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Monthly Archives: November 2013

11/25/13 – “WALKING IN GRATITUDE”

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1Th. 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

There is a saying I have heard my pastor Dr. Barclay say many times that is so true and very powerful. All of life hinges on gratitude. If for example you walked up to a very large door, and the will of God awaited you on the other side of that door, all you have to do is open it. What if that door had no hinges and it was so heavy you could not personally move it? You would not be able to enter into what God desires for your life.

So it is when it comes to gratitude. As Paul states here in 1 Thessalonians, in everything we go through in life, we are to give thanks. He did not say give thanks for everything, but in everything. God does not bring bad things into our lives to “teach us” things, but in the midst of whatever you face or even when things are going good if you want to experience God’s will you must walk in gratitude. That is why Paul states in this verse that giving thanks in everything is the will of God for you.

This week of Thanksgiving I want to share with you three powerful things that we are to be walking in, making a part of our daily lifestyle. As you will see in doing so it is through these three things that we can and will live a life of gratitude toward God. For all Christ has done for us we certainly have a reason to walk in gratitude everyday, no matter what we may or may not be going through. So let’s take a look at these three things we are to be “walking” in.

Eph. 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
Eph. 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Paul reveals in the start of this fifth chapter with a very powerful statement that will make the point of how these three things that later follow in this chapter have to do with our gratitude toward God. We are to be imitators of God as His dear children, or in other words those who are walking as grateful kids. The greatest way you can show your gratitude toward God is in imitating Him.

Number one: Walk in love. We are to walk in the same love that Christ walked in toward us. That simply means the God-kind of love, which is unconditional, sacrificial, and continual. When you take a look at what walking in love is all about, it really comes down to understanding who you now are in Christ, and how you can in fact daily choose to “put on Christ” just as you choose to put on certain clothes each day when you go to your wardrobe to select what you will wear.

To walk in love you must do as Christ has done according to Ephesians 5:2, He gave Himself as an offering and a sacrifice to God. For us to walk in love we to must give ourselves as an offering and sacrifice unto God. Not doing so will keep us from learning who we are in Christ. The word offering means to give yourself as a gift to God. In doing this we recognize that it is by our own free will that we choose to follow after Christ and walk as a child of God. For us to not give ourselves as a gift to God, but to feel we “have” to do what Christ did, that will only lead to a form of bondage. God wants us to want to follow Him, not feel like we have to.

We also need to give ourselves as a sacrifice to God for Paul Himself stated this in Romans 12:1. We are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. The reason this is important is because of the very next thing Paul then states in Romans 12:2. We are not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Those who are of the world are not going to walk in the God-kind of love. They don’t have that kind of love in them, but the believer does. The problem for many Christians is they don’t know who they really are.

All who are born again have become a new creation, recreated in the image and likeness of God. Stop and think about this for a minute. Romans 5:5 states that when you are born again the love of God has been poured out into your heart by the Holy Spirit. In 1 John 4:8 we are told that God is love, and we know that God is a Spirit. You are a spirit and once born again if you have been made in the image and likeness of God, which you have, then you are love, the God-kind of love. That is exactly what Romans 5:5 is saying. That love was poured out into your spirit, the real you. You are love. Most believers just don’t know who they are.

Now to walk in love you must also begin then to not only renew your mind to the Word of God to who you are, you must choose as scripture says to go into your spiritual closet, the person who you really are on the inside, and put on Christ. Doing so you choose to put on love. It really is that simple. You make the choice to treat others the way you would want them to treat you. That is what Jesus has done for us.

Eph. 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Eph. 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
Eph. 5:10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Number two: Walk in the light. We are to walk as children of the light, not children of the darkness. We also come to the Word of God and find out what is acceptable to the Lord. The things that are not acceptable to Him we do not walk in. Paul states here we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. This means we do not become partakers in the things that sinners do, instead we let our light shine so that they can see a way out of the darkness. Walking in darkness does not show our Father that we are grateful for what He has done. Choosing to walk in light will for we are revealing our love for Him in setting us free from the darkness.

Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

As followers of Christ we are to do “good works” not “evil works” so that we are letting our light shine to those who are looking for a way out of the darkness. The honest truth of anyone who is a sinner and looking for a way out of their destructive sinful lifestyle is that they are not looking for someone living like them. They already have plenty of people like that, and they know such people are no different then they are. They are looking for someone who is genuine and real who in fact is living free from the things that they are bound by. They want to get free, not further bound. Those who are sick Jesus said have need of a physician. We know the physician.

As believers in Christ we are still going to have times we may get in the flesh, but it should not be our lifestyle. Jesus came to set the captives free, not to get them to pray a prayer and continue to live a life of bondage to sin and the pain sin brings. A vital key to us walking in this liberty is found in Galatians 5:16. If we will walk in the spirit, we shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. This is once again referring to us learning who we are in Christ as a recreated spirit being. Walking in the spirit means we are walking after the true you, the spirit man on the inside, not the fleshly man on the outside.

Eph. 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
Eph. 5:16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Number three: Walk as wise. To walk as one who is wise means to not go the way of fools. Scripture has a lot to say about this but one of the most revealing areas in scripture that deals with a comparison of those who are wise and those who are foolish is found in a parable Jesus taught about the 10 virgins as revealed in Matthew’s gospel chapter 25. Jesus gives a comparison of 10 virgins, five who were wise and ready for the Lord’s return, and five who were foolish and not ready.

The key to this parable is that they all had oil in their lamps, representing that they were all born again, but the wise also had oil stored up in additional vessels, but the foolish did not. When Jesus came and the wise were ready and went with Him, the foolish had gone out to get more of this oil but were now to late. The oil represents the glory of God, or His presence. The wise Christian is going to stay full of the glory of God by staying close to Him. One of the places you stay full of God is in God’s house. The foolish virgins today are out playing around doing their own thing, but the wise are working for the Lord and staying full of Him.

We can cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude toward God by walking in love, walking in the light, and walking as wise. Living such a life means we are imitating our Father in heaven, which will open the door to His will for our life. Remember gratitude is the hinge upon which all of life swings. May God richly bless you and your family this Thanksgiving as we honor our God for all He has done for us!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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11/17/18 – “GODLY MOTIVATION”

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2 Cor. 5:14 For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died;
2 Cor. 5:15 And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.

Motivation – That which incites to action; that which determines the choice, or moves the will. How powerful is motivation in a person’s life? When you look at the definition it is quite obvious that motivation is a key component in our lives that leads to action and determining our choices. The proper motivation in a believer’s life can make all the difference in obtaining all God desires for you.

Have you ever seen what an Olympic athlete goes through to prepare for the Olympics? Many of course begin at a very early age. They dedicate years of their life, thousand of hours, money, and sacrifice all for the opportunity to go and represent their country with the hope of winning an Olympic medal. One of the first things they address is a major change in their daily routine to prepare and train in whatever event or events they hope to compete. Not only does this routine involve physical training, it also involves a complete change of lifestyle.

These athletes change their diet to a strict regiment designed to help them obtain optimum physical conditioning. Not only do they change their diet, the hours upon hours of training, pushing themselves beyond what their bodies seem capable of doing is one of the toughest challenges they face. Many in America have parents who spend thousands of dollars to get them with a personal coach who will be able to help them become the best they can be. They put up with these trainers pushing them day after day to become better at what they do. After years of training, workouts, and sacrifice it all comes down to the goal of getting that medal. Some succeed, yet many fail.

I have heard many of these athletes talk about what their motive was that caused them to push themselves so hard for so many years to obtain this prize. The motivation for many is the hope of standing on that medal stand in front of all the world and being recognized for that moment as the best athlete in their field. There are others who have actually acknowledge that their motives may have been for a family member, or just to have the opportunity to make it in the Olympic games. One thing is for sure, if Christians get the right motivation in their lives in dedicating themselves in their walk with God like these athletes in attempting to win a medal, we are going to see some incredible results.

