Knowledge and Fear

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

Proverbs 9:10

lamb of God

Did Jesus fear the Lord God? Think about it. If He did, shouldn’t we? Isaiah tells us Jesus, the righteous branch of Jesse (King David’s father), walked the earth in the fullness of the Spirit of the Lord. We’ve explored the Spirit through Isaiah’s writings in this month’s posts. Isaiah mentions the last characteristics of the anointed Branch in chapter 11:2.

“And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him…

the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

Without the spirit of knowledge of the holy, there is no understanding of the holy. Without understanding the holy, there is no fear of the Lord.

When the Israelites heard the voice of the Lord on Mt. Sinai, they gained first-hand knowledge of the holy. Their knowledge revealed their unholiness. They feared God and trembled. They saw Him as one waiting to strike them down(Deuteronomy 5:22-33). They saw only one side of the fear of the Lord.

Knowledge of the holy should instill fear in the unclean – a fear that seeks to be made clean.

“knowledge of the holy”

“And one cried unto another, and said,

Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:

the whole earth is full of his glory…

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone;

because I am a man of unclean lips…”

Isaiah 6:3,5

Isaiah feared to be in the presence of the Holy until his sin was purged (vs. 7) The knowledge of the holy reveals first our own sinful heart – the spirit we were born with. Once we grasp the knowledge of the Holy and believe it to be, we are in a place to receive his favor – his grace. The unclean sinful spirit should fear a holy God. For His holiness demands a new spirit born of the Holy Spirit of Christ. Without this new birth, we will die in our sin.

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23.

This speaks not only of the physical death all face but of the spiritual death that lives throughout eternity. This death separates us from God and all that is holy and good forever. Knowledge of the Holy tells us He has a holy wrath. It falls on all who refuse His gift of holiness through the redemption found in Jesus Christ – the only name that can save us from God’s wrath and bring us into his grace. For He, being holy, is the only one worthy to take God’s wrath for us.

“But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Romans 5:8,9

Did Jesus fear God’s wrath? You decide. On the night of his death he walked to the Mt. of Olives with his disciples.

“And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying,

Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me;

nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven,

strengthening him.

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly;

and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood

falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:40-44

King David and Isaiah describe the wrath poured out on our Lord at his death. I’ve included excerpts from both Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52:14 and chapter 53.

  • “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
  • why art thou so far from helping me,
  • and from the words of my roaring…
  • I am poured out like water,
  • and all my bones are out of joint:
  • my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
  • My strength is dried up…
  • my tongue cleaveth to my jaws:
  • and thou hast brought me into the dust of death…
  • they pierced my hands and my feet…”

“his visage was so marred more than any man,

and his form more than the sons of men;

  • he was despised, and we esteemed him not…
  • he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;
  • yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted…
  • he was wounded for our transgressions,
  • he was bruised for our iniquities…
  • the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…
  • He was cut off out of the land of the living;
  • for the transgression of my people was he stricken…
  • he hath poured out his soul unto death…
  • and bare the sin of many…”

The knowledge of the holy demands sin’s payment. This is his wrath poured out on His Son for us. If we do not receive his gracious gift, we will face his wrath. Do you fear God’s wrath? Jesus paid the price to free us from that fear. The choice is yours. Tremble at his presence or worship at his feet. The Israelites trembled. Moses worshipped. What is your decision?


In my next post I hope to look at another side of fear.

Needing Strength?

“…spirit of counsel and might…” Isaiah 11:2

man in black reebok shoes about to carry barbell

I don’t know about you but I am needing a good dose of might – strength to perform anything. Today, I would settle for the mundane tasks of every day. You see, and old, uninvited, unwelcome friend came to visit last weekend and stole the strength of my back. In my weakness I am reminded how much I rely on the strength of the Lord each day. I hear the Lord telling Paul in his letter to the Corinthians –

“My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

It’s Paul’s answer that I struggle with –

“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,

in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Glad, glory, pleasure, and infirmities. Which word is not like the others.

