Sermon March 7, 2010: Pull the trigger, Lord, unleash the potential of my life!

Posted in Sermons
[Roberto Miranda]
  • Presenter: Roberto Miranda
  • Date: March 7, 2010
  • Location: Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA

We’re going to go straight to the Book of Acts, chapter 2, a passage that is very well known, the word says: “… when the day of Pentecost came they were all together in one place and suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues that the spirit enabled them…”

Where do you start? I’ve been wrestling because this passage is so great with significance and importance. We’ve preached so much about it or around it and I contemplated skipping chapter 2 all together, going straight to Acts chapter 3 and continuing our study of the Book of Acts in this way. But I thought it would be a criminal act to do that because it’s a passage that we need to respect and give its proper place and we’ll see how much time it takes us to traverse this verse and get to know it, but we’re going to dedicate the time necessary.

This passage represents the foundation of the church of Jesus Christ, it is like the inauguration of the movement of the church on this earth. It’s a graduation ceremony for the followers of Jesus Christ and it’s their initiation into a whole lifestyle of service and evangelism and conquest.

The Lord, even in the Book of Luke for example, the Lord even in the Book of the Luke and even earlier, John the Baptist in his preaching also alludes to this. John had made a distinction between his ministry, a ministry of repentance and have people live under the stewardship, under the covering of the word of God and baptism in water as a sign of repentance and a new life in Jesus Christ. He distinguished between that ministry that the Lord had given him, John the Baptist, and the ministry of Jesus which would be a much more powerful ministry that would be characterized by a tremendous, a seismic movement of the power of God, a ministry that would be known by its capacity to transmit the very power of the living God.

John realized that he moved in a religious, priestly fashion. He had the capacity to announce the truth of God. He could manage with great depth the symbols of the church. You could even say that he had the capacity to manage the logos word of God but the ministry of Jesus was qualitatively superior to the ministry of John the Baptist because Jesus had the authority to manage the very creative power of God. Jesus could impart gifts. Jesus could awaken and initiate ministries and Jesus could give life into this church that was merely potential. John could not do that. John could only declare a truth that he had received from God but Jesus could move with power.

This is why John declared, I can baptize you with water, in essence, a symbol, but he said that behind me, following me is coming someone else who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. And it occurs to me as I think of that difference between the ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus and that’s the difference between a church that possesses only the general truths of God, the truths about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It could be a very beautiful church even pleasing to God even as the ministry of John the Baptist pleased God, a church that can move definitely in the rituals and symbols and the truths of God, who could announce to people the truths about Jesus and his ministry, a church that could introduce people to Jesus even as John introduced people to Jesus.

The difference between that johanin church, as we could say, that’s a theological term… and there’s a difference between that johanin church and the that church that is anointed, filled with the Holy Spirit of God, a church that builds upon this foundation of the general truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but build upon that foundation the super structure of the fullness and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit , access to the direct proclamation of God, the capacity to transmit the power of God to others, the capacity to initiate others into a relationship of vitality, a dynamic relationship with the Holy Spirit, the capacity to free captives, to heal the sick, to move in the power of God , to receive direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, to handle the transforming of instruments of the power of God.

I’m convinced that that is what Acts chapter 2 teaches us. At the beginning of Acts chapter 2 we simply find a church composed of people who had been with Jesus and who had received the revelation of the truth through his words. In fact it’s a church that has seen the miracles of Jesus Christ and who had walked with Jesus on this earth but it is not yet a church that possesses the power of God, it’s not a church that can make the earth tremble yet, it’s not a church that could transform society yet, it’s not a church that could cause intrigue and disquiet and discomfort in those who surround the church and witness the church.

In fact, the society around them doesn’t even know that they exist, they are enclosed, they are hidden and they are praying and they are waiting in expectation for something to happen. They are pure potential but that pure potential had yet to be ignited.

Imagine a loaded pistol on a wooden table. That pistol is there and it has the capacity to kill and destroy and do all sorts of things. It has the bullets in order to do what it was created to do, but it’s only potential. That potential is not activated until a hand picks up that pistol and pulls the trigger. And that’s exactly the case with the primitive church, they were there and they had within them the potential of all of the power that the Lord had inserted them through his promises and through his ministry. They were the weapon of God placed on the table but the Lord knew that before they could be used to release their potential power the Holy Spirit had to come down and ignite the power, ignite this powder so that the Holy Spirit could be released.

