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For the Jesus follower, the struggle to see God working in and through your life can be daunting. You may have begun to ask yourself questions like, “What do I need to do to be effective for the Kingdom of God?” or, “Is my sin preventing me from experiencing the fullness of God’s plans for my life?”

The truth is that all of us who have placed our faith in Jesus have access to the transforming power of God, but we can also make the mistake of looking elsewhere in our pride for other sources of lesser power. In this 5-day track, Dr. Crawford Loritts will help us to see the difference between the two and illuminate our dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Day

10.15.2023

About this track

For the Jesus follower, the struggle to see God working in and through your life can be daunting. You may have begun to ask yourself questions like, “What do I need to do to be effective for the Kingdom of God?” or, “Is my sin preventing me from experiencing the fullness of God’s plans for my life?”

The truth is that all of us who have placed our faith in Jesus have access to the transforming power of God, but we can also make the mistake of looking elsewhere in our pride for other sources of lesser power. In this 5-day track, Dr. Crawford Loritts will help us to see the difference between the two and illuminate our dependence on the Holy Spirit.

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Day 02

Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches

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The Command and the Control

Day 03

Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Day 3 - A Continuous Urgency

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A Continuous Urgency

Day 04

Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Day 3 - A Continuous Urgency
Day 4 - Trees and Transformation

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Trees and Transformation

Day 05

Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Day 3 - A Continuous Urgency
Day 4 - Trees and Transformation
Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches

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Repent, Yield, Believe

Welcome to Day One of our track, “Experiencing God’s Power” with Dr. Crawford Loritts.

Over the course of 5 days, we will study how our need as Jesus’ followers is not for more theological information or Christian activity, but for transformative power. We will uncover the places where we are living powerless, confront our inherent need for what Jesus freely promises and experience the gift of living yielded. 

Video

Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches

Summary

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “You heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:1-8 ESV

Following His resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days appearing to the disciples. In community with them, Jesus answered every question they had and transferred their doubts into assurance in the kingdom of God. Throughout these days together, the disciples gained exposure to the Savior, education in his ways, and a brand new understanding of Jesus and the resurrection. We might read these words and feel confident that the disciples were ready and able, to do all that Jesus would instruct them to do.

Like the disciples in this moment, many of us have resolved that our awareness of Christian content and our involvement in church activities should be enough to set us on the right course. So we sign up for another bible study, show up for another Sunday, and serve on another team, believing that we might experience the breakthrough we are believing for.

Instead we find ourselves in the same spot, taking two steps forward and three steps back. How do we break the cycle? How do we step into a different dance? 

We can look to the words and instruction of our Savior. Jesus tells them to remain where they are in Jerusalem until they have received the promise of the Father.

Look at what Jesus said in verse 8: 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

It may be your nature to muster up insights, create accurate analysis and collect information, but the truth we find in Jesus’ words is that this change is not a might we can muster up.

The disciples may have felt that their own exposure, experience and education was enough to get them where Jesus wanted them to go. 

But what we need, and what Jesus promised to send, was power. This transformative power is not just a downpour of solutions, instead, it serves as a declaration of identity that encourages us to be witnesses of Christ wherever we go.

We don’t need more fill-in-the-blank activities to accomplish what Christ has called us to do. We need His power.

What's next?

Dr. Crawford Loritts proved how Jesus had given His disciples exposure, education, and enthusiasm, and they were ready to change the world, but it wouldn't have been enough to sustain them. Even truth apart from power is not sustainable. How have you found this to be true in your own life? What are you apart from Christ? See John 15:5.

Day Two takes us deeper into the study of the power of the Holy Spirit and what its role is in our lives. We will learn how the Holy Spirit, being a person, can lead us to deeper lives in Christ that produce transformation.

Video

Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches

Summary

 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit

Ephesians 5:18 ESV

In today’s scripture, we see the Apostle Paul offering so much more than a great suggestion, he is providing a command: be filled with the Spirit.

More than pretty words or good intentions, this commandment serves as an imperative reminder that our lives should mirror the relationship we have experienced with Christ. 

In the same way, the analogy in this scripture illustrates that as a controlled substance may alter or change our behavior, so should the filling of the Holy Spirit alter and change who we are. 

As Dr. Loritts reminds us, any follower of Jesus who is not knowingly, willingly submitted to the control of the Holy Spirit is living in sinful disobedience to God. 

Being filled with the Spirit is a commandment we are called to follow and control we have to surrender. It’s not enough to add Jesus to our way of doing things. Rather, we surrender daily, living our lives on display with the change we’ve experienced and the power we possess by His Spirit.

What's next?

What is the command that Paul gives in Ephesians 5:18? The comparison between substances and the Holy Spirit is meant to help us see just how powerful they are. A substance can control and alter you. We were not meant to be under the power of a substance; we were meant to yield and be controlled by the Holy Spirit, who will lead us to the transformed life we desire.

Yesterday, we analyzed the command and control of the Spirit through the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus. The filling of the Holy Spirit is a command we are to follow to allow His continuous control in our lives. What does that mean for our daily lives? On Day Three, we will discover what a life transformed by the Holy Spirit actually looks like. 

Let’s get started.

Video

Day 3 - A Continuous Urgency

Summary

When we look back to Ephesians 5:18, we see that that is a sense of urgency in those words.

 “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit…”

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a continual work. This does not mean we pull some hyperbolic lever and receive more of the Holy Spirit when needed, rather, it means that we yield fully to the Spirit of God that’s inside of us. We surrender to Him. 

