• Quickening Spirit

  • Press play to listen online:


We are continuing our study of WALKING IN THE SPIRIT this morning. This is our 5th element as we ponder the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT to quicken our mortal bodies. At the beginning of our century about the year 1904, Mrs. Civilla Martin experienced first hand the QUICKENING POWER of the Holy Spirit. The occasion was when she went on visitation to try to minister to some shut ins who had no family and all their friends had passed away so they were quite literally all alone and never visted by anyone at their nursing home.

It was a dark and dreary convalescent facility she arrived at on a cold and rainy winter day. Heading down the hall way she found the room of a couple she had promised her friends she would look up and visit. As she entered the tiny room, there lay before her an aged man and woman whose bodies were emaciated and twisted with arthritis. The room was otherwise empty, flowerless, cardless, sterile and white walled.

What instantly struck Civilla Martin was the inescapable glow of this man and woman in their hospital beds. Expressions of quiet strength and serenity made Civilla immediately ask them, "How do you fight off depression with such limitations, loneliness and pain?” The elderly woman began by casting her glance out the window, then she triumphantly said, “How can I be discouraged when my Heavenly Father has His eye on those sparrows? Everytime I see them I know He cares for me!”

Those words burned into the heart of Civilla Martin. And from her journal where those words were jotted down, she wrote a poem which in 1905 became a song which was born at R.A. Torrey's London Crusade. That song has blessed countless multitudes as that unknown woman in a rest homes" testimony to the QUICKENING POWER of the Holy Spirit has lived on through these wonderful words.

His Eye Is on the Sparrow

1 Why should I feel discouraged,

Why should the shadows come,

Why should my heart be lonely

And long for Heav’n and home,

When Jesus is my portion?

My constant Friend is He:

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me;

Chorus I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.

2 “Let not your heart be troubled,”

His tender word I hear,

And resting on His goodness,

I lose my doubts and fears;

Tho’ by the path He leadeth

But one step I may see:

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me;

3 Whenever I am tempted,

Whenever clouds arise,

When songs give place to sighing,

When hope within me dies,

I draw the closer to Him,

From care He sets me free;

His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He cares for me;

Chorus I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.

What made a nameless woman in a dead end rest home radiate with such joy that Civilla Martin couldn’t resist the joy and peace that flowed from her life? It is the quickening power of the Holy Spirit!

THE quickening spirit of god Romans 8:9-11 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Have you ever thought about what God has offered to us here? Look again at the last part of v. 11. God offeres to quicken (fill with life) our mortal bodies. That is the quickening power the woman who had her eyes on the sparrows. Are you experiencing the quickening power of the Spirit of God? If not it would be wise if you began to. If the Lord tarries each of us are going to grow old in a world that has never existed before! What do I mean? Listen to the

USNEWS Cover Story 3/1/99

The World Turns Gray
How global aging will challenge the world's economic well-being

BY PHILLIP J. LONGMAN

Birth dearth. So there is a new problem for mankind. Global aging. Next year, for the first time in history, people over 60 will outnumber kids 14 or younger in industrial countries. Even more startling, the population of the Third World, while still comparatively youthful, is aging faster than that of the rest of the world. In France, for example, it took 140 years for the proportion of the population age 65 or older to double from 9 percent to 18 percent. In China, the same feat will take just 34 years. In Venezuela, 22. "The developed world at least got rich before it got old," notes Neil Howe, an expert on aging. "In the Third World the trend is reversed."

And that means trouble. For one thing, the cost of supporting a burgeoning elderly population will place enormous strains on the world's economy. Instead of there being more workers to support each retiree-as was the case while birthrates were still rising–there will be fewer. Instead of markets growing, they will shrink, at least in large parts of the globe. Economists define a recession as two or more consecutive quarters of declining gross domestic product. Yet as Peterson points out in his new book, Gray Dawn, in the world's richest and most productive countries, the number of working-age people will be dropping well over 1 percent a year within 20 years. Even assuming healthy increases in productivity, such a continuing contraction in the work force could mean decades of declining economic output.