I’m not an expert in firearms, you fooled me, but as I understand in everything that has to do with firearms you need at least a spark of fire to release the potential that is in this projectile. When you pull the trigger the powder in this canon, the powder in this pistol will be ignited, that spark that ignites when the trigger is pulled, that ignites the powder and it releases this projectile in the direction that the pistol is pointing. Isn’t that interesting that even an atom bomb needs some sort of igniting mechanism so that all of the potential power locked in the atom could be released.

And that happens in chemical reactions as well. Every chemical reaction needs what’s known as a catalyst, in other words, it’s the infusion of external energy that acquits the reaction between two or more elements. He’s not going any deeper because he knows there are some engineers up there who could take us to school. So we’re going to leave that theory in very general terms. But the point is that in order for the potential in things to be able to be released so that reactions between elements could come and merge and release their energy on the atomic level, you need the infusion of what we are going to call fire in order to release the pressure necessary to ignite the potential within it.

Isn’t that interesting that something like that happens in the day of Pentecost, and isn’t it interesting because I know that we know that the Lord moves supernaturally but he also respects the principles of nature. And it occurs to me because for God there really is no difference between the supernatural and the natural. The things that we call natural in science it’s just the mind of God reduced to time and space. But when the Lord is moving in the spiritual nature he is using precisely the same principles that have left his mind.

In order to ignite the potential that was locked within these disciples you needed an infusion of energy from without, a fire that would come from outside that would enter them and in a sense ignite, pull that trigger. So that spark of fire may ignite, that fire would burn that wood, that kindling that was on this altar. And I believe all of these principles are implicated in this passage.

In fact, it had never occurred to me in precisely the way that I’m sharing it with you right now, but spiritually I believe that is what has taken place on the day of Pentecost. The Lord wanted to initiate his church, the Lord wanted to free what Christ had placed in them. For them to move from the potential to the actual they needed that the Lord may touch them with fire from up high, that the Lord would ignite and consume the wood, the sacrifice that was upon this table.

Which is why the Lord said, do not leave Jerusalem until you receive that power from up high, because if they had dared to leave Jerusalem without having received that igniting potential fire that the Lord was going to pour upon them, it would be as if you could imagine a pistol trying to lift itself up from the table alone without that hand to guide them, without that hand to pull the trigger and ignite its potential.

And it occurs to me that that happens a great deal among the servants of Jesus Christ, among the church of Jesus Christ, when we attempt to rise up and attempt ministry without first receiving the invocation of that power from the Holy Spirit.

There is really a false controversy between theologians today. There are some theologians that say that when I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, I have already received, I already have the Holy Spirit and I don’t need anything else, because I already have the Holy Spirit, didn’t Jesus say that when I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, didn’t he say that we would receive the Holy Spirit within me? And these people would say, therefore I don’t need a second experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And then there is the Pentecostal world that says, yes, you’ve received Jesus but there is a second experience, an immersion if you will, in the power of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and activating the power of God within you, a releasing of the potential, a pressing of that trigger to release the power of God within you. Because frankly within the Pentecostal world we say, yes, we’ve received the Holy Spirit when we receive Jesus and they already have that even as they sat and waited, and prayed and were looking forward to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they had the Holy Spirit within them.

The Lord in a passage, I believe it is un Gospel of John, and I believe it was after his resurrection he appeared to the disciples and he said, receive the Holy Spirit. I believe that if the Lord said, receive the Holy Spirit don’t you think they received it? Because when he says something it happens. So, if they received that Holy Spirit when the Lord said receive the Holy Spirit, why do you think he said, do not leave Jerusalem until you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Because the Lord was referring to an experience that was going to be qualitatively different from that first experience.

Until we are burnt by the Holy Spirit all that we have is merely potential within us. And I assure you like John there is a great deal that you could accomplish with that just reservoir of potential of the Holy Spirit within you, but how much more could you accomplish when that reservoir of water within you turns into this powerful cascade or waterfall within you.

I believe that my meditation is really just going to limit itself to a defense, on a … of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Now, think of it this way, think of this huge lake, a placid, tranquil lake, a reservoir filled with water, in this languid, placid lake as the pastor says, you could do all sorts of things, you could go kayaking, you could set sail and go out on a kayak and enjoy the setting sun. You could fish in this lake, you could go for a swim, you could do so many things in this beautiful lake but its uses are limited, its capacity to release energy is very limited.