1 Cor. 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
1 Cor. 9:25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Here we have the apostle Paul referring to this very analogy in us running our race of Christianity here on earth in such a way that we may obtain the prize. He refers to the natural athlete in verse 25 as one who is temperate in all things. They do this to obtain a perishable crown, but we are doing it to obtain an imperishable crown. The reward we will receive will be an eternal reward. Just like the athlete competing for a natural crown, we can find the right type of motivation that will energize us in walking with our God. It will inspire us and even push us beyond what the flesh desires so that we can walk out what is God’s will for our life here on earth.

In our foundation text of 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, we get a picture of this very motivation that was at work in Paul’s life. Notice in verse 14 he tells us that the love of Christ controlled, urged, and impelled them. What did in control them to do? In verse 15 he reveals that the love of Christ was the controlling factor that caused him each day to no longer live for himself, but instead for Jesus who had died for him. When Paul refers to living for himself he is referring to living for his own will and not for the will of Christ. This love that was now controlling Paul’s choices was seen in what is the greatest motivation the believer has to look to each and every day – the cross.

Notice that he begins by saying this love was revealed in the death that Christ died for us, for if this One man died for all, then it was clear to him that all had died. This death he is referring to of course is spiritual death, or separation from God. Paul had revelation in his heart of the power of this love revealed to all of mankind through what Christ did for us on the cross. Jesus on the cross was the greatest demonstration of God’s love to the whole world. Notice what Paul goes on to say a little farther down into 2 Corinthians 5.

2 Cor. 5:21 God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.

When Jesus hung on that cross, He was made to be sin. What this means is He was made to be everything we were. He became a murderer, prostitute, thief, a liar, fornicator, adulterer, and on and on. Jesus became what we were so that we could become what He is, righteous. Righteousness is a free gift from God, which means to have right standing with God. You can only get right standing with God by being born again. When this happens you are no longer spiritually dead, separated from God, but now filled with new life, the very life of God. I don’t think most believers really have revelation of the new creation they have become, and the fact that the Spirit of God Himself is now dwelling within their spirit. How awesome is that!

Is. 53:4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins!

Jesus did something more than just become sin; Jesus also took the punishment our sin deserved. Isaiah here looking prophetically into the future and referring to Christ on the cross reveals that those who would look at Jesus on the cross would think that God was punishing him for His own sins. But He had not sinned. The Father was in fact punishing Jesus, for if He had not taken upon Himself our punishment then justice had not been served and man could not be forgiven. The punishment Jesus was taking is what all of us deserved. Jesus took God’s wrath for our sin. He was being punished in our place.

Imagine if someone had committed a murder and was proven to be guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, then sentenced to death by the judge according to the law, yet at the time of the execution someone stepped in and declared they would take their place so that they could be set free. If it was possible for one to do so imagine what that person who was guilty of the crime would think about the person who did not deserve death, for they had done nothing wrong, yet because of their compassion for this person they chose to do so. That is exactly what Jesus did when He died in our place. He was punished by God on the cross, and then was completely separated from His presence, which He had never experienced before, and then went into hell itself where we deserved to go. How can we not be like Paul and recognize if He became sin, bore my punishment, and went into hell itself, how could I not choose to now live everyday for His will and no longer for my own?

John 5:30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

Jesus as our very example stated that He had not come to seek out His own will, but the will of the Father who sent Him. Think about what He said here. Jesus had His own will He could have fulfilled, but He chose to fulfill the Father’s will instead of His own. All through the gospels we see Jesus referring to this fact. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus had cried out to the Father asking Him if there was any other way to accomplish what needed to be done, but then declared not His will but the Father’s will be done. We can walk in the footsteps of our Savior.

Matt. 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].

Jesus declares to us that if there is anyone who wants to be His disciple, losing sight of self and one’s own interests, and conform wholly to His example of living, they must deny self (their own will), take up their cross, and follow Him. Taking up our cross is taking up the motivation set before us to live for Him. Jesus Christ on that cross is the greatest motivator any believer has to daily walk away from what your will is, and chose instead to follow in the Father’s will. When we walk in the Father’s will we choose to walk in the footsteps of our Savior. We make choices that line up with what He reveals to us through His Word, and the example He set for us. So just as an athlete can push beyond what they thought was impossible, so can we push beyond our flesh and our fleshly limitations. Godly motivation will help you accomplish that goal.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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11/11/13 – “BEWARE OF HERESY”

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2 Pet. 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Pet. 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

There are parts of scripture that don’t get much attention in the body of Christ because they are messages that don’t make people shout, but they are just as much inspired by the Holy Spirit. Why would God give us warnings in scripture if He didn’t need us to hear them? Warnings are for our benefit so that we don’t fall prey to things that can hurt our life. One such warning in scripture has to do with heresy.