Then I look at Jesus in his weakness and find hope.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith:

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

Jesus came to earth fully man. He came in the Spirit of the Lord God. He endured the weaknesses of the flesh. He experienced weariness, hunger, thirst, pain, rejection, and what it is to depend on the strength of the Spirit. He could glory in these things as He showed us the victory of living in the strength of the Lord, as He listened to and obeyed all his Father gave him, even to death. For the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to strengthen him. He kept looking at the joy set before him – the glory that is his.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:

And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father …

And the seventh angel sounded:

and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD

ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST,

AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”

Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 11:15

Jesus experienced it all, showing us God’s grace is sufficient to provide for our every weakness, physical, spiritual, and emotional. By the Spirit of Christ in us we have his wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might. Without the might to walk in the other characteristics of the Spirit we would not know victory over our weaknesses. With the strength of the Lord, we can do all things.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13.

Including setting my eyes on the joy of the Lord as my strength when I experience weakness. No, I don’t enjoy pain – that would be sadistic. But, yes, when I remember where my strength comes from, I can still have joy. Whatever weakness we may suffer, the grace of God brings his children strength through the Spirit of Christ. He will bring us to victory. We don’t go it alone. He goes with us in our weakness, understands our weakness, and strengthens us through our weakness. When broken and in need of strength – lean on him. He does not disappoint.

“O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee?” 

Psalm 89:8a

Need Help?

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots:

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,

the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the spirit of counsel and might…”

Isaiah 11:1-2

“I know you probably won’t need this but for your protection let’s add this clause. When dealing with money you never know what might happen.”

The lawyer knew people. He had been in his career for several years and seen how money, even a small amount, can influence other’s thoughts. It has a way of bringing out what is in the heart. Me, on the other hand, wanted to believe the best in people. In legal matters I needed help. I needed good counsel.

We all find ourselves in places where we need the help of a good counselor. It may not be legal matters, but in relationships gone bad, health needs, a direction in life, mental or spiritual needs. God gives us this help in others but they are not our only means of help. He has given us one who never gives us wrong counsel. He comes to us at the request of Jesus Christ.

“And I will pray the Father,

and he shall give you another Comforter,

that he may abide with you for ever.”

John 14:16.

The NASB translates Comforter as Helper. The name corresponds to the Hebrew word Counselor given to the Messiah.(taken from Vine’s Expository Dictionary). Which translation you choose depends on your need at the time. Jesus is the branch of Jesse the Spirit of the Lord rested upon, who embodied the spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel and might. When Jesus ascended God the Father sent Christ’s followers the same Spirit to indwell and fill us.

He is the Comforter, Counselor, Helper. We can trust his counsel for He always points us to the Father.

“But when the Comforter is come,

whom I will send unto you from the Father,

even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father,

he shall testify of me…

 Howbeit when the Spirit of truth , is come,

he will guide you into all truth:

for he shall not speak of himself;

but whatsoever he shall hear,

that shall he speak:

and he will shew you things to come.

He shall  glorify me:

for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

John 15:26; John 16:13,14

It’s a rare occurrence to audibly hear the voice of God. Consider when Jesus came into this world, the Father spoke audibly to him only three times. The risen Christ spoke to Saul and once to Peter. He speaks to us through the word and testimony of Christ. We know this word is true for He has given us the witness of the Holy Spirit of truth to verify his word to us.

If the guidance we receive doesn’t agree with God’s word or testify to the truth of Jesus Christ the Son of God, the guidance is not from the Holy Spirit. For all He speaks to our spirit will –

  • Testify of Jesus Christ;
  • guide you into all truth;
  • speak the word of God and glorify God.

When in need of help Christ paved the way for us to find it and has given us the Holy Spirit to witness the truth to us.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16

I knew the lawyer had my best interest at heart even if I wasn’t fully convinced. His advice proved invaluable. The Holy Spirit is our perfect counselor for any need. His word is truth and comes straight from God – for He is God the Holy Spirit.

A Prayer & Praise for Wisdom

“I don’t want wisdom.” The same defiant teen who asked in my last post whether I was wise or not, declared her position without apology.

“Why?” I asked. Her answer revealed her heart.

“If I have wisdom I am responsible to use it.”

Her first mistake came in not heeding Solomon’s counsel in Proverbs to seek wisdom, nor James’s to ask it of God.

“If any of you lack wisdom,

let him ask of God,

that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;

and it shall be given him.”

James 1:5

THE PRAYER: (from Ephesians 1:17-18a)

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you

the spirit of wisdom

“For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist … Then there arose certain of the synagogue… disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.”

