Walking in the Spirit

I had people asked me “how do one walk in the Spirit?

Walking in the Spirit really does not need a formula. However, there needs to be an attitude of openness toward God. When the Spirit started teaching me to walk in the Spirit He made it clear that this openness toward Him is not open for negotiation. You cannot have a plan A and a plan B and be dead set on wanting Him to negotiate your terms with you.

More often than not, we do have plan A & B but we do not even realize that. There are times our contingency plans are more obvious to us. But sometimes they are not, while they might not be obvious to us, but they are obvious to Satan and he used them against us. If you take for instance someone who reads something from Chambers, Spurgeon, Tozer, Paul Washer, etc then, dismiss it while saying well, this guy is out of his mind and these things he is talking about, I do not need them to be saved.

Then the conclusion here is that you do not have the Holy Spirit in you to begin with to help you understand the truth of God. Or it could be you utter such words simply because in the depth of your heart you know what you read upset your plans. But because your plan B is more important to you than God’s plan A, you stick to your guns. With a mindset like that, you forfeit your walk in the Spirit. The spiritual darkness that is looming over your heart and soul comes from the fact that you know something but you have no intention of obeying God. No matter how beautiful or successful your life might look on the outside, no matter how hard you appear to work for God, well, none of it is being done in the Spirit and you are not walking in the Spirit. This is just one tiny example amongst all those examples that I could give you. But I hope you see where I am getting here.

A test that will never fail us as to whether or not we are walking in the Spirit is the depth of Christ being revealed to us. Understand that I am not talking about us exercising gifts we may or may not have.  Now, I am not saying that He cannot work this life in you because as I mentioned in my book, I have seen God working this Christian life through people, in spite of themselves. But, you are as useful to Him as Pharaoh was in His hand. The only difference between you and Pharaoh is that you have found more grace in His eyes. Openness to God keeps us surrendered to His will, teachable and obedient, hence, you are not perfect, you still have a long way to go but you are walking in the Spirit.

After I learned to walk in the Spirit, God with His sense of humour took one of my pet peeves to show me how easy I can be separated from the oneness with Him and how important I keep focussing on Him and walk moment by moment to keep this oneness. My greatest pet peeve is people who pick their noses. I find it so gross and I cannot understand why not using tissues. Anyway, a lesson that I cannot forget no matter how much I want to, is that God showed me one day, after I experienced His awesome divine nature that could be compared to oxygen so pure that you know it is out of this world. It is so pure that you cannot imagine living without it and if we could see what we are missing, we would indeed make sure we walk moment by moment so that we do not spend one minute out of His nature.  

He showed me even if I have a sin so small that it could be the size of a tiny booger, He said to me, even though you could hold it between your fingers and re-enter your union with me, it would not be possible because this tiny booger however small cannot find a place in my nature. He said if I allow you to get in without the repentance and the cleansing of the blood, you would introduce dirt within me. For someone else this might not be important, but to me, I can’t live without this visual, to remind me where I am at in my oneness with Him. I need to constantly ask myself, have I moved away from Him without even knowing it?

With that in mind, I leave you with a good description of the subject with pastor Philpott

This is just an excerpt from J. C. Philpott’s sermon preached in 1862

“Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

I have already shown that to walk after a thing, in the language of Scripture, means to pursue it with desire, and to do so habitually. Thus we read of “mockers walking after their ungodly lusts” (Jude 18) as a mark of the wicked, and a “walking after the commandments” of the Lord (2 John 6) as a mark of the righteous. To walk, then, after the Spirit is to walk as the Spirit leads, guides, directs, and teaches. The flesh is the motive power to those who are in the flesh; the Spirit is the moving influence to those who are in Christ Jesus. But let me open this point a little more fully.

1. To walk, then, after the Spirit is to walk after and in a revealed Christ– not a Christ in the letter, but a Christ in the Spirit; not a Christ in the word only, but a Christ in the heart, formed there the hope of glory. The work of the Spirit is to reveal Christ, to glorify him, and make him precious to believing hearts; to apply his blood to the conscience, to discover his righteousness, and to shed abroad his love. To walk, then, after the Spirit is to follow his gracious discoveries of the Lord Jesus to the heart, and to realize them by a living experience of their sweetness and blessedness.

2. But again, the Spirit leads into all truth. This was the promise given by Christ to his disciples– “Howbeit when he the Spirit of truth has come, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13.) It is impossible for us to know the truth savingly and experimentally, except the blessed Spirit guides us, as it were, into the very bosom of it. Until then its beauty and blessedness, its liberating, sanctifying influence are hidden from our sight. But if I am guided by the Spirit into all truth, if he himself condescends to lead me into the truth as it is in Jesus, and enable me to walk in the truth as he leads me into it, then I may be said to walk after the Spirit.