Much of our culture is now influencing what many preachers are saying instead of the preachers and God’s Word influencing culture. You don’t change the truths of God’s Word to become what many modern day ministers claim as being “relevant”. The Word of God is the truth that sets us free, and it is just as relevant and just as anointed as the day it was inspired and brought forth by the Holy Spirit. When people begin to teach what they stand behind as their belief based on their opinion, this will often lead to heresy. Heresy is defined as one’s opinion based on their personal preference, which goes contrary to scripture and the teachings of Christ.

As Peter warns in our foundation text of scripture there were false prophets among God’s people in years past, just as there will be false teachers among us today who will secretly (subtly) bring in these destructive heresies. Take note first of all that Peter warns these heresies, opinions based on personal preference, will be destructive. The problem is this will be done subtly, right under people’s noses without them even realizing that what they are being taught is only going to bring destruction, not deliverance and healing. How will they do this?

People will listen to such teachings and think they are correct because of how famous, charismatic, or likable the person may be. Today we even have ministers who are calling what scripture reveals as evil good, and good evil. It is the culture of the day that is a determining factor in what people believe, and because of this there are modern day preachers who are changing what scripture teaches to line up with the culture. But for example if you had a glass of water that was 3/4 good water but the other 1/4 was poison would you drink it? Yet many today accept the false teachings of ministers because of their status because they like the rest of what they say.

Is. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah declared that it will not turn out good for those who call what is evil good, and what is good as evil, who substitute light for darkness and darkness for light, or bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Yet today all to often in churches and among Christians what was once recognized as immoral, unholy, and sinful based on the Word of God is no longer considered an issue in the life of one who is born again. We hear constantly that we are no longer “under the law”. No one who studies scripture believes that we are born again through any merit of our own. The free gift of salvation is based on what Christ has done for us and it can only be received by faith in Him. But as scripture teaches to walk by faith without corresponding action is not only powerless, but won’t work.

James 2:21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
James 2:22 You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did—by his actions.
James 2:23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.” He was even called “the friend of God.”
James 2:24 So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

When you look to the whole of scripture and stay true to the Word of God, not formulating heresy based on personal opinion of the Bible, you must include scriptures such as these when talking about becoming right with God, or receiving right standing with Him. All through chapter 2 James deals with the difference between those who say they believe in God, or say they have faith in Him, but there is no corresponding actions that reveal this is true. Here James even tells us that Abraham’s faith in God was not complete until he acted in line with his faith and he was therefore declared righteous in the eyes of God. Look at verse 24 in conclusion of this example of Abraham. James states that we are made right with God by what we do, and not by faith alone.

Let me clarify just so people don’t misunderstand what James is saying here. There is nothing of personal effort on our part that will make us right with God. James is not saying that once we prove our worth to God we can become righteous, because as Jesus said there is none good but One, God. But once we put our faith in God if we truly believe in Him then we also believe in what He has said, all of what His Word says. So we don’t just believe, we act upon what we believe. We put our faith in what Christ has done at the cross for our sins, and we then begin a change of lifestyle as a follower of Christ, no longer following after the world. As Billy Graham has stated the cross does not suggest a change of lifestyle, it demands a change of lifestyle. Jesus did not die so you and I could just pray a prayer and go on living life our way, but in fact we are now to come into what Jesus said is the narrow gate.

Matt. 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
Matt. 7:14 But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

It is sad to say that even today there are ministers who have said they preach the wide gate, that there are many ways to come into the Kingdom of God but that is not what Jesus taught. These scriptures are just as true as the rest of the Bible. Jesus clearly tells us that the wide gate is the way that leads people to destruction. Remember Peter warned that there would be ministers who would teach heresies that lead to destruction, and these ministers would even deny Jesus Christ. Denying Christ does not mean they wouldn’t believe in Him, but would begin to deny His teachings such as these scriptures here in Matthew.

