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The Holy Spirit and the Repentant Heart

This blog on the Holy Spirit, I believe, is crucial to our understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. True discipleship is rooted in repentance. When a person makes the discovery of their frail sinfulness, they want, in their hearts, a better way. The Holy Spirit is our guide and gives us the strength to endure. Just because a person receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, does not mean that the life they live will be without hard times. The Holy Spirit is sent to you for that purpose from your conversion. Why? It is because Jesus Christ knows that it is a fight you cannot fight on your own. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the God and He loves us so much that He gave us not only His Son, but His Spirit as well. God is good, all the time!

The Need for Reconciliation with God Through the Holy Spirit

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

The most beautiful words ever spoken can be found in Jesus’ teachings in the His “Sermon on the Mount.” The entirety of the sermon set the standard and started the ministry that would forever change the world. Consider the vehicle used by God the Father to fulfill His purposes and Will, the Holy Spirit. It is because of His Son, Jesus, that the Father does have mercy and grace towards us. Jesus voluntarily left His throne in heaven and chose to be born into humanity as a commoner to show His creation how much He loves them. He knew the outcome of His stay as He interacted with humanity, ultimately death. Regardless, Jesus remained faithful to the call of the Father. Jesus said that He only says and does what the Father tells and shows Him. We are called in this same manner. It was only through the power of the His Holy Spirit that He could carry out the call. It was a difficult task to fulfill. You may say, “well Jesus was God so He was more than able to accomplish what God gave Him.” True, but consider the fact that Jesus was not only God, the second person of the Trinity, he was also human.

When we consider the beatitudes and these basic teachings of Jesus, we must first look at the very beginning for understanding. Jesus wanted the disciples to comprehend the idea of humility and with that a total surrender of the heart. Repentance is a total reversal or changing of the life lived by the individual who has given their life to the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. He asked us first to be humble, poor in spirit. We must turn away from the evil, sinful life that we are bound to and humble ourselves to a Holy and Glorious God. Humility is the opposite of pride. Jesus says that the humble person will be lifted and He will give them rest. This is only the beginning. The next step is repentance. Repentance logically follows when a person’s heart has been humbled and that person is willing to reject sin and submit to the loving embrace of Jesus Christ in their lives. When the tainted spirit of the person reaches from the depths of their sinful life and receives the Spirit of God for redemption, then the person can find the peace that passes all understanding. The Holy Spirit is sent to you and me for guidance and strength throughout the process of sanctification to a transformed life.

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.”
(Joel 2:12-13 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit plays a pivotal role in the whole redemptive process for the believer. We are unable to accomplish salvation in our own power. Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we must rely on the work of the Holy Spirit to empower us to finish the race set before us. In this passage from the prophet Joel we see a simple request from the Lord. It is a call to repentance. He is telling them to turn to Him with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Why is this necessary? We are a sinful and fallen people. Truthfully, we would never be able to do enough for God to redeem our relationship with Him. The beauty of the whole big picture set in motion by God from the beginning is that He loves us despite our faults and sins. Jesus paid the debt that we could not repay, in full. Praise God for His Grace! God told His people to turn back to Him with all their hearts. But, He saw that there needed to be more before true repentance could be achieved.

The Jewish custom, as a sign of repentance or mourning, they would tear their robes as a sign of remorse or rejection of a word or person. God told His people to rend their hearts and not their garments. He went to a deeper level for true and whole repentance. One must not just show repentance outwardly, but they must rend their hearts for a new one to be created and formed back to the original image of God. Jesus has called all to repentance for the sake of the gospel. We would not have ever repented apart from being humbled to enter the presence of a Holy God. In the second part of this passage, God relents from doing any harm to you, if you repent. He is gracious and merciful. No matter how good you think you might be, you will never be good enough to stand in the presence of a Holy God without the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. God will look to your heart to see where your desire truly resides. Is your desire for a relationship with Jesus Christ or are you totally focused on the accomplishments of the world that the only time you look for God is in moments of crisis?

What does the Holy Spirit Promise to a Mournful Spirit?

