Romans 8: 12-16
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”
This is the 15th session on the Voice and Guidance of the Holy Spirit.
As we read the Bible we can find the accounts of the apostles and the workers of the Lord who greatly accomplished the kingdom of God by clearly hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Have you thought, “If I had been there at that time, I would have done the same.”-
To obey the will of God in one sense is very easy, but in another it is quite difficult.
If you obey with true willingness to obey, it is very easy.
But if you don’t have the willingness to obey, it is difficult to obey.
In 1 Samuel 15:22, Samuel delivers the will of God to King Saul who was continually disobeying the will of God.
It says, “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD- Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.'”
God accepts the aroma of heart of those who obey Him.
This aroma cannot be compared with the aroma of any other sacrifice.
Of course, until you become children of complete obedience, you might disobey God in some respects although you try to obey.
But if you have the willingness to obey all the time, God will accept that aroma and make you a child who can completely obey Him.
Jesus also refined His disciple Peter again and again and made him a man of obedience.
Through this message, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will change into men of obedience and men of Holy Spirit like the biblical figures.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the last session, I talked about the relationship between the fleshly thoughts and obedience.
We can obey the voice or the guidance of the Holy Spirit only when we demolish our fleshly thoughts.
Inversely, if we obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, our fleshly thoughts can be destroyed.
The Bible tells us about those who have received blessings by obeying the word of God or the Lord, or the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Peter is one of them.
Peter had a strong ego, but as a result of being trained to obey Jesus, he changed into a person who could obey with all his life.
As we look into the process of how Peter changed, I hope you will be challenged and have increased grace and hope.
In the last session, I talked about the incident that let Peter decide to forsake everything and live a life of a disciple.
Luke 5:4 says, “When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.'”
Peter knew about the Sea of Galilee better than others.
But he opened the door of his thoughts leaving behind all his knowledge and experience.
He obeyed the word of Jesus.
Then, he caught so many fish that his nets began to break.
Seeing this, Peter knelt before Jesus and said, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
He finally opened his heart fully towards Jesus.
He decided to become His disciple, forsaking everything.
Brothers and sisters, after listening to the word of authority from Jesus, he opened the door of his thoughts and obeyed Jesus’ word.
Through this obedience, he experienced the miracle of catching many fish and his fleshly thoughts were demolished.
From that time on his life changed.
You have heard and learned a great deal of the word of God until now.
You’ve seen numerous signs and wonders and also experienced them yourselves.
Now, has your life changed completely-
Or, are you still living a life that is no different from the life that you lived before you accepted the Lord-
Those who accept the Lord in their hearts will certainly have changes in their lives.
First, they repent of their sins from the bottom of their hearts and try to depart from sins.
When Peter said, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” it means he thoroughly acknowledged his sins.
We can have true repentance only when we truly acknowledge our sins.
After repenting thoroughly, we have to depart from those sins.
Also, because we owe our Lord our lives, we have to be faithful to Him with all our lives.
Romans 6:12-13 says, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,  and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
But are there any of you who still commit sins and who are entangled with a fleshly life-
If you are not still trying to change your life, I urge you to ask yourself whether or not you have true faith.
Then, you have to realize that kinds of fleshly thoughts are hindering you from gaining spiritual faith.
You can obey the will of God only when you break down such fleshly thoughts and have spiritual faith.
Moreover, you can also gain spiritual faith when you try to obey.
Brothers and sisters, after he became a disciple of Jesus, Peter passed many tests of his obedience.
In Matthew chapter 17, those who were collecting the temple tax came to Peter and asked him to pay his and Jesus’ taxes.
Jesus knew this situation, but He did not give Peter the money to pay the tax.
He just told him, “Go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel.”
He told him to take that and give it to them for you and Him.
What would you do if you were in Peter’s shoes-
Suppose the Lord commanded you saying, “Go to the Han River and throw in a hook, and you will catch a fish. Open its mouth and you will find a coin. Bring it to Me.”
Then, whether by car or subway, wouldn’t you go to Han River-
You would then throw the hook in the water and wait until you catch the fish.
But you don’t know how many hours, or how many days you may have to wait.
If you have fleshly thoughts in the meantime thinking, “Will there really be such a fish- When will it come-” then, you might as well just give up.
How confident are you-
Peter passed this test easily.
He obeyed the word of Jesus and gained one shekel.
Since I opened this church with just about 7 dollars, I passed many tests of obedience until now.
For example, when we were looking for a bigger church building, we never had enough money.
When we helped other churches and did many overseas ministries and when we began the broadcasting, we never had enough money.
But we just obeyed God and put our full trust in Him.
If we have a clear answer like, “If you throw in a hook in the sea, you will get a fish, and open its mouth and you will get a shekel,” then, it would have rather easier to obey. Sometimes we just had to patiently wait for the answer.
Once when we had an overseas crusade, we didn’t have enough money to conduct the crusade until the moment of our departure. The answer to prayer came right before the departure.
But if I obeyed God, without fail He answered to me miraculously.
The money for the construction of Canaan Sanctuary is the fruit that God gave to us seeing this kind of faith and obedience.
