Peter & The Holy Spirit: A New PowerSeptember 16, 2015
Peter & The Holy Spirit Series: “Listen”October 1, 2015
Yes, I am Simon Peter, the apostle, but I am just a man. An ordinary man. Like you. But I am not like you. I have learned to live with the power of the Holy Spirit. Of course this does not mean I am better than you, or that I am spiritually superior to you. It just means I am living with a power you likely are not.
I didn’t always have it, this power. Before I met Jesus I didn’t have it at all. I was all about my power. “Self” was in charge, and I was as blind as a man could be. Oh, I thought my life was good, even great at times – (especially when my wife Ruth was acting right!) But looking back I can see just how lost I was, and how much I was missing it. You see, back then I didn’t know what I didn’t know. That is how blind I was.
Surely you have heard about how Jesus sent us out on two different trips without him, and how we disciples actually performed miracles, healing the lame and the sick.
But this just goes to demonstrate what I’m talking about. I was still blind, even after experiencing this healing power myself. Because it was still all about me. Self was still in charge and I was still viewing Jesus through a lens of what he could do for me. Why? Because I did not yet have the Spirit living in me.
Knowledge will only get you so far. Knowledge, without the Spirit, will not, cannot, transform you, and might even take you in the wrong direction. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them, because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Even experience will leave you blind, because experience fades, or perhaps just leaves you with feelings. Our experience over those years with Jesus did change us, a little, but it was only with and through the Holy Spirit were we transformed.
I knew Jesus was the Son of God, and I knew only he could guide me to a better life. But I still thought it was “Jesus plus.” I thought it was Jesus: plus my job, plus my income, plus my success. Jesus plus my wife and children. Jesus plus my efforts. Jesus plus my religious performance.
You see even after these miracles it was still Jesus plus … Peter.
Back then Self was my master. Self was always in control. I have come to see Self – what many call the flesh – as my #1 enemy. Of course I know my #1 enemy is Satan, but when Satan dominates Self, he has you right where he wants you. You are defeated, and you don’t even know it.
You see I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know the Holy Spirit. I was still operating in my own power. For example, the night Jesus was arrested I panicked because it was my kingdom that was threatened. And even though this was a very public failure on my part, it had played itself out many times before in the less public details of my life.
But then came that incredible morning, three days after the crucifixion. Jesus was alive! I saw him. He spoke to me, to all of us. We had seen him dead, and even buried. And now we saw him alive.
That changed everything for us, right? Wouldn’t that change everything for you?
I know you are certain you would be a completely transformed person after witnessing this. But I wasn’t. And you wouldn’t be, either. Not without the Holy Spirit indwelling you. Why, I even went back to my old way of life a few weeks later. Can you imagine that? I went back to my fishing business. The kingdom of Peter back in business!
Do you see the theme here? Can you open your eyes to the reality of my life, even after the resurrection? And to yours? No Holy Spirit, no transformation.
What I have learned over all these years is without the Spirit’s indwelling, you won’t know what you don’t know.