3. But again, the Spirit is spoken of in the word of truth as an Intercessor, teaching us how to pray and what to pray for; no, he himself is represented as “interceding for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” If, then, I pray in the Spirit, I walk after the Spirit, for I walk in that path of prayer and supplication in which he is pleased to lead me. He has promised to help my infirmities; and therefore if I find my many infirmities helped by his grace and overcome by his power, then too I may be said to walk after the Spirit.

4. But the Spirit is also the author of faith, hope, and love, for these are fruits and graces which spring from his work upon the heart. If, then, I believe in Jesus with a spiritual faith, if I hope in him with a spiritual hope, and love him with a spiritual love, I walk after the Spirit; for the Spirit moves me both to will and to do those things; and as he leads I follow.

5. But the Spirit is also a Spirit of contrition, of brokenness, of humility, of godly sorrow for sin and honest confession of it. If, then, I am ever blessed with humility, contrition, repentance, and godly sorrow for sin, I walk after the Spirit.

6. But the Spirit is also the Comforter of God’s people, for that is the name which our blessed Lord himself gave him. So that if he ever comforts your heart with his choice consolations, and you walk after his comfort, desiring to drink into it, and following after everything which may promote it, you follow in the steps in which the Comforter leads you.

7. But if we walk after the Spirit, we shall also be spiritually-minded, which is life and peace; our affections will be fixed upon heavenly realities where Jesus sits at the right hand of God; for all this is his special work, and nothing short of his power and influence can produce it. If then we are favored at any time with this spirituality of mind and these heavenly affections, it is a proof that we are walking after the Spirit.

8. But again, through the weakness of the flesh and the power of temptation, we often fall into a state of coldness, darkness, hardness, and even miserable carelessness in the things of God. Then the Spirit has to revive our drooping graces, bring us out of this miserable state of carnality and death, to lead us to the fountain once opened for all sin and uncleanness in the blood of the Lamb, to renew our hope, strengthen our faith, and impart to us fresh confidence. As we then walk in the light, life, and power of these gracious revivals, we walk after the Spirit.

 

 

 

Do not judge a minister . . .

This post by thomas brooks below, merged well with my post on April 12 :  Complete & Effective Dominion

I mentioned how important it is to test the spirits. A minister who is not breaking your heart with the word of God almost every time he takes the pulpit, there is a strong chance that he has not been hand picked by Him. A real minister of God will cause you to go home somewhat, if not fully offended every time you hear him. Why? Because it is the nature of the true Gospel it offends unbelievers as much as it offends believers that are not right with Him.

Sadly, Satan has worked it so nicely for us to make us comfortable with a half truth, that in the Church, we scream “apostasy” when we are offended by the truth of  the Gospel and in our state of spiritual we have no idea that we are led by Satan to react this way. Satan has done such a great job that we love our mediocre preachers, they make us feel good, we agree with them, we say AMEN, HALLELLUJAH! We get all emotional and drunk on “god”   yet, we go back home with the same compartmentalized lives, wrong attitude toward Him, stubborn hearts,  lack of obedience and our rituals that make us feel good because we found “religion”

Even on my death bed, I will keep saying over and over again. The reason we are offended by the preaching, the posts or the books that call for examination of our hearts, or to a deeper life and make us feel inadequate is because we are not where we should be. Deep inside of us, we know something is wrong, but we shut if off and slap our mask on again. For a lot of us, often the subtlety of Satan acts like a snooze alarm we keep pressing the button just so we can get a few more minutes of sleep. Before we know it, time passes us by, we get so deep with Satan, and in our slumber it would take a bulldozer to get us out of our lethargy and laziness. By then, it is easier to say Oh! Well God is good!

May God have mercy on us!

 

Thomas Brooks (Puritan)

Thomas Brooks on the title page of his book The Riches of Christ.

Thomas Brooks (1608–1680) was an English non-conformist Puritan preacher and author

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Brooks_(Puritan)

“Consider carefully what you hear.” Mark 4:24

It is sad to see how many preachers in our days, make
it their business to enrich men’s heads with high, empty,
airy notions; instead of enriching their souls with saving
truths.

Fix yourself under that man’s ministry, who makes it his
business, his work to enrich the soul, to win the soul, and
to build up the soul; not to tickle the ear, or please the
fancy. This age is full of such light, delirious souls—who
dislike everything—but what is empty and airy.