  1. Answer to Prayer

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

This is probably one of the most popular scripture verses that pertains to the promises of God concerning those with repentant hearts. There are whole movements within Christianity that focus solely on this verse. Powerful and incredible, if we truly follow it. God gives the believer four simple things to do for Him. The first three are in preparation for the fourth. First, if we are called by the name of the Lord God then we will humble ourselves. Because we are prideful by nature this is a hurdle to accomplish. Humility, in the world’s eyes, means weakness. So, as humans with sinful natures, we tend to gravitate toward the negative. And this does not mean humbling ourselves. We must humble ourselves to receive an answer to prayers in our lives. The next step is to pray. Communication with God is the most important thing we can do. In any relationship, communication is the key. The person who truly repents in Jesus’ name with all their heart will receive answer to their prayers. The answer may not come when you want it or what you want. But, God is faithful and just and He loves those who are called by His name and answers their prayers.

The person who first humbles themselves and then prays will naturally seek the face of a Holy God with a repentant heart. Remember that God knows your heart and your motives toward Him. Seeking the face of God is a total commitment to the pursuit of God and His righteousness. He honors that in the individual. When a person is seeking after the face of God, nothing else matters by God. True repentance is found in this same thought. A person is mourning because of the wretchedness of their soul before a Holy God. What do you think you are going to find once you find the face of God? Will He recognize you? Is the Holy Spirit leading you and guiding in your pursuit of the face of God or are you going in your own power? The fourth of these is found to be the culmination and the effect of the previous three conditions. We must turn from our wicked ways to stand in the presence of God. All that has been spoken of to this point was directed to this final condition. If we turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven, forgive us of our sins, bring healing to us and answer our prayers.

  1. Pardon for Sin

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
(Isaiah 55:7 NKJV)

The pardoning of a violation of a known law or trespass is not unheard of today. In fact, nearly every president of the United States has pardoned prisoners. It is called a Presidential Pardon, I guess for lack of a better term. But, for God, we cannot imagine why He would do such a thing. After all, God is God and sin is sin! Why does He care so much for humanity, who kicks sand in His face and spits on Him every chance we get? Love! Why should He even care if we repent of our sins, when He knows that we will do the same thing again and again? Love! But, not just any love as we understand the notion. You see, God’s love is unconditional which is something human beings have no concept. In Isaiah 55:7, he is speaking concerning the pardon of sin. Regardless of how wicked our life may become and unrighteous our thoughts may be, God will have mercy on us if we return to Him. He said that He will abundantly pardon you. This means that you will be forgiven! You’ve heard, and probably said, the statement, “I can forgive but I can never forget.” For the believer in Jesus Christ to grow in their relationship with Him they must not only forgive an individual for their sin against them, but they must move forward and make every attempt to forget. You might say, “that is impossible!” With the Lord, all things are possible. We expect Him to forget our sins against Him should we lessen our responsibility and not make the same effort?

In Luke chapter seventeen verses three and four, Jesus said to rebuke those who sin against you. But, if they repent, then you must forgive them. Also, He said that if the brother sins against you seven times in a day and comes back to you and repents, forgive him. This is a very difficult thing to do. If God can do it with us, then we must do it with others. The real hard side of this whole notion of pardon and forgiveness is that we are unable to fully accomplish this on our own. It is the Holy Spirit, God’s own Spirit, given as an act of forgiveness toward us so we are empowered to forgive others. The Holy Spirit is also given to assist the Christian in moving forward with their life and not to dwell in the past. How are we able to truly forgive as God has forgiven us? By allowing the Holy Spirit to give you focus for the future and Will of the Father and not live in the hurts of the past. When we repent, He will cast our sins as far as the east is from the west and He remembers them no more. Wow! What amazing love, grace and mercy on an unworthy soul!

  1. Life Eternal

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

(Ezekiel 18:21 NKJV)

The two above scriptures speak volumes concerning repentance in the individual. The most popular verse in all of scripture is John 3:16. We were taught this from childhood in Sunday School. It remains the most beautiful scripture concerning repentance ever quoted. This is because it is simple in the way it portrays the relationship that the Father and the Son have with those who believe and choose to follow Him as Savior. The reward is not death but eternal life. The whole reason most people say yes to Jesus is for the reward. We are a very conditional people, so God, in establishing Covenants with His people, set conditions that put the control in our hands. All of this is based and rooted in God’s love. His unconditional love. God made covenants with His people repeatedly because He knows that deep down is the good He originally created. Everything God does is for the love of His creation because He is love. When He says that “whosoever believes,” He is not just talking about the basic believer but the one who truly repents.

