Posts Tagged ‘Righteousness’

River of Transition

“Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” (2 Kings 2:8-10)

When Elijah and his successor, Elisha came to the River Jordan they were at the “River of Transition”. A change was about to take place. The Mantle of prophetic anointing is about to be shifted from the elder to the younger. How will this take place? By the careful and deliberate choice of Elijah! Notice here that the sons of the prophets were left on the other side of the River – they will have no say in the transfer of the Mantle. The transfer will occur at a place of God’s choosing and not man’s.

Asking for Double!

In seasons of transition, there are opportunities for increase! For eight long years Elisha had followed Elijah faithfully, and finally the Man of God asks Elisha what he wanted from their relationship. Elisha was bold, because he understood the value of transition. He asked for a double portion of the Spirit that was upon Elijah. Elisha wanted the anointing and authority of the Holy Spirit… in fact, he was after double. It is important to state clearly that no man can give what he does not have. Therefore, it was impossible for Elijah to give double; but it was not impossible for Elisha to receive double according to his faith in God. His faith got him just what he asked for… a double portion. And the principle seems to have been true in Elisha, because we see recorded in Scripture double the miracles done by his hand than that of Elijah. When he received the mantle, the observant followers of Elijah recognized the anointing on Elisha’s life by saying, “The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha”. They saw and recognized the power of God upon the ministry of Elisha.

When you stand at the River of Transition… what do you ask for?

Jesus received His mantle at this same River!

Leaping forward… 2500 years or so. It may have been the will of God that this “mantle of anointing” to be passed from one generation to the next all the way from Moses to John the Baptist… and on to Jesus! I cannot help but believe that God was once more speaking in the river of transition. At the time of Jesus’ baptism, all righteousness was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit came as a dove and lit upon the Son of Man. The Father’s announcement is heard, “this is My Son in whom I love!” And from this very place a mantle was received and miracles began in Jesus’ ministry.

Today, Jesus is calling us to the River of Transition… Go after double!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.” (Jn. 14:12-14)

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)

Value Your Anointing!

“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – Eternal Life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 Jn. 2:24-27)

Allowing the knowledge of God to abide in you, is more than just theology or Church Doctrine being understood. Our minds are incredible in so many ways. God has given us the capacity to process facts, but spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment… an anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing is an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit that offers influence (Exousia or authority) and power (dunamis or dynamic impact). Those benefits go beyond the natural realities of our five senses. We have by way of the anointing, a supernatural ability to see, hear and move in the spiritual realm. The Apostle John is trying to help us understand the value of this anointing, as we process Eternal Life.

1st) We need to Experience Eternal Life…

The Anointing within us is designed to turn spiritual knowledge into fellowship with the Father and the Son. This is fellowship in the Glory of God at its best! When we are saved, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light; whereby our lives are no longer held by the power of sin, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is a process, recognizing the influence of our new abiding “Helper” (Holy Spirit); but it is also, an awesome and powerful freedom that allows Eternal Life to be released into all of our decisions. Its by the anointing that we know spiritual truth and have power to overcome the enemies of our soul (Isa. 10:27)(1 Jn. 2:20 & 27). If you desire to see deliverance and breakthrough in your life, then you must value the anointing! Even Jesus was aware of the impact the anointing carried upon His life and ministry. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me…” (Lk. 4:18).

2nd) We must Hold On to Eternal Life…

The Apostle John warns us that many are trying to deceive and lie about the truth of God. They are jealous or intimidated by the life they see in the Believer and aim to discredit the Child of God, because they walk in rebellion to a Biblical world view. There are so many hostile environments in our world, that it requires us to value the anointing above any other influence in life. We must have a fresh anointing abiding within us to build ourselves up and carry a bold testimony of God’s goodness and power in our lives. Without question, trouble is always knocking at our door and we cannot give in or make room for the enemy’s lies or perversions. We give no place to the Devil… by standing firm against his schemes (Eph. 6:11-13), his approaches (Jms. 4:7) and his accusations (Rev. 12:10-11). It is the anointing that destroys the demonic strongholds and offers freedom in the midst of spiritual battles (2 Cor 10:3-6)(Acts 10:38). We must value the anointing if we want to continue to receive the blessings of Eternal Life… in ourselves and for those within our reach.

3rd) We are called to Advance Eternal Life…

Believer’s are called to become Ambassadors for the Message of Eternal Life. We are like the mouthpiece of God, flesh and bone, but anointed with the Word of Hope. Our declaration is that God has set His love upon the world and lifted up His own Son in the place of the sinful. We cry out with trembling voices, “Be reconciled to God!” Because He made Him, who knew no sin; to become sin for us, so that we might become His righteousness, by the pure blood shed at the cross (2 Cor 5:19-21). We must value the anointing of the Holy Spirit, because it is not about the eloquence of our preaching or the depth of our experience. It’s all about the One who abides in us, speaks through us and empowers the message… so that it is “good news”. As Kingdom Agents we advance Eternal Life with the anointing, through the anointing and by the anointing. Jesus said, “All authority, and all power has been given unto Me, therefore go… preach, teach and disciple the nations of the Earth… and I will be with you!” (Mt. 28:18-20 -my paraphrase).

That is the anointing defined… “I will be with you – I will be upon you – I will abide in you and live through you!” Why would you have no need of a teacher? “For He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

If Only

This is what the Lord says- Your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)

“If Only… you had paid attention to My Commands!”

These words echo in the heart of those who live with regrets. We have all found ourselves off track to some degree… with strange perceptions, bad choices and wasted opportunities. Many times in our self-absorbed lifestyles, we think that we are doing the right thing or going in the right direction only to find out that we have been wrong. We hit the wall or reach the end of the rope and cannot find our way out. Some have so damaged their future that recovery would require a miracle. Life is not something we should guess at or rush into, but problems are often the high price we pay for trying to please everyone around us. Perhaps you have felt the shame and embarrassment that follows these words… “if only I had paid attention” to God.

Losing Peace:

God has given us all that we need for life and godliness in His Word and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:2-4). He knows what is best for us and He desires to teach us those things, because He loves us. Unfortunately we sometimes refuse what God teaches us and insist on doing our own thing. When we do this, we eventually find that we have lost our peace and our life gets full of unnecessary problems and difficulties.

God is Gracious:

God will not leave us in our confusion if we are willing to return and recover what has been lost. His arms are always open for us and He is always waiting for our return. Although we hear within our soulish man, “If only you had listened”, God does not leave us in defeat if we will come to Him in faith. We often beat ourselves up with the “if only’s”. If only we had not done this or if only we had done that instead. But in spite of what we have done, there is hope in God!

God holds out a wealth of righteousness… His Mercy, invites us into a fresh peace that flows like a river and washes over us like the waves of the sea.

Shifting the Focus:

We cannot change the past, but we can shift the focus and live beyond the regrets of the past. Jesus tells us, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN!”. This changes everything inside of us, when we know we are free of the past, free of the guilt and free of the entanglements. The chains that have held us fall lifelessly to the floor, so we can begin anew. We can begin today with the right choices and listen to God’s instructions for Kingdom life. We can begin now with fresh perspective and limitless possibilities. In return God will cause us to walk in the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

Life to the Fullest:

Have you gotten off track and done your own thing only to find that you have lost your peace and brought unnecessary problems into your life? Take ownership of your future and shift the focus… living beyond your regrets is a matter of choosing who gets to speak into your heart. God’s invitation is not to control you, but to free you to enjoy life to the fullest.

The key is to hear His heart: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best 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.

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