Posts Tagged ‘spirit of truth’

Stir the Gift

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (Jn. 16:13)

Its interesting to me to see that the Holy Spirit is described, not only as a person (He): but also as a “gift” (Acts 2:38, 10:45). Notice it says in the Bible (Lk. 11:13) that  if we can give good gifts (plural), how much more will God give the greatest gift, the Holy Spirit (singular); to them that ask. The Gift… is the Holy Spirit.

All the gifts of God are by The Holy Spirit… So what does this mean? It means that we have the potential to flow in any gift necessary for the moment, if we have “the gift” of The Holy Spirit. We may move more effectively or feel stronger in some gifts than in others… but the “best” gift is the one needed at that moment (1 Cor. 12:31). The good news is that God is willing to use you… but we must stay fresh and stir up the gift of God within us!

Cultivate the Relationship…

Do not let the dust settle upon your gift!

The Apostle Paul tells young Pastor Timothy to be sure and not neglect the gift of The Holy Spirit (1 Tim. 4:14). He tells him to “stir up” the gift inside of him, which is the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 1:6). We must cultivate our relationship with the Holy Spirit, just like we do in our marriages or among good friendships. Scripture warns us not to quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thes. 5:19). The word quench here means not only to suppress, but also to extinguish. If you don’t stoke a fire, it will burn out. It must be stirred up! You need to stir up your relationship with the Holy Spirit and not let it die out.

Keys in Cultivating the Relationship with the Holy Spirit:

  1. Praise and worship in the Spirit (Phil. 3:3). If you only praise and worship God on Sunday morning, you’re missing the boat. It should be constant (Ps. 35:27-28).
  2. Praying in the Spirit, you build yourself up (Jude 20-21)(1 Cor. 14:4).
  3. Reading The Word of God (Jn. 14:26). The Holy Spirit will shed light on God’s Word and bring it to your remembrance.

Like any relationship… effort has to be put into it. You have to make time. If you don’t have time for God, then your priorities are all messed up. You need to sit down and rewrite your schedule to include time in the Word, praise and prayer. God has so much in store for us. He doesn’t want us to lack in any gift. He sent Jesus to give us not only life, but abundant life (Jn. 10:10). We see clearly that God desires all of His children to flow in the things of the Holy Spirit (Num. 11:25-29)(1 Cor. 14:5). It’s not Him holding us back… often times it’s us saying no or feeling uncomfortable.

We need to say yes… and stir up the gift of the Holy Spirit!

“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:4-9)

Truth & Freedom

“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” (Mt. 10:7-8)

This may go against some of our religious sensibilities, but Jesus told us to do more than just agree with the Gospel of the Kingdom. He declares the necessity of advancement… healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the leper and driving out demons. Jesus was promoting a spiritual revolution! The Kingdom of Heaven was designed to be a movement with forward progress. It was to carry a spiritual authority that displaced the ruling dominion and release God’s reign of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit… for all who would receive it. If somebody was in need, Jesus had an answer that would shake the enemy’s hold… by confronting the dominion of darkness head on.

The Apostle Paul said, “…nor give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27)

In essence the Apostle Paul is saying, “Don’t give an inch, or he will take it all!” We must learn to hold our ground. When a person is being harassed by the devil, I believe there is always a reason… its a dominion issue! Here is an insight I find helpful: the Greek word for ‘place’ – is a legal foothold; an opportunity; a legal right to enter and occupy. Demonic influence comes to occupy unguarded places in our heart and mind. By using spiritual “gateways”, or giving “place” to the devil; we are allowing darkness to have influence in our lives. When we allow darkness to have a voice, we are foolishly beginning to embrace twisted perceptions of reality. The devil’s strategy is simple… he wants to steal, kill and destroy (Jn. 10:9). Evil spirits look for ‘gateways’ to enter and begin to control parts of our life (Jn. 13:27). No matter how the access comes, the goal is to convince the person to walk in spiritual darkness, shame and isolation. The devil’s strategy is for the oppression or “works” to lead us into bondage and corruption. That is why Jesus was manifest on the Earth… to expose and destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).

Freedom:

Lasting freedom can only take place if the Kingdom of Heaven draws near and darkness is displaced. The gates must be identified and closed. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth, to identify and reveal personal issues that expose these gateways in our lives.

