Spirit-led

Quenched

Have you ever asked for something, but then changed your mind when you received it?

Throughout the walk of a believer, inevitably we will ask God to change us. There is a pure desire within the heart of us to become like Jesus. Our prayers beg God to remove things within us that don’t please Him. We pray for development of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Subtle changes appear, and faith is increased. There is a transformation happening.

But then the flesh notices the change. Something is off. It’s territory is threatened, and it will not go silently into the night. Our flesh starts to put up a fight. As Matthew 26:41 says, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We start to resist the work of the Holy Spirit. We cover our ears, pretending not to hear His whispers. The slow fade begins. We return to our sin. 1 Peter 2:22 is so blunt as to compare it to a dog returning to it’s own vomit. Instead of resting easy in the newness of the Spirit, we prefer the dingy familiarity of our old nature. Why do we not remain?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 

God is an all consuming fire…but He won’t spread if we keep snuffing Him out.

Yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit is what will truly bring breakthrough, power & freedom in our lives. This means laying down our will…our stubborn, hard-headed wills. Deep down, we know that we don’t know it all. God is not at all put off by any of this. In fact, He wants to use that weakness to display His power in our lives. His best work is done through broken vessels. Ones who have surrendered and admitted that they need Him, and that His ways are higher. If we will allow Him to have His way, imagine what He could do through us.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” – Galatians 5:16

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:4


“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Phillipians 1:6


“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” – Romans 7:15

 

 

Advertisements

Enlighten Me

In this age, spiritual enlightenment is heavily sought out, The options & sources available to achieve this goal are endless, including methods like meditation, yoga, and self help books. The desire to have our knowledge and awareness increased is something people of all beliefs  and cultures seek. We are pursuing a common goal: Truth.

With so many options and paths, one is overwhelmed at what path to choose without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. According to the Word, the mind is blinded & led astray until we have an encounter with the Christ Jesus Himself. It will experiment with what the world offers, testing the waters of multiple practices until it is quenched.

The only true enlightenment will come from the Holy Spirit. All answers lie within the person of Jesus. Romans 11:36 states “from Him, through Him, and to Him are all things.” John 1:3 states, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” He is the Beginning and the End, and without Him, nothing exists.  God doesn’t withhold the revelation of who He is from us. It is waiting to be discovered, like a hidden treasure. We have the map, and X marks the spot. We must travel and pursue it to find Him. True riches await us upon the discovery. The riches are our inheritance freely given to us by the only King. He is waiting to illuminate your mind with the only truth. Once our mind grasps the reality of who we are and what He has given us as His children, freedom is inevitable. Once the awareness of who you are in Christ is rooted in you, you are unshakable & immovable.

How do you achieve true enlightenment from God?

1. Meditate on the Word Meditation is not a bad word. It’s what you are meditating on. When we dwell on Jesus and sit with Him, He reveals things to us like friends, and gives us understanding. The Word is a light to our path, and only sheds light down on the right one.

2. Ask for it The Word says if we ask we shall receive. The perfect will of God is for you to know Him, His character…He wants you to enjoy Him. Be patient with the timing of revelations.

3. Only pursue Jesus – All other paths are false, and lead to death. Pursuing other beliefs does not honor our Savior. Honor Him by making Him your sole focus and seek Him with your whole heart.

Simply ask the Lord, “Enlighten me.” He will not withhold any good thing from His babies.

“…having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints…” – Ephesians 1:18

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14

 

Get Your Hopes Up

The world has created many sayings that have become our generic responses to situations that occur in our daily lives. One common phrase is “don’t get your hopes up.” This always brings me down when I hear it. The intent is to avoid false hope or being let down. But God never gave us this advice. His word says the exact opposite. Romans 15:13 says He is the God of Hope! It’s His very nature, His character! Being optimistic and and hopeful is not foolish. You are not naive when you choose joy instead of doubt.

A mindset of hope will produce much more fruit than a timid & frightful one. Think of how much time is wasted dwelling on negative thoughts. Declining hope hinders our spirit from trusting God. If we use this phrase, you might as well just use the word “doubt” in it’s place. Because that’s the spirit that we’re inviting in when we say it. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. We must ensure that our words align with God’s. I can’t imagine Jesus leaning in and whispering this phrase to Peter before healing a leper. He was confident in mission, His ability, and God’s promise. He didn’t flinch in the face of adversity but chose to believe. He calls us to do the same.

The phrase “leap of faith” is a very accurate one. Hope requires risk. We don’t know the outcome of every situation, but we can choose how we anticipate it. When we leap instead of holding back, we allow Him the opportunity to catch us…and He will.

“Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” -Isaiah 49:23

 

Off Course

Along the journey of walking with God, there are countless resources for assistance in gaining knowledge of Him & His word. One of the most convenient and popular resources are apps on our smartphones. They contain different subject matters depending on what you desire to focus on. They offer different lengths, some being yearlong and some a couple of weeks. Other resources are books, emails, and radio programs.

There comes a time when we need to wean ourselves off of these and start trusting the Holy Spirit to be our devotional. 

We start to become more dependent on an author to teach us rather than consulting The Author. We are leaning on the middle man to spoonfeed us rather than eating the manna straight from Heaven. This daily act of repetition can easily become a religious act…an act of repetition rather than Spirit led. Possibly even an idol.

I’m not saying the Holy Spirit will not lead you to read a specific devotional or book. But we need to allow Him to suggest the material that He wants to use to teach us. It may just be the Bible…and we should be ok with that. Before rushing out to buy the latest book, or download today’s devotional…ask Him. Open up The Book and let Him lead you.

Think about this. There were no devotionals in Biblical times. People spoke with God and sought out His Word. There was a beautiful simplicity. In our advanced times, have we over-complicated it with our good intentions? Have we made it more difficult to hear from God directly? The Holy Spirit is not predictable. He is spontaneous, creative, and loves to blow our minds. He can’t be contained by a paragraph. He may want to take us somewhere totally different than what we expected or had in mind…somewhere deeper. Are we along for the ride?

Jesus said The Holy Spirit will teach us all things. He has proven that to be true in my life. In the quiet of my day, He whispers words or phrases to me. That begins my treasure hunt. I search the Scriptures for verses related to what He is talking to me about. Before too long, I have an entire lesson laid out before me, straight from The Teacher Himself. I have learned more from Him than I have from any other source. He illuminates the Scriptures and gives you revelation of what it means if you ask. Do we trust that He will guide us?

On the other hand, do we trust ourselves? Do we trust that we are hearing Him correctly or are we doubting ourselves? You may be further along than you think and not giving yourself enough credit. It is good to test the spirits (even yourself) ensure that it matches up with the Word…but don’t negate the power of God within you. He has made you His dwelling place. Once that takes place, He starts to speak to you and you become familiar with His voice. This takes time, reading His word, and talking with Him. Invest in developing an intimate relationship with Him and it will lead to a comfort and confidence that you are being led by Jesus Himself.

We are called to walk by the Spirit. Let Him take you off course.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”  – John 14:26

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! ” – Hebrews 5:12

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25

“Do not quench the Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:19

 Wean (definition) – Accustom someone to managing without something on which they have become dependent or of which they have become excessively fond.