As I open my Bible I am drawn to Philippians 2:12-14MSG which says “What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God Himself willing and working at what will give Him the most pleasure.”
Paul had just reminded the church at Philippi what Jesus had done on the cross and he is encouraging them to not forget but to live out this Truth that God saved us and is at work in us. We must ask ourselves are we totally living the supernatural wonder of our salvation in our words and actions? Do we talk about being a Christian, yet our lives do not reflect this truth? Why are we unsuccessful in sharing our wonderful Savior Jesus with others?
We are called to show the Truth by our lives, not just tell the Truth by our words. There is that old saying that “talk is cheap”, this can be truly seen in the body of believers today. We come and hear the Word of God spoke on Sundays yet the minute we leave the parking lot we become discontent because the car in front of you is not moving fast enough or on their phone. We are an frustrated, unsatisfied people grumbling when the server at breakfast doesn’t refill the coffee soon enough. We even twit or post our grumbling on social media. Social media has become a platform for discontent and grumbling, there is no consideration for how what we say and do will affect others. So now we don’t only voice our negative opinion to the person next to us at church, the market or any gathering we spill it out there on the web for all to see! We must become aware that when we attend church, gather with other believers God’s presence surrounds us with beauty of God’s Words, our worship, the pastor or teacher’s lesson, yet if we are harboring a grumbling thought or share a negative opinion it undermines the power of the gospel, in fact it inhibits the work of the gospel even in social media.
“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is the source not your pleasures that wage war in your body’s parts? You lust and do not have, so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures.” James 4:1-3NASB
We have lost our moral compass…we are selfish, self-indulgent, self-centered, and self-pleasing only seeking what makes the minutes in our day work out the way we want. Ouch! This is brutal truth…we grumble, argue, blame, and complain…having it our way at any cost. We hear people say, “It’s just the way I am” as they selfishly walk through life.
1 Peter 2:12MSG tells us “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life in your neighborhood so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when He arrives.”
We find ourselves like the people of Babel wanting more, Genesis 11:4 says, “And they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let’s make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of all the earth.” They believed if they could build a tower as high as God they could attain importance, a title, a throne as mighty as Gods in power unable to be defeated, in essence to be just like God. How incredibly sad that they didn’t understand that God was with them working in them…if they would only open their hearts (spirit) to Him, they could not see the beauty of our creator and how His love for them was enough. These people did not have to build a tower; they could have experienced a wealth and security far more enduring then found in a building made of rock. An eternal, everlasting wealth in a personal relationship with God.
God saw today coming, He gives a warning to us found in Philippians 2:14-16NASB, “Do all things without complaining or arguments; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding firmly the word of life, so that on the day of Christ I can take pride because I did not run in vain nor labor in vain.”
Superficial, shallow things of the world will never satisfy our hearts (spirit) because this spirit we have within us, placed there by God is supernatural and hungers for God’s supernatural provision. It is here we find God’s grace, as the song says “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”.
Psalm 2:11 personalized tells us “Serve the Lord with reverence, devotion and rejoicing in wholehearted delight…that is hold firm and celebrate with trembling”. This trembling also spoken of as fear is “feeling the awe” this awe is experiencing, is knowing God’s Truth intimately, embracing His freely given grace. If we can get hold of His mercy and love it becomes very difficult to hold on to our grumbling and angry attitude. God is looking to perform divine heart surgery on your troubled and discontented heart. This is where grace is found in the Great Physicians hand…my dear sisters in Christ let God through His loving touch apply the grace needed today!
Blessings, Sister Laurie
This writing came to me after watching a teaching on Real Beauty by Pastor Akshay Rajkumar the lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in New Delphi, India. It is available on RightNow Media.com
Today my sweet sisters in Christ Jesus I want to explore with you Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi found in Philippians 2:1-11. The church was experiencing many of the same challenges you and I face as believers. Conflict, unforgiveness, pride, selfish ambition, vain conceit, dislike, and false teaching had found it way into the church.
Paul opens his letter in this way… “Therefore, if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ as there certainly is in abundance, if there is any consolation, comfort, support of love, if there is any fellowship that we share in the Spirit, if there is any great depth of tenderness, affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love toward one another, knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ.” Verses 1-2 personalized Paul is pleading with them to resolve the tension and seek to heal any brokenness found. He says if that can be accomplished it will make his joy complete (verse 2).