What is it that you need now-
Amazingly, even before Peter asked Jesus what to do about the temple tax, Jesus knew the situation already.
He gave the answer even before Peter asked Him what to do.
Likewise, the Holy Spirit knows all your situations.
He also knows the ways to get what you want.
Therefore, petition the Holy Spirit for all your needs and just obey His guidance so that you can receive answers in all things.
Brothers and sisters, Peter obeyed very well. He deserved to be the first of the twelve.
Jesus trusted him the most.
But sometimes even this Peter used his fleshly thoughts and did not obey.
In Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus was walking on the water near the boat where His disciples were onboard.
Seeing Jesus on the water, Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.'”
So, Jesus told him to come, and Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on water.
But as he saw the waves moving by the wind, he became fearful, that is to say that fleshly thoughts came to him like ‘What if I drown-‘
So, he could not obey the word of Jesus that told him to come.
His body began to sink.
So, Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and took hold of Peter, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt-“
Here, we can realize that, even though we want to obey, we cannot obey completely as long as we have fleshly thoughts.
Nowadays, there are some who start a business thinking they want to help with the kingdom of God.
And they ask me saying, “You receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so what kind of business do I have to do to succeed-“
The initial intention is good.
But if things do not go as they thought in the beginning or when they face the things in the reality of life, some of them use their fleshly thoughts.
It is such a pity.
They doubt thinking, “Is this the right way-” and even change their course of business.
They use the worldly methods being unable to rely on God completely, and eventually may do some things that are illegal.
Likewise, no matter how much you want to obey the word of God, you can never obey unless you demolish your fleshly thoughts completely.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Peter made some mistakes in the process of changing, but his love and trust in Jesus never changed.
Peter always wanted to obey every word of Jesus.
But as long as he had fleshly thoughts, he could not completely become one with Jesus.
In Matthew chapter 16, we see an incident where Peter must have felt this dearly.
One day, Jesus asked the disciples who people were saying He was.
After hearing their answers, He asked them, “Who do you say that I am-“
And Peter gave a satisfactory answer saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
So, Jesus praised Peter and gave him a word of great blessing.
But soon after that, Peter was sternly rebuked by Jesus.
At about this time, Jesus began to mention the sufferings of the cross, His death, and resurrection.
In Matthew 16:22, hearing these things, it is recorded, “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.'”
Then, Jesus rebuked Peter sternly saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
How desperate Peter’s heart must have been hearing that His beloved master Jesus had to suffer and die!
But this was righteousness coming out of man’s sense of morality.
In physical sense, it appears to be good to think of his master that way, but in spiritual sense, it was merely a fleshly thought that would hinder the work of God.
I’ve had similar experiences as I have been working with the church workers.
There are quite a few of workers in our church who were recognized in the world for their faithfulness and integrity.
When they become workers for God’s kingdom, I have seen that many of them had to pass through the process of demolishing their self-righteousness and frameworks.
When they become church workers, they work diligently for the church and the shepherd and the church members.
But because of their self-righteousness and frameworks, they sometimes don’t understand the will of God or the heart of the shepherd at all.
Therefore, it is very important to become workers who do not use their fleshly thoughts.
Jesus did not let go of His disciples from His heart even until the moment He breathed His last on the cross.
Through this deep love of Jesus, Peter finally changed.
He broke the fleshly thoughts and became united with the Lord, and he saved many souls.
He brought thousands of people to repent with just one sermon.
He showed such amazing power that people brought sick people to him and hoped that his shadow might fall on them.
Even yet, he still had to go through more processes to become more perfect.
Peter was sanctified to be used by God as a powerful apostle, but he still had traces of flesh.
Let us talk about this in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem to take the cross, he told two disciples to do something.
Luke 19:30 says, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.”
Here, how do you think Jesus selected those two disciples to send-
The first standard must have been their obedience.
If the disciples doubted Jesus’ word or did it in a way that they saw fit, having fleshly thoughts, there wouldn’t have been any fruit of the work.
This is justice, which is the rule of the spiritual realm.
For this reason Jesus chose the disciples whom he could trust for those works.
He didn’t send the disciples in turn, but instead He usually sent Peter, John, and James.
Right now, we receive requests to conduct conferences and crusades from many countries.
They are eagerly waiting for our missionaries.
The Lord is thinking, “Whom shall I send-” Couldn’t you be one of the ones who could volunteer-
Of course, it doesn’t mean you can just volunteer without any preparation.
First, you have to become an obedient worker who clearly hears the voice of the Holy Spirit and obeys it with “Yes” and “Amen”.
Even though you are not completely sanctified yet, your fleshly thoughts will be demolished more quickly as you keep obeying.
You can change into a worker who can clearly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
If you become a worker who can work with the Holy Spirit, then, the spectrum of salvation will be broadened.
It’s because we would then be able to harvest more souls with the gospel of holiness and the power contained in the handkerchiefs.
Therefore, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will demolish all your fleshly thoughts like Peter and come forth as a worker who is united with the Holy Spirit.