Holy Spirit

abstract-165957_640Isaiah 42:1: Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

This verse finds ultimate fulfillment in Jesus. And the Spirit of God came upon him after he was baptized by John in river Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17). God was not going to send him to work, let him go into the work of ministry without the Spirit upon him. At river Jordan, the Spirit descended like a dove upon him. He was marked by a new level of power, the power to meet the felt-needs of people.

It was not the power to make a good argument, marshal the right points. He was able to do those when he was in his preteen years (Luke 2:2-52). But this time around (after the Jordan experience of the Holy Spirit) things were different. He will raise the dead, heal the sick, cleanse lepers, multiply food, turn water into wine, cause fishermen to get a bumper catch, opened blind eyes, grow out non-existent limbs etc.

He is the personification of the answer to all men’s needs. He said: if you thirst come to me and out of you will flow out rivers of living water (John 7:37-39), which is a reference to the ability within God, made to manifest within man. The same ability in which he (Jesus) walked is now the reality in which we walk, so it is true that as he is so we are in this world (1John 4:17).

The empowerment is to be servants. Jesus with all his power said that he has not come to be served but to serve and to offer his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). It was to pour himself out for the benefit of humanity. It was not to set up a monument for himself like Absalom did (2Samuel 18:18), but to set up a place in people’s hearts for himself so that they live by him, living effectively, expressing the love of God through various gifts, in loving service.

It is to change people’s fortune, to change their lot. It is to turn things around for them. He refused to turn stone into bread because he was not called to serve himself but to serve others, God meets his own needs, while he meets the needs of others. He was empowered to be effective in service, as the full representative of God, who is about meeting other people’s needs.

The Holy Spirit made it possible for us to serve others in love. Without him we would be inwardly convoluted in selfishness. It is the nature of God to be selfless and that nature gets implanted in us by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us (Romans 5:5).

All functions not motivated by love for God and for others are empty, meaning nothing. If your act of ‘service’ does not communicate love it is not communicating God and there is no point to it. It is actually self-serving.

The Spirit upon empowers us to communicate God in all ramifications, and be all that we can be. It is to move us beyond the mundane to the supernatural. We are no longer helpless (we have help and are able to give help) but we offer hope in the hopelessness facing people around us.

You stand strong because of the power of God that is with you. We are strengthened with power by the Spirit in our inner man (Ephesians 3:16). That makes us stand out.

It made Jesus stood out in everything he did. Nicodemus told Jesus that he knew he was a man sent from God, because no one can do the wonders he does without God being with him (John 3).

But Jesus told him it is not about him, but about the Spirit, making us shine with spiritual essence, with the same spiritual essence that he (Jesus) walked in on earth. And John spoke about him that he received the Spirit of God without measure.

After spending forty days in the wilderness without eating, the bible said that he returned in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1-14) and his fame was spread abroad (Mark 1:28). Now he had something to offer people and he became a centre of attraction. He operated by the Holy Spirit, lived by an higher life.

The Holy Spirit is the mark of the presence of God. Without the Spirit there is no life, there may be existence, but there is no life, just as the stone exists but does not have life. Without the life of God there is no functioning like God (man was made to function like God).

It is with the life of God that we connect with him and are able to fully represent him on the earth, as the extension of God.

Without connection with God there can be no real connection with one another. God made both Adam and Eve and he had connection with them on an individual basis. There could be no effective relationship between them except they are in full connection with God.

That is why the problem of sin immediately manifested in the firstborn of Adam and Eve who killed the second born. There was crisis in the first family because without the life of God things do not work very well. Without proper connection with God there is no connection with one another.

In God there is no selfishness and Paul said that we should focus on what is best for others and not just on ourselves (Ephesians 2:1-8) and that is in the context of service; with that we get to live out the life of love, live out the life of God.

The love expressed by the Spirit of God is the love expressed in power. Jesus was a man of love, and his expression of God was the expression of power (Acts 10:38). The bible says that faith works through love (Galatians 5:6). Paul wrote that if we have faith that can move mountain we are nothing, if not moved by love. The right motivation, the right colouration for our action is the love of God, anything else and we are not representing God but ourselves.

 

Restoration to health

cross-211992_640Isaiah 38:16: O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these is the life of my spirit. Oh restore me to health and make me live!

If you need restoration to health then you have to come to God. The change you want in your body, the change you want in your mind and in your spirit is in the hand of God. You may not even be aware that you need healing in certain areas.

Paul did not know he was spiritually blind when he was actively pursuing to end of the church. He was ignorant but he thought he knew all there was to know, having studied to be a Pharisee. He thought he was doing the right that he was making the right choices, that he was serving God the right way. But eventually it was clear that he needed light in his spirit, he needed spiritual healing, he needed to be shown the right way or he will be lost forever (1Timothy 1:13-15).