When God speaks through Ezekiel in verse twenty-one of chapter eighteen, He says that if a person turns from all their sins that they committed, then He will have eternal life. Also, as another condition to this idea was that they must keep all the statutes and do what is lawful and right. There were three conditions that God set as the standard for the people to follow; repent, keep His commandments or statutes, and do what is lawful and right. Does not this sound like most of the foundational teachings of Jesus? It is amazing the consistencies throughout the Old and New Testaments. What are you willing to do for eternal life? Do you know why we don’t take our Christian life seriously? It is because there is a true lack of understanding of eternal life. Humans have no way of proving it, so our faith only carries us to a certain level of belief until we finally begin to backslide. We do not know how to justify the concept of eternal life. Our minds think in temporal terms of time as we understand it. We are merely a tiny speck on the timeline of eternity. It is difficult for us to grasp that God even knows we exists. Besides the fact that He wants a personal relationship with us. The incredible, gracious love of God!

  1. Comfort

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted
. (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7 NKJV)

Jesus said, when He goes to the Father that He would send them another comforter or helper. The one thing that is needed in the Christian life is a comforter. Evil is rampant in the world and Jesus provides, through the Holy Spirit, comfort and peace in times of trial and tribulation. He calls all people to repentance. The greatest moment of comfort and peace is when a person repents and their sins are forgiven by God. The Holy Spirit, coming into the life of that person, brings the peace and comfort in a bad situation. The beatitude that Jesus states is that Blessed you are when you mourn. This mourning is in the soul or repentance. He said that they would be comforted. This is great news because we should realize that we are not alone in our struggles. But strength comes to those who are weak and cry out to the Lord with all their heart.

The Luke passage brings a question to most people’s minds of why. Why would a person who had a stray leave the herd be concerned for the one when they have ninety-nine more sheep? No loss, right? Wrong. Jesus voluntarily came down from His throne in heaven so no one would die in their sins but would have the opportunity for eternal life. This is the incredible gift that the Holy Spirit was sent to reveal to us. We would be condemned by our peers if we were to leave a herd of ninety-nine to find lost sheep. The common idea is that it is not logical. The whole of Christianity is illogical, but that is because God’s thoughts and ways are not ours. I, for one, am glad. Because if I would have created the creation, I would have messed it up, thrown up my hands and walked away at the first sign of trouble. If we are honest with ourselves, that is true for everyone. Glory be to God the Father and His Son through the Holy Spirit that He never does that with us!

  1. The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

(Acts 2:38 NKJV)

The Apostle Peter was the walking billboard for repentance. He never withheld his thoughts on any subject, particularly when it concerned Jesus. The gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift. There is no other way to state it. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. God the Father gave the Son to the world. Then, the Son gave the Holy Spirit to the world. Thus, the Holy Spirit leads those who believe from that world into life eternal. We must first repent of the sins in our lives to receive forgiveness and the promise of God. Many people struggle with the notion of the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is believed that the Holy Spirit is only given to certain groups or individuals. This is true if you consider those whosoever believe in the Son and repent of their sins. Does this mean that only certain Christians have the Holy Spirit in their lives and others don’t? No. If we repent of our sins and believe that Jesus is the Christ who died for our sins and rose from the grave to be at the right hand of God the Father, then He sends His Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and lead these into eternal life.

The Holy Spirit is a gift from God to those who believe in the Son. We must worship and serve Him with all our hearts. Do you love Him today? Are you willing to serve Him despite the costs? The Apostles, including Paul, considered life or death in the Lord as a win no matter how you viewed it. Everything in the Christian way of life is defined by paradoxes. Therefore, the world hated and rejected the light and chose the darkness. Are you willing to step into the light and accept the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead you to the life that you were created for today?

Let Us Pray:

Heavenly Father, help us in our unworthiness and forgive us of our trespasses. Lord, we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Guide us and lead into all righteousness for Your name’s sake that we may glorify You in all that we do. Teach to follow Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The Holy Spirit and the Humble Person

Writing concerning the Holy Spirit has truly made me look deep into my own walk with Jesus Christ. This blog especially makes me reflect even deeper into how I treat others. Humility in the world’s eyes is a sign of weakness and those are set aside in society because they lack influence or ambition. Humility is truly the opposite of the world’s view. The Holy Spirit is the one who is there, despite what the world thinks, to be your strength and power. Many people are humble by nature and their personality reflects that strength in them. There are also those who are not humble by nature and they are the ones who the Holy Spirit has to sometimes work on the hardest. The Apostle Paul was one of them. For the times, he had a right to be boastful. Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee and the head of his class in training. His drive to serve God in everything drove him to the massive persecution of Christians. Saul had to have a personal encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ to even consider that what he was doing was the opposite of God’s call. He had to be humbled. Are you willing to be a humble Christian? Are you willing to live a humble life, even in the midst of persecution from those around you? Jesus did!