Jesus tells us in verse 14 that it is by the narrow gate one comes into true life and this gate is difficult. The word difficult here means a confined way. One of the truths about God that scripture is very clear about is the fact that God does not change. Even though there are those who want to change God, or how they view Him and His Word, He never changes. One of the greatest dangers of heresy is the fact that it tries to make God become something He is not, all by trying to convince people of something that is contrary to the Word of God. It is clear that this is a major work of satan in the last days because if he can get people to believe things that are not true he has accomplished what is his primary work in the lives of people, deception. The danger of deception is that you don’t know you are deceived. It is only through someone speaking truth into your life that your eyes can be opened to deception.

Jude 3  Dearly loved friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the truth of the Good News. God gave this unchanging truth once for all time to his holy people.
Jude 4 I say this because some godless people have wormed their way in among you, saying that God’s forgiveness allows us to live immoral lives. The fate of such people was determined long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Heresy is not something new. Jude in writing to the church wanted to talk about the salvation experience that all believers share, but had to instead turn his attention to a problem in his day that had begun to have a destructive impact on the believers and is one that is still happening today. Notice that Jude states the need to defend the true gospel, or truth of the Good News. What was it about this good news that Jude felt so compelled to write about and to warn the church of his day? He gives us the answer in verse 4.

Notice he talks about those who had wormed their way in among the believers saying that God’s forgiveness allows us to live immoral lives. They were saying that because they were now saved by grace, it does not matter any longer how they live and therefore they should not even address their lifestyle. Sound familiar? Today we have ministers and believers who are saying it doesn’t matter how we live because after all we are saved by grace. So be very careful children of God who and what you are listening to. We need to make sure it lines up with the whole of scripture. God loves you and desires the best for your life and therefore He does not want you getting caught up in the heresies of the day that are only going to bring destruction and not the liberty and deliverance He has provided us.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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11/4/13 – “HOW TO BE LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT”

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Rom. 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
Rom. 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.  

One of the areas that believers need to grow in is one of the most important parts of our walk with God. We need to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. God has recreated within every born again believer a brand new spirit, and He has given us of His Spirit to dwell within us. This is something the Lord has been dealing with me on more and more, that every believer needs to have revelation in their hearts that God Himself is living in them. How much different we could live everyday with the revelation of who is actually living inside us now.

It is through God’s very Spirit, the Holy Spirit that He seeks to guide our steps each and every day. This is important in many ways. God wants us to walk in the light of His will for our lives. When we are led by His Spirit, He will lead us each day to carry out what He has planned for our life. As we walk out what He desires, it is also through this inner guidance that we can see God use us, protect us, and direct us into all He desires. This is why it is so important we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.

As we see in our foundation text above from Romans chapter 8 those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. This is saying that when we are following the leading of God, He is actually fathering us. As a loving Father He desires to father us in every part of our lives. Verse 15 confirms this as we are told this very Spirit by which God will father us is now within us. Through the Holy Spirit we have been adopted, purchased by God and restored back to Him. Verse 16 is a key verse as to how God leads us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit. It does not say that the Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit, but He bears witness with our spirit.

This is a vital key to following God’s leading for our life. The Holy Spirit does not bear witness with our soul, nor our body, but our spirit within. Often believers are looking for God to lead them through every other way than how God said He would lead us. We don’t look for a “sign from heaven” as many people do. Satan has the ability to do supernatural signs and wonders, which can cause you to be misled if you are looking for a sign. We don’t put out fleeces like Gideon in the Old Testament. Gideon did not have the Holy Spirit living within him to guide him as we do. The number one way God leads His children is through the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26 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 things that I said to you.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus here in John’s gospel while speaking to His disciples reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as a form of guidance from the Father. As we see in verse 26 the context of what Jesus is speaking about is the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send to us to teach us all things, and bring to our remembrance what Jesus had said. If the Holy Spirit is here to teach us all things, that would include how to be led by God.

