THE DYNAMIC DUO

There are times when, like you, I am:

Discouraged
Unenthusiastic – nice way to say semi-depressed
Leaning on my feelings and not walking by faith
Disappointed with the way things are going
Things not working out as ‘I planned’
This aways results in a season when:
I am not very excited about life
I suspect I am not fun to be with
Bottom line in a season like this… I want to be left alone
But, more importantly – foundational – I don’t feel loved!

Results:
Not wanting to talk with others or be around them
Even more importantly – I don’t want to reach out and tell others about God’s love
After all:
“If it does not work at home, don’t export it”
Biblically:
I know I am loved – “Jesus loves me this I know…”
I know I should not run on my feelings
I understand the Bible states I have an assurance of His love – 1 John 5:13-15
This assurance leads to confidence
Confident in what God is working in me
Confident in what God is doing through me
This confidence, if I grab hold of it, leads to boldness
But, all this is dormant, untapped, when I get to feeling this way
So, when I am functioning in this personal space I don’t “export” my faith and the hope that I have  in Christ
Recently I have been impacted by a number of verses in Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in the city of Corinth
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
There’s the key once again … “The love of Christ…”
And that love “controls us…”
The real word there should be “compels” us (NIV)
When the New Testament was written, the word “compel” referred to the privilege Roman officials and soldiers had to force people (as well as their horses, m equipment, and family members) into public service
You are conscripted to carry their bags and equipment a mile – Jesus would say go two miles
Our current day definition is better expressed in The Passion Translation
“For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and motivates us…”
“Compel” carried the idea of driving or over-powering something or someone
It means “to have a powerful and irresistible effect or influence”
BUT, Paul identified that it was not Roman officials, nor force or obligation or feelings, that compel us to share God’s love and the Gospel with other
The “compelling” force is Christ’s love!
So, regardless of how I am feeling or even doing in life day-by-day, I know that Jesus loves me unconditionally
And that love – not a feeling but a knowing – compels me to share with others
His love compels us to propel us into action
Connected to His love – the fuel of His love – are what I call The Dynamic Duo
1> Prayer
2> The Holy Spirit
These two are directly connected to the “compel that propels…”
There was a missionary in the late 1800’s … John Hyde
John was the son of a Presbyterian minister
He moved to India in 1892
At that time he was one of only five known Christian missionaries in a region consisting of nearly one million non-Christians
Physically challenged through partial deafness, John Hyde soon realized something that was stronger than his weakness:
The power of prayer
After many years of very little success and very few conversions to Christ, John Hyde began to pray what many thought to be an impossible request:
“God, give me one soul today.”
Because of his dismal beginnings as a missionary, this prayer seemed to be asking for the entire world.
But he just wanted to lead one soul to Jesus Christ every day.
All throughout the year, he kept track, and at the end of 1908, he had in fact led over 400 people to Jesus Christ.
That was just the beginning for John Hyde
In 1909, he prayed that God would give him two souls every single day.
Not only did he ask God to double his efforts, but John Hyde also doubled his prayer time.
Again, at the end of that year, his figures showed some 800 people who had accepted Jesus as their Saviour.
By 1910, John Hyde’s commitment to pray and his reputation earned him the nickname “Praying John Hyde.”
His fervent prayer became known throughout the Christian community worldwide:
“Give me souls, O God, or I die! God, give me souls!”
In 1910, he once again asked God for double: four souls a day, Nothing less.
God was once again faithful to answer his prayer, and over 1,600 people came to salvation during that year.
A few years later, John Hyde died. The medical examiner discovered something truly amazing. His heart had literally shifted in his chest cavity, moving from the left side of his body to the right.
There was no logical medical explanation for this phenomenon. However, many believed this was partially due to the intense burden of prayer that was laid upon his heart.
The life of “Praying John Hyde” is more than a good story; it is a true-life example of the spiritual effectiveness that is released when prayer is combined with the leading of the Holy Spirit
John Hyde translated his burden for the lost into commitment, time, prayer, and a daily reliance on the leading the Holy Spirit and God’s faithfulness.
Can you imagine how the world would be transformed if only Christians would get on their knees every morning and zealously pray for every person in their lives to be saved?
Pray:
That God would prepare their hearts
That God would open their eyes to the truth
That God would provide an opportunity for you to share His love with them
That the door would open to sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom
Going back to my comment about assurance – confidence – boldness
1 John 5:13-15 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may have the assurance that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” [resulting in boldness]
What happens when we pray?
God hears – so, pray boldly, pray consistently, pray expectantly
Prayer can and will make an eternal difference in a person’s life
Four spectacular things happen when consistent and substantial prayer begins to be activated in your life…
1> Prayer will shift your heart
Complacency, apathy (passiveness) have no place in the hearts of those whose lives have been radically transformed by Jesus!
We must carry a deep concern for those who are lost and spend time in prayer for them
When you and I pray earnestly – expectantly, excitedly, energetically – for people who need salvation, something begins to shift inside our hearts
Like it did literally for John Hyde
Paul was passionate about prayer
Romans 10:1 “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”
“My beloved brothers and sisters, the passionate desire of my heart and constant prayer to God is for my fellow Israelites to experience salvation.” (The Passion Translation)
See also: Romans 9:3-4; Ephesians 3:8-9; Galatians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Paul and John Hyde teach us that prayer nurtures, develops, and increases the burden in our hearts for lost people