The Holy Spirit and the Humble Person

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

(Philippians 2:3-5 NKJV)

The human nature, because of its sinful tendencies, leans more toward selfish desires. Though most of the time we do not intend willingly to sin against another, we do. The fact is that human beings, by our very nature, sin many times a day. The Holy Spirit teaches the believer to be humble before the Lord. We are not only to be humble before the Lord, but before one another as well. It is very easy to be caught in the ways of the world. On the other hand, it is a difficult path for the Christian, who is trying with all their heart, to follow Jesus on their own apart from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is given to the believer for comfort, strength, correction, power, and guidance. When Jesus was telling His disciples about Him leaving to go back to the Father, He explained that He had to go so that He could send the Comforter, the one who will bring clarity to all that He had taught them. Jesus, in all His teachings, always taught with authority. But, another distinguishing feature was that He was a humble man. Jesus came to set the example for us all to follow. When He told His disciples to follow Him, He meant to be like Him. Do what He does! Say what He says! Act in the same humbleness Jesus demonstrated daily.

When the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Philippian church, this was a church that truly had everything in order. There are always a few small things that are off track in any church, but for the most part they did good. The second chapter of Philippians is telling the church that God paid the ultimate price because He humbled Himself more than humans could ever understand. The most glorious example of humility was shown to humanity when God the Son came down off His throne in heaven. If that wasn’t humble enough, then He made Himself as a man, a human man. Then, He went a step further, He was born as every other human, but He was born in a dirty stable and placed in a dirty feeding trough. He was cast out and rejected in His birth town. He did not have a home to call His own. This is a point that we take for granted. He said that foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head. Humanity screamed out for a Messiah, a Savior! But, we were blinded to Him even when He literally stared us in the face. How ironic!

This passage speaks to the simplicity of being a Christian. He says that we should let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. We cannot live the true Christian life on our own. The Holy Spirit is our guide and our strength. He gives power and authority, in the Holy Spirit, to those who truly humble themselves with all their heart. Humility is at the foundation of the vital and growing Christian life. It is lived in selflessness. Living and thinking of others more than yourself. It means going the extra mile, even when you cannot take another step. You serve others in secret, seeking nothing in return. This goes directly against the grain of everything the everyday human being knows and lives! Wow! Jesus did not ask for recognition. In fact, He told those He healed not to tell anyone what He had done. He served the Father in obedience.

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3 NKJV)

Jesus, in all His glory and humility, taught first concerning the plan of salvation. The beginning of that plan started with a person’s necessity to be humble. They must first be poor in spirit. This means that we must push ourselves aside and give God the reigns of our lives. Jesus said that we must decrease for Him to increase in our lives. Many people say that because they care for a person who is disabled that makes them humble. We need to look at the motives for which we serve others. Is it for the money or the recognition or is it because we care? We might have all the degrees imaginable and titles after your name, but when the smoke all clears and we are standing before the Father in heaven how will He address you. Take care of the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned. But, all of this means nothing when done without a humble and godly loving heart. Pride comes before the fall. The flip-side of humility is pride. Just as humility is at the core of the Christian life, so pride is the direct antithesis. Pride is the basis for all other sins. When the rich man asked Jesus what else does he need to do to be able to follow Him. Jesus answered him and told him to sell everything that he had and give the proceeds to the poor, then he would be able to follow Him. The rich man walked away sad and his head down. Are you this person?

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

(2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

God made this statement to King Solomon and directed to the people of Israel following the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. There are movements today in Christianity where this one verse in all scripture is the focal point. The beauty of this verse is that it is a basic conditional verse. God kept it simple for Solomon and the people of Israel. There were four basic requests of God. The first three hinged on the fourth. He makes this statement to His people who are called by His name. These are the chosen people. Today we need to look at this verse and the fact that we are also called by His name. This is a Covenant that God is making with Solomon and the people of Israel. The first part of the covenant is that they must humble themselves. How about that?! Remember the first words from Jesus’ mouth in His first sermon, blessed are the poor in spirit. The first thing we need to do is humble ourselves.

