Under the Influence

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

Do you know what it’s like to be under the influence? No, I’m not talking about blurry eyes or that former life you’d rather forget. I’m talking about what Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, telling them not to get drunk on wine, but be filled with the Spirit. This Sunday morning I’ll conclude our summer emphasis on the Holy Spirit with a sermon on “God’s Presence: the Holy Spirit manifests God’s presence and fills his people.” The language of being “filled” speaks to our experience of God. It points to the more relational aspects of life with God, including the felt presence of God, the God who is near. You can’t get any closer than “in.”

This Sunday evening (5:30 at the Austin House of Prayer) we will again give hands and feet to this summer’s teaching on the Holy Spirit. We will come to the Lord and seek him for healing. We will pray for anyone who needs physical healing, emotional healing, the healing of sexual brokenness and wounding, addiction and the healing of relationships. Come receive prayer. Come pray for others. Come to worship. Come to be in God’s presence.

If you need some kind of healing and have thought about coming, but are nervous, let me speak courage to you now. You are in good company. We all walk with a limp, including the great apostle Paul, who wrote from firsthand experience:

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (I Cor. 2.2-5)

St. John saw a vision of the city of God, with a river running through it, each side lined with trees “and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22.3).