Do not judge a minister . . .
by his voice, nor
by the multitude who follow him, nor
by his affected tone, nor
by his rhetoric and flashes of wit;
but by the holiness, heavenliness, and spiritualness
of his teaching. Many ministers are like empty orators,
who have a flood of words—but a drop of matter.

Some preachers affect rhetorical strains; they seek abstrusities,
and love to hover and soar aloft in dark and cloudy expressions,
and so shoot their arrows over their hearers’ heads—instead of
bettering their hearers’ hearts. Mirthful things in a sermon
are only for men to gaze upon and admire. He is the best 
preacher, not who tickles the ear—but who breaks the heart.

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and
persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s
power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom,
but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

 

The Doctrine of Repentance – Part 13 – Last Post

Finally the last post of the serie

As I mentioned at the beginning of this serie on the nature and doctrine of true repentance. I wanted to find something on repentance but I needed it to be as close as possible to what I have personally learned from the Holy Spirit directly. I have read several version of true repentance, while they are all saying the same thing, but some are harder to understand and some leave room for guessing games. So, once again I have decided to g with someone you know by now if you are used to my Blog. Thomas Watson wrote this piece in 1668. As I read it today, I realize it is the same process the Spirit took me through, to enable me to understand why I had to go through the process of repentance, how it was done, who does what and what was the overall result. There is nothing like true repentance entering your heart to find out who you truly are in Him. 

By  Thomas Watson, 1668

The NATURE of true repentance

Use 2. It reproves those who are but half-turned. And who are these? Such as turn in their judgment, but not in their practice. They cannot but acknowledge that sin is a dreadful evil, and will weep for sin—yet they are so bewitched with it that they have no power to leave it! Their corruptions are stronger than their convictions. These are half-turned, “almost Christians” (Acts 26:28). They are like Ephraim, “as worthless as a half-baked cake!” (Hos. 7:8).

They are but half-turned, who turn only from gross sin—but have no intrinsic work of grace. They do not prize Christ—or love holiness. It is with mere moral people as with Jonah; he got a gourd to shield the heat of the sun, and thought that he was safe—but a worm presently arose and devoured the gourd. So men, when they are turned from gross sin, think that their morality will be a gourd to defend them from the wrath of God—but at death there arises the worm of conscience, which smites this gourd, and then their hearts fail, and they are in a dreadful condtion!

They are but half-turned, who turn from many sins—but are unturned from some special sin. There is a harlot in the bosom which they will not let go! This is as if a man should be cured of several diseases—but has a cancer in his breast, which kills him. It reproves those whose turning is as good as no turning, who expel one devil and welcome another. They turn from swearing—to slandering, from extravagance—to covetousness. Such turning will turn men to hell!

Use 3. Let us show ourselves penitents, in turning from sin to God. There are some people I have little hope to prevail with. Let the trumpet of the Word sound ever so shrill, let threatenings be thundered out against them, let some flashes of hell-fire be thrown in their faces—yet they will keep their beloved sin. These people seem to be like the swine in the Gospel, carried down by the devil violently into the sea. They will rather be damned—than turn from their sin! “these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them!” (Jer. 8:5).

But if there is any sincerity in us, if conscience is not cast into a deep sleep, let us listen to the voice of the charmer, and turn to God as our supreme good. How often does God call upon us to turn to him? He swears, “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness! Why should you die?” (Ezek. 33:11). God would rather have our repenting tears—than our blood.

Turning to God is for our benefit. Our repentance is of no benefit to God—but to ourselves. If a man drinks of a fountain—he benefits himself, not the fountain. If he beholds the light of the sun—he himself is refreshed by it, not the sun. If we turn from our sins to God, God is not advantaged by it. It is only we ourselves who reap the benefit. In this case self-love should prevail with us: “If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.” (Proverbs 9:12).

If we turn to God—he will turn to us. He will turn his anger from us—and his face to us. It was David’s prayer, “O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me” (Psalm 86:16). Our turning will make God turn: “Turn unto me, says the Lord—and I will turn unto you” (Zech. 1:3). He who was our enemy—will turn to be our friend. If God turns to us—the angelsare turned to us. We shall have their tutelage and guardianship (Psalm 91:11). If God turns to us—all things shall turn to our good, both mercies and afflictions. We shall taste honey at the end of the afflicting rod.

Thus we have seen the several ingredients of repentance:

1. Sight of sin

2. Sorrow for sin

3. Confession of sin

4. Shame for sin

5. Hatred for sin

6. Turning from sin

Complete & Effective Dominion

I had no intention of touching Oswald Chambers subject this morning. But during my time with God, the Holy Spirit had decided otherwise. I found myself learning through Oswald Chambers and the Holy Spirit something that I did not realize at the time I wrote my book “Apprehended & Apprehending”.