The second requirement in the Solomonic Covenant was to pray. Prayer should be the cornerstone of the Christian life. Communication with Jesus the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit is crucial to maintaining a growing relationship with God the Father. We should pray in the morning before our feet hit the floor and when our head hits the pillow at night. The prayers of the lost Christianity are empty and selfishly needy based. There are real prayer warriors in churches all around the world. This is true! But, the sad part is that the Christian today has lost the reverence and intimacy found in deep heart-felt prayers. I have seen miracles because of prayer. I have seen healings because of prayer. The catch is that one must come before the Lord with a humble heart and allow the Holy Spirit work through you. The selfish prayer is not a humble prayer. It probably will not reach the ears of God.

The third requirement by God in the Covenant was that they must seek His face. When a person truly seeks the face of God, they need to be truly reverent and humble before God. One cannot see God apart from humility. How can a sinful person see God when He cannot be in the presence of sin? When a person seeks for something, they never give up until the object is found. We stress about some of the smallest things, but God wants to help you with even the little things. Many people in the world seek after riches, fame, fortune, power, and all things concerning the pleasure that the world offers. The closer we get to God, the humbler we become.

The fourth requirement God gives is for the people turn from their wicked ways. We must turn from the sin of everyday life. Repentance is at the heart and the beginning of salvation. This was the second beatitude Jesus spoke to His disciples. Repentance is to turn in the opposite direction and go the other way. But, one cannot have repentance and not have humility. You cannot have repentance and not pray! The act of seeking the face of God is evidence of the need to repent. So, today are you willing to humble yourself, pray, seek the face of God and turn from your wicked ways? He said that if you do these things, then, He will hear from heaven, forgive your sins and heal your land. We are unable to walk in His light apart from the guiding power and grace of the Holy Spirit. He humbles me every day. How about you!? Consider this scripture from Philippians and choose to live a humble life as Jesus did and rejoice!! As we prepare for the coming Easter, the death and resurrection of our Savior and Lord, consider the price paid on that cross. An innocent man had to endure extreme torture and pain then death for you and me so that we could have eternal life. If this does not humble you, then I don’t know what will humble you!

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV)

 

Let us Pray:

Heavenly Father, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I love you with all my heart. I eagerly seek Your face and want to be able to stand in Your presence. Lord humble me so You will hear my prayers and forgive my sins. Through all things, I give praise and honor and glory forever and ever. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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The Holy Spirit as a Rushing Wind

I am so excited about the up coming Easter season. If not for Jesus dying and rising from the dead, them we would not a reason for reading this blog. I apologize for the delay in posting this blog, there has been much happening in the Lord. The beauty in serving the Lord Jesus Christ is in the knowledge that comes from the fact that He gives us His Spirit for guidance and strength. The breath of God was breathed into the nostrils of the man he made from the clay of the earth and life was given to him. So it is when the Spirit or breath of God is breathed into us when we receive Him as Lord and Savior. He comes to us as a gentle breeze or a rushing wind. Keep in mind, even in the storms, He controls the winds, will calm your spirit, and give you focus and strength. Amen! ——- John

The Holy Spirit as a Rushing Wind

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit has always been a point of question for all people. Jesus told Nicodemus that the Spirit is like the wind. It blows here and blows there but you do not know from where it comes or to the place it goes. Look at our life in general. We take for granted many things, for example, breathing. Until you struggle to breathe or you see a loved one who is on life support and cannot breathe without it, there is no understanding. But, we live with breath every moment of every day. So it is with the Holy Spirit. The knowledge of the Holy Spirit is sparse at best. It is confined primarily to scriptures. This is where most religious beliefs find their “proof.” Even in scripture, the Holy Spirit is found to be minimal. But the evidence of the is immense throughout scripture, in the Old and New Testaments. The beauty of the Holy Spirit is the fact that HE is a person found on equal ground within the Trinity.

