Fig Leaves and other Christian Coverings – Part 4

“Developing Intimacy with the Holy Spirit’

14 December 2008


1.      Introduction:

·   Genesis 3:7-10  -  Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

·   They could have chosen to humble themselves and receive god’s forgiveness. They had a choice, run to God or run away from God and be in control of their own world.

·   To run to God brings forgiveness and mercy.

·   Run away from God = hide, angry reaction, not talking or opening up. Rather control own world; fear and shame operating.

·   Fig Leaves     - coverings we use to avoid facing pain, failure, and brokenness.

-    our own attempts to control our world and prevent further pain.

-    Our resistance to receiving the help and provision for Adam and Eve to be covered.

·   Keys to Change:

i)        Develop awareness of life: feelings, behaviors, reactions, repeated patterns. Let someone else give you feedback.

ii)       Commit to the process of personal change and growth. Be honest, confess to people. Change how you think. Let God work in your own life then you will be open to other people.

iii)     Deepen intimacy with the Holy Spirit. God makes provision, He wants to help, He works in our life, it comes at a cost and pain is involved.


2.      Intimacy with Holy Spirit:

·   John 14:16-18  -  The Promise of the Holy Spirit.

·   God’s Promise:  You will not be orphaned, not be left abandoned and alone, you don’t have to do life on your own.

·   Comforter = 3875 – paraclete one who is called alongside as lack, legal assisted.

·   Holy Spirit is:

·   Spirit of TruthJohn 14:17 – nothing is covered over; He will uncover the deepest darkest area of your life. He will bring us into revelation of all truth. He will tell you what’s going on, if you don’t listen, He will send a person.

·   Spirit of SonshipRomans 8:15 – Spirit of adoption. The work of the Spirit is to coach and help you grow. To be a productive ambassador, He won’t leave you immature.

·   Spirit of GraceHebrews 10:29 – He brings you to maturity to be a son of the Father and to bring you into a greater area of life.

·   He will be in you – ‘I must connect and deepen my inner world’.

·   You must develop inner life. God impart in us the Holy Spirit, He is given to us, a friend, comforter and coach.

·   Ephesians 3:16  -  “Strengthen with might through His Spirit in the inner man”. From within you, the love of God will dwell in our heart, be more productive in showing the love of God.

·   Intimacy  = feeling of being close together.

                     = feeling of being in a close loving relationship.

·   Love, respect and be aware of the Holy Spirit.

·   Everyday the Holy Spirit is ready to empower you for day. Just to be a good person doesn’t empower you.

·   To work with God, we must prosper in our soul as well, if not, life won’t produce great fruit, won’t have a strong inner life.

·   Fallen people = they covered themselves, had fig leaves on their inner life that weren’t uncovered and dealt with.


3.  Slow Down:

·   E.g. Boat: ‘The faster it goes the shallower it gets’.

·   To create awareness and familiarity with the Presence of God you must slow down!

·   Luke 10:27,38  -  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart”.

= be constantly conscious of His presence and love.

= slow down the business of the soul, demands and tasks.

·   Pressure on time will increase in the last days.

= People get busy, preoccupied, disconnected, electronic busyness, demands.

= Loneliness and disconnection sets in.

·   Key issue is slowing down to pay attention to God. Prioritize, enjoy Him and listen. Make a choice to enjoy the Presence of God and listen to what He has to say. Be aware of people not just the tasks list also be aware of self, where you are at.

·   Luke 10:38-42  -  Mary and Martha.

a)     Martha  - busy, fragmented, pressured, lost of ‘have to do this’.

      -  irritable, anxious, lonely, disconnected, demanding.    

b)     Mary -  being with Jesus, enjoy His presence, attentive to His words.

·   Slow Down!

a)     At home – to be aware, attentive, connect with loved once.

b)     At work – to be aware attentive of staff and co-workers.

c)     Personally – Pay attention to what is happening within you, the Holy Spirit brings you to maturity, to grow up.

-    People get busy to avoid pain, disappointment, discourage.

-    When avoiding facing inner life it breaks out, often in sin.

-    Need to become aware what’s happening within. The Holy Spirit wants you to grow up.

-    Journal

-    You are not a machine, a robot, a human ‘doing’ – a person worthy of love.

-    To slow down is to recognize God is in control. God can be in control of the world as I connect with God.

-    Fear = God can’t be trusted; we need to control the world. You can’t be God. We’ve got limits.


4.  Deepen Connection with the Holy Spirit – Become aware of God:

·   Philippians 2:1  -  the Fellowship of the Spirit.

·   Fellowship = 2842  =  koinonia = associate, communicate, intimacy.

·   Intimacy = talking to, listening to, being with – enjoying presence.

                    = engage in your heart to God. You must be alone with God. Have solitude.

·    How can I Develop this?

i)        Daily DevotionMark 1:35

*Prayer         *Word of God         *Journaling

ii)       Praise Pauses  -  Psalm 119:164  -  David, 7 times a day.

                                -  Daniel 6:10  -  Daniel, 3 times a day.

·   Praise Pause = stopping to centre your attention on the Lord and be with Him

·   Also called ‘Practicing the Presence of God’.

·   How can I Develop that?

i)        Stop -  surrender control of your world to the Lord.

-    cease from all activity – including phone, computer.

-    Unhindered time to focus on the Lord.

ii)       Praise  -  Psalm 22:3  -  “He inhabits the praise”.

    - Begin to quietly praise and thank the Lord.

iii)     Focus  -  Psalm 46:10  -  “Be still and know that I am God”.

-    still = to sink down, relax, let go.

-    Know = intimate with.

-    Sit still; close eyes eliminate distractions and distracting thoughts.

-    Direct your thoughts/imagination to the lord.

iv)    Gaze  - Lash steadily on, intently with pleasure, wonder.  

v)     Embrace  -  to take into the arms with affection, cling to.

vi)    Listen  -  pay attention to inner voice.

-    1 King 19:12  -  “The still small voice”.

-    Still = whisper

-    Small = very quiet, very low, whisper like.