“Even the Spirit of truth;

whom the world cannot receive,

because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:

but ye know him:

for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” 

Luke 21:15; Acts 6:9,10; John 14:17

And revelation in the knowledge of him …

“To comprehend with all saints

what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height:

and to know the love of Christ,

which passeth knowledge,

that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Ephesians 3:18-19

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened…

“that ye may know what is the hope of his calling

, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe…” Ephesians 1:18,19

What would the teen miss by not asking for wisdom from God? The same things we would miss.

How to –

  • answer adversaries of the faith;
  • know and live out God’s will in life;
  • live a productive life with eternal rewards;
  • find hope when life gets hard;
  • be filled with the power, love, and truth of God.

And finally, she would miss the pleasure of God’s smile, his glory in her life. For her reasoning showed she had not asked for wisdom nor knowledge. Otherwise she would have known not asking multiplied her responsibility instead of diminishing it. For she knew to ask and did not.

THE PRAISE:

In response to Daniel’s prayer for wisdom, he offered up this praise to God.

“Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever:

  • for wisdom and might are his:
  • And he changeth the times and the seasons:
  • he removeth kings, and setteth up kings;
  • he giveth wisdom unto the wise,
  • and knowledge to them that know understanding;
  • He revealeth the deep and secret things;
  • he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
  • I thank thee and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers,
  • who hast given me wisdom and might,
  • and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee;
  • for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:20-23

And the Lord leaves us with this word from his prophet Jeremiah.

“Thus saith the LORD,

let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,

neither let the mighty man glory in his might,

let not the rich man glory in his riches:

But let him that glorieth glory in this,

that he understandeth and knoweth me,

that I am the LORD

which exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth:

for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”

(9:23,24)

Thank you, heavenly Father for giving us the Spirit of Christ to dwell in us, filling us with your wisdom. May we use it with knowledge and spiritual understanding to bring glory to your name. Amen.


Next week I hope to finish looking into the rest of the seven Spirits before the throne of God. (Revelation 1:4). Until then may we walk together in the wisdom of the Spirit that dwells within.

Who or What

You’re sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for his report. The phone call raised concern. “We can’t give you any more information. You will need to see the doctor.”

Your misgivings become truth as the doctor relates what is going on inside your body. A tumor is growing and needs to come out. You take a deep breath and prepare for the storm.

It’s amazing to me something foreign such as a tumor or cancer grows in our bodies without our knowledge of its presence. But have you considered, as a follower of Christ, the wonder of the Holy Spirit dwelling within your spirit? He isn’t a what but a who, and he isn’t growing but is there in his fulness. And we know he is there for he is our witness of the new life we have in Christ.

blogheart-2028062__340“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,

that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16

He is the Spirit of Christ by which our heavenly Father gifts us with his blessings.

“And because ye are sons,

God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,

crying, Abba, Father…

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,

he is none of his.”

Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:9b

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

The Holy Spirit dwelling in those born of the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. John spoke of him in Revelation.

“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come;

and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;” (1:4)

Isaiah 11:2 speaks of him, explaining who he is, his character, and what he brings to Christ’s followers. He is the fullness and perfection of God who dwelt in Jesus –

“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him…

“And John bare record, saying,

I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove,

and it abode upon him…

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God:

for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.”

John 1:32; 3:34,35

and dwells in those who are his –

“And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace…

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

hath made me free from the law of sin and death…

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,

who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…

And if Christ be in you,

the body is dead because of sin;

but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

John 1:16; Romans 8:2,4,10

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:7

As we have seen his measure is our fulness.

The Holy Spirit is –

  • The Spirit of the Lord that filled Christ as he walked on this earth.
  • The same Spirit indwelling every born again child of God.
  • The Spirit we have received in full, not in part but the whole.
  • The Spirit who has given us all spiritual blessings of the Father through his indwelling presence.
  • The Spirit by whom we have received Christ’s grace, life, and righteousness.

As the Holy Spirit is in us, so are we in this world. Through him we reflect Christ’s glory.


In my next post I hope to delve into the other six descriptions of the Holy Spirit of God who is the Spirit of our Lord. Until then, we may not know what may strike our bodies, but we can know the sweet fellowship we have with our heavenly Father through the fulness of his Spirit in us.

