Prayer in The Spirit

Prayer has been God’s chosen primary method for communicating His thoughts and plans for over 6,000 years, pre-dating the writing of the scriptures that we are blessed to have today.

I pray that no one will misconstrue what I am saying about God’s method for communicating with us, erroneously assuming that I am disqualifying the scriptures as His communicated word for us, recorded in writing.

The scriptures ARE the Word of God through which He communicates, and are indispensable to every person. They are worthy of every drop of blood that the martyrs have shed in the providing and safeguarding of the scriptures over the centuries! The scriptures, however cannot be understood correctly or applied appropriately to our lives without the communication of God through His Holy Spirit.

Even the disciples needed an intervention from Jesus to understand the scriptures, scriptures they knew but did not understand correctly:

“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”

‭‭~Luke‬ ‭24:45‬

Now, let’s read what the scriptures have to say (in at least one passage) about the Holy Spirit’s communication with us as followers of Christ:

“… the things God has prepared for those who love Him, these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God… no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

What we have received is… the Spirit Who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

This is what we speak… in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words… the things that come from the Spirit of God… are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things… we have the mind of Christ.”

~ 1 Corinthians 2:9-16

To “Pray in The Spirit” is to deliberately engage in an intimate time of communicating with the Spirit of God. Communicating is two-way: to speak and to listen, to listen and to speak. Being able to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit in the depths of our heart is a skill that can be developed and nurtured in conjunction with the reading of the scriptures. Everyone starts at an elementary level and maturation is a life-long journey.

Let’s be people of prayer. See you at the altar of prayer… and let’s bring our Bibles!

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#PastorsTip #1Corinthians2 #Luke24 #Prayer #PrayInTheSpirit #CommunicationWithGod

Wife of Our Youth

“… you and the wife of your youth… she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not God made you one?

You belong to God, body and spirit… be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth… the one to be protected…”

~ Malachi 2:14-16

This short passage has a wealth of wisdom and instruction for you and I, gentlemen. Only a few of those nuggets will be addressed here.

1. Our wife is our partner. In other words, there is no other person (regardless of who they are) that is equal to her place in our marriage. Our partnership is established in a covenant, making all other relationships subordinate to it. Our best friends, bosses at work, pastors at our church, relatives, and all other relationships are subordinate to the priority of the marriage relationship.

2. Our wife has been united with us in our spirit and in our body, by God. Our marriage is ordained by God, anointed by God, and predestined by God for unity and peace. It is sin, not an innocuous “incompatibility,” that leads to a dissolution of the very relationship that God has intended for perpetuity.

3. Our wife’s spirit and body belongs to God, and so do ours. We are not the owners of our life or our wife. God is the owner of us and “our” marriage, and we are blessed with the privilege of enjoying “our” marriage, and with the responsibility of caring for “our” marriage.

4. Our wife is to be protected through our faithfulness to the whole marriage covenant. We are to be the guardian of her spirit and her body, of her emotions and her mind. Our faithfulness is in reference to our whole being, not just the faithfulness in regard to physical adultery. It is a faithfulness to her in our imaginations, in our desires, in our thoughts, in our passions. All of these should be centered upon a cherishing of her entire being as a woman, the daughter of our Heavenly Father.

If you are like me, re-reading the above has shined some light on areas of God’s marriage that I want to rebuild, build upon, or nurture.

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#PastorsTip #Malachi2 #Marriage #Husband #Wife #WifeOfMyYouth

Delivered & Beautiful Again!

There is a proverbial saying that people use sometimes: “Their demons are killing them.” They might be referring to a person who is tragically fighting a losing battle with alcoholism, drug abuse, sex addiction, self-harm, or the like.

Two-thousand years ago the ministry of Jesus included delivering and healing people from both literal and proverbial demons, and restoring the beauty of their heart, soul, and body.

“When evening came, many who were demonized were brought to Him, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.’”

‭‭~ Matthew‬ ‭8:16-17‬

Today, Jesus is still delivering from both literal demons and proverbial demons! Regardless of the number of demons a person might be battling in their heart and soul, Christ still has the power and authority (and compassion!) necessary to deliver them!

Are you battling demons in your life? Do your demons manifest as addictions or as self-harming activities? Or do they literally take control of your body and fill you with a death-fear that is paralyzing and beyond words to express? Have these demons stolen your beauty, leaving you with an ugly and dark countenance? Has your body and soul been marred and scarred by their hellish abuse?

Jesus is ready today to deliver, heal, and re-beautify you (regardless of how many or how powerful those demons might be) just as He did for many others 2,000 years ago (and has been doing since then).

“… some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them (Jesus and the disciples) out of their own means.”

‭‭~ Luke‬ ‭8:2-3‬

Jesus welcomes anyone who asks for His deliverance, healing, and re-beautification! Approach Christ today in prayer and ask Him for His help. Ask Him to make you beautiful again (or if you are a man, you can ask Him to make you handsome again)!

 

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#PastorsTip #Matthew8 #Luke8 #Demons #Deliver #Beauty #Beautiful #Handsome

Holy Shamgar!

The Old Testament serves many purposes in developing our understanding of Christ and His Kingdom. One of those ways is through the true stories that serve as real-life illustrations of spiritual truths.

The brief mention of Shamgar is one of those real-life illustrations:

“Shamgar… who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.”

~ Judges 3:31

An “ox goad” is a simple cattle prod, used by herdsmen to lead or prompt the livestock. It was a common, everyday tool for a herdsman.

Shamgar was also (obviously) anointed by God with strength and zeal with which he fought valiantly for the protection of his homeland.

The odds were 600 against 2. The 600 were Philistine fighting men. The 2 were Shamgar and God. The 600 Philistines were outnumbered by the 2 from Israel.

Today, God is looking for some New Testament Shamgars who are willing to have God anoint them and their everyday tools or skills, give them a mission, and who then will not back-down when the human odds-makers say it’s impossible to win.

God’s math remains the same today as it was back in Shamgar’s day. You and God outnumber the rest of the enemy. Prepare your heart for battle, prepare for victory.

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#PastorsTip #Judges3 #Shamgar #Cattle #Deliver #Homeland