spirit

Be Mindful

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mindful: careful not to forget; paying close attention to; attentive

God is mindful of us, but help us, Holy Spirit, to be mindful of Him.

What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:4, NKJV)

And I wonder, “Why are people so important to you? Why do you even think about them? Why do you care so much about humans? Why do you even notice them?” (Psalm 8:4, ERV)

The Right Touch

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I just don’t want someone who can touch my flesh, but I want someone who can touch my spirit also.

By His Spirit

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I know the moment I got saved, the Holy Spirit entered me, but years later I was asking to receive the filling of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4).  It didn’t happen immediately, but I didn’t give up or become frustrated because I knew that God wanted to give this to me.  All I had to do was ask.      

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13)

At that time, I didn’t understand the purpose of being filled. All I remember is that I heard a very close friend of mine pray in a heavenly language and I wanted that.  What I didn’t understand was that God wanted me to do more than just speak in tongues.   

My pastor started teaching about the gift of the Holy Ghost last month and when I began to compare my life with those who were filled in the bible, I realized something was wrong – not with them, but with me.  I had been walking in fear for years, but those who were filled, walked in the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  What was I afraid of? Was I afraid of being ‘fully’ led or controlled by His Spirit?  Did I really think I was in control of my life? (Well, I need to fire myself because apparently, I haven’t been doing a good job of managing my life). 

I also noticed the repeated cycles and patterns in my life – the ‘tricks’ I kept falling for.  I realized the inconsistency and unfaithfulness.  I would start a thing, but never finish.  I know the Lord sees that I’m trying to live right.  I’m trying to do this and I’m trying not to do that and that’s good, but the thing that God wants to do in me and through me will not be done by my power or might.  It will only be done by His Spirit. 

I now realize that I was no different than the Israelites in the wilderness.  What I’ve been trying to do for 40 years, God could have done in 11 days – by His Spirit. It shouldn’t take you 40 years to forgive someone! It shouldn’t take you 40 years to walk in your calling! (I’m just saying).

It’s not that I’m not saved.  I am.  It’s not that I didn’t receive the filling of the Holy Spirit.  I did, but God wants to complete the ‘good work’ He started.  It started with salvation, but He wants to do so much more in my life and in the life of others.  He wants to anoint me with the Holy Ghost and power so that I will go about doing good and healing those oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). If I am filled with His Spirit, I will be led by His Spirit (Luke 4:1).  If I am filled with His Spirit, I will walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

For years, we’ve had ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ programs and we’ve talked about walking in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  And I do believe that there are Christians who are trying to walk in these areas, but they are trying to do it without the Helper (John 14:26, NKJV). We have been trying for years to do things for God – without God.  The reason why Jesus prayed to the Father to send the Holy Spirit to us is because we needed help, but we’ve been trying to live without His help.  I don’t care how hard you try.  You’re not going to see the fruit without the Spirit because it is the Spirit who bears the fruit – and His fruit doesn’t come and go.  It remains (John 15:16, Galatians 5:22-23). 

When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, He ‘turned’ him into another man and this is what the Holy Spirit wants to do in us – change us.  I believe a lot of us (including myself) want change, but either we’re afraid to change or we’re afraid to trust or both, but we’re missing out on so much. The Holy Spirit wants to teach you how to pray. He wants to guide you into all truth. He wants to give you gifts.  He wants to empower you so that you may shine as lights, be blameless and be the sons/daughters of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. 

God has shown some of you what He’s going to do through visions and dreams.  He has promised you things through his word and through prophecy and like Mary, you’re wondering, How shall this be? How will this happen?  The same answer the angel told Mary then is the same answer for your situation now.  The Holy Spirit (Luke 1:34-35).

My prayer is that we will all want change and want to be changed and may all the things you’ve been trying to do in your own strength for years be done this year – by His Spirit.   

 

Not by power, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6).

Give Me Another Chance

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You don’t miss your water till the well runs dry.

My grandmother used to say that all the time.  That was her way of telling me that I won’t really appreciate what I have until it’s gone or until I lose it.

Have you ever abused or misused something?  Have you ever lost anything and you wanted God to give you another chance?

Maybe you messed up a good friendship.  Or you cheated on a good man/woman.  Or you left a good job.  Or you squandered money.  Or you lost a business.  Because of your ways and your disobedience, you missed out on some great opportunities.