When I wrote my book “Apprehended & Apprehending” which by the way is not for people who are interested in sampling Christianity but rather for those truly yearning to know Him personally, those who already know Him personally and those who have reached the stage in their Christian walk with Him that Oswald talked in his devotional of April 11 & 12. Otherwise, the book would be meaningless to you.  By the time I had written the book, I had experienced that true Salvation will always lead us to find the “Pearl of Great Price” which to my surprise I found is God the Father. Believe me every bit of this verse is true and it is so GRAND that when you find the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:46 your life will never, ever be the same again. And whether we like it or not shoddy Christianity is left behind and you can only go forward with the Father.  “Who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

In my book, my writing was based on what the triune God taught me and my experiences of it though Him. This is one of the beautiful things about learning directly from God. I was taught what Oswald Chambers teach today in his devotional where he used Romans 6:9-11.  In my book I used the same analogy but I learned it from Philippians 3 as God set out to impart to me what He meant through Paul in verses 10-12.

I don’t know about you but I am excited as I see the beauty of God’s Word and how everything stands by itself yet everything is intertwined together. Oswald said today that eternal life is not a gift from God but it is THE GIFT OF GOD. My dear friends, it is about possessing God Himself, that’s what Oswald means. While it is true eternal life is a gift from God but the gift is HIM.  You see, when you make the decision to leave it all behind, meaning intellect, pride, sin, knowledge, understanding etc and go forward with God to find out what those annoying people keep going on about, as if they know God better than the average Christian, you find God the Father, in the process. (Actually to a certain extend it is the story of the great C.S Lewis)

It is only when you find God the Father, you realize the goal of Salvation, the whole idea behind Salvation which God showed me is as big as the ocean, is in effect about finding God the Father. He is the endless gift behind it all.  Oh I wish you could see the beauty of it all with the eyes of your heart. I wish you could go on to experience the depth, the length, the strength, the width and so on, that is involved in finding the Father.  Make no mistake, I did not find Him when I was standing by myself under the law, and doing my things apart from Christ. He revealed Himself to me while I was inside of Christ. Understand what I am saying, we were both, inside of Christ. I found out He was always there all along, but could not reveal Himself to me until I was ready, because as much as it is a friendship and relationship with our father, it is also a process. This process it is the reason Oswald Chambers is pleading with us in his devotional to go forward apprehending what Christ had apprehended us for. The strange thing is, once you apprehend the reason why Christ apprehended us for which means possessing God the father, you are driven by that ambition to apprehend more and more of Him. It is so strange, you find that you can never get too much of Him and you cannot be quenched.

In my book I explained how the life that is in Christ is imparted to us. It is as if God is changing your very own DNA with His life. He feeds it to you slowly as if you were an infant in the mother’s womb, Christ becomes the mother here. I still find it mind boggling the idea of me being in Christ, Christ being in me, Christ being in God and God being in Christ. While in my walk with Him I have experienced it, but it still gives me a headache to think about it. I cannot wait for God to take away the limitation when I die so that my little pea brain does not explode with this beautiful truth.

While we sit there like a dog with a bone claiming one or two verses here and there to stand our ground and make excuses not to go forward, if we only bothered going forward, God would show us that all those things we tend to think are made up by other people to rock the boat, and our enjoyment of complacency. We would learn the depth of certain verses that escape us in the Bible. What I mean by that, some people would say, well, we do not need that and it is apostasy. This is why we have to test the spirits. We do not gobble up everything people say because we like them, or that they look good, or perhaps they agree with our idea of Salvation which keeps us in complacency with God to begin with.  If we do that, we are no better than unbelievers trying to decipher the Bible to make fun of us and show how stupid we are and how bad our God is. When we do not test the spirits first through the Holy Spirit, we are nothing less than fools. We give Satan’s ammunitions and he tightens up the chain that keeps us in bondage and in ignorance of the true God.

What Oswald wrote today, in the same way I concluded in my book that we need to go forward to claim the life we have in Him we can find one instance in the Bible where Paul said the same thing as well. Galatians 4:19 expressed so nicely why Paul was suffering like a pregnant woman about to give birth. He knew they were missing a big component which was needed. Hence “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,” this is a beautiful verse pregnant with meaning directly related to our eternal life. You are free to see this verse as the word of God and admit and commit to it. Or, you are free to see it as Satan wants you to. The choice is yours. Be forewarned that choosing Satan’s side by minimizing the meaning of this verse does not change God’s truth and does not let you and I off the hook.