In the verse that follows Jesus tells us that He would leave with us a peace that you cannot get from the world, and that we are not to let our hearts be troubled, nor be afraid. Here is where we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit who is this peace that He has given to us which only comes through Him. The peace Jesus refers to here is defined as a state of harmony, devoid of turmoil. If you have ever heard a good gospel quartet or a group of singers in harmony you know how pleasing it sounds. But if you have ever heard a group in which there are those who are not singing in harmony it is quite unpleasant to listen to. This is what Jesus is referring to about this peace He has given to us.

After referring to this peace He tells us to let not our heart be troubled or afraid. The heart refers to the real you, the spirit within. Remember the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, the real man within. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. The Holy Spirit is going to bear witness with our spirit to lead us into God’s plan for our lives. The word for troubled here means to be agitated. I always think of the agitator within a washing machine. Many new washing machines no longer have them, but that agitator in the center of that tub in a washing machine was there to stir things up.

The second word Jesus refers to is not letting our hearts be afraid. This is actually better translated timid. I remember when I was a kid growing up in Montana there was a canal that was full of water that ran right by our bus stop where we waited on the bus to go to school. In the winter it would freeze over and we would go under the bridge of this canal and play hockey with sticks and rocks until our bus came. When the first freeze of the year came if you wanted to make sure you didn’t fall through the ice you would take a small step on that ice to see if it felt completely frozen or not. If it didn’t you would feel a little timid inside of going any further. That is what this word timid is referring to.

When the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are making a right choice or headed the right direction for our life we will have this inward peace within our spirit man. There will be a harmonious feeling between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. Our spirit will be devoid of turmoil. We won’t feel agitated or timid as we take that first step. This peace will be confirmation that we are walking out God’s will for our life. But when we are seeking to follow God’s direction we don’t want to jump in with both feet. We need to take it one step at a time, testing the ice so to speak to see if we have a peace about going forward.

Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.
Acts 16:7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.

Take a look at these two verses in the book of Acts that refer to Paul and his company traveling to preach the gospel. The apostle Paul begins to set out on a trip to go to Asia to preach the gospel, but notice what happens. The Holy Spirit forbids them to go. Paul had that inward witness within that was devoid of God’s peace, that harmonious feeling between his spirit and the Holy Spirit that this was the proper direction for them, so Paul did not go. Then Paul begins to head out to Bithynia, but again as he did the Holy Spirit bearing witness with his spirit revealed a timidity or agitation within that revealed he was not to go there as well. These are two examples in the book of Acts of Paul receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit of where not to go.

Often times Christians just think that wherever they go they have God’s protection, but in fact one of the keys to our protection as believers is in following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Psalms 91 does tell us that God gives His angels charge over us, but it tells us before this reference to angels protecting us that this refers to those who have made God their refuge and dwelling place. In other words they are pursuing Him and what He desires for their life. Those who do are going to learn how to be led by His Spirit. There are many testimonies of Christians who in following this inward leading avoided disaster and even death that God through the inward witness was able to protect them from. We need to learn how to be led by God to experience the fullness of His will for our life.

For us to get good at following this inward witness we must learn to develop our spirit man. Just as your body can be developed, and your mind (soul) can be developed, so can your spirit. In closing I want to share briefly with you three things that will help you to develop your spirit man. The first of these three things is to read and study the Word of God. Jesus said in John 6:63 that His Words are Spirit and they are life. When we spend time soaking up God’s Word we are fellowshipping with the Lord through the Word of God, which Jesus said is Spirit and life. Take time to get into the Word of God to fellowship with Him.

Secondly when we pray in the Holy Spirit we are developing our spirit as we are in direct fellowship with the Holy Spirit. When you pray in the spirit your spirit is praying what the Holy Spirit is saying. Jude 1:20 tells us that you are building yourself up (your spirit man) on your most holy faith when you pray in the Holy Spirit. The third way to build your spirit man is to walk in love. God is love and when you walk in love you are walking in God. So take time to build your spirit man and learn to follow the inward witness from God. Doing so will help you to walk in God’s plans for your life.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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