When are you most aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life? How do others see him in you?

For another thought on this subject check out Heather Greer’s YouTube post :Reflecting Faith at youtube.com

Strength to Stand

“And because ye are sons,

God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,

crying Abba, Father.”

Galatians 4:6

kidsThat first cry, the first cuddle, the first glimpse of a life born into the world. These things filled my heart with joy when I experienced the births of my three children. I remember the first time they stood on wobbly legs. Almost a year of countless bottles of milk, playing little exercise games with their legs, and watching them learn to crawl came before seeing them stand alone. Yet, they were not really alone.

A few years later each increased my joy. At different ages they declared their faith in Christ. At that time they didn’t understand being born again. They only knew for the asking and believing Jesus came into their hearts. They were babies in Christ born of the Spirit and now cried, “Abba, Father,” as they waited for us to continue feeding them the milk of the word.

“As newborn babes,

desire the sincere milk of the word,

that ye may grow thereby:

If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

1 Peter 2:2,3

All who have been born of the Spirit of God have tasted the Lord’s grace. Through the word we are strengthened to stand in the knowledge of our God, what he has done for us, and in us.

  • “Therefore being justified by faith,
  • we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
  • By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,
  • and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1,2

Our strength to stand in a world wanting to knock us down comes in learning who we are in Christ and recognizing it is not by our strength we stand. It is by the Spirit of Christ in us.

In Christ we are –

Justified by faith…

“the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
  • Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Romans 3:22-24

Paul said all this to say this –

  • Christ’s death paid our debt of sin.
  • He took on our sin and gave us his righteousness.
  • We now have peace with God.
  • We are right/just before him since we have been born of his Spirit.
  • This is God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ
  • and no one or power can ever take it from us.

Stand in this truth when Satan, the world, or personal weakness tries to accuse you otherwise.

“What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us?

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,

how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s  elect?

It is God that justifieth.

Romans 8:31-33

We no longer stand in our strength but by the grace of God. And we do not stand alone. For the Spirit of Christ dwells in us –

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

and he clothes us in his strength –

“Finally, my brethren,

be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

Ephesians 6:10

He has given us an arsenal of protection to stand against the darkness of this world. It contains His – 

  • Truth,
  • Righteousness,
  • Gospel of Peace,
  •  Shield of Faith,
  • Salvation,
  • and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Found in Ephesians 6:14-17)

The Spirit of Christ in us also carries us to the throne of God for strength when feel we cannot stand.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:

for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:

but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us

with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,

because he maketh intercession for the saints

according to the will of God.”

Romans 8:26,27

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,

  • let us hold fast our profession…
  • Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
  • that we may obtain mercy,
  • and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

When your legs of faith become wobbly remember –

  • Christ in you is your strength;
  • He is your arsenal of protection;
  • He is praying on your behalf;
  • His grace is sufficient

“And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee;

for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me…

for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10b


When you are weak, where do you turn for strength?

 

As the Wind Blows

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of flesh is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.”

John 3:5-7

You must be born again –  born of the Spirit. If you wonder what this means so did Nicodemus. As a Jewish ruler, he should have known and understood this truth. But he looked from an earthly view. Jesus proceeded to explain the heavenly view in an earthly example.

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof,

but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:

so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8blogkey-west-81664__340

The wind blows where it will, where God directs it. The Old and New Testaments speak to this truth.

  • The rains poured. The fountains of the deep erupted. Then came the wind carrying the waters back into the sky.

“The wind bloweth where it listeth

“And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged…Genesis 8:1

  • The army pursued the frightened freedom seekers. The sea rose before them and Pharaoh’s army inched closer. The night wore on – then came the morning.

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21

  • The wind hurled its fury against the ship emptying the sea’s waters into the vessel. Twelve frightened men called on the Lord. Jesus –

“arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39

The wind comes from an undetermined place by the determined will of almighty God. We can’t see it but we can hear it in the rustle of the leaves and see the power of its might in the weather.

The Holy Spirit is like the wind performing the bidding of God.

