LIFTED UP BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD

Ezekiel 11:24 – The Spirit lifted me up.

Ezekiel was a prophet of the Lord with many experiences in the Spirit of God. The Spirit of the Lord led him to act out much of what he saw and heard. The Holy Spirit is still lifting up men and women dedicated to doing God’s bidding. Testimonies are received from around the world of visions and dreams God’s people are having. Testimonies of healings and miracles are becoming common place throughout the body of Christ. The Lord is speaking to His people through unusual events and experiences. As in Ezekiel’s time, the Lord wants to draw near to His people. He wants to lift His people into realms of the Spirit and show them how to accomplish His work.

The Spirit of the Lord does not bring revelation that is contrary to God’s Written Word, but confirms the Word of God by supernatural means. The writer of Hebrews addresses this issue when he asks the question, “How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3). The Holy Spirit breathes life on the Word of God. Many try to use the Word without the life-giving power of the Spirit and are left with legalism and death. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:6, “who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Some important questions to consider are: Is there life in the word you carry for God? Has the Spirit of God lifted you into places of fellowship and revelation to hear what the Spirit would say to you? Do you minister out of your head knowledge or by the Spirit of God quickening you with a message and deeds that produce life in the ones to whom you are ministering?

Take time to seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him to release His life in and through you. Prepare to allow the Holy Spirit to do unusual things through you. Expect Him to confirm the Word of God that you speak to others with His signs and wonders according to His will.

Father, I pray that your Holy Spirit would be free to speak words to me that are filled with Your life. I pray that I may hear your voice guiding me and that You would confirm your Word through me with Your life-giving power. Protect me and others from the “letter of the law which kills” and fill me with the knowledge of Your Holy Spirit.

HANGING WITH THE PROPHETS

1 Samuel 10:10 – The Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them.

Saul was sent by his father to find some lost donkeys. Saul sought to find the Prophet Samuel to see if he could help in finding the donkeys. Instead Saul encountered the Word of the Lord spoken through Samuel. Samuel told Saul that “he had been chosen to rule over God’s people.” As Saul left Samuel, he met a group of prophets who were prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul mightily and he prophesied with them. Saul was changed into another man.

Revelation 19:10 states “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Prophecy is directly related to testifying of God’s will and purposes. Samuel prophesied God’s will regarding Saul. When Saul got close to the prophets, he too prophesied and was counted among the prophets. All the Scriptures point to Jesus as God’s one and only King. When we declare the Lordship of Christ, we are prophesying. God wants all His people to have the spirit of prophecy. Moses declared, “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them” (Numbers 11:29)! Paul taught that we can all prophesy in 1 Corinthians 14:31.

A prophet is a spokesperson for God. We are all called to be led by the Spirit to speak for God. The Scriptures are abundantly clear of how God has willed for His sons and daughters to be filled with His Holy Spirit and be His voice to a lost and dying world. In summary, Jesus is the Prophet Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15-18. Prophecy is the “testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 19:10). “You can all prophesy one by one” (1 Corinthians 14:31).

Let me encourage you to spend time in the presence of God asking Him for the spirit of prophecy. It is one of the gifts of the Spirit God desires for all His people to embrace and use to testify of Jesus and His will. The gift is not motivated by emotions or individual opinions. The Father desires for His people to be able to hear His voice and testify of all He has given through His Son.

Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit and cause me to speak with a prophetic voice of the Lordship of Jesus Christ for Your glory.

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME

Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He Anointed Me to preach the Gospel.

It is one thing to be born of the Spirit and entirely another to be anointed of the Spirit. Jesus was both born of the Spirit and thirty years later anointed to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. The preaching of the gospel is not something that an individual decides one day. Only the Holy Spirit has the authority to call a person to preach the gospel. Only the Holy Spirit can commission one to go with the good news of the kingdom. Only the Holy Spirit can convey on us the authority that produces eternal results.

There are many people who, for one reason or another, try to do the work of God by their own initiation. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 7:22-23 when he speaks of those who went in His name but were not sent by Him. He calls them lawless because they went without His authority. When the Lord calls a person, it can be years before that person is ready to fulfill the call placed upon their life. The Holy Spirit spends the majority of the time preparing the one He has called through many trials and tribulations. He has to put to death the natural ambition that we all possess. The call of God emerges through much pain and disappointment. This can include rejection from family and close friends.

When Jesus was anointed of the Holy Spirit, He had already experienced the rejection of family and friends. His brothers thought He had a demon. He was known as Mary’s boy, in other words illegitimate. This carried into His ministry life. Isaiah declares, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).

The Holy Spirit is calling many today. He has come to rest upon believers and anoint them as He did with God’s only begotten Son. Jesus could stand and declare, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me” (Luke 4:18) because He had chosen to submit to His Father’s desires as He lived a human life. Only a few are willing to go through the disciplines it will require. God is looking for willing sons and daughters who will say, “Here I am, send me.” Inquire of the Lord what He might say to you regarding His call and anointing in your life. Will you be part of that few?