Matthew Henry’s commentary is my favourite. Here is what he said about it 4:19, 20 “The Galatians were ready to account the apostle their enemy, but he assures them he was their friend; he had the feelings of a parent toward them. He was in doubt as to their state, and was anxious to know the result of their present delusions. Nothing is so sure a proof that a sinner has passed into a state of justification, as Christ being formed in him by the renewal of the Holy Spirit; but this cannot be hoped for, while men depend on the law for acceptance with God. The truth is every single time we walk without Him,  provide explanations and decipher the Bible on our own apart from the Holy Spirit, all we do is put ourselves right back under the law.

The beauty of all this captivates me so much that I could go on deciphering Oswald’s devotional because I lived it all out with Him in the wilderness. But, I want to make something clear. My comparing myself with the same deductions that I came up with Oswald has nothing to do with me thinking that I am close to walk in Oswald’s shoes. On the contrary, one of the reasons I got excited is because I can see that God can teach me in the smallest and the biggest things. I got excited because I learned something new today through the devotion and I am happy because I am learning from the same God who taught Oswald His Word. I am well aware that I have a long way to go and one will never arrive in this life.

Complete and Effective Divinity – Dominion

You know, I was reading Oswald Chambers today, I realize once again I have to change my post.

All the divisions amongst us Christian, the conflicts, the lack of power we Christians are living with, the anxieties, the fact that apostasy has taken over the Church and we are not capable of discerning those imposters  and live out the truth of true Salvation. All the need to build empires for our own greed and ego, pastors caught with their pants down, the need in the Church family to assign titles to ourselves to feel we matter. The dead works that we pass for Christianity etc, are all found in April 11 & April 12th devotional.

These are deep stuff that we can understand when we leave behind our standards of Christianity and take on His. We get what Oswald is saying only when we truly walk with the Spirit. Otherwise we are doing Christianity in our ignorance and sadly we are so busy doing Christianity and immersing ourselves in the culture we have never made the time to become true Christians according to God’s standards of what Christianity should be. If I do not control myself, I could go on and on. But, I am hoping if one of you could give some thoughts to the reality of what Oswald wrote, if only one of you surrender in complete abandonment to Him for the sake of becoming one of His own, then to God be the Glory.

One of the beauties of living in the Spirit and walking in oneness with Him (even when we are not mature Christian yet) is that He enjoys witnessing to our Spirit. So most of the time while this life is being worked in us, (impartation) we know through the Holy Spirit they are happening in us and through us. I know most of the time I sound like a broken record, but I also have to live with the reality of who the God we serve is about. Too many of us “Christians” are going to find out at a time when we cannot change things anymore. Too many of us dictate the terms of Salvation to God and too many of us do not realize God is not going to take all the Christians Churches to put them together and make up His bride. The Church will be made with those who have truly been identified with Him. Those that are truly His they hear His voice and they walk with Him.

When we bring the bar very low, we count on His love instead of Salvation, to get us there. But, God does not bow to anyone. His Word says in Romans 9:15 “For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” When we bring the bar so low to accommodate our idea of what Christianity should be, when we spend most of our time finding loopholes in His covenant with us and when we spend most of our time claiming those verses that evoke His clemency and love we force His hand.

We put Him in a corner like Satan did, in our insolence, our greed, lack of humility, lack of reverence, harden and disobedient hearts we forget that He is God and no one can ever corner Him with His own Word. Sure He said I will never forsake you but He also said “woe to you” He also said Thou shalt not have any gods before Me. Then how come you have been so busy serving yourself while thinking you could fool Him? How come those words that Oswald mentioned in his devotional, after decades of calling yourself Christians you have no idea what they mean? Could it be you have been way too busy being your own master and you did not even noticed? Haven’t you noticed those verses in the Bible where God talked about the power of Salvation have eluded you? Are you hoping the fact that you fake it so well He is going to be impressed with you? Was God lying when His Word says Salvation has power to change us inwardly to make us like Him? The fact is, when we are not truly following Him, we get caught up in our own hypes.

Take heed to Oswald Chamber’s words while you can. They are the difference between imputation and impartation and whether the explanation suits you or not, does not change God’s Standards and plan about His Salvation.

 

HERE IS OSWALD CHAMBERS DEVOTION FOR TODAY & TOMORROW

Complete and Effective Divinity

04 11 2013

If we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection . . . —Romans 6:5

Co-Resurrection. The proof that I have experienced crucifixion with Jesus is that I have a definite likeness to Him. The Spirit of Jesus entering me rearranges my personal life before God. The resurrection of Jesus has given Him the authority to give the life of God to me, and the experiences of my life must now be built on the foundation of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.