The church has taught in many circles that the work of the Holy Spirit was only relevant until the church began. This is far from true. The Holy Spirit is just as relevant today, in any church setting, as He was at the formation of the church for two thousand years. The people of the Christian church do not appreciate the fact that He is the Spirit of God and that the His Spirit is given to them. Jesus told the disciples that when He goes to be with the Father, He will send another comforter who will be with you and in you. Many fear the Holy Spirit as an apparition or poltergeist that will possess you apart from your will. The Holy Spirit is the Loving and Compassionate Spirit of a Holy God. The God who created you, wants a relationship with you. Why would God want to possess and control you beyond your control? The Holy Spirit is given for guidance and strength. God is given this as a great and precious gift. Receive Him and allow the Holy Spirit to build you spiritually into the person God created you to be.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6-8 NKJV)

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus concerning the Spirit of God, he is not unfamiliar with the concept. The Pharisees were more accepting of the notion of Holy Spirit than were the Sadducees. Jesus was speaking to the idea of the Holy Spirit in terms of the New Birth. Nicodemus’ concern was with the idea of rebirth. How is this possible? But, Jesus then said that they are two separate births. He said that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. As we give our lives to the Lord and are reborn as a new creation in Christ, we receive a portion of the Holy Spirit. You don’t need to be a member of a special congregation or elite denomination to have or experience the power of the Holy Spirit. He is gift to all who choose to follow Him. This is the great deception of the church today! Just as the wind is a guide, the Spirit of God goes where it needs to go, so it is with those who are born of the Spirit of God.

The Spirit of God just don’t jump into a person random and of no account. The person must truly yield themselves to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and desire to serve Him with all their heart. The Spirit is a person of the Trinity along with the Father and the Son. To me, it is an incredible privilege for us to be given the opportunity to have a relationship with the Father and the Son. But, the Father has sent his Spirit for us. The Holy Spirit guides us along as the wind blows and opens a wealth of knowledge and wisdom into the true purpose for which God designed everything. So, when we are reborn in Christ Jesus, then we are born in the Spirit of God.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NKJV)

The greatest gift we could ever receive from God the Father is His Son and His Spirit. The beauty of it all is that the Holy Spirit cleanses and guides us into all righteousness for His name’s sake. The key found in this verse is in the beginning, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” This says that the Holy Spirit is available to everybody who receives Him and the Son. The wind served in this event of God as a cleansing wind. The wind blew through the place at which they were praying, for the Spirit of God is also the breath of God. The church today needs to take these teachings and live their lives as if our every breath is God’s breath and believe. We need to walk in the beauty of His majesty and grace. We must be willing to take His Spirit, His wind or breath and live every moment in His Will. As you are standing outside in the early morning, on a beautiful and crisp day, with the wind lightly blowing, take in a deep breath and realize that you are given a new day in the Lord and live it with the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.

Let Us Pray:

Heavenly Father, You alone are worthy of praise and honor. You, oh Lord, are the very breath that I breathe and my life. Empower me to do Your Will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Your Will be done in this day as I serve You in Spirit and Truth. In Jesus’ Precious and Holy name, Amen.

 

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The Holy Spirit and Fire

The Holy Spirit and Fire

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 NKJV)

The concept of fire as in relation to power and purification is one that has been at the core of survival in the roles of humanity from the very beginning. Fire is seen in terms of its destructive values as well. But, God, throughout the scriptures, has given the use of fire as light. He led the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day. This pillar was for all to see and there was probably no mistake to the fact that God was the one leading them. The beauty found in fire is that it is not just one solid color. It is many colors combined at various combinations of heat given to one purpose. The destruction of old to make things new. The burning bush that Moses witnessed and where he spoke with God was an example of a purifying fire. You may ask, why do you say that the burning bush was one of purification? Moses was hard pressed to believe entirely but when He stood before the burning bush that was not consumed, it began to purify him as God spoke. First it was God’s presence and voice coming from the bush that caused him to fall to face in total humility. Second, the fire was purifying him because it was a non-consuming flame. The roaring fire that does not consume you only refines you. As a fire burns in the forest, the result is new and thicker growth.

When we are purified with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are refined. As gold is sent into the fire, it is heated to the point of liquid and the impurities are separated. A more purified and valuable form of gold comes this process. Also, the process of making steel is by taking iron ore mined from the ground. Second, it is then smelted in blast furnaces where the impurities are removed and carbon is added. As the Holy Spirit turns up the heat and begins to take us through the process of purification, it may not be pleasant and even something we go out of our way to achieve. It is a necessary process to accomplish holiness and grow in sanctification before a holy God. Remember that you were once wretched sinners only saved by His grace and mercy. Why do we think that is all that should be done?

