Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Understanding ourselves?

‘Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.’
(Ecclesiastes 7v9)

Many years ago, I read Watchman’s Nee’s book ‘Release of the Spirit’ then later on his epic ‘The Spiritual Man.’ Both of which have helped to think of the ‘soul’ as the receptacle in which God’s Spirit operates. Now, while this verse seems strange in the sense that it suggests our spirit can be provoked to anger, there are three things to consider here:

  1. During the time of Ecclesiastes- long before the day of Pentecost – the Holy Spirit did not live within the person but came upon them at God’s direction to facilitate  ‘one off’ acts to achieve God’s will.
  2. Because of this, it’s quite possible the term ‘spirit’ is used here to reference a sense of the person’s emotional response as to what is happening.
  3.  The understanding of our own human spirit is different to that of God’s Spirit. The human spirit being carnal in nature as easily influenced by our human (carnal) nature.

However you understand the term ‘spirit’, one thing is sure – we as humans can easily be provoked to anger where rash actions land us in trouble. That is why we can say something that is cruel in the heat of the moment or hold on to a grudge even though slighted by someone many years earlier. In such times, the advice offered in the wisdom Book of Ecclesiastes is to not be quickly provoked because ‘anger resides in the lap of fools.’

 


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Irrevocable change – the work of God’s Holy Spirit

‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.’   (Ezekiel 36v26)
Continuing our series on the work of the Holy Spirit in History – that is, the period preceding Jesus – we come to this interesting passage that foretells what is to come for all when the Holy Spirit will enter into the disciples and change their world and lives irrevocably.

Of course, this outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon all people comes at great expense as it requires Jesus to return to heaven in order that the Spirit might replace Him on earth. Now, while it is amazing that the Holy Spirit who is part of the Godhead Trinity who was present at the start of Creation hovering over the waters  – it is even more remarkable that God uses his life-force to equip the disciples to think, act and be present like Jesus in their thinking, answers and actions.

Hence, Jesus’ promise to remove the peoples’  cynical and jaded hearts and replace them with ones that are more malleable, echo the real promise that each believer will soon receive – namely: Christ in you.., the hope of glory! (Col 1v27) In short, God’s transformation that will transform lives, equip and revolutionise his followers to reach a nation and lead others, also has the provision for a direct ‘one to one’ relationship with God via the Holy Spirit..
The promise that God will place within each wayward believer, a new spirit and a heart  of flesh has been proven by many believers over the centuries as they have found God to be true. Hallelujah!

Continue reading Irrevocable change – the work of God’s Holy Spirit


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How God’s Holy Spirit motivates us to praise and worship

‘Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing.’ (Ezekiel 3v12)
In 1984, shortly after dedicating my life to Christ, I remember having a very distinct dream in which  I was seated in – what I can only describe as – a  large ‘aircraft hanger’ auditorium. Around me were thousands of other christians who were talking excitedly. Suddenly,  down below the elevated position where I and others were seated, someone walked onto the stage. What happens next is a bit of blur but a loud roar went up and as people rose to their feel they just as instantly fell to their knees in praise and worship – all except myself and a few others who blissfully lagged behind those who were on the ball. Falling to my knees, I remember my head being bowed and lips speaking praise as I joined with those around me
In Last week’s post – on Ezekiel 2 – we saw how the weary prophet was lifted and filled by God’s presence to the point where he was enabled to continue despite his fatigue.  In today’s passage, we see how the Spirit not only motivates humans to rise before God but the whole of creation as well for…
Thirty-five years on from my vivid dream – one truth remains standing in that just as believers are afforded a crown only to lay it before God, so too God’s Holy Spirit that causes us to rise will also cause us to find our knees in praise and worship to our Maker.

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Spiritual awareness and obedience to God?

‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?’                                  (Psalm 139v7)
 David’s reference to God’s ‘Spirit’ in this psalm appears to be something akin to an inescapable omniscience that hems him in at every turn.  Of course, there is an issue with this in that  although David’s sense of God’s presence is so tangible that he experiences it in a physical reality, others do not experience it in such a way. Which begs the question…
Why doesn’t everyone in the world have the same experience of God as David?
If possible,  how does one nurture and cultivate their relationship with God so that they also have a similar spiritual experience that manifests itself in an overwhelming and embracing way?
Moreover, is this experience linked to the person’s calling and depth of experience of  responding to God and being oppedient to thet call?
Now, while there are many factors to consider here, one explanation regarding God’s spiritual presence within the person relates to their openess to receiving the Holy Spirit. Or put more simply, their willingness to be obedient to what God is calling them to do as noted by many Christian teachers but most notably Watchman Nee’s ‘Release of the Spirit’, The Spiritual Man’ etc.
So, in summary,  our spiritual experience will increase as we go deeper with God but with that there also comes the call to a greater obedience and relationship with God.

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Speaking the language of love?

‘Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.  Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?’ (Acts 2v5-7)

I don’t know about you but I sense the crowd’s bewilderment at what was happening. It’s one thing for everyone to be speaking the same language in your own province  but to do it in a foreign country with a group of seemingly uneducated men speaking to you about the wonders and glory of God? Well, that’s another thing….

For the crowd, their amazement at being spoken to in their own language seems to have been quickly surpassed by incredulity as they realise the men are from Galilee – a place held with little regard by most from outside it and yet God’s Holy Spirit enters these ‘lowly’ people and instructs them to  announce the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God.

However, God isn’t finished yet. Peter – a fisherman and disciple of Christ – steps forward with the other eleven and explains God’s plan of salvation to the visiting Jews. Finally, Peter finishes by explaining the need for the crowd to repent and be baptised and 3,000 visitors are saved as moist eyes give way to tears of repentance and the tag team of Holy Spirit and  humanity rolls on…


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How to realize your full spiritual potential in five easy steps

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple… for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.’ (1 Peter 2 v2,4)

Okay,  five spiritual truths to remember :-

  1. We are chosen by God who delights to give us the Holy Spirit .
  2. The Holy Spirit enables us to serve God as his priests. (How cool is that!)
  3. Along with other spirit-filled believers, we form God’s holy nation as we…
  4. Reveal the goodness of God to others through our speech, attitude and actions (and)
  5. Each day we take another step away from darkness to live in God’s wonderful light.

 


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5 ways to accelerate spiritual growth

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain … You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.’ (Hebrews 5:11-12)

Why do some people accelerate in spiritual growth while others languish? Aside from Maslow’s Hierarchy that details how some may be affected by circumstance, other factors include openess, attitude, opportunity, obedience and resilience.

Openess – a willingness to be available to God to explore the spiritual gifts you have.

Attitude – a resolve to trust God’s Holy Spirit and not to back track when things get tough.

Opportunity – seeing each circumstance as a God-given chance to pray or act.

Obedience –  determining in advance that the action taken will favour God’s perspective.

Resilience –  even when failure occurs,  a trust in God that encourages perseverance.

If you don’t know your primary gift, why not do the spiritual gift test by getting the app, ebook or print copy (UK only)


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