Posts Tagged ‘Christ in you’

Real Witness

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.” (Micah 3:8-10)

Your real Christian witness flows from somewhere deeper than your voice. The Prophet Micah attributed the power of his ministry to the Spirit of the Lord. Our power comes from the same source! Out of the belly of a man; filled with the Holy Spirit, rises a testimony of truth and power (Jn. 7:37-39).

You are more than your story – You are His-story!

We cannot stand on our own righteousness… it is Christ in us that speaks of better things than what people see or hear. Indeed, were we to find ourselves reliant upon our strength, our wisdom or our charm, we would find no hope against the onslaught of this world’s trouble. But we are not at all in the clutches of impending doom… for we are not our own. We live as Christ’s Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). We have been purchased by a blood as pure and holy as the whitest snow (Eph 1:7). We have been offered freedom’s highest position (Eph. 2:6). And we have a voice within ourselves that comes streaming forth like a rushing waterfall (Phil. 4:13). Christ has become our strength, our wisdom and our witness, because He is our peace… our focus and our joy. He is our Righteousness!

The Mystery: Its “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27)

Jesus told His followers they would receive power to witness about Him when the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts. 1:8). You can’t witness effectively by relying on your own strength, because fear will keep you from speaking out for God. You can’t witness effectively by choosing the best sermons or knowing the right words to say. You are not smart enough to outwit the devil. You cannot witness effectively by creating the best atmosphere or offering the most attractive invitation. Only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit can you live and witness for Him! But with that power comes the promise that signs and wonders will follow those who believe (Mk. 16:17).

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8)

This is the witness we have in Christ: “That if God be for us, who can stand against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

Hope of Glory

“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)

This “hope of Glory” is the wonderful internal reality of the Holy Spirit’s power… Christ on the inside! It is as if you and I could be worn like a glove. We are God’s expression of Heaven on Earth. The Sons and Daughters carry the Father’s substance and yes we really are the ambassadors of His character and priorities from the “other world”. This Glory of the Lord is more than just filler… its the most awesome sight in Heaven. It moves the Angels to sing of His holiness and bow to His majesty.

Although, the Glory of the Lord can be experienced; it is often misunderstood and seen as a rare occurrence here upon the Earth. In fact all of creation still yearns to see more of it. The Bible talks about the Glory in many ways in both the Old and New Testaments. Still it remains only a vague concept to most Christians. It is my belief, that this spiritual substance should be a central focus for the Church and a passion for all who long to know God!

  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

In Scripture, Moses contends for God’s Presence with a passionate plea, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Ex 33:15-17). We need to contend for the Presence of God in our lives. Note that Moses pulled upon God’s Presence with earnest expectation and God says, “I will do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” He wanted God’s Presence to go with him, but he wanted something greater. He wanted to see evidence of God’s goodness and encounter His Glory.

He said, “Please, show me Your glory” (Ex 33:18).

What a prayer! He not only wanted to know that God was with him, he insisted upon the manifestation of that Presence… God’s goodness. We could say, he wanted God’s Presence made known to him, made visible and tangible. He wanted to see the manifestation of that Presence! Think about it… if Moses could see the Glory of God, why shouldn’t we?

I believe as a Child of God; I can see the Glory too.

We must understand that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord. The Bible speaks about our ability to see the Glory with the eyes of faith.

  • “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the Glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor 3:18)

The Bible also points to where we find the knowledge of the Glory of God.

  • ”For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

Spending time alone beholding Him and worshiping Him, will cause us to see His Glory. To nurture a greater hunger for His Presence is the first step… and yet there is more. His revealed Glory comes with the “face to face” encounters in our lives. Seeing Him in the pages of God’s Word and knowing that there is more of God available in our lives, will cause us to search for deeper experiences with Him. We can begin to have Glory encounters of our own, where we get firsthand knowledge of His goodness and His power.

Let’s go deeper!

Into the Call of God

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Col. 1:27)

Bridging the Gap between Our Ability and God’s Call:

1. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
“He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22)

The Greek word for anoint is chrio, meaning ‘to smear or rub with oil’… and when used in the New Testament it speaks to the idea of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon and within the believer to achieve great exploits.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18)

These verses emphasize the essentials to entering into the call of God! Just as Jesus was “anointed” and “sent” to fulfill God’s purpose, we are also anointed by the Holy Spirit and sent to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. With the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we receive God’s power to do the work He has called us to do (Acts 1:8)(Eph 3:16). In the Old Testament, Prophets, Priests and Kings were the classes of people anointed with oil, foreshadowing Jesus the Messiah; and also signifying that the anointing sets God’s people apart for service to Him. In the New Testament, anointing is not a substance or impersonal power, but the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit still sets us apart to do all that would fulfill the Will of God in our generation. We need to highly value and treasure the Spirit and His anointing. This puts a demand upon our hearts… WE MUST:

  • Maintaining an intimate relationship with Him and continue being filled with the Holy Spirit! (Eph. 5:15-18)
  • Be growing in our sensitivity… to obey Him and follow His timing! (Acts 13:2)
  • Value accountability and honor God-given leadership! (Eph. 4:11)
  • Treat His Presence and anointing with honor and respect! (Eph. 4:30)

As you do this, you can trust His anointing and abiding Presence to be evident and enter into the call of God for your life. So, if you are wondering how to get the supernatural results God intends for your ministry… remember that the source is not you; but is in you and on you. Its the Presence of Christ and anointing of the Holy Spirit.

