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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

I have a wonderful friend who treats me like a queen (Love ya, Holly!) and yesterday she invited me to lunch. As we were driving along, we began talking about situations where our emotions can almost push us “over the edge”. If you are a woman, you can understand what we were talking about. It’s where you end up over-thinking events and even have arguments with others, especially your spouses, IN YOUR HEAD, then actually get mad at them for a few days when they haven’t even been a part of the argument. (This may help some of you men who have been wondering for ages, “What in the world is she mad about this time?”)

As we tried to figure out why we women do this, we thought perhaps it is because we are more emotional beings, more sensitive to spiritual things (good and evil), and this causes us to really play out events in our minds before anything actually happens. (I apologize to any women I’ve already offended. I’ll just say my friend and I are like this, how’s that?) Anyway, we started thinking about Eve in the Garden of Eden and why she listened to the serpent.

As most of you know, the story goes like this. Genesis 3:1-7 tells us how the serpent approached Eve in the garden and said, “Did G-d really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”. In verse 3, Eve replied, “but G-d did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

Now, my husband and I have had some discussions about who told the first lie in the Bible (or perhaps a better way of putting it is the first man-made law) and it centers around the “and you must not touch it” comment. Did G-d actually say this to Adam and Eve during their evening strolls in the Garden? Did Adam tell Eve this just to make sure she wouldn’t go near the tree (adding to G-d’s word is a no-no)? Did Eve come up with this all by herself, thinking, “Well, if we can’t eat it, we must not be able to touch it either." (A woman’s over-thinking something in action.)

When the serpent questioned Eve’s statement, did her thought process go something like this? “Ok. God said not to eat this fruit and so did Adam. As a matter of fact, Adam told me not to even touch it. I wonder why he said that. It looks just as good as all the other fruit here in the garden. And Adam knows so much. He named all the animals and seems to know about everything that’s going on. I certainly want to be that intelligent. He and G-d have these deep discussions. And the serpent said this fruit will make me like G-d. Wow, He is so awesome. It would be fabulous to be like Him. When I touched the fruit, I didn’t die, whatever that means (there had been no death at this point in creation). Oh well, what can it hurt.” (famous last words)

And you know the rest of the story. So, here we are today, still listening to the serpent, satan, as he plants thoughts in our head wanting to make us angry, offended, defiant, depressed, fearful, self-righteous, controlling, etc., etc. Our plan of action to keep from falling into his trap is to pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit. When these types of thoughts start showing up in your thinking, ask the Spirit to reveal the source to you so you can shut them down and get your thinking straight again. Saying, “Holy Spirit, I know these thoughts are not from G-d, but from satan. And satan I command you to shut up and leave me alone in the name of Jesus. I repent for having these thoughts. Father, I thank you that I have the mind of Christ and you will lead me into all truth.” It doesn’t have to be these exact words, but I’m sure you get the idea. And remember, the men in your life will be very appreciative!

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As I was waking up yesterday morning, I began thinking about Creation and the Holy Spirit started showing me how my “new birth” in Christ is in sync with it.  I’d like to share these thoughts with you.

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

When we are formed in the darkness of our mother’s womb, we are formed by God.  Isaiah 44:24  “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.  He brings us forth from a shapeless form of egg and sperm and creates a new, totally unique individual, breathing life into us.

Genesis 1:3-5  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Having a body, but no spirit leaves us living in darkness.  So God placed a spirit, our “inner man” or “spirit man” within each of us.  This spirit gives us the ability to communicate with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  It is this “inner man” that is “born again” or becomes a “new creation” or “new man” in Christ          (2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!).  This inner man is our conscience that tells us right from wrong, light from dark.  Before becoming a new creation in Christ, this inner man does not have the full capacity to know the right way to go.  After becoming a new creation, we have full access to the Holy Spirit, who will lead us and teach us how to live pure and righteous lives.

Genesis 1:6-8 and God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”  So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.  God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.  And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Not only does man have a spirit and a body, but he also has a soul.  The soul in the determining factor in so many of our decisions.  It represents our will, mind and emotions.  I believe the “sky” represents the soul.  The “dry ground” is our physical body.  Jesus is represented by the water above the sky, the “living water” from heaven that our spirit man so desires to connect with (John 7:38 Whoever believes in me (Jesus), as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”) .  The seas represent our emotions.  The Bible speaks of this in James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Our spirit man or inner man knows that there is a higher power outside of ourselves that is to be worshiped as our Creator.  Look at people groups from all over the earth.  Even those who have never heard of the Christian God or Jesus worship a higher power or source of life.

It is the “sky” or our minds that bring man’s logic, will and emotions into the picture.  When we want to be our own god or ruler of our universe, we control the “land” or our bodies and do whatever we want.  It is only when the “light” from the “living water”, separate from our mind, renews our our inner man that we can truly communicate with God and understand our purpose in life, and receive full and complete love and abundant life  (John 10:10 … I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).  It is our choice whether we allow our inner man or our soul to control our body.  The body can do nothing by itself.

Genesis 1:11-13 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

When Jesus renews our spirit or inner man and we become a “new creation in Christ”, the Holy Spirit works within us.  We are to bear the “fruit of the Spirit”:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  We are to be seed spreaders.  The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9) speaks of  someone spreading seed on the path, the rocky places, the thorny ground and good soil.  As we live day by day, we are to be speaking to others about Christ.  Some will totally ignore us, some agree and try to follow Jesus until hard times come to them.  Others will be enthusiastic, but will get so caught up in their daily life that Jesus gets pushed out of the way.  But some will grab hold of the seed we have planted in their thoughts and will become seed spreaders themselves by coming to Christ.

