was just asking him, I said, hey, what would you do here? And he just sat there silently, and then he just stared at me, and then he got up. And I had this implicit message, you don't talk to him about these kinds of things. And I think there's the heart of every child, that you want to be able to share what's really going on. And I love that God, our Father, knows this about us so much, and he knows we struggle doing this with him, that one of the things the Holy Spirit helps us do is discover our own hearts, that He knows what's going on, it says that he shares it with the Father. God cares so much about what's going on at a deep level, at a heart level with you, that the Holy Spirit is always mining your heart so that you can talk to him that way, you can open up.

Tim Lundy: [00:36:14] I mean, I think about the fact, there's on this planet right now, people who are putting themselves through all different rituals and all different ways in order to try to pray to their God. There are people that will bow five times a day, and they've got to face the right direction. There are people that do all different rituals and sacrifices, and they offer all different things, they're doing all these things just to be able to pray to their God. And our God, on the flip side of it says, hey, even where you don't know how to pray, I'll search your heart, I'll help you, I'll discover what's really going on. Because that's what a good Dad does, and he's a good Father.

Tim Lundy: [00:36:57] The final thing is, He loves to provide for and even reward his kids. He loves to provide. He says in this passage that you are sons of God, children of God, coheirs with Christ. Now, if you're a female, you go, I don't really want to be a son of God, I want to be a daughter of God. He's not being sexist here, here's what Paul's pointing out, back in that culture, the only people that got the inheritance were sons, and usually, it was the first-born son that got the bulk of it and everybody else got a little bit. And so he's writing to men and women, and do you know what he's saying? It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, you get the inheritance too. And not only a part of the inheritance, your co-heirs with Christ, the firstborn, has decided to share all of it with you.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:50] Whether you realize it or not, you're one of God's favorites, and he loves to lavish his favorites. Now as parents, we can't choose favorites because we're so limited, if you choose a favorite, you're rewarding one over the other. But when you're God and you're unlimited, you can make all the kids favorites, and that's the beauty of our God, he treats all of us that way. And I just would ask that you maybe look at your own heart as you think about that because I think for those of us who've been a part of the church for a long time, sometimes we forget all that he's lavishing us with.

Tim Lundy: [00:38:34] Do you know that famous parable of the prodigal son? Remember the story of the prodigal? You've got the one kid who blew it and the father who wraps his arms around him and loves him and is gracious, we know that. But there's another brother in that story, remember the other brother, the other brother who did all the right things, the other brother who was always faithful. The other brother, when he sees the party going on, he loses it, he's so mad. And remember what he said, he said, I've been here doing everything I was supposed to do, and I didn't get a party. Do you remember what the father said to him? He said you're my son. And I remember this line, he says, everything I have is yours. I'd love to celebrate you, you're the one that turned yourself into a servant, not me, I never wanted to relate to you that way.

Tim Lundy: [00:39:32] Guys, we need this kind of Dad. We need the kind of Dad who wanted us, who welcomes us, who we don't have to be afraid of him, and we can talk to him, and at the very heart level who loves to reward us and promises it. Some of you go, well, I'm not as rewarded as others. God is not really worried about the reward on this side of eternity, he's much more concerned that you could enjoy it forever, so you could trust him with that.

Tim Lundy: [00:40:02] But I come back to this Ministry of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us to experience God as our Devoted Dad, that's what He's doing in our life. So the question for you is, if you don't see God that way, then you need to give the Spirit control of those parts of your heart. As I'm preaching today, I'm preaching to me, by the way, because I can struggle with this, too, here's what I realized, if I don't see God that way, I could just write it off and go, Well, I'm never going to experience God that way, I've got wounds in my life, and I've got issues, I didn't have a devoted dad and I didn't have that, so I'm just never going to experience that. God doesn't settle for that, why should I? And so here's what I have to realize, oh, there must be parts of my heart that I've not given the Spirit control, maybe there are wounds I've not dealt with, maybe there's part of my faith that I really don't have faith that God would love me like that. And so instead of just writing it off as this thing I wish I had, I look at it and go, okay, this is an area, Spirit, you say you lead in these ways, lead me in these ways. And maybe you need to even ask him today to lead you fully into seeing and experiencing the Dad that God longs to be in your life. Maybe you can't even see him this way, like Ben, because there's so much baggage in the way. Maybe you've never even allowed yourself to go there because it's hard to believe God could love you that much.

Tim Lundy: [00:41:35] Guys, when we talk about this leadership of the Spirit, here's a practical way to let him lead, that for every single one of us, we'd come and we'd examine and go, God, I don't even know how to approach you as Dad in the right way, will you lead me in that? Will you show me where I'm holding out? Will you show me where I'm confused? Would you give me a heart of faith and a heart of love to be able to experience you as Abba, Father, my devoted Dad today?

Tim Lundy: [00:42:12] Let's pray. Father, I do thank you, I just thank you for this passage, it's so powerful because it speaks at such a deep level for all of us. We all long for this, you created us to long for this because you are our Heavenly Father, you're the God who's always been, Father. You're the perfect Father for all eternity, and you made us to long for that in our lives. Lord, I pray for those, even as they hear this, they've been deeply wounded in this life, sometimes by dad, maybe it's been by someone else, and it's hard to really believe you could be this. Lord, I pray that you would help them to put themselves in a posture where the Spirit could lead in this part of their lives. Lord, I pray for each of us today, that we would rest in the fact that you are Abba, Father, our Devoted Dad, and that we get to share in all the riches of the true firstborn son, Jesus Christ, because of his love for us. And we pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600