But the good news is that if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful, but if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance (Proverbs 28:13, TLB).

For weeks now, I’ve been asking God to trust me again in certain areas. 

But I’m not asking Him to give it to the person that I was when I lost what He gave me – selfish, unfaithful, immature and disobedient.  No.  I’m asking him to give it to the person who is filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding and knowledge – who will not do her own will, but the will of her Father.

Rule Over Your Own Spirit

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rule: to manage, conduct, control; exercise power and authority over

When a bird sees a trap being set, it stays away (Proverbs 1:17, TLB), but at one time or another we have played around the trap thinking that we would never fall or we have played around the net thinking that we would never get caught.

He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls  (Proverbs 25:28).  Although temperance is listed as the last fruit of the Spirit, it is just as important as the first fruit (love) mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.  It is what helps the other fruit to mature.  Another word for temperance is self-control.  Self-control is when you stop yourself from doing things you want to do, but shouldn’t do.  Everything is permissible, allowable and lawful for me, but not all things are helpful, good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things  (1 Corinthians 6:12).  It is when you manage your feelings and emotions well.  A person who lacks self-control opens himself up for attacks and danger.  If there are no walls, there is no protection.  The enemy at anytime can take you away captive.  Anything and anyone can enter in to steal, kill and destroy.  A good example of this is Jericho.  Jericho was securely shut up to keep the Israelites out.  None went out and none came in, but when the wall fell down flat, the Israelites entered and destroyed all that was in the city.

Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not partake of anything that would defile him (1:8).  He made a decision and he was determined to obey God’s laws no matter what.  He was serious about God.  He wasn’t playing nor was he sleeping. When you’re sleeping in the natural, you are not alert or aware of your surroundings and it’s the same when you are spiritually sleeping.

In Judges 13, we see that God had a plan. His plan was to use Samson to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. The Lord blessed him (vs 24).  One time, the Spirit of the Lord came so mightily upon him that he tore apart a young lion.  He also killed one thousand men with the jawbone of an ass.  Just like the devil hates you, the Philistines hated Samson. To them, he was the enemy and the destroyer of their country (16:24).  One day, the rulers of the Philistines came up with a plan to bring this mighty man of God down and they used what he liked to fulfill that plan – a harlot. They may not have known his strength, but they knew his weakness and just in case the harlot refused their proposal, they were already prepared to give her what she liked – money.  Her assignment was to seduce him so that she could find out where his great strength lied.  Until the rulers learned of his secret, they could not bind him, afflict him and prevail against him (16:5).

Delilah didn’t succeed the first or the second time, but she was persistent.  She pressed him daily with her words and urged him  (16:16).  Samson did not rule over his own spirit well.  Instead of him guarding his heart, he told her all his heart and before you know it, he was sleeping – upon Delilah’s knees. A man later came in and shaved off the seven locks of Samson’s head and his strength left him. I know the things that the devil are tempting you with looks good and it may even feel good, but they only came to make you lose your strength.

Wake up!  Let us not sleep like the others do.  Let us watch and be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6).  Be mindful of your brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Pray for your pastors.  Don’t rejoice, gossip or laugh when they fall, but instead pray that they rise up again.  For a just man falls seven times and rises up again  (Proverbs 24:16).  Watch, but also pray that we enter not into temptation.  If you know someone who has been taken captive by the devil, pray that they recover themselves out of the snare of the devil (2 Timothy 2:26).  Make up the hedge and stand in the gap before the Lord for them. Jonah chose to sleep rather than to obey God, but even in his disobedience, God spared him and used a shipmaster who didn’t even serve Him to wake Jonah up.  So the shipmaster came to him and said unto him, What do you mean, O sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish  (Jonah 1:6).

Get up!  If you messed up, don’t lie down in regret, shame, guilt and condemnation.  Before David’s child died, he fasted and wept, but once his child died, he got up, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, went to the house of the Lord and worshipped.  His servants thought he was crazy, but David knew he couldn’t bring his child back.  He couldn’t change what had happened and neither can you. The past has passed.  Learn from the mistakes you made. No longer will we be fools that keep repeating the same foolishness nor will we tempt God, but we will learn how to rule our own spirit so we can stop living a defeated life and instead live a victorious life.