What does it look like for us to be consistently controlled by the Holy Spirit? The answer is found in Galatians 5:19-23 when Paul contrasts the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 

Galatians 5:19-24 ESV

Being filled with the Spirit of God means that we look more and more like Jesus. 

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are a result of the Spirit of God controlling our lives. When we are consistently filled with the spirit over a period of time, we will manifest these characteristics and then some. Neither list Paul gives us is exhaustive, rather, it illustrates that the fruit of the Spirit is a profile for Christ-likeness. 

To be authentically filled with the Holy Spirit, you will exalt Christ and look like Him. Could you think of a better reflection to be?

What's next?

What are the consequences of each of the lists given in Galatians 5:19-23? Here, Paul contrasts the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. While neither list is exhaustive, it does give us direction on what God wants to develop in our lives. Sometimes, people become very good at appearing that they are super spiritual. They allow pride to control them so that they can position themselves in authority through false spirituality. That is not what the Holy Spirit is working to develop. He cultivates a pure Christlikeness in believers.

On Day Four, we look closer at the Fruit of the Spirit and discover the only way we can bear fruit in our own lives. Are you ready to bloom? Let’s get started.

Video

Day 4 - Trees and Transformation

Summary

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:22-24

What sticks out to you in this verse? 

Notice that Paul doesn’t say the works or byproducts of the spirit; he says fruit. 

Fruit is singular on purpose because it is a manifestation of one thing: Christlikeness. Developed and demonstrated over time, the more we yield to look like Jesus, the more we manifest these characteristics. 

While we are not passive in this process, we can’t produce this fruit on our own. That is the work of God. 

Dr. Loritts reminded us that the development and demonstration of this fruit in our lives take time. We aren’t bound by a perfectionistic model, so take a deep breath. No, instead, God has seen fit to allow us to look more and more like Jesus the more and more we yield our lives to Him.

What incredible grace. 

“You can work as hard as you want to work for your whole life and not produce this kind of fruit. It is a fruit that is produced BY the spirit of God. It presupposes submission and yieldedness to the Spirit of God!”

This is an incredible truth. There is no boot-strap mentality that can replace your need to humble yourself in order to develop Godliness. As Dr. Loritts says, “You can rearrange the furniture on the deck, and you can spackle the cracks in the wall, but you aren’t going to fix the foundation yourself.”

So here is the ultimate question: have you humbled yourself before God? Have you submitted to the Spirit of God? You were made to produce fruit, but only by the supernatural power of God. Have you turned over that responsibility to the only one who can rightfully execute it?

What's next?

The purpose of the fruit of the Spirit is to put God on display in your life. It takes time with Jesus, allowing Him to cultivate the soil of your heart to produce this in your life. The characteristics are a manifestation of one thing: Christlikeness.

On our final day of this track, we learn how to live transformed lives so that we can develop the fruit of the Spirit. Dr. Crawford Loritts gives us three practical steps to take throughout the day.

Let’s get started.

Video

Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches

Summary

All transformation in the Christian life is the product of three steps. It’s especially true when it comes to being filled with the Holy Spirit. If living in step with God is the desire of your life, then you cannot keep living according to your own will and by your own power. You need something more. 

Don’t settle for the power the world is tempting you to live by, consume, and sustain yourself with. It will always give out from underneath you, and you will fall. The only way you as a Christian can fulfill the call from the Apostle Paul to be the pleasing aroma of Christ is to live fully empowered by the Spirit of God. 

Are you?

1. Repent. 

We often think we need to do more in order to be a better Christian, but that’s pushing the accelerator to go faster in the wrong direction. Stop. Search your heart and ask, “What is hindering me from being under the control of the Holy Spirit?” 1 John 1:9 says if we confess, He will forgive. Confess that you’ve been self-serving, had bad thoughts, made bad choices. The Holy Spirit will not control us when we’re holding on to sinful habits.

This is not an exercise in shaming yourself, so don’t let it turn into that. This is humbling ourselves before the one who loves us most and created us. Open your heart before your Heavenly Father, and be astounded by His mercy.

2. Yield

Confess: “I yield to you, Lord Jesus.” 

Success and freedom in the Christian life mean dependence. You were born to live for someone else. Take the second position. This is a beautifully paradoxical posture. Freedom means dependence.  Don’t let yourself lean more on other people than you do Almighty God. Break the pattern of turning to them before you turn to Him. As a child turns to their father when they fall, turn back to God and hand Him your life. 

3. Believe 

God wants you to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to beg Him. Stop the self-incrimination. Get up! Believe that He’s controlling you. Be careful about letting your emotions be your spiritual barometer. Know what you believe and stand on it as a solid foundation.

Do this multiple times during the day. Every time you miss the mark, confess and repent, yield to the Spirit, and believe that He is in charge.

What's next?

Take 15 minutes today and really think about what is hindering you from being under the control of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to search your heart, confess to him where you've sinned, and repent. Yield to the Spirit and believe that God is in charge.

Next Day

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Scripture References

  • Acts 1:1-8
  • Luke 24:49
  • Ephesians 5:18
  • Galatians 5:19-23
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • 1 John 1:9
Dr. Crawford Loritts preaches
Dr. Crawford Loritts Dr. Crawford Loritts is the senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. He has served as a national evangelist with the American Missionary Fellowship and the Urban Evangelistic Mission and as associate director of Campus Crusade for Christ. He is the author of six books, including Leadership as an Identity, Lessons from a Life Coach, and For a Time We Cannot See.

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