The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, the resurrection life of Jesus penetrates every bit of my human nature. It takes the omnipotence of God— His complete and effective divinity— to live the life of the Son of God in human flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot be accepted as a guest in merely one room of the house— He invades all of it. And once I decide that my “old man” (that is, my heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything. My part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals to me. Once I have made that important decision about sin, it is easy to “reckon” that I am actually “dead indeed to sin,” because I find the life of Jesus in me all the time (Romans 6:11). Just as there is only one kind of humanity, there is only one kind of holiness— the holiness of Jesus. And it is His holiness that has been given to me. God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new spiritual order

 

Complete and Effective Dominion

04 12 2012

Death no longer has dominion over Him. . . . the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God . . . —Romans 6:9-11

Co-Eternal Life. Eternal life is the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human level. And it is this same life, not simply a copy of it, which is made evident in our mortal flesh when we are born again. Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of God. The energy and the power which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, once we have made that complete and effective decision about sin.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” (Acts 1:8)— not power as a gift from the Holy Spirit; the power is the Holy Spirit, not something that He gives us. The life that was in Jesus becomes ours because of His Cross, once we make the decision to be identified with Him. If it is difficult to get right with God, it is because we refuse to make this moral decision about sin. But once we do decide, the full life of God comes in immediately. Jesus came to give us an endless supply of life— “. . . that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Eternal life has nothing to do with time. It is the life which Jesus lived when He was down here, and the only Source of life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to “let go.” But any effort to “hang on” to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him

Oswald’s devotional is courtesy of:http://utmost.org/

 

TO IGNORE THE WILL OF GOD

James 4:13-16 By Pastor Matt Mills

 

I found this piece by accident. It is rather comforting to me. It serves as a remembrance of who I used to be (mindset) and how low God has brought me to humble me before Him so that He can have His way with me, so here we go:

 

 Here was a group of people that measured success in life by how many times they got their own way and accomplished what they had planned. (13)

But James gives us four arguments that reveals the foolishness of ignoring the will of God, and living life without him!

A. The complexity of life. (13)

Here is a description of earthly life at its best; planning, buying, selling, making money, and enjoying the material world.

Life is made up of people and places, activities and goals, days and years. And each of us makes crucial decisions everyday concerning our future.

Life is never easy! It is always more complicated that we are able to figure out and plan for. But God brings order, meaning, and unity to life, because He is a God of order.

B. The uncertainty of life (14a)

Proverbs 27:1 says; “boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

They were planning a year in advance. Counting their chickens before they hatch. No one but God knows what the future will be.

Tomorrow never comes! WE ALWAYS LIVE IN THE PRESENT, NEVER THE FUTURE. No one has been promised tomorrow!  There is nothing wrong with making plans, but we would do well to remember that God, and God alone holds tomorrow in the palm of His hand.

C. The brevity of life (14b)

I read the other day of a woman 114 years old. That seems like a long time, but when compared with eternity, life is truly a vapor!

When I was a kid it took forever for a birthday to come, now they seem to come every few months.

We count our life in years, but God tells us in Psalms 90:12, to count our days.

No has the promise of tomorrow, all we have is this moment. We cannot afford to merely “spend our lives” and we certainly don’t want to “waste our lives”. What we must do is “invest our lives” in the things that are eternal.

Do you remember the story Jesus told in Luke 12 about the man who had the bumper crop. His barns were too small, so he built bigger barns. REMEMBER WHAT HE SAID?

“I will say to my soul, Soul thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” But God’s reply to this man’s boasting was;“THOU FOOL, THIS NIGHT WILL THY SOUL BE REQUIRED OF THEE.”

Life is not uncertain to God, and when we know him, and are in his will, we can always be confident of a tomorrow… (here or there!)

Still some will say; “I have the rest of my life to live for God!” Friend nothing could be further from the truth.

D. The frailty of life (16)

We think ourselves to be so strong, so in control. Yet if one cell in our brains mutates and becomes abnormal it can leave us totally insane. One tiny microscopic virus can utterly destroy our lives. (HIV, Cancer)

Still we take credit for who we are and what we are. We totally ignore the hand of God at work in our lives.

Man cannot control the future, (which is why we worry). Man doesn’t possess the ability to see the future, much less the power to control it.

For us to boast about our successes is to make ourselves to be God, and James says that kind of boasting is evil! (16)

As frail a creature as we are, to ignore the will of God, would be like trying to find our way through a dark jungle without a map, or a stormy sea without a compass!

 

Gifts of Discernment and Wisdom

I have received emails asking me the difference between the gift of Discernment and Wisdom and read those who actually do not have the gift of discernment but trying very hard to conjure it up. So, I have decided to Blog about it and I am taking part of an answer I sent to a sister in Christ in response to her email. So, if you are reading this post you know who you are.