In the USA we currently have 273M people and 56M are seniors age 55 plus which is 1/5th of our population. In just ten years that number rises to 74M which is 1/4th and in 25 years 100M or 1/3rd of the population will be seniors.

Edna St. Vincent Melay once said “life must go on, I just can’t remember why.” That captures the world system’s cloudy perspective on life and its purpose. As Christians we are to heed God’s wisdom - remember Moses said:

“Teach us to number our days aright,

That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12, NIV) 

What if we are running our of gas? It’s getting to be an uphill climb? Sometimes tough? And lest you are still convinced it’s “too late”...you are “too old to change”...your situation is “too much to overcome,” just listen to these immortal lines from Longfellow:

“It is too late!” Ah, nothing is too late--

Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles

Wrote his grand “Oedipus,” and Simonides

Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers

When each had numbered more than fourscore years;

And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten,

Had begun his “Characters of Men.”

Chaucer, at Woodstock, with his nightingales,

At sixty wrote the “Canterbury Tales”.

Goethe, at Weimar, toiling to the last,

Completed “Faust” when eighty years were past.

What then? Shall we sit idly down and say,

“The night has come; it is no longer day”?

For age is opportunity no less

Than youth itself, though in another dress.

And as the evening twilight fades away,

The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

· Titian at 98 painted the Battle of Lepanto - perhaps his greatest.

· Galileo was 73 when he made his greatest discovery.

· Socrates was 80 when he started to study music.

· Ludovico wrote his memoirs at 115.

· George Mueller at 90 started his orphanage expansion already caring for 1,500....

That is how the Spirit of God operates. Do you see yourself supernaturally transformed by the power of Jesus through the Spirit of God. The Book of Romans introduces us to the Walk in the Spirit. In this book we have the keys that unlock the Spirit filled walk into our everyday lives.

God wants to quicken you and me this morning. We saw at the start of this series that God Almighty commands each and every one of His children to allow His Spirit to be constantly filling and controlling our lives.

The Holy Spirit in Romans

1. THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 1:3-4
2. THE LIBERATING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:1-4
3. THE TRANSFORMING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS. 8:5-8
4. THE QUICKENING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:9-11
5. THE MORTIFYING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:12-13
6. THE GUIDING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:14
7. THE ENCOURAGING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:15
8. THE ASSURING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:16-17
9. THE HOPING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:18-25
10. THE INTERCEDING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 8:26-30
11. THE SACRIFICNG SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 12:1-2
12. THE GLADDENING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 14:17; 15:13
13. THE OUTREACHING SPIRIT OF GOD ROMANS 15:16

We saw last time that some amazing changes occur when God gets a hold of us. First we saw the Witnessing Spirit at work.

The WITNESSING SPIRIT OF God ROMANS. 1:3-4 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

  • There are 31 different Greek words used in the book of Acts to describe the 160 different times of Christians verbally communicating the Good News about Jesus [1] . It is the Holy Spirit who energized them into action. This book is not the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES but of the HOLY SPIRIT!
  • Whats the bottom line?

When we are walking in the Spirit we will be talking in everyday terms to everyday people about the most extroardinary event of all time. Jesus is to be a part of life. Is He in yours?

  • Do your work friends know about Him from you?

Secondly we met the Liberating Spirit in Romans 8. Has Jesus marched into your life and liberated you? Is there a vivid recollection that you can’t stop sharing?

1. The Liberating Spirit of God Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

  • When we are Walking in the Spirit we are experiencing the powerful liberating law of the Spirit which lifts us above the chains of sin which like gravity holds us down to the earth. So the Spirit of God teaches us that the faster we develop our resistance to sin, the sooner we tear away at the anchors of sin and the flesh chaining us to mere earthliness, and we begin to regularly soar to even greater levels of fellowship with Jesus!
  • Does YEILDING to Him take that place in my life? Have we given obedience to God the highest place in our lives, as the inspiration for every action and motivation?

The third element of the Holy Spirit of God’s miraculous working. Do you remember the darkness of Africa in 1910 when CT Studd arrived? Remember the total transformation of those former demon worshiping cannibals? Sounds totally impossible doesn’t it? It is apart from the work of God.

