Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’s presence’

First Things

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mt. 6:33)

When we seek first the Kingdom of God every part of our life is effected. Our values, choices and even our dreams come into alignment by some very significant Truths… Truths that are foundation to a Christlike lifestyle. To place something first means it carries the most influence, weight and authority in our lives. It most often makes the most sense to us and appears first in rank or preference.

The “first thing” is the most important thing!

When we make the decision to follow Christ and put our faith in His power to lead us; we are immediately struck by the reality, that other things will challenge us for the position of “first place”.

First place is the high place!

Devotion and discipline are huge factors in our ability to maintain our goals to serve God with our gifts and honor God with our hearts. Yet it was Jesus’ own promise to us that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God; all the important things we value most, would come after our obedient lifestyle.

Seeking transforms our focus and aligns our desires with His will.

It is a sure thing that our commitment will be tested, but we can trust our Heavenly Father to deliver on the Promises of His Word. Seeking first the Kingdom of God actually releases the Holy Spirit’s Presence in our lives, for discernment and convictions to come to the surface. As we process life on spiritual levels, our hearts are moved and behaviors are adjusted by a sense of the peace of God, which passes our understanding (Phil 4:4-7).

Four things are required in the seeking first model:

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always… Praise and Activate Your Trust!
  2. Prayer Maintain Communication with Heaven!
  3. Supplication… Ask and Keep on Asking in Faith!
  4. Thanksgiving… Be Grateful for His Promised Best for You!

Making a lifestyle out of seeking God for the first things in our life will cause us to recognize all those less important things, that tend to release worry and fret. Worry does nothing to change our situation or shape our future for the better. Worry actually is the first thing our spiritual enemy (Satan) will look for to try and bring destruction through lies and fear.

Worry is irresponsible and distracting.

The Apostle Peter said “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:7) Trusting God’s character and faithfulness, is often the biggest test of our heart, but when we press through and renew our courage… we become more tenacious with a testimony on our side. Recognize God is more invested in you coming into your first things, than you are; because He cares for you!

Receive the Holy Spirit

Can anyone receive the Holy Spirit?

If a person has repented of their sin and received Jesus Christ as Lord of their life, then they have what the Bible calls the seal or guarantee of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their hearts. This is most evident by the experience of inner promptings and the development of personal convictions. Growing in our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice is vital to our spiritual relationship with God. We must learn how to yield our affections to Him.

It is important to understand that the Holy Spirit is God… not an “It” or a “thing”. He, the Holy Spirit is the comforter that Jesus spoke of, who would lead us in all righteousness. In regards to our daily experience with God, we are able to continually fellowship with the Holy Spirit and enjoy the love offered by our Heavenly Father (Rom 5:5). God is a good Father and He works by the Holy Spirit to minister grace for all of our needs to be met (Mt 7:11). This is a wonderful promise of God, that equips us with a confidence in knowing that our sins are forgiven and we have become an “adopted” child of God.

Holy Spirit releases needed fruit into our lives like patience, peace and joy, so that even in the midst of very difficult circumstances we are able to find God’s help and wise counsel to make good decisions. The Bible even tells us that through the Holy Spirit’s counsel in our lives, we are able to have the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). God wants us to enjoy the full benefits of a victorious, Christ-centered life and that is why He has told us to ask for the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13), to yield to the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14-16) and to never grieve or quench the Holy Spirit’s voice (Eph 4:30 & 1 Thess 5:19).

John the baptist made the declaration about Jesus before He had begun His ministry that He would “baptize” or immerse us in the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11), so that we would have power to become His witnesses on the Earth (Acts 1:4-8). The entire book of Acts is filled with stories of people having supernatural experiences with the Holy Spirit. Jesus did what John prophesied and poured out a gift that would turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

Paul said “be filled… with the Holy Spirit” (Eph 5:18) and meant that we should continually be refueling our fullness in the Holy Spirit, like filling our gas tanks for the journey before us.

I often tell others that the Holy Spirit is inside of me for “me” (so I am continually growing), but He is upon me for “you” (so that I am enabled to release the power of God on your behalf). We truly are equipped with power from on high when the Holy Spirit comes upon our lives to anoint us to do the very works that Jesus did in His ministry (Jn 14:12-16).