You’ll notice that there were various kinds of plants and trees, each producing seed according to their kind.  We don’t all have to worship God in the same way.  If God didn’t like diversity, He wouldn’t have created such a beautiful, diverse world.  He loves all types of worship music, teaching and preaching, sitting quietly, and dancing and shouting.  He likes the King James version, New International, and on and on.  If you remember, the Bible was not written in the King James version.  It was written in Hebrew and Greek if I recall correctly.  The Holy Spirit is not limited to one type of writing.  He can speak truth to you through a child’s simple statement.  Different people are drawn to God in different ways.  We must not be so dogmatic as to think that our way is the only way to either worship the Lord or to serve Him.

Genesis 1:14-16 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.

God told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis 15:5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”).  Just as the stars give light in the night to show the way, so we as Christians are to be lights in this world.  We are to show others the way to Jesus, to a fulfilling and purpose-filled life.  We are to be different from the darkness around us.  Those in darkness, who cannot seem to find the good in the world, who have an emptiness in their hearts, can be drawn to the light we possess.  If we will only let the light of Jesus shine in our lives, those who are hurting and see no hope will be drawn to Jesus like a moth is drawn to the light.

We are to be signs to mark seasons and days and years.  As Christians, we should know our Bible enough to be aware of what is happening in the world today and how that corresponds to what the Bible says is coming.  As we read the Word and compare it to today’s circumstances, we can show others the way and point them toward the truth so they will not live in fear, but place their hope and trust in the Lord.

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As I start the New Year, I think of resolutions I’ve made and mostly broken.  Over the past few years, I’ve discovered a much more meaningful way to start my year that leads to great blessings.  This is by fasting.

Strange as it seems, by giving up something instead of trying to get something has made all the difference in my life and my family.  When I make a resolution,  it usually revolves around what “I’m” going to do:  lose weight, be kinder, earn more money, stop smoking, etc.  But the pleasure is in finding something to do where I’m not in control. 

When I fast, my primary goal is to know God my Father, Jesus my Savior, and Holy Spirit my Teacher better.  I may also be praying for loved ones who are sick or don’t have a relationship with Jesus or special needs.  But the pressure is off of me to make any changes happen.  These needs are given to Jesus; He is the one who intervenes in these situations and He is so much more able to touch people than I am.

Actually, I began fasting in January while attending Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA, where Pastor Jentezen Franklin has been holding church-wide January fasts for several years.  During January, the church goes on a 21-day Daniel Fast beginning

January 4 this year.  The story of the first 10-day Daniel Fast is found in  Daniel 1:1-15 .  Daniel again fasted for 21 days as described in Daniel 10:1-14 . Daniel, as well as others in the Bible including Jesus, fasted often.  

The 21-day Daniel Fast at Free Chapel consists of eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and some grains during the period, while staying away from all breads, sugar, and any meats.  The Daniel Fast blog has some great information about the spiritual and physical issues involving the fast.

This fast is an absolutely wonderful way to get closer to God, cleanse your body physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and lift up others in prayer to the God who can do the impossible.  May you be blessed during this time and may abundant blessings be with you and yours during the entire year.

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While meditating on John 3:36, I thought about what “believe” really means, especially when in the first part of the verse it speaks of believing in Jesus and the second part speaks of obeying Him.

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” (John 3:36 NLT)

All who “believe in” (trust in, rely upon, swear by) Jesus have eternal life.  However, those who do not obey (comply, submit, follow orders, heed) Jesus will never have eternal life, but remain under God’s judgment.  Today, we have such a lenient view of what “believe” means.  I believe the sky is blue, grass is green, Bush is President, I need to lose weight.  These beliefs do not necessarily cause me to jump into action.  When we speak of believing in Jesus, this is a much deeper commitment.  By believing in Him, I am saying I agree with His teachings AND will endeavor to the best of my abilities to follow them.

Christians who have said “the sinner’s prayer”, but continue to lie, cheat, engage in adultery and promiscuity, slander, gossip, and worry about everything need to really look at their heart and think about whether they really do believe in Jesus or are just trying to use Him as a “fire escape” from hell.  I, at one time, believed the “say the prayer and you’re good forever” mentality.  I came to know Jesus in a personal way in a church that taught that.  But as I’ve grown as a Christian, read my Bible, and listened to other teachers, I realize there is a lot more to it than just “the prayer”. 

Following Jesus is a whole way of thinking, a lifestyle of trusting God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth.  One sin God says he hates most is sowing discord among a family (Proverbs 6:16-19)  which is usually done by gossip.  But in Christendom, this is a “small” sin compared to things like murder and stealing.  How many messages do we hear on gossiping?  Not many.  How about gluttony?  Whoa boy, even less here.  I’m not saying we have to be perfect, but we Christians have a real knack for deciding which sins are really bad (usually the ones we don’t commit or at least don’t commit often). 

How about getting back to “believing” in Jesus by accepting His teachings, living by them, and stop justifying ourselves or our church as not as sinful as someone else.  When we stand before God, He’s not going to let us off the hook if we say, “Well, that’s what my preacher said.”  We are to study God’s word ourselves and know what it says.  If you can’t understand the version of the Bible you have now, get one you can.  If your church is a “KJV only” church and you can’t understand this version, how’s it going to help you?  Let’s get real, people.  God wants us to understand His word.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.  That’s one of His jobs (John 16:12-15).

I have certainly not “arrived” and never will until I die, but I do keep working toward the goal of fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.  I welcome you as a traveling companion along this journey with me.  God bless.

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