God wants to make you ruler over many things, but He can’t trust those who can’t first rule over their own spirit.

Prayer:  Forgive us for obeying our flesh, its lusts, desires and affections.  Lord, teach us how to rule over our own spirit. Your Son made us free. Now help us to stay free and not to entangle ourselves again with the yoke of bondage. I pray that we make up our minds and purpose in our hearts to not defile ourselves any longer. Keep us from falling and keep our feet from slipping.  May the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead also raise up every person who is spiritually dead and spiritually sleeping, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

Get Understanding

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Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.  – Charles Kettering

The word, understand, means to grasp the meaning, significance or importance of something you know (information). Jesus and his disciples had just entered the ship to go to the other side. The disciples had forgotten to take some bread and they only had one loaf of bread on the ship. Jesus told them, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.  Jesus made this statement because He didn’t want them to be contaminated by people who honored God with their lips, but not with their hearts (Mark 7:6). He didn’t want them to become like those who kept the tradition of men, but refused to keep the commandment of God (Mark 7:9). Instead of asking Jesus for understanding, the disciples reasoned among themselves. They saw when five thousand were fed with only five loaves and two fish and there were twelve baskets of leftovers. They saw when four thousand were fed with only seven loaves and a few small fish and there were seven baskets of leftovers. So, why were they fussing about who forgot to bring bread? There was something they didn’t understand. How is it that you do not understand?  (Mark 8:21).

Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews yet he didn’t understand what it meant to be born again. Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?  (John 3:10). Nicodemus thought an old man had to go back into his mother’s womb to be born again. Although his statement didn’t sound intelligent, he was smart enough to ask for understanding. How can these things be?  (John 3:9).

When we were in school, some of us raised our hands to ask questions when we weren’t sure of something while others pretended to know or understand what the teacher was saying when they really didn’t. Maybe we just didn’t want to appear stupid or maybe we were just trying to impress someone we liked or maybe we were just trying to fit in. What happened in school is what has been happening in the church. We know lots of scriptures and can quote them, but our life living, our actions and our disobedience are proof that we really don’t understand what we are saying or what we heard. To shun evil is understanding  (Job 28:28b, NIV).

There is something I’ve been doing for months now and recently the Lord told me that what I’m doing now is what He wanted me to do all along. Then, He reminded me of the things He told me to do (through men and women of God), but I missed it. All I could do was repent and tell the Lord I was sorry. I really didn’t understand. I heard, but I didn’t understand – neither did I ask for understanding. I was doing, but it wasn’t what God wanted me to do. I was giving, but it wasn’t the gift He required of me. When you are led by your feelings, you are going to either hit or miss, but when you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will never miss. God’s Spirit knows what is in God’s mind. There are things we don’t know, but He knows and understands all things. Nothing is hidden from Him. If you follow Him, He will guide you into all truth. He will let you know what is going to happen. He reveals what has been given to us from God. When He prays, He doesn’t pray amiss.

We are getting a lot of word and we are getting a lot of revelation– and that’s good, but with all your getting, get understanding. Some of us have been going to church most of our lives, yet we are blind. We have eyes, but we really don’t see. We have ears, but we really don’t hear and we forget what we should remember. Jesus doesn’t want us to be like the blind man who was brought to Him in Bethsaida. He wants us to see clearly. He doesn’t want us to be people who are not able to discern between men and trees (Mark 8:24-25). He wants us to recognize and to identify when it’s Him and when it’s the devil. There will always be a way that seems right, but He doesn’t want us to try to figure things out on our own. This is how we miss God. He gave the church true apostles, true prophets, true evangelists, true pastors and true teachers and He gave us the Spirit of Truth so that we wouldn’t be deceived like Eve.

People who are trained to recognize counterfeit money don’t study counterfeit bills. They study and learn every detail of real  money so that when the counterfeit appears, they can see (discern) the difference. Let us study the life of Christ so that we will know what is Him and of Him, and what is not.

Prayer: I pray that you receive your sight today. May God anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you may see. May the Spirit of the Lord rest upon you, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:3). Open our understanding that we might understand the scriptures (Luke 24:45). Father, You commanded the light to shine out of darkness. Now command Your light to shine in the hearts and minds of Your people. Thank you for restoring our sight, Amen.