And I believe that is the case with the church of Jesus Christ that has yet to have that transformative experience with the power of the Holy Spirit. And I believe that that’s the case with the church that only knows the baptism of John the Baptist and the johanin experience of the church. That church can do many things that are important and useful. We are not denigrating or casting …. Upon that church it has great potential and they do great things on behalf of the Kingdom of God. But its utility is limited just like the water in this lake is limited because it’s enclosed and locked up.

Now, imagine a great river, a …. River, of river of white waters rushing with great velocity, and even as the water rushes over rocks and curves and obstacles the velocity in this river only increases, and this river that descends mountain sides in its journey towards the sea increases in power even as its journey proceeds. That river has a potential to do things that that placid lake does not, because the power from that river mankind can harness the power of that river and do so many things, you could convert it into an electric dam that will light the homes of millions, that moves powerful engines, that allows so many transactions that take place within a society, things that give life, that transform, that move. There’s a difference and that difference is the difference that happens when this energy that is potential within you is released through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, the Lord did not compare the energy that he was bringing to his disciples with this beautiful, placid very scenic lake, instead he compares it to a river of living water that would emerge from within them. Which is why he said, those who believe in me rivers of living water will flow from within them. Because the energy that the Holy Spirit releases in you is an energy that changes, that moves, that breaks barriers, that changes the landscape.

We are coming in for a landing. We are in a particularly strategic time in the history of humanity that there are great things that need to be moved, there are entire nations that need to be illuminated, there are locomotives that need to be awakened and moved, there are mountains that need to be traversed and turned into tunnels, there are rocks that we need to move to one side, there are powers that need to be brought down, there are revelations that need to be received, there are things that need to be declared, there are dead that need to be risen up, there are sick who need to be healed, there are minds captive by the enemy that need to be set free, there are hearts that are captive by the lies of Satan that only the key that is in the Lord’s hand can set free.

The energy needed to release the Holy Spirit, the transformative power is not going to come from a passive johanin church. The energy that’s needed to make this transformation needs to come from a church filled with the transformative energy that only comes from the power of this river that the Lord is going to release among us.

After this trip to Spain, my wife and I just returned the day before yesterday, we were sharing there with the leading pastors of a Spanish denomination and their leaders and if you are hearing us, thank you, we bless you in the name of Jesus, thank you for welcoming us. But one of the things that was so abundantly clear to us is that all of Spain is captive by this power of secularism and humanism, and all of the entire European Union is locked by this, captive by this same power.

In fact, we could say that the entire western world is captive by this power. That includes the United States, Canada, it includes Australia, the great nations where you would think that the power resides, the military, the economic power, and the intellectual power as well are captive by this spirit. And the Spanish pastors, the brethren Spain and I are in agreement that the changes necessary are not going to happen in Spain or even in this nation through traditional conventional means.

A classic evangelic johanin church is not equipped with the power and the energy to move the rocks and change ultimate landscape necessary for the revival that we are expecting. Every day I am more convinced that we as these first disciples must come and gather and husband this energy of the Holy Spirit and wait on the Lord and ask the Lord to ignite it until he ignites this into a great consuming fire.

I believe that the Lord is saying, church, do not move, do not leave Jerusalem until you have been invested with the power from up high. Because with the power that you now have you’re just going to move like that handless pistol and you’ll never be able to release your potential.

I believe that’s the reason why we moved the way we moved in worship this morning. We need to learn the chemistry of the power of God, we need to learn how to manage the substance of the power of God, the elements of the power of God. We must be a spiritual chemist moving and experimenting with different elements and so we find that formula that moves the hand of God, until the power of God descends on us and we are ignited as these first disciples were ignited.

I die a little during services like this morning, because my intellect and my desire to control the program and stick to a program is often in conflict with the desire of the Holy Spirit. I think of the brethren who have prepared their program of worship and praise and I think how would they feel, I would think, well what do you guys think of pastor Miranda monopolizing worship and prayer, he is a good singer… they would think that the pastor Miranda is …. Singer who needs to be released, would the English ministry congregants think, well, why can’t we just go back to our little room and have our worship time as we always do. So now what do I do? How do they straighten up this mess that we started, if we are going to release them today of service? So we sing this chorus and the Lord moves, and I think, now what, now what to I do after this chorus, what do we do after that? And the Lord says sing this, and I say, well Lord, all I’ve got is this little phrase, what happens if I run out of fuel, run out of words after this prayer. What happens when I invite John to come and take the piano, I’m putting John in bind, I’m putting Enrique in a bind.