2. The Grace of God
God says to us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Cor 12:9)

God offers us grace and power, sufficient for His purposes, but we must tap into it by the humility of surrender. The Apostle Paul tells us that he “boasted in his weakness”, because in so doing he was able to tap into God’s supernatural grace and power! If you are unsure where the strength will come to achieve what God has called you to do? Then you are right where God wants you! Just remember what the Apostle Paul heard from God and how that redirected his focus and his praise. God’s grace, “charis” in Greek, refers to the undeserved favor of God freely given to us in Jesus Christ. Grace is the favor that encourages and empowers us in our service for Him!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10)

Grace effects us at the deepest level when trying to accomplish the Will of God. This enabling grace relates to our specific calling from God… it is the favor within His voice that clarifies your purpose in life and strengthens your resolve. So you and I run into the will of God with passion because the call of God become the beat of our hearts! We Pursue Him – Make Him your highest aim and you will never, never be without strength in the days ahead.

“Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake.” (Rom 1:5)(1 Cor 3:10)

When the call of God is daunting, remind yourself that you are of God …and “Christ in you” has already overcome!

Signs of the River

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)

Are you seeing any signs of the River? Just how thirsty are you?

Jesus said that when we drink from Him, receive His life and become filled with the Holy Spirit; rivers of living water would begin to flow out from within our lives. The River not only flows from His Presence, as wherever He went life would spring forth… His Presence flows through us. The Glory of the Lord becomes evident through us by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. From this Holy Spirit River, flow salvation, peace, healing and transforming joy. The joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself. It is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).

A glance through the New Testament, and especially the book of Acts; we see Jesus and His followers demonstrate the signs of Kingdom advancement (Mt. 11:4-6). Everywhere they preached the Kingdom of God broke out and healing miracles and signs of the River begin to flow (Mt. 4:23-24)(Acts 4:29-31)(Acts 5:12-16)(Acts 8:4-8)(Acts 19:11-12). Its more than just cause and effect… its the hand of God mightily impacting the world around believing people! He is wanting to break in with power, truth and compassion… and its thirst that makes His River rush in!

6 Bible Facts about the River:

1. The River flowed out of the Garden of Eden: This was the place where God communed with Adam and Eve. This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters throughout the land (Gen 2:10-14). In this way, our Father prepared a means of life to nations and people long before they even existed.

2. The Bible begins with a River and ends with a River: In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the River of Life flowing from the Throne of God. “On each side of the River stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2) Here in the final page of Scripture, we again see God’s heart for nations and people.

3. The River brings healing to the Nations: Ezekiel had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the Temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river, bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47)

4. The River of Life brings a Harvest: Where once there were no fish, fish abound and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch (Ezek 47:9-10). The harvest on God’s heart is souls… people from every tribe and tongue (Mt 4:19)(Rev 7:9).

5. The River of Life is a Source of Joy: The Psalmist says: “There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells” (Ps 46:4). “People feast on the abundance of Your House; You give them drink from Your River of Delights” (Ps 36:8).

6. The River flows from God’s Presence: Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence, the place He inhabits and reigns (Joel 3:18).

  • “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk. 16:15-18)

Glory that Increases

‘…indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever”, that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.’ (2 Chron. 5:13-14)

God’s Glory is supernatural – unmanageable, unpredictable, and frequently controversial… especially when it violates our religious traditions about God. Yet the Glory of God still remains the most influential and powerful expression of our Christian experience. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to know Him, to glorify Him and to reflect His Glory. The more intimately we know God, the more His Glory will be revealed to us and in us… from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). After all we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit!

Increasing Evidence of Glory:

In the Exodus from Egypt, God’s Glory was seen in the cloud that lead His People by day and the fire that lead them by night. In the days of King David and King Solomon, there were Tabernacle and Temple experiences that overwhelmed the leaders and challenged every religious idea of the day. As New Testament Believers, we recognize that same Glory now resides within us as the New Covenant Promise – written upon our hearts. It is the shekinah Presence of the Holy Spirit living within us that increases as we embrace it and hunger for more. The Apostle Paul said that although this Glory would be mysterious, it would be revealed to the Saints and increase in the Believer who puts their trust in Christ. We were made to know the riches, and to drink in the river of God’s Glory.

  • “The mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” (Col. 1:26-27)
  • “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13)

How Much is Enough?

Three truths I try to remember – 1st There is always more! – 2nd You can have as much of God as you want! and 3rd Your hunger will dictate your capacity to receive. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). There are several ways we can “go after more” of God’s Glory in our lives.

  1. Worship: Gives God the worth He is due and increases our awareness of His Glory.
  2. Thanksgiving: Offers appreciation for all He has done and will do and creates room for His Glory to be manifest in our lives.
  3. Meditating upon The Word of God: Releases revelation and an awareness of how God’s Glory was seen in the past.
  4. Fellowship: Recognizing our relationship with the Holy Spirit and soaking in His Presence shapes our hearts as places of intimacy and habitation for greater Glory.
  5. Prayer: Intercession and offering our petitions to God in faith draws His attention, His love and Glory encounters.

We were born to manifest God’s Glory… to embrace the challenge of carrying something so wonderful that were we to truly comprehend its power…

WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!

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