Pray, asking the Father to anoint you for the call He has in your life. Father, I choose to do Your will in all that I do for the rest of my life, regardless of the cost, as You supply me with grace.

GO AND WAIT FOR THE PROMISE OF MY FATHER

Luke 24:49 – Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

Everything the Lord does, He does with purpose and in the context of His own timing. The disciples had experienced the Holy Spirit’s power while Jesus was with them. Now, our Lord was going back to the Father, taking His place at the Father’s right hand. He was about to receive the Promise of the Father and give the Holy Spirit to everyone who believed one Him. The Spirit came to empower believers for the work which God has appointed in establishing His kingdom on earth.

The disciples waited for the promise. After ten days, He fell upon them like a great blast of wind and mighty manifestations. Today, He is here with us, but we still need to wait before the Lord with expectation for the empowerment of the Spirit’s presence. Many times, we read the Scriptures and assume the promises of God are automatic. This is not an accurate understanding of how God works in fulfilling His promises. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Seeking the Lord is foundational to receiving His promises.

Many believers depend upon others who have sought the Lord. Some depend upon their pastors to study and seek God for understanding of His Word. Some depend on the faith of others in receiving the promises of God. The Father desires that all His children would seek Him personally. As believers, we should be thirsty for righteousness. It is only through our relationship with the Holy Spirit that we can receive all that the Lord has for us to fulfill His will in our lives.

If you have not committed yourself to wait upon the Holy Spirit, why not begin today? Ask the Father for the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself in increasing ways. Expect Him to manifest His presence to you and open up your understanding to the Word of God and its application in and through your life.

IF ANYONE IS THIRSTY

John 7:37 – If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

There are two different kinds of thirst that human beings experience. The natural thirst for water and the spiritual thirst for God. A person can go without food for many days. The body will begin to draw from its own resources until they are depleted and the person begins to die of starvation. This is not true of our need for water. In a very short time the body dehydrates from a lack of water. The body does not store water like a camel which has a reservoir that holds water for long periods.

Jesus begins to reveal that He is their source which can satisfy spiritual thirst. Only by coming to Jesus can one be refreshed with a supply of living water. He goes on to explain in verse 38 that the one who believes in Him will experience this living water flowing like a river from one’s innermost being. The spiritual water that Jesus is referring to is not from an outside source, but the source will be within the believer. Literally, this means from the person’s “belly”. Jesus states that this is the promise of Scripture. He is referencing Isaiah 58:11, “You will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

John 7:39 explains that Jesus was referring to the coming work of the Spirit in the life of those who believed. First, Jesus had to be raised from the dead, glorified, and seated next to the Father. The Spirit was manifested on the day of Pentecost when the promised Holy Spirit came with a number of manifestations, as revealed in Acts 2. Every believer needs to have their personal Pentecost. The disciples believed on Jesus, but they needed to receive the Holy Spirit. Have you asked to receive the Holy Spirit? Can you relate to Jesus’ words “that from your innermost being will flow living water”? If not, why not ask Him today to give you the Holy Spirit and the promised “living water.” Perhaps you have received, but you need to be filled again with the Spirit. The Bible teaches that there are many fillings that one might experience.

Today, receive the Holy Spirit and let Him release the living waters from your innermost being! Why not pray right now? Father, I ask today that Jesus would fill me with the Holy Spirit. I recognize I need to be filled daily and sometimes more than once in the period of a day.

THE SPIRIT’S PURPOSE IS TO WORK ALL THINGS AFTER HIS WILL 

1 Corinthians 12:8-11 – For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually, just as He wills.

The Apostle helps the Corinthian believers understand the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of an individual believer within the community of the church gathering. Some have wrongly interpreted this passage as saying that the Holy Spirit gives one gift to each believer as He wills. Paul had concern because the Corinthian believers were misusing the gifts by making them personal rather than for the edifying of the body. When believers gather together in an assembly, it would be confusing if everybody spoke in tongues or tried to prophesy at the same time. Within the corporate body the Holy Spirit gives to each as He wills for the edification of all.

In our daily walk and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we live out our life around others who do not know God. The Holy Spirit desires to reveal the love of God through us by releasing His gifts. He chooses what He deems beneficial in helping our witness. It is possible that one might find a few particular gifts of the Spirit working regularly in their life, but all are available to the believer as the Holy Spirit leads. In the corporate body, He distributes to each one individually just as He wills, but outside the gathering of the body, all His gifts are available to the believer at any given time.

Father, I ask for the Holy Spirit to use me today as you so desire. I am Your servant and cannot effectively share Your love with others unless You empower me. Be free to release Your gifts through my life to assist me in ministering to those You chose to bring across my path.