Paul further describes the condition of the church with these words “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit through factional motives, or strife, but with an attitude of humility being neither arrogant nor self-righteous, regard others as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”( verses 3-4)
Put simply you cannot claim to love God and dislike, hold bitterness for others. The question arises “Why do people do the things they do?” I believe that we have not fully comprehended the suffering and sacrifice Christ made for us…that day on the cross in which supernatural love was poured out for us…Loving others is so costly only Jesus’s costly love for us can move us to bear the cost. Jesus has a radical love for us! This love is so profound, so expense…it is a mystery so deep we can only know it in our spirit! If we can grab hold of this love, we will be so rich in love we will be forever changed, unable to dislike or hold bitterness. In our humanness…our mind and body cannot ever understand! This love is spiritual and supernatural! When we step into this love it is spiritually supercharged.
I want to try and bridge our lack of understanding by helping you and I to understand exactly what Jesus did that day. Most of us can easily say these words “Jesus suffered and died on the cross for me” however that is so limited. The depth of Jesus’s love for us is revealed on the cross not so much in the physical suffering but in how society looked at this form of death. What does it cost for God to love us? We know He sent His only Son to earth for the purpose of leading us in knowing God and restoring his relationship with us, revealing who we really are and redeeming us through Jesus’s death. Philippians 2:6-8TPT says “He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant to be exploited. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!”
The cross was consider to be the most degrading form of death, the people of Jesus time saw crucifixion differently; the Jews saw it as being cursed by God, ultimate insult, shunned; the Romans used it much like the Mexican cartels today who hang their victims in a public place as if to say “don’t mess with us”; the Greeks saw it as humiliating, scandalous, disgraceful, further evidence that God could care less about humanity; to all it was an abomination, degradation, torture fit only for a slave. There is no other death in which the individual’s life could be destroyed that has the same impact and yet Jesus took the weight of the world, the sin and suffered this for you and me. I don’t know about you but just writing these words is making me nauseas and tearful.
What great love…I will never fully comprehend while I walk this earth. This is where love is revealed…we must let this revelation lead us into understanding how much we are loved and redeemed by a risen Lord. And for this reason alone…verse 9-11TPT says “Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names! The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father!”
You see, the Father, the Creator of us all acknowledges what Jesus has done for love! We are rich in love! And so now I leave you with this question can you love as He did? Philippians 2:5 leaves us with these words…”And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.”
Blessings, Sister Laurie
This writing came to me after watching a teaching on Real Love by Pastor Akshay Rajkumar the lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in New Delphi, India. It is available on RightNow Media.com
Becoming good at anything in life requires something from us. The same stands for a personal relationship with Jesus. Becoming a friend of God takes desire, time, and energy. You are His child, yes, His creation, your spirit placed within your mother’s womb was done with intention. You parents were by His design. When you look in the mirror you are exactly what God choose for you, all the physical characteristics were handpicked by God. A Zebra’s coat of black and white stripes is unique, their hairy coat and stripes would not work on hippopotamus who spend much of his time in the rivers of Africa. We are much like those beautiful creations in that God made us unique and prefect for His pleasure.
I digress, this writing is not about your freckles, dark brown eyes, or any of your other physical qualities. I want to share with you my thoughts about being God’s friend and sharing the things He loves and standing against the enemies of God. Can you feel inside yourself, that yearning, that empty feeling that hungers for meaning? That hunger and yearning comes from your spirit, your soul that is longing for God. Because we are His, God gave us an appetite for His truth and to walk in His ways.
The question becomes how then? It is a process, each of us must go through it, many times I compare God to a slow cooker, we must simmer on God details only then will we receive and enjoy all God has for us. On our own we are a microwave set on high, wanting the finished, perfectly cooked in minutes. To feed this hunger you must intimately connect with God, you must learn to honestly share your feelings with Him, trust His leading, care about what He cares about and desire His friendship more than anything else in your life.
I am leading a Bible Study right now with a group of ladies, and we are encountering God through the book “Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren. Almost 20 years ago when I was first searching for God beyond salvation, God lead me to a group of women who were about to begin this book. This book forever changed my life. It is a gateway to the truth of who we are and how God desires a personal relationship with His children, that includes you! Throughout this writing today I will be quoting from this book and sharing the truths God gave me.
The title of this writing in an amazingly simple way states that our input must be greater than our output. What you fill your life with is the input and the result is seen in your output, where you spend your time, money and energy is the result.
Let us talk about what that friendship, relationship with God should look like.