2. The Transforming Spirit of God Romans 8:5-8 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

  • How do we get a transformed mind? Remember in the old days when you used to check books out of the Library? What primarily shapes your mind?
  • Here are six practical action items to begin the MORTIFICATION process in your life. That word means, to throttle sin and crush it in our lives, sapping it of It's strength, rooting it out, and depriving it of It's influence. ...Mortification involves the cultivation of new habits of godliness, combined with the elimination of old sinful habits from our behavior. [2]

How to Mortify the Flesh

1. Stop the Pattern Today: Abstain from fleshly lusts. 1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, Concerning the first command Abstain from fleshly lusts, Look at I Peter 2:11 with me. Pretty straight forward isn’t it? Just that. STOP DOING IT. And if it is fornication or adultery or lustful thoughts, again: STOP DOING IT, says Paul. He does not say, “Go and pray to Christ to deliver you.” No. You stop doing that, he says, as becomes children of God. [3]

2. Starve the Flesh: Make no provision for the flesh. Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Simply put,

3. Stare at the Goal: Set your mind, Fix your heart on Christ. Heb12:1-2 (Like the person who won’t let anything get in the way of what they are watching) Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Fix your heart on Christ. 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (KJV)

4. Soak Up the Word: Saturate, Fill your mind and Meditate on God’s Word. Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

5. Stay in Touch With God: By staying in touch with God by praying without ceasing. Staying alert and guarded by watching and praying. Mt 26:4; Stay in control by exercising your discipline of self-control. Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

6. Seek Full Yieldedness: be filled with the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:16, 25

Each of these Biblical commands are for us as Christians to obey. They are not something we pray for and wait. They are for us to actively grab a hold of and obey.

3. The Quickening Spirit of God Romans 8:9-11 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

What Are We to Do For Jesus W hile We Wait?

We don’t know how long before our Master returns. Jesus said we must do His work until He comes. The best way to do that is to start living right now the way we want to have Him find us at the end when He comes (rapture) or calls (death). I call this some specific Plans for Growing Old in Godliness. These can all be found in Psalm 71. Let’s conclude there.

1. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to flee to God rather than drown in my troubles. v. 1 “His eye is on the sparrow”

2. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to cry out to God before I give in to the gloom of my problems. v. 2 Studd no protection; Mueller no food; Goforth no eye sight; Taylor no health . . .

3. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to trusts God's Word over my fears. v. 3 Boxer Rebellion; Jim Elliott; Stan Dale

4. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to seek the Lord before I get bitter. v. 4

5. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to keep reminding myself of God's faithfulness all during my life to this moment. v. 5, 17

6. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to accept God's Sovereign Plan for my life. v. 6 John Baptist He must increase John 3:30

7. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to use my mouth so much for praise, no room will be left to complain. v. 8, 14b, 24

8. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to rest in God’s deliverance as much as in 911. v. 12 David in Psalm 142 Cave, Daniel in the Den of Lions ch. 6, Paul on sinking ship Acts 27

9. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to never give up even if I end up all alone, sick or even forgotten by everyone in the world except God. v. 14

10. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to never stop looking for people to share a testimony of God's goodness in my life. v. 15 Paul in prison, John in the Spirit on Patmos writing letters, Peter stirring up to the end.

11. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to remember I am in God’s hands forever. v. 17

12. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to seek out younger people and pass on to them my testimony of God's goodness and great faithfulness. v. 18 like Bill Eddy!

13. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to never stop pursuing a deepening experience of knowing God daily. v. 19 like Howard Smith

14. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to see pain and suffering as God's perfect tools for shaping my life. v. 20 like Pat Bartlett, Dorthy Crebs, Joni Erikson Tada

15. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to forsake the stereotypes of old timers and sing and speak and shout about God's goodness. v. 22-23

16. The Quickening of the Holy Spirit teaches me to invite the Lord to invade all of my life v. 24.



[1] Robert Coleman, The Master Plan of Discipleship, p.88-89.

[2] John MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience, Dallas:Word, 1994, p. 156.

[3] Sanctified Through the Truth: The Assurance of Our Salavation (Wheaton: Crossway, 1989), 54.


tags: lnb, 990516am