If you want to have spiritual power in your life, then you must allow the Holy Spirit to burn the old away and refine you into the person that God created you to be. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on those in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, the fire was not only over their heads as flames of fire. The Spirit was burning within their spirits. Burning away the old and doubting person and they would walk out of that room a new creation. Refined in the fire of God by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Can this type of experience happen today or was it only a one-time experience at that first out pouring to fulfill the prophesy of Joel? I believe it can and does happen even today! The same Holy Spirit present in that room is the same Holy Spirit working today. Many believe that the Holy Spirit is only given as one is baptized in the Holy Spirit later. When we gave our life to the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, there must be a measure of the Spirit of God in us to be able to grow. We cannot do this in our own power. So, when we humble our hearts and repent before God, He sends the Holy Spirit to assist in our growth, to comfort us, and to strengthen us in our weakness. Do you think that those in the upper room on that day were holy people? They may have walked and talked with Jesus, but they had their doubts and concerns. Their lives were not changed until the fire of the Holy Spirit came upon them and purified their hearts and souls. The following are some examples in the scriptures fire used by Spirit of God to ignite His people for service;

Spiritual Power – The Spirit ignites and warms like a fire for service –

Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “Because you speak this word,
Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire,
And this people wood,
And it shall devour them.
(Jeremiah 5:14 NKJV)

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.
(Jeremiah 20:9 NKJV)

 

The fire in scripture is a representation of the divine presence, power, protection, purification and revelation. In the understandings of those who have a divine connection with God, fire plays a key role in God displaying His power to His people. The following are examples of these occurrences found in the lives of people of God in scripture.

 

Moses – God speaking with Moses through a burning bush on fire but not consumed (Exodus 3) – Presence, Revelation

Moses and Israelites – God leading His people out of Egypt by a pillar of smoke by day and pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13) – Protection

Elijah – God sends down fire and consumes the altar and offering of Elijah, even the water around altar. (1 Kings 18) Power

Elijah – Elijah taken up to heaven in a whirlwind with a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire. (2 Kings 2:11) Power, Revelation

Isaiah – Isaiah is purified by the touch of a glowing coal from the altar of God to his lips as he was commissioned for service. (Isaiah 6) Presence, Revelation, Power, Purification

 

Truly, this is not an exhaustive list, but you get the picture. God made a special place for those who rebelled and were cast out of heaven. Hell is a place of eternal fire and complete separation from the presence of God. He did not create hell for humanity. He created it for Lucifer and those rebellious angels who fell with him. God is not sending us to hell if we do wrong. We are the ones who condemn ourselves. Jesus said that in John chapter three verse sixteen that God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish. The translation we say as “perish” should be better understood as “destroy ourselves.” It is not God who is intent on sending us to hell, it is through our own actions. Fire and brimstone was sent down from heaven to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their unrepentant sin.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.(Matthew 3:11 NKJV)

John the Baptist knew the difference between his calling and that of the Messiah. The Jewish people were searching throughout their existence for the one who will deliver them as the Son of God or the Messiah. John was making the point that the objective difference beyond him was that because this one is the Son of God. He will be empowered with the Spirit of God and a purifying fire will be a part of the cleansing power in His ministry. John was humbled by the thought of this person even in his presence. He gave his disciples the visual of power and might that is not to be compared. Once they saw and met Jesus, they understood of what John had spoken.

The Holy Spirit, in the lives of the Body of Christ, is the life blood of its existence. The person who loves God in Jesus Christ cannot grow and be molded apart from the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit is powerful and at work even today. I also believe that the church is suppressing the Spirit and has for years. This is because if the Spirit of God could live and work within the churches, then the people would have to relinquish control. This is what must be done for the church to be transformed into the Bride of Christ that the Bridegroom is coming to receive without blemish. The church must be purified before we can consider the possibility of eternal life. Allow the Holy Spirit and the fire of God to purify and cleanse you and your church of all unrighteousness so the church can be made holy before a Holy God. Remember, you not fully holy when you are converted. It is only the beginning. Allow the holy fire of God purify you and your church for the light of God in Jesus Christ to shine of light to who testify to its glory. To God Be the Glory! God Bless you all!! Amen!