He embraced a lie or a stale truth, no longer being supported with divine light. He will later say: “old things have passed away; all things have become new (2Corinthians 5:17),” when he experienced spiritual healing through Jesus.

Health stands for the experience of God in the optimal level of existence. What was what Paul meant when he said: God did not give use the spirit of fear, does not affect us with fear, but affects us with love, power and sound mind (2Timothy 1:6-7).

Those stands for the three components of the soul which are will, emotion and mind, sound mind in the “mind,” power in the “will power,” and love in the “emotional” cabinet.

Mind

Healing for the mind means that right thoughts are there. There are no mental illnesses except there are negative thoughts gone haywire, toxic thoughts running riot. When you think the right thoughts you come to the right conclusion, then you take the rights steps, for the right results, for a life of bliss. The bible says that as a man thinks so he is (Proverbs 23:7). You are the right kind of person if you think the right kind of thoughts.

If your thought says:” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” then you are well on your way to doing the impossible, achieving great things, attaining to great heights, moving with the right people. If your thoughts are sound it is the beginning of a sound life. That is why transformation is based on what happens at the mind level; before extending to any other segment of our human nature. Paul will say to the Romans that they should be transformed by the renewal of their mind (Romans 12:1-2).

If the mind is not being renewed the life is not being renewed, the same mistakes will be repeated year in years out, mistakes of judgment, mistakes of actions, wrong direction, and of wrong association, mistake of wrong response to situation.

Once we become Christians we are called to a life of perpetual change for the better and it starts in the mind. The bible says that the path of the righteous shines brighter and brighter to the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). There is more ahead of you but it starts from within you, the mind. When the mind is healed then real healing can begin.

Will

God is in us by the Spirit of power. He is at work in us, causing us to choose what he chooses for us (Philippians 2:13). The bible says that the Lord will choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom he loves (Psalm 47:4). We need to be enabled to break away from wrong habits (an expression of a wrongly entangled will, made slave to evil impulses); through the power that is at work in us; the same power that raised Jesus from the dead; the power that stands against all other powers, crushing them into pieces (Matthew 21:44).

For the will of God to be done in our lives there has to be the participation of our wills, in the prayer lines that Jesus taught, he said we should say to God: let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10). The will of God gets done through the will of people yielded to him, which he can empower in his way.

For Jesus to go to the cross, being the will of God for him, he had to be empowered. The bible says that he offered himself to God through the eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14). He was enabled by the Spirit of power. When the time was getting near for him to be die on the cross, he said: let this cup pass over me, but not my will but yours be done (Matthew 26:39).

He allowed the will of God to power his own will causing him to make the right choices by the Holy Spirit. It is the same with us.

The Holy Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God (1Corinthians 2). And the natural man does not receive the things of God, is not able to grasp them because they are spiritually discerned. Therefore through the Holy Spirit we get them to understand (Ephesians 5:15-18) and walk in the will of God. A man with a healed will walks all the time in the will of God.

Emotion

The love that comes from God to us heals us emotionally, that Spirit of love, that intense influence of love.

With the sin of Adam he became an emotional mess. The emotions of fear, embarrassment, sense of inferiority, and shame were immediately evidently in man after the fall (Genesis 3).

Before then his was a love experience, which layer turned to pain. As punishment for sin, man was told that through the sweat on his brow he must fend for himself; and the earth will bring forth thorns and thistles.

Man was bent on his own will and therefore become an emotional wreck, shipwrecking his relationship with God. He had a great fall and only the love of God, the sacrificial love, can put man back together again.

Now in the eternal love of God we are secure, we flourish, in the embrace of the father we get to reset our relationship with him as the object of his love. We do not have to do anything for him to love us, he loves us by choice, and there is no better concept to deliver emotional stability to us than that. Seeing he loves us so, we are secure, we are healed emotionally.

Ability

lioness-314605_640Isaiah 36:8: Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.

Ability comes from God. Paul said we are not sufficient in ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, our sufficiency is of God, who has make us able ministers of the gospel, not of the letters but of the Spirit (2Corinthians 3:6).

There is a difference between self-efforts and the Spirit’s effort within us, as he works in us, both to will and to do of the will of God (Philippians 2:13). When Jesus was going to leave the disciples, he told them that he will not leave them comfortless. He was not going to leave them helpless, leave them disoriented, and leave them wondering what to do next, leave them confused (John 14:16-18).

He was going to send an helper to them- the Holy Spirit. They are supposed to take their relationship with the Holy Spirit serious. He was going to be in them (John 14:17). A spiritual flow will come from within them. Their sense of mission will come from within them and the ability to carry out the mission will come from the same place.