Wisdom:

The gift of wisdom gives you insight into God’s purpose and will and shows you how to resolve the everyday problem for you and for other people. It goes without saying that you are resolving them according to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and God’s will. Mind you Solomon squandered it and solved problems apart from God as he followed after other gods. However, we can have wisdom without the gift of discernment, because the gift of discernment goes further, but we cannot have the gift of discernment without wisdom

Discernment:

Consists of what people calls word of knowledge, it also comprises distinguishing amongst spirits etc. While some people separate them, the Holy Spirit taught me they are one in the same because what we are doing is seeing through others with the very eyes of the Holy Spirit. As we grow in the Lord and walk with Him daily, the gift keeps growing as well. We have insight into the purpose and the will of God about us and other people. We can see their motives, sometimes even their thoughts etc. We really have insight on people and things that only God would know.

What makes this gift hard to live with is that you can have a friend who is very happy about an assignment for example. He or she is over the moon thinking that he is going to serve the Lord in some capacity. While he or she is over the moon with joy, you cannot tell your friend that this is actually dead works. Yet, you cannot lie and say “well I am happy for you” Another example is that you are not a leader, yet you can see all the pastor is doing wrong like being out of God’s will, totally not walking in the Spirit and the preaching does not have God in it, etc. Yet, you are forced to say nothing except praying for this pastor, you are to find the strength to keep on going there until God calls you out.

I knew a Church where the leaders got into a major conflict, yet God showed me what He was trying to achieve through this conflict in each group and it did not work because both groups were disobedient and their ego got the best of them. Even today, I am still in pain for these leaders doing Christianity with their ego right in the middle of it. Yet, I am supposed to keep it all for myself.  With all my heart, sometimes I wish I could shut if off just for a little while just to be me.

God gave me my gift of discernment since I was a baby in the faith. Imagine being in the Church and God seemed to take away everyone, as if they disappeared, all of the sudden He singled out one of the leaders and point out things this person would never want anyone in the Church to know. (Believe it or not he is a nice guy) When He kept insisting on showing me week after week, my question to Him was “why you keep showing me that?” I did not have intimacy with God, nor did I know how to converse with the Holy Spirit. He gradually taught me and He also gave me proof that it was Him by forcing me to go to someone one a Sunday after service and told this person this is what God told me to pray for you. There were five other mature Christians there, and we were all in a circle. Everyone could not believe what they were hearing because they knew the man on a personal level and they asked me how I knew these things about him. I just replied like an idiot, “I don’t know, God just told me” and I laughed.

After I was in the wilderness for a few years with the Lord, He was breaking my stiff neck and changes me on the inside to transform me, one day, the Holy Spirit told me that He had given me the gift of discernment. What was strange to me was the fact that He waited so long to confirm that He had given to me the gift of discernment, yet He told me about my gift of Wisdom when I was approximately seven years in my walk with Him. I realized what He was doing all this time was training me to know how to use the gift of discernment and also testing me to see if I could be trusted with the gift.

I have never researched the gift up until approximately two years ago. I did it because I wanted to understand something God was not telling me which was “why me?”  I am not a leader and I am no one. – A few weeks after I started researching the gift, I could not get any answers at all and I was a little bit discouraged. Then suddenly, during my quiet time with Him one morning, the Holy Spirit made clear why, by telling me about my ministry and made it clear that my gift was mainly for my ministry. Guess what my ministry is? Working with people He puts in my path, people that have been in the church for a long time but never made it to truly become Christians. These people have lots of bible knowledge, they participate in Church services, Bible study etc. They are nice and very often intelligent and extremely educated people that we interact with day in day out yet they have never gone one step forward with God in their heart.

In my ministry I found it is extremely important that I know whether this person has ever received Salvation through an encounter with God or this person has had an encounter with God but is plainly disobedient with a stubborn heart with dull conscience, etc. Both types are difficult to work with, both type do not want to hear it.

I find that He also blocks people that He does not want me to see. Sometimes He blocks someone He wants to use in my life, someone like a leader, and then unblock them once He finished using them.  I find it strange that some people are trying so hard to have the gift, because, when He showed me how I was going to be hated, misunderstood, misjudged etc because of my ministry, I sobbed like a baby for hours and asked Him to take it away. But, I got over it, knowing that it is not about me but about my God and I am not above my Master.