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Power in the Holy Spirit Blog

The Holy Spirit and the Life of the Believer

(Understanding the Role of the Holy Spirit)

I have come to realize, throughout my twenty-nine years in ministry with the Lord Jesus Christ, the vital importance and power given when the Holy Spirit works in my life. I have lived a life, from that moment to this, in a series of mountain tops and valleys, as every other Christian. But, I had to accept the fact that I was not living to the potential to which, as a follower of Jesus Christ, He has called me. The believer in Jesus Christ never truly understands the power they possess and why they are given the authority to use it. The Holy Spirit is the power of God entrusted to and in us. Those who fear the Holy Spirit do so because of their lack of knowledge. The misunderstandings expressed in the church bring with them the notions of spirit possessions and ghostly controls over one’s thoughts and actions. The Holy Spirit brings, to the one who is eagerly and completely seeking the Will of God, peace, comfort, strength, authority, guidance and love. All these are evidences of the Spirit of a Holy God, not an unholy spirit. The prophet Joel states;

And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

(Joel 2:28-29 NKJV)

The role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ is simple. As mentioned, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual life to an otherwise dead spirit. Jesus said that He must go back to the Father so that He can send His disciples another comforter. In the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, we are given strength and confidence that we can stand against the enemy. The Spirit of God is given to us to provide peace that cannot be described in human terms. The beauty of this peace is that God freely gives it to us. Any gift that comes from God must in turn be freely given to someone who needs it. God’s peace and comfort are both indescribable but are both glorious in addressing all our needs, if we allow.

Another attribute of the power and gift of the Holy Spirit is experienced in the strength and authority that He endows on the believer. Keep in mind, all that I am sharing concerning the Holy Spirit is all just words on a blog unless an individual is truly and eagerly seeking the Will of God and surrendering their life to Him. Through the strength in spirit and character provided by the Holy Spirit, He gives the believer authority.

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

(Matthew 10:1 NKJV)

The authority given to His believers is ultimate. Many people today do not believe in miracles. There are those who believe that the miracles that are recorded in scripture are not for today. The miracles that were performed by Jesus and His disciples were only performed then and never after that time. If that is true, then miracle of a person giving their life to Jesus Christ is false and miraculous healings are false, and so on. We are given authority, in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit to stand firm against the enemies of God and His Son.

The Holy Spirit can only be experienced in the Love of God. God cannot stand to be in the presence of sin, so it is with God’s Spirit. The Love of God is something that truly must be shared with others. The Holy Spirit is the instrument by which the Love of God is shared. Through the Love of God, we are led by the Spirit of God in obedience to His Will and His Word. As the believer walks in obedience to the Holy Spirit, they are guided in the full and complete Will of the Father and the Son.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39 NKJV)

Over the next twelve weeks, we will be looking at the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the truly surrendered believer in Jesus Christ. These will be based from Jesus’ teachings found in the beatitudes of Matthew chapter five verses three through twelve. We will take each one as a step in the process toward sanctification and building the character of one who is completely surrendered to the Spirit of God in their life. Peter told those Jews who were present on that glorious day that they must do two things to receive the Holy Spirit. The first was to repent. The requirement to stand before a Holy God is to repent of sin in one’s life. This is an inward confessional. An admission of the guilt and power of sin in your life. The next is as important and that is to be purified, through baptism, before your peers. This is the public confession of your sin and the acceptance of the cleansing work of Christ.

Jesus, when He began His earthly ministry, in Matthew chapter five, He raised the bar higher for the standard to be set for the Christian life. Well, you may ask, how could the bar be placed any higher than the one established with those such as Abraham, Moses, David, and all the others? Jesus said, “You heard it said” or “For it is written,” but He took it to the next level when He said, “But I say to you.” What does this mean for the Christian? This means that we have all the knowledge of the histories, the kings and prophets. But, more than this we have a personal relationship with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. This was something that the ancient ones only dreamed of and some could scarcely imagine. You, as a “born-again” and “Spirit-filled” believer in Jesus Christ, have apart from everybody else in the world.

The Word of God was the God that created everything that was created. The Word of God walked among the disciples and those who followed in the first century. The Word of God is written upon the hearts of all those who believe in His name. So, Yes! The bar has been raised beyond the next level because we are given complete access to the Father through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Is a thorough study of the Holy Spirit important for us to grow into a complete reconciling of our relationship with the Father? Yes! For the Christian to know the Father, they must first build a loving and committed relationship with the Son. Then, they must rely on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, completely, to grow in the intimacy to which God has called them. We have been called to be holy as He is Holy. This is a life-long work. Are you ready to finish the race for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior? Let us go! Amen!

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