2> Prayer opens the door of opportunity
Often we want to share and are ready to share but opportunity does not avail itself
It seems that doors simply don’t open
Or, literally the door is slammed in our face
This can be discouraging
Towards the end of his letter to the believers in Colossae, Paul wrote:
“…and pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, So that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ.” (Colossians 4:3a)
Prayer is the key to opening new doors of opportunity to share
I believe that it pleases Jesus when we pray for doors to open as we are then demonstrating our willingness to be the one who shares the Gospel
I believe God responds powerfully and opens doors
Providing a way where no way seemed possible before
3> Prayer gives you boldness
Some people will jump right in when doors open
Others, like Jonah, hightail it in the opposite direction
The #1 reason people don’t share their faith is FEAR
The good news is, not only does prayer open doors, but it also gives you a supernatural dose of boldness to jump in
Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
“At that moment the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble. Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with unrestrained boldness.”   (The Passion Translation)
See also: Ephesians 6:19
4> Prayer will give you the words to say
When doors open you will know what to speak
Luke 21:12b-15 “you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.”
See also: Isaiah 50:4
God will instruct you to say exactly the right words to those who are weary and weak in spirit – ready to hear
Prayer is only half of The Dynamic Duo
The counterpart to prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit
And, because you are partnering with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Key word – fellowship
And, because it is the Holy Spirit’s task to convict people of sin (John 16:8-10)
You will be bold to share your faith
When it comes to sharing the gospel, all of us wrestle with:
Intimidation
Insecurity
Fear
But, you are not alone – never alone
The Holy Spirit is with you at all times
To fill you with courage and boldness
He will give you the words to say
Luke 12:11-12 “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
It is good to remember:
The work of delivering the Gospel is not your’s alone
Don’t shoulder the burden alone
The work is shared by the Spirit of the Living God who will…
Empower – Encourage – Enable
In reality God does most of the work for us
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
In the moment when I am not sure what to say, the Spirit comes along side me (rises up within me) and enables me to speak
He works in me while I am sharing the message – at the exact same time he is working in those who are listening
There are 4 important things to remember about the Holy Spirit that should encourage us
1> He prepares
Right now – within the relationships you have – the Holy Spirit is at work
God is stirring the hearts of those who are looking for answers and searching for hope
The spiritually restless
He is preparing them to receive the truth – God’s truth
The question:
Are we letting the Holy Spirit prepare us as well?
Are we seeking His guidance in prayer?
Are we diving into God’s Word to grow and mature?
Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to change us – sharpen us?
If you and I allow Him, the Holy Spirit will mold and form us in order to share His message without fear
He has prepared works for us to do – people for us to talk to (Ephesians 2:20)
He is also preparing us for these good works
In 2020 it is time to put your shoes on (Ephesians 6:15)
To go, to walk slowly through the crowds, to move, to travel
To take the Gospel to those who need it
2> He positions
The Holy Spirit will give you – position you – to take advantage of divine appointments
Friday:
Glasses adjusted (long conversation re. Ukraine flight crash in Iran)
Tires torked (Russian speaking co-workers)
Dentist assistant (2 deaths…)
These are no accidental meetings or open doors
There are no coincidences in the Kingdom
God sets up divine appointments for us
The coming together of the right people, at the right time, in the right place, for the right reason
Throughout history, God has appointed our “when” and positioned our “where” (Acts 17:26-27)
Like Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch
Like Paul and the Philippian jailer
Like Ananias healing Saul and proclaiming Jesus as Lord
The Holy Spirit not only prepares us (#1) to be used by God and to share His message
But He also places us (positions us) to do just that!
3> He empowers
Acts 1:5 “… for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:8a “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…”
The word “power” is, in the Greek, “dunamis” from which we get the word ‘dynamite’
Dynamite – images of explosion, force, strength
Everything about dynamite is connected to power
So, Jesus said, … the Holy Spirit was going to infuse believers with “dynamic power”
We have ‘dynamite’ in us waiting for us to release so that we can supernaturally witness about Jesus
These are “rivers of living waters” (John 7:38)
You are ‘walking dynamite’
So, the Holy Spirit is preparing, positioning, and empowering you to be a witness
He will help you to push past your fears and share your faith
Even when you feel you can’t – like the season recently in my life I mentioned at the start
4> He comforts (also can be translated ‘challenges’)
This takes us the who the Holy Spirit is – He is the Comforter
John 14:26 (Amplified) “But the Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”
We have a highly capable and qualified Helper with us at all times
He defends you
He comforts you
He speaks on your behalf (gives you what to say)
He strengthens you
He is reliable
He is loyal
He supports you
CONCLUSION:
The Dynamic Duo:
Prayer…
Prayer will shift your heart
Prayer will open the doors of opportunity
Prayer gives you boldness
Prayer will give you the words to say
The Holy Spirit…
The Holy Spirit prepares the unsaved and the saved
The Holy Spirit positions us
The Holy Spirit empowers us
The Holy Spirit comforts and challenges us
2020 is a time for harvest
The world is ready and hearts are open and waiting – desperate for meaning and purpose
John 4:35 “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”
“Why would you say, ‘The harvest is another four months away’? Look at all the people coming—now is harvest time! For their hearts are like vast fields of ripened grain—ready for a spiritual harvest.” (The Passion Translation)
There is a prayer handout … 12 Keys to a More Powerful Prayer Life available at…
https://ralphhoweministries.com/12-keys-to-a-more-powerful-prayer-life/