When the Spirit made himself known to our world, he came from heaven(an undetermined place in the north?) with a mighty noise to fill the hearts of the Lord’s disciples.

so is every one that is born of the Spirit

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven

as of a rushing mighty wind,

and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire,

and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,

and began to speak with other tongues,

as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Acts 2:2-4

Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born of the Spirit to see the kingdom of God. He compared the second birth to the working of the wind. At times the wind sweeps through mightily, even as the Holy Spirit on that day. But most of the time he comes to us in a gentle breeze to bring the peace of God to our wayward hearts. Do not mistake his gentleness for weakness. For he comes by the will, authority, and power of almighty God. For he is God the Spirit who brings life to our dead spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.

  • “But as many as received him,
  • to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
  • even to them that believe on his name;
  • Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
  • but of God…
  • Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ
  • is born of God…” John 1:12,13; 1 John 5:1a

“if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead

dwell in you,

he that raised up Christ from the dead

shall also quicken your mortal bodies

by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

Romans 8:11

We don’t know how the Holy Spirit comes and gives us new life anymore than we know how the seed of life planted in a woman’s body brings about physical life. But as the seed of flesh is planted and produces life that will end, how much greater is the seed of the Spirit planted in our hearts to bring forth everlasting life. He has raised us from death to life. That is the power dwelling in the heart of every person born of the Spirit of God.

Are you walking in the power of the Holy Spirit or in defeat because of the world around you? Here is one last word of encouragement.

  • “For whatsoever is born of God
  • overcometh the world:
  • and this is the victory that overcometh the world,
  • even our faith.” 1 John 5:4

“…greater is he that is in you,

than he that is in the world.”

1 John 4:4b

Where Do You Find Understanding?

“Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…How sweet are thy words unto my taste…Through thy precepts I get understanding…”(See Matt. 7:7; Ps. 119:103,104.)

blogcross-792538__340
Retrieved from Pixabay’s free images.

Yesterday’s post answered my title’s question in two ways. One is prayer and the other is the word of God. It’s not found by osmosis but by gaining the knowledge of God’s will and applying that knowledge in wisdom. The word by itself nor prayer by itself are not enough to open your eyes to truth.

“And he[Jesus] said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled…Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said…Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance of remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem… And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (Luke 24:44-47; 1John 5:20).

Has Christ opened your eyes of understanding to who He is?

Christ did not leave us alone to muddle through His word after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. He knew that would leave us without the means of understanding.

“…as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God…the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God…that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God…But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned…” (See1Cor. 2:9-12,14)

The natural man, one not born of the Spirit of God cannot know the things of God. That’s why God also gives us teachers.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual thing with spiritual…1Cor. 2:13;Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran…to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him…Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” Acts. 8:29-31,35.

Do you have someone with whom you can study God’s word and explain the things of the Spirit of God?

Understanding begins as we hear the word and the Father draws us through the Spirit convincing us of our need to repent, turning us to the only One who can cleanse us from the guilt, power, and ultimately the presence of sin. Once born of the Spirit, understanding grows as we grow in the knowledge of God in wisdom, asking, seeking and knocking.

Understanding is a gift of God for any who will come to Him. Have you come to the right source for understanding?

Father, thank you, for giving us your Holy Spirit and giving us faithful teachers to guide us in your truth. May we, Trust in you, with all our heart; and lean not on our own understanding. But acknowledge you in all our ways, understanding you will direct our paths.” (My paraphrase of Prov. 3:5,6). Amen.

 

 

Being Does

Is your church doing to be or being to do? We ended Paul’s prayer for the Colossians last week with the phrase, “unto all pleasing”. We continue his prayer with, “being fruitful in every good work…”(Col. 1:10).

DSCF4336Pleasing the Father, bearing fruit, good work…”Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”(John 15:8).

How do the good works of the world differ from the good work of the follower of Christ? One pleases self being born out of a desire to feel good about oneself. The other pleases the Lord being born out of a spirit filled with the fullness of God and pointing to His goodness and character.