The goal of Jesus was to destroy the works of the Devil (Lk 4:18-19)(1 Jn 3:8) and this becomes our mandate as well as He has asked us to follow Him and teach others to do the things He was doing (Mt 28:18-20).

The Holy Spirit is our source of life in God, both for our personal relationship and for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in the world. Receive Him… YES – and offer everyone the same opportunity! We owe the world an experience in the power and love that comes with living the Holy Spirit filled life.

Kingdom First

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mt. 6:31-33)

The first thing is the most important thing. When we seek first the Kingdom of God every part of our life is effected. Our values, choices and even our dreams come into alignment by some very significant Truths that are foundational to a Christlike lifestyle. To place something first means it carries the most weight and authority in our lives or appears first in rank or preference.

When we make the decision to follow Christ and put our faith in His power to lead us; we are immediately struck by the reality, that other things will challenge us for the position of “first place”.

“First” Place is the Highest Place!

Devotion and discipline are huge factors in our ability to maintain our goals to serve God with our gifts and honor God with our hearts. Yet it was Jesus’ own promise to us that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God; all the important things we value most, would come after our obedient lifestyle (Mt 6:33).

“First” Seeking Transforms Us:

What you seek… and how you seek determines your focus and the alignment of your desires. We want our heart to align with His will. It is a sure thing that our commitment will be tested, but we can trust our Heavenly Father to deliver on the Promises of His Word. Seeking first the Kingdom of God actually releases the Holy Spirit’s Presence in our lives, for discernment and convictions to come to the surface. As we process life on spiritual levels, our hearts are moved and behaviors are adjusted by a sense of the peace of God, which passes our understanding (Phil 4:4-7).

Four things are required in the seeking first model:

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always… Praise and Activate Your Trust!
  2. Prayer… Maintain Communication with Heaven!
  3. Supplication… Ask and Keep on Asking in Faith!
  4. Thanksgiving… Be Grateful for His Promised Best for You!

“First” Things are Vital:

Making a lifestyle out of seeking God for the first things in our life will cause us to recognize all those less important things, that tend to release worry and fret. Worry does nothing to change our situation or shape our future for the better. Worry actually is the first thing our spiritual enemy (Satan) will look for to try and bring destruction through lies and fear.

Worry is irresponsible and distracting.

The Apostle Peter said “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7) Trusting God’s character and faithfulness, is often the biggest test of our heart, but when we press through and renew our courage… we become more tenacious with a testimony on our side. Recognize God is more invested in you coming into your first things, than you are; because He cares for you!

The Will to Follow

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit… was led by the Spirit…” (Lk 4:1)

When you decide to disciple another person, you are basically saying, “Follow me as I follow the Spirit”. You are stepping forward to show other’s the way in which they should be led. So the question begs to be asked, “Who is leading you?” Who are you following? Are you demonstrating a willingness to follow the Holy Spirit. Jesus wisely said, “…if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

Led by the Spirit:

One of the marks of a person who is full of the Holy Spirit is that they are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit. They are involved in receiving the Holy Spirit’s correction, direction and instruction. This cannot be overstated. Being available to go wherever the Spirit leads and do whatever He asks is the model Jesus gave His disciples. Everything in their lives had that undeniable mark of Spirit inspired leadership upon it… this is the anointing.

The Mark of Leadership: 

God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38). He affirmed His Father’s priorities and did nothing except what His Father told Him to do. His life was the visible expression of the Father’s Will and the model for true Holy Spirit leadership!

Authentic and Visible: 

Being anointed meant Jesus was carrying an active, visible favor in His ministry that demonstrated His Father’s heart in full view of the disciples. Jesus did not fake it, make it up or ask for help from the crowds. He was the real, Good Shepherd. He knew how to live in the secret place of the Holy Spirit’s Presence and release a flowing expression of the Father’s heart. He had no need of a worship team, love offering or altar call to stir the faith of crowds or critics.

Why did so Many Follow? 

People wanted to follow Jesus, because He was the greatest example of sonship ever seen. The Apostle John says it best when he opens his letter to the churches. “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship (follower-ship) with us; and truly our fellowship (follower-ship) is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (1 Jn 1:3-4)

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