One of the reasons I do not like talking about this gift of mine is because once people realize what you can do, they stay away from you. When it comes to leaders, if they do not stay away, they try to minimize it. Some actually think you are a total idiot for thinking you have the gift. One of the pastors who treated me that way had no idea that God showed me exactly where he was at. Because of that, this pastor has been constantly in my prayer for God to open up his heart and stop practicing Christianity with a “to do list” and also for him to learn to walk in the Spirit. Sadly, they do not realize the need to act in a certain way should tell you where you are at with God. It does not matter how much you love God and you are slowly growing, it simply means that you are still in the same frame of mind like Adam and Eve when they hid from God. It also means you have never gone forward just as you are and stand naked in front of God’s light.

Naked here does not mean without clothes but rather without our excuses, pretences, ego, pride, sin, double-mindedness, disobedient heart, lack of commitment, the lies we live and we tell Him, our stiff necks, etc. Yet, being able to stand naked in front of God and learning to live in the light of God is a major part of Salvation. God wants to restore us right here, right now and put us in the same relationship He had with Adam & Eve before the fall. Contrary to public’s opinion, this relationship is not when we die.

As I mentioned in my book Apprehended & Apprehending when God teaches us righteous judgment, we will find that we are our first customer, simply because we cannot judge people with righteous judgement for one single tree in their eyes if we have not learned to see the forest in our own eyes. In the same way if we cannot live in oneness with Him, if we cannot learn to live righteous lives moment by moment then the gift of discernment could become a curse instead of blessings. I say blessings here because God calls it such. Sometimes, as you live it out, it could be such a heavy gift that you ask yourself why is this a blessing?

In fact I asked God the same question when He was pressing me to go to someone. Since this is a long time friend that I did not want to lose and I knew my insistence would cause me to lose the friendship. The Holy Spirit answered me “I want you to go to this person because I do not want to hear ‘I did not know’ I could then turn and say to this person that I sent my servant to you” – It is funny how I realized that day, knowing that you are God’s servant is one thing, but having Him called you His servant is another thing. All of the sudden my question disappeared, I knew I could not dispute it anymore and I spent hours trying to process the fact that He called me His servant.  I ended up going to my friend, and yes the friendship is now almost non existent.

The truth is people do not like feeling they are on display about their shortcomings. I still remember how I hated it. Every time I have to put someone on display, I am very mindful of that and every single time I see myself how I used to hate it and how it made me feel. But in equipping me for my ministry, He gave me boldness to do it with no regard for myself. It always comes down to “choosing myself or choosing Christ” or “displease men to please Christ” I would rather people hates me right now than having to face God’s wagging finger later.

Some of you want to know how I would feel if I was judged in the same way? Well, my answer to you is that I am going through it day in and day out with other people. When other people do it, I do not care and I will let God be the judge between me and them. Most of the time while they judge me, they have no idea that God shows me the spirit in them. Through my training for my ministry, God has taught me to keep a sober mind and remain alert, because in the same way He can show me someone else business, He could also turn around and do the same to me at any time. My duty is to learn to live in the light of God as He is in the light. As long as I am in the light as He is in the light, then I have nothing to worry about. I make sure I am at peace with the fact that other people can see that I am a true work in progress in Christ. I am certainly not sinless, nor that I have arrived.

We are perpetual students in the hands of God.  It is also for that reason that God made sure that I mustered the courage though the Holy Spirit and His grace, to appear before Him just as I was. I no longer need to hide like Adam & Eve did. I passed that stage with Him. For those of you who are still hiding from God, when He calls you, if feels like a strong and distasteful medicine. You dread going and you want to prolong the hiding as much as you can. In my case the Holy Spirit made it clear that I had to go and go by myself because He could not do it for me. Once you face God, you find it’s finished. He is your dad what did you expect?

I also found out, we cannot claim to live righteous lives when we are still hiding from God. These two definitely cannot be separated. The need to hide so we are not found out by others simply says that we have not exercised enough faith to go to God. Once you appear naked in front of God, you find that you have become the most transparent person and the fear of being found out is gone. God actually takes the fear away from you. All that is left to do is to live a righteous life in Him. And no, righteous here does not mean you do not have sin.

I hope I was able to shed some lights for all your questions. I know I have gone deeper in answering what is the difference between wisdom and discernment but there are too many people who are under the impression they can seek the gift but not the giver.  Some have hardly taken two steps with Him then they want the gift, to be able to discern the spirits to what end? I don’t know. Could it be that I know but it would be better to talk about it in another post?

I like Pastor MacArhtur, and he has a good post on the gift of discernment and wisdom which I found a few months ago by accident. But, this particular post of his has not exhausted the gift of discernment as I have learned directly from the Holy Spirit but it is worth reading.

http://apprising.org/2012/02/14/john-macarthur-on-the-gift-of-discernment/

Living Out A Never Ending Love Story With My Master & Redeemer!

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