The Holy Spirit

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Galatians 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Ephesians 5:9 “For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.”

Revelation 2:7 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

1 Corinthians 14:15  “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.”

The Christian cannot do anything without the Spirit of God. Without the Spirit we are dead in sins and under the control of our wrong desires. There is no exception to this. When we first believe and put our trust in what Christ did for us on the cross, we get a new life and God’s Holy Spirit comes to live in us, every day, forever. Our desires change and we seek to walk with Him and conform ourselves to God’s ways. The power of the Spirit enables us to do this. Without this power we are dead.

The fruit of the Spirit is obvious, in that it is the opposite to the ways of this world. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are not bullish, brutish, rough graces, but the reflection of the gracious Spirit, and are often thought of as Feminine traits. They are not just for the Christian woman, but for every Christian. The male dominance does not appear here. We are to live in subjection to each other, in the way of truth and righteousness.

There should be a holy respect for each other and a recognition of the power of God in the lives of his people. There is no “ordinary Christian.” Every person that belongs to God will overcome self, sinful desire, temptation and the enemy who is Satan. They will overcome by the power of the cross and the shed blood of Jesus, who calls for forgiveness for His own.

The Spirit promises victory to every believer who overcomes in the Spirit’s power, and they will gain eternal life with God, where the true fruition of these graces will bloom in every heart redeemed by Christ, for ever in the eternal kingdom.

Our whole lives must be subject to the Spirit, and we must cultivate listening to Him, as we read the word of God. As we follow the obedience of the conscience and promptings of the Spirit within, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Spirit is not an impression or a feeling in the body or head, but the outworking of the deep understanding of the truth of God. He is a person, and is known as a person by all who humble themselves and seek his rich fruit, which propagates in their lives, and shows Christ to an unbelieving world.

Those who truly belong to Christ succumb to the work of the Holy Spirit and live in the delight of knowing His presence and power flowing through all of the person. The Spirit never contravenes the scriptures, nor can He disobey God. His nature is humble and gracious and this is also reflected in the life of the Christian, as we walk humbly with our God and seek to serve Him in all ways.

Anything that goes against scripture, is against the Spirit.

Hannah seeks a blessing

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Elkanah was a man who loved God and went up to the temple every year to worship and make sacrifices to His God. He had two wives. One called Peninah and one called Hannah. He loved Hannah the best and Peninah knew it and took her jealousy out on Hannah.

The scripture says, God did not give Hannah children, and Peninah had many sons and daughters. Peninah used this situation to torment Hannah. Hannah would cry and Elkanah would try to comfort her. He would tell her how much he loved her, but it was no good. Neither Hannah nor Elkanah could do anything about it.

Once a year they all went up to the temple in Jerusalem for the worship and sacrifices for sins. Elkanah gave Hannah a double portion… He loved her and wanted to show it.

Hannah made up her mind to do something about her pain.

What could she do?

She took it to the Lord. She was in earnest. She so greatly desired a child that she asked God for one directly. As she came to God, she knew she had to be honest and her relationship with God had to be right. She was so caught up in speaking to Him and petitioning her case, the old priest Eli thought she was drunk..!

This is what Hannah said to Eli, the old priest…

1 Samuel 1:15-16 NIV “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Eli blesses her and she takes comfort, eats some food and her appearance becomes brighter. Hannah goes home and waits in faith for God to answer her prayer.

1 Samuel 1:19-20 NIV “ Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

When Samuel was three, Hannah took him up to the temple and gave him back to the Lord.

God had answered her prayer and now she was showing her thankfulness to God for what he had done for her.

She said…”I give him back to the Lord- for his whole life, so that he will be given over to the Lord.”

Hannah did not make an idol out of her son. She loved the Lord, and knew that it was all because of Him that she had been so blessed. God had taken away her shame, and Hannah worshipped HIM.

So we may ask and receive, not to indulge ourselves, but to know God and recognise his work in our lives, and to give Him back His own. We ask but do not receive because often we ask selfishly for our own desires.

God is not unkind, and blesses us, even when we don’t ask, and He answers way beyond what we could even think of asking. As He blesses us each day, we continually give back to Him what he gives and serve Him with full hearts.

 

 

 

Success

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Our Western culture is obsessed with success and getting the big job in the big corporate structure. Not everyone can get to that top, as there has to be a huge raft of human workers underneath in order to keep the “successful people” at the top. It’s the human way and the dream that keeps people on the treadmill in the hope of success.

Those who don’t get up there into the echelons of public acclaim, must settle for second place or less… Perhaps failure…

It depends on how we define failure. To succeed in terms of this world’s system- proud, self-seeking, self-promoting, is to not succeed in terms of God. I might seem to overcome and get acclaim, but not to triumph in spiritual life. God’s ways are not my ways, or human societies ways. We can climb to the top of this world’s system, yet fail towards eternal values. The last will be first, and the first last.

Human success is fundamentally different from the way of Christ. The Lord Jesus is the humble Lord, who rode a donkey, not a mighty stallion of an earthly conqueror. He washed dirty human feet. He did not have servants- He is the servant and the glorious Lord of all things…

The Christian church, especially in the West, has been infiltrated by godless concepts of authority and control, and relying on money and big business to succeed in spiritual work.
We acknowledge the gracious Spirit, yet at the same time denying His power…

Oh that God would come down and break open the heavens… Then we would see something…

His terms are that His people pursue holiness and deny themselves the things of the life that we may legitimately want, and put all we are and have on His altar…. Then we will see the fruits of success…

The last days

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This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

How glorious is this passage, which elevates the people of God and gives power and spiritual insight to them. God’s Holy Spirit is poured out and the effect in human lives is astounding. The differences between people have gone and they are in a common, wise and spiritually alive state- caught up with the occupation of the kingdom of God. All worldly ways of thinking have become ineffective. All manoeuvrings of the powers that be will be impotent. God will have His way and He will vindicate His people who love Him with true hearts.

God pours out on the people, living on the earth, the insightful gifts of the Holy Spirit and the impact of the lives of His people affects everyone.
Every child of God will understand God’s mind and His ways and will have the ability to read and interpret the signs of the day, the meaning of events, and the intentions of human hearts.

God will communicate directly with each one of His people, without priest or any mediator apart from Christ. Jesus will be all in all and the very centre and sun of every redeemed life and that light will radiate to a dark and needy world.

That dark world is already doomed. The space/ time bubble will soon deflate forever. The signs in the physical nature of the planet will cause many to wonder and fear. The end is coming and many will see it. It will be the day of glory for the King of Kings and He will gather His people to Himself forever. There will be no other opportunity for redress of soul or body…

Everyone who calls to Him and believes in His name, shall be saved from the devastation at the end of all created things. Faith reigns supreme. Faith pleases God- nothing else.

Women who glorify God