Jesus made a public proclamation that if anyone thirsts he should come to him and the water he shall give him shall be in him rivers of living water (John 7:37-39). And that water, according to John, is the Holy Spirit, which means everyone who believes in Jesus can be given the capacity to flow in the life of God, move in the Spirit. Paul will later write that as many as are led by the Holy Spirit they are the Sons of God (Romans 8:14). The same Spirit through whose work made Jesus declared to be the son of God also affirms divine sonship in us through his leading, through his work as the divine ability in us.

In a story in the book of Ezekiel, a prophetic story, there was water coming from the threshold of the temple (we are the temple of the Holy Spirit [1Corinthians 3:16-17]) and that water was life-living (Ezekiel 47:1-9). Wherever the water gets to what is dead comes alive. The power of the Spirit makes us extraordinary. We are spiritual beings, capable of spiritual impact.

Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches, i.e. the same level of power and ability in him is also in us (John 15:1-10). That was backed up by Paul when he said that it was the same power that raised Jesus from the dead that also worked in us making us come alive, taking us from the state of being dead in trespasses and sin, to being made alive by the Spirit through faith (Ephesians 1:15-2:9). We are now spiritually alive with spiritual abilities.

Paul said that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead (Romans 1:4), and we get to share in that reality as parts of his body. We are made alive by the same power that made him alive, that changed him from the dead raising him up to the right hand of power, where we also are in him.

That is why Jesus told the apostles that whoever believes in the words of the gospel will lay hands on the sick and they will recover, will cast our devils; they will walk in the same power he walked in on the earth, walking in the same power he walked in.

He had told the disciples that whoever believers in him will do the works he does and even greater works than that they will do (John 14:12). That means the manifestation in the life of Jesus while he was in the flesh was a demonstration of the minimum that we should walk in as members of his body.

We should recognise that his being in us now (Romans 8:9), we can do much more in us as a collective body. He was just one, and since being Christians is all about being like Christ, we should recognise the tremendous power at work in us, we are multiplied “Christs” on the earth. And Paul said that the whole creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.

That is one of the prayer points of Paul. He prayed that the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened so that we make fully walk in the reality of the power that is at work in us, which was the same which worked in Jesus raising him from the dead (Ephesians 2:1-9).

The special abilities that we have through Christ are called gifts. That means we do not work for them, they work in us, they define our spiritual uniqueness, the dimension in which we contribute to the body of Christ. They define our usefulness.

Jesus said that his food is to do the will of God and to complete his work (John 4:34). That is the same for us in a spiritual sense. We all have service points; those are points in which the grace of God flows from us to others.

Jesus told Peter to feed his sheep (John 21:1-17). He was not to think that he was not significant since he denied Jesus thrice (Luke 22:61). He had an assignment to carry out, he had a job to do, and he had the people of God to serve.

We are not supposed to think just about ourselves or our convenience. The highest form of fulfilment that God designed for the Christian is to contribute his role in the body of God. The great challenge for the churches is to turn each member into a minister. That should be noticeable in the “DNA” of the church.

People come from different backgrounds. But we should all move forward to discover the expression of our spiritual gifts and use them. The problem has been the emphasis on the positions of the apostle, teacher, prophet, pastor and evangelist, which are set in the church by Christ (Ephesians 4:9-16) and so are most prominent.

They are the minority, the leadership cadre, but there are myriads of other gifts. These are anything which you do with ease, with joy and in a way that definitely makes you seem alive in a special way. It cuts across all human interests. In that context you are meant to be light, you are to be the salt of the earth, you are to be God’s undercover agent. As people come in contact with you in the course of pursuing your secular or spiritual interests, impacting them for the course of Christ should be the natural course of things. In that context you are the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the teacher, the pastor, and using a whole plethora of spiritual possibilities that you bring to bear there.

Wherever we are, we are representatives of Christ. Paul said that we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 5:20). We are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14). We came with higher power to free the “earthlings” from their endless futile pursuits, helping them to experience the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-21).

Jesus said that he wants the people to be his witness everywhere in the world, and he gives the supernatural ability to make that positive impact, by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), helping them to express the divine life in a way that makes Jesus’ manifest, though he is not physical here.

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Purifying fire

sweden-123784_640Isaiah 4:4: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.

We need the experience of the fire to rid us of our impurities. From the focus verse, God said that his solution to impurity is fire. Isaiah experienced the fire of God for that purpose.

In a vision he saw God high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1-8). In the light of God’s presence he saw the starkness of his own impurity. He cried out: I am a man of unclean lips.

He knew he could not help himself. There was nothing he could do. He might have tried to do something to change himself to no avail. Help however came in the form of the fire from the presence of God, purifying him leading up to many more years of spiritual service. Paul said that it is those who purge themselves of impurities who will be fit for noble use in the great house of God (2Timothy 2:19-22).

Jesus is called the baptiser with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16). The “Holy” Spirit is sent to help us in our holiness walk, especially by his impurity consuming fire dimension.