  • Jesus truly is the way, the truth and the life (Jn. 14:6)…
  • And when the Son sets free you are free indeed (Jn. 8:36)…

Its God’s Way, Truth and Spiritual Life that Frees the Oppressed:

What we fail to recognize sometimes is that the devil has blinded our eyes to the truth and clouded our judgment of reality (2 Cor. 4:4). To know Christ and abide in Truth… is to find the freedom of heaven’s “Family” order. Its a freedom that cannot be achieved any other way. The Holy Spirit brings us into sonship… its the Spirit of Adoption (Rom. 8:15) and it offers transformation by breaking the hold of Satan on the human mind and spirit. When we come to know who He is and who He has declared us to be… we are confronted by the Truth and those lies of our heart are made visible. You see, the Truth is reality from God’s perspective! Therefore, when we see Christ for who He is, a vale is lifted from our hearts and we are given the choice to embrace what is real, as apposed to lies (Rom. 1:24-27).

When the veil is lifted… truth & freedom are a wonderful bridge!

Responding to Slander

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt. 5:12)

As followers of Christ, we will always feel that this world is not really a good fit. We will long for peace and joy from this world, until we recognize it comes from another place… heaven. And as we grow in Christ, the feeling that this place is not our home; will only grow… not diminish. Life here, will not get easier in terms of comfort. In fact, we may find that we mourn more easily than we used to, that our ability to be merciful is strained, and that our awareness of sin is more keen. We may also find that some people become very uncomfortable with us as we experience greater freedom in Christ, because we are not as easily manipulated and don’t join them in their controlling games. But, the choice is our… we can rejoice and be glad! We do this, because we want the very things Christ is offering… indeed – we are glad that His Kingdom Dominion (Rom. 14:17) is our real inheritance!

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:31-32)

HOW TO RESPOND TO THOSE WHO SLANDER YOU…

A. Love: Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving… even as God in Christ has forgiven you and I. Jesus set the standard very high… He calls us to love one another. By loving people who mistreat us, we demonstrate His love… a love that flows from heaven (Jn. 15:9). The Holy Spirit is our resource (Rom. 5:5), and by having this attitude, we can have impact and minister even to our accusers.

  • “I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…[as it] is written… They hated Me without a cause.” (Jn. 15:17-25)

B. Bless: Jesus called us to bless and not curse our enemies, even those who slander us. To revile or slander is to share negative reports about someone without cause. We are blessed and anointed with power from heaven to love our enemies or slanderers by our words, deeds and prayers. Jesus modeled it for us (Acts 10:38) and we are promised to have access to the same Kingdom Reality (Jn. 14:12)… the anointing of the Father!

  • “Blessed are you when they revile… you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” (Mt. 5:11)
  • “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you…” (Lk. 6:22)
  • “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44)
  • “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. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 Jn. 4:4-6)

C. Entrusting Ourselves to God: We endure mistreatment by knowing that God will vindicate us in His timing, as we commit the conflict and mistreatment to Him. The challenge is to walk in self control and allow room for God to move on our behalf. We can entrust every situation to God through prayer and believe His promises to respond in His way.

  • “…when He [Jesus] was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…” (1 Pet. 2:23)
  • “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I [God] will destroy; the one who has a haughty look and proud heart, him I will not endure.” (Psa. 101:5)

D. Speak Privately: If someone slanders us, we are to talk to them in private. If we want to win the brother who is accusing or slandering us without a cause, we must talk in private. If we want to win the argument, we will continue to talk in public… and often lose the brother.

  • “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” (Mt 18:15)

Clearing the Air:

When people operate without resolving conflict, they pay a high price in order to protect their pride and selfish ambition. Seeking to win an argument, means we are more willing to devour each other, strain christian fellowship and weaken our testimony before God. The Apostle Paul cautions, “If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Gal. 5:15). This kind of atmosphere is disastrous to advancing the Message of the Kingdom of God, because it releases a dominion of darkness and corrupt attitudes in environments where people of all types meet and experience our poor behavior. We pay for unresolved anger towards those who slander us and end up undercutting our goals as Christ’s followers.

Freedom & Reconciliation:

Our ministry as ambassadors for Christ… is all about reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-21)! The only way to be liberated and walk in freedom is by blessing those who mistreat us and repenting of bitterness when we see it in our hearts. As we act in the opposite spirit, the “spirit of peace”; our heart begins to be healed and we are called the “sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). Jesus said, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge… and you are thrown into prison. I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Mt. 5:25-26). We must learn how to clear the air of our arguments and discord, because they lead to other sinful behaviors. I believe there is a relationship between harboring bitterness and stumbling in immorality. Anger causes trouble, personally and corporately; but if we can learn to evaluate our conduct in the light of God’s Word we will guard ourselves and find freedom from this spiritual struggle.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.” (Heb. 12:15–16)

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