Please know that all of those thoughts and many more crossed my mind. And please know that all of those things crossed the mind of a pastor who appreciates control and who appreciates not infringing on the rights of people or looking ridiculous. No, we need to move in the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to learn how to move in the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to learn to be comfortable in the order of God and the creative chaos of God. We need to learn to navigate both the placid lake and the torrid rivers of the Holy Spirit. We need experience in these areas. We need to learn to release the gift of God that is innate within us.

Paul said to Timothy, …. The flames of power of God, the fire of God that is within you. Yes, I believe God wants to do great things among the congregations in this season. I believe that the Lord is saying, yes, my children, I want you to worship before me, I want you to dance before me as many of the prophetic words said this morning. Yes, come, come and minister to me, my people, come and serve as waiters would serve in a fine restaurant. And when you have lifted me up and exalted me then I will release my blessing, release my anointing upon all flesh. But you need to lose the appetite for control, you need to release the spirit of program and Dr Miranda you’re the first who has to do that. Because many times the pastors are the ones who in their desire for order and in their desire to respect time and rights, we repress this movement of the Holy Spirit, we repress that death that is so necessary so that within the cracks of the earth that the Lord opens his energy may be release and …. may be released and the landscape may be changed. We need to be the first ones to be broken, our intellect must be broken, our appetite for control needs to be broken, our inclination to put ourselves in the place of God that needs to be broken.

That is what saddens the heart of the Holy Spirit at this time of humanity, the desire of men for him to have the control for mankind to rule the programs, we must commit prophetic acts and say, Lord, we surrender the control and if we perish, we perish.

One last illustration, a Spanish pastor with whom we shared his home for three days, we went on a trip with him, and he shared with me in the return journey that he had begun a series of sermons about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and he said that in the first of these sermons of the series, the Lord moved in such a beautiful way in the time of worship and praise, but as the time of the sermon neared he chose to release and repress and limit the time of worship so that he could enter into this scheduled time of the sermon, but what happened was that when he began his sermon on the baptism of the Holy Spirit he felt that he had been defeated, that it was a failure, and in our conversation I suggested that perhaps not reaching the objective, the goal of his sermon may have been because the Holy Spirit was saddened in the process. Because maybe what the Holy Spirit wanted through this series of sermons is to allow him to have the control. And the Lord wanted to speak on his own behalf to this worship in this praise, but as the program took control the Holy Spirit said, well then I can’t bless you in the way that I had planned to…..

And I ask myself how many times do we not speak of the Holy Spirit just in theoretical terms, but without the experience and the material of how the Holy Spirit moves in his church today. And the Holy Spirit says, learn how to move in my power. Learn how to respect my priorities and my prerogatives. Learn when I give you room and when I ask you to give me the room, to give me the authority. And I believe that will release the power of God in our lives and in this congregation.

This is a little more time than we usually plan but that’s what happens when the Holy Spirit takes control, that’s the lesson that the Holy Spirit wants to give about himself today, and objective lesson, it’s a drama that the Holy Spirit is acting up before us today. Let’s learn how to flow in the energy of the Holy Spirit.

Please rise. Just worship the Lord. Right now yield to the Lord your expectations, yield to the Lord your time, if you had a plan to go somewhere and this extra half hour took some of those plans away, just give it to the Lord, just revel in the fact that he takes control, that he does whatever he wants and celebrate the fact that the spirit deems and deigns, deigns to take control of your life and our service and our church. Just say to the Lord, Lord I want to live my life like that, I want to live my life guided by you, I want to live my life in a way that you lead me to places that I don’t want to go, and you show me things that I don’t want me see, and you speak to me things that I don’t want to hear.

Let us say to the Lord, Lord we want to be a church that moves in the unpredictable wind of the Holy Spirit, the wind moves wherever it pleases. You do not control the wind, the wind controls you. Give control to the Holy Spirit. Just say, Lord, pull the trigger, pull the trigger. Just say that, pull the trigger. Unleash the potential, unleash the potential. Lord, unleash the potential in our lives in this church, in your church, unleash, unleash, release, release the potential, release the potential.

Sermon delivered by Roberto Miranda March 7, 2010 at Congregación León de Judá Oir | Ver (100K) | Ver (350K) | Ver (1200K)

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