Peter said that we should be holy as our father is holy and we have the Holy Spirit called the Helper for that, in its unseen influence in our lives (John 3:3-8). It is clear that the direction our thoughts go, that is where our lives go. And the Spirit serves to influence our thoughts in the direction of God. The alternative is for us to have our thoughts stirred in the opposite direction, as Eve’s thoughts were (Genesis 3); she was made to consider an alternative to the will of God.

That is why the bible wants us to watch the company we keep. The man that will be blessed will not keep company with the scornful, the corrupt (Psalm 1). The bible says that we should not be deceived, evil company corrupt good manners (1Corinthians 15:33).   Hence we are called to prioritise fellowship with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25), through speaking the truth in love we get to be built up in all things into Christ (Ephesians 4:7-16). What you are being built into shows what is being broken in our lives, in action reaction rhythm. The change that the word of God brings to your life is not measureable.

There is power in the word to transform, to bring us to a place of change. We cannot change ourselves. We need outside help. Isaiah needed the coal of fire brought from the presence of God; we need the fire of the Holy Spirit and the force of the word to work in our lives to move us into the realm of change and glory.

We are meant to be conveyors of the glory and the power of God, and we receive help by the power of God to be different, to be transformed. There is a spirit working in the children of disobedience into his world (Ephesians 2:2), if we are not fully yielded to the Holy Spirit, to work in us, we will be sucked into the world in its decadent and corrupt mindset.

We are to look to Jesus, following his example of grace, power and commitment to God (Hebrews 12:1-3). Daily we can come to the throne of grace to receive help to live like Jesus (Hebrews 4:16). Rather than complain about the negative influences in the world, we can ask for God’s divine influence to be active in our lives to help is live about the world’s level.

Purity is the quality that God wants, and the version Jesus brings is the inside-out version, while the Pharisee are satisfied with the outside “holiness”. For them once the outside is clean that is all that mattered.

But Jesus said make the tree (in itself) clean and the fruit will be clean (Matthew 12:33). But no man can reach his heart to clean it up. And Jeremiah says that the heart for man has wickedness locked inside (Jeremiah 17:9). But the blood of Jesus has the power to access man deep in his heart (Hebrews 9:14) and with that the heart of stone of man is changed into that of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26), from wicked to becoming the containers of the goodness of God.

Paul said we should do “good” to all men especially those who are in the household of faith (Galatians 6:10), following Jesus who Luke said went about doing “good” to people and healing those who are oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). In another place, Paul said that we should not be weary in doing “good” because in due season we will reap if we faint not (Galatians 6:9). The purifying fire leaves only goodness in your heart, leaves only the words of grace in your mouth and leaves only pleasant thoughts in your mind.

In the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, at the first time in Acts chapter 2, fire appeared on the head of the people, and they began to speak in tongues as the spirit gave them utterance. Since fire is associated with purification, the process of speaking in tongues therefore should be seen as being associated with purification. Paul specifically said that when we speak in tongues we build ourselves up (1Corinthians 14:2, 4), and that in a spiritual sense inclusive of holiness.

Jude when warning against being influenced by the rot-bearers in the church told his audience that they are to sin-proof their lives by praying in the Holy Spirit. After listing the various dangers and corrupting influences around, he said: but you are building up your faith on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. That is a different kind of praying. There is the praying in the Holy Spirit, which Paul calls praying with the Spirit as opposed to praying with the understanding, the natural mind (1Corinthians 14:14-15).

When he was listing the armour of God which we are supposed to put on, being strong in the Lord and in the power of his might (e.g. to resist Satan’s sin influence), he ended by highlighting the importance of praying in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18).

These are words that are unknown, unlearned language that may sound like babbling. It is the groaning (Romans 8:26) that cannot be uttered (naturally communicated), deep yearning coming from deep within. It is like fire coming from our spirit spilling to the soul and cleaning it up; cleaning up the thinking, the emotions and the will, setting us up for a life of holiness. Speaking in tongues activates the presence of the Holy Spirit to produce his holiness in our lives.

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Prophetic word: to speak against sin is important

To speak against sin is important. Then those who hear and who are not Christians but want to be free will know that freedom is in Jesus and come running to his open arms. And they will receive help by receiving salvation. They come realising that otherwise, they are helpless.

But many preachers do not want to preach against sin because they themselves are enmeshed in it. They are afraid that if they preach too much against sin they might be exposed as a fraud. These people become the gates through which different sins find entrance and place in the church.

Some are not enmeshed in sin but they do not preach against it because they do not want to offend people. They do not know that what they permit, they enforce by default. They have become partakers of other people’s sin.

By not speaking against it they give the people permission to continue in the error of their ways. They will be judged as if they commit the sin. The judgment is not only for those who commit the sin but also for those who give others permission either covertly or overtly to continue. If you will not speak out then the blood is on your head, you will bear similar blame, even if by yourself you are as clean as can be.

 

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