“…being fruitful…”  A believer in Christ is full of fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…”(Gal. 5:22,23a). Notice there is only one fruit made up of nine kinds of seeds. Those receiving life in the Spirit of God through faith in Christ are admonished to, “also walk in the Spirit.”  This fruit, those in Christ are to bear, is His very character, and it begins with the knowledge of His love for us. “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”(Eph. 3:19).DSCF4346

Those who are in Christ are given the fullness of God through the Holy Spirit. He plants each seed of His character in our hearts beginning with the knowledge of His love. This knowledge of love blooms into joy bringing forth the peace of God that reigns in our hearts through the trials we face. We patiently wait/trust in Him to walk with us in gentleness because of His goodness. Experiencing His goodness waters our faith, the conviction He is who He says He is and does what He says He will do. He is meek, acting according to who He is and remembering who we are, and deals with us accordingly, even as we are to be with one another.

Our heavenly Father has put this fruit in us to bear to others. This is the good work we are to do because of our being filled with His fruit. What we have learned of Him, we are to follow. What He has born in us we are to bear to others.

Peter puts it this way: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance: and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity; For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Peter 1:3-8).

“…in every good work…””Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” “Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…And…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” (John 6:28,29; Matt. 22:37,39; Heb. 10:24). Knowing this: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” No matter the work if it is not motivated by the love of Christ, “..and have not charity, I am nothing…it profiteth me nothing.”(Taken from 1Cor. 13).

Being in Christ you live by the Spirit. You have His character in you. He, living in you, cannot help but produce good work, a work that glorifies the Father. Being does.

How might you encourage your local body of Christ to love and good works?

Heavenly Father, You have given us all we need to bear fruit unto your glory. Show us how to be an encouragement to your body in love and good works. May we bear the righteous eternal fruit of the Spirit to a world feasting on the temporary fruits of sinful pleasure.

Living Water

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth…ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16,17.

DSCF1527One of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the one week camping trip my family took each year. A group of us kids regularly hiked the woods to  our favorite spot. On the way we stopped by a natural spring, racing to see who would win the first drink. It never ran dry and always quenched our thirst. Then off we continue to our prize. Nestled off the beaten path, enclosed in the rocky cliffs, surrounded by the tallest trees, lay a pool of cool water fed by a trickling waterfall.DSCF1503 The pool invited us in, but I don’t remember any of us every jumping in. We couldn’t see the bottom and the water was always cold. Mostly, we climbed around the pool and up the cliff to the top of the waterfall, never experiencing what it was like to be fully immersed in the water’s refreshing touch.

The Holy Spirit abiding in believers is like that childhood spring. He abides with us for ever springing up into eternal life within us. Only one big difference, we had to keep returning to the spring to abate our thirst. Jesus says, “…whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 5:14. The Holy Spirit abides in any who trust Christ to be the word of truth, the fulfillment of the gospel of salvation. If He is not in you, you do not belong to Him. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of redemption and our witness of the new life we have in Christ.

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27

But there is another aspect of this relationship believers have with Christ.

“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” John 14:20.

The apostle John knew what it was to be in the Spirit. Four times in Revelation he was said to be in the Spirit. Did that experience belong to John alone? What took place, how did it happen?

David experienced it when, “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” 2Sam. 23:2. The disciples on the Day of Pentecost experienced it to the salvation of 3000 souls born into the kingdom. Philip experienced it when the Spirit took him to the Ethiopian and then to another place. Each time that I found one  being “in the Spirit”, a revelation of the word of God followed. The Lord revealed himself, the word spread and He was exalted.

The Spirit in believers is a constant. We being in the Spirit isn’t necessarily a constant.We live in the Spirit by hearing and obeying His word to us. Drinking of His water. How can we experience being in the Spirit? It is like jumping into that pool and becoming immersed in Him. There is no formula but let’s look at what scripture says.

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” Rev. 1:10. Remember where John lives. He is alone on an island, no where else to go, no cell phone, tv, radio, or interruptions. He is alone with God. We cannot be immersed in the world, cares of the world, pleasures of the world, and hope to be immersed in the Spirit, too. It won’t happen. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Rom. 8:9.

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:2.

God’s word is His revelation of himself. Notice, also, in Revelation John heard the voice of the Lord. Today, God speaks to us through His Son, the living Word of God. Do you have ears to hear? Begin your time with the Lord in prayer, seeking to know Him, in order to make Him known. He will meet with you and you will taste and see that He is good.

“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4: 8. Now it is time to take the next step…DSCF1514no, it’s time to jump into the water and become immersed in the Spirit, in order to hear the voice of our God and exalt Him. It is time to be still and know He is God.