God requires complete honesty. Adam hid when God called to him in the garden, not because God did not know where Adam was but because God wanted Adam to be honest with Him. (Genesis 3:9) God does not expect you to be perfect, but He does require you to be completely honest. This honesty is seen throughout the Bible; prophets, leaders and disciples openly share their complaints, dissatisfaction, and fears with God. God encourages us to share every concern. It is perfectly OK to ask, “Why God”. David, Abraham, Jeremiah, and Job all questioned God. In each situation, God listened and because of their candor, lives were saved, David would be called “a man after God’s own Heart”, Job would express his bitterness, yet God called him “his friend.” God is looking for transparency in our relationship with Him. Rick Warren says, “God listens to the passionate words of His friends; He is bored with predictable, Christian cliches.” You must be honest with God, share your true feelings…honestly…not holding back. God uses everything in our lives for good, much like Joseph. When you harbor resentment toward God over your appearance, background, unanswered prayers, past hurts, and other things you are holding God at an arms distance. Many people blame God for something that another person has done. When you allow an emotion or hurt to separate you from God, a stronghold begins to form, and this prevents our spiritual hunger to be satisfied. We start looking to satisfy it somewhere else. Expressing your feelings and thoughts honestly to God is the first step toward the next level of intimacy with God.
Faith is a choice. Faith is unseen meaning that you cannot go down the store and buy some. Faith is where the intangible meets the tangible. Every time you trust God when you cannot see a result or do not understand, you deepen your friendship with God. Jesus made it clear that obedience is a condition of intimacy with God. He said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14 Faith is obedience, they go hand in hand, you cannot be a true friend of God if you cannot follow is direction. Rick Warren tells us “We are close companions and have special privileges, much like that of a king and his inter court however they still had to obey the king’s commands. God is our king, and we must follow Him.” Your obedience must be out of love. Many Christians today have caught the ride of faith and obedience on the back of their parents. They not only do not have their salvation, but they are also no friend to God.
Value what God values. As a friend do you value what is important to that friend? How much more should you value what is important to God, your Forever Father and Best Friend. The more you know God what is important to Him becomes important to you. In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul said “The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you (people in Corinth) so much—this is the passion of God burning inside me!” David felt the same way when he spoken this “Passion for Your house burns within me, so those who insult You (God) are also insulting me.” What does God care about most? You! As well as all His children! That is why Jesus came, to save His most precious creation, made in His image…YOU! God suffered as He put His Son on the cross…what a sacrifice! To be a friend of God you must see all His children through His eyes, counting each as cherished as the next. Friends of God tell others about Him.
Your desire to be a friend of God MUST BE more important than anything else. David passionately desired to “know” God. This word ”know” means “intimately”. This desire to know God above anything else cries out with words like; hungering, craving, thirsting, aching, wanting…you were born with this inside you, your spirit longs for God and His Truth. When you do not make Him your “one and only” the world and the devil replace it with selfish sinful desire. Psalm 27:4 says “Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with Him every moment in His house, finding the sweet loveliness of His face, filled with awe, delighting in His glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to Him that He takes pleasure in my every prayer.” “Your love means more than life to me.” Psalm 63:3
The truth is you are as close to God as you want to be. He is right here, right now, beside you…waiting for you to say, “Here I am Lord.”
This relationship is not only ongoing it is eternal…what you do right now, tomorrow, and next week are opportunities to know God…how much more amazing will it be when you leave planet earth to embrace the living God in your eternal home if you already know Him!
Jeremiah 29:13 says “When you get serious about finding Me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you will not be disappointed.”
Start now, pray this through your day, “Dear Jesus, more than anything else, I want to get to know you intimately, I want to experience everything You have for me!”
Be Encouraged and Blessed,
I wholeheartedly recommend you take the 40-day journey found in Rick Warren’s book “Purpose Driven Life”.
When we spend time in God’s Word we begin to understand God’s Character. The book of John is a great place to meet Jesus. We gain an inmate look at His nature and love for us. It is a call for all people to come into a lasting relationship with Him. It is in John that we journey with Jesus…who He is, what He did and what He taught. I am back at school to finish the classes required for full ordination with the Assemblies of God and the current class is taking me through the book of John. I have a fresh look at why God inspired John to tell of Jesus’ miracles (signs). My prayer is that through my eyes you will encounter the goodness and nature of God in a deeper way, may this encourage you to get into God’s Word and discover how He wants to speak to you right where you are in your life, take the journey with Him. Today, I want to share seven different encounters with Jesus and how they lead us into knowing Jesus is the reflect of God (God incarnate) who came to earth to live among us, bringing the Truth of God to all who would believe, He went to the cross and conquered death to repair the broken relationship we have with God through sin. (John 3:16)
Let us get going…
John 2:1-11 The wedding in Canaan. This first miracle reveals His glory, it shows that Jesus is God in the flesh. His disciples were there and so for them this is the first opportunity to believe in who He is. Jesus turned water into wine, not just any wine but the finest wine. Are you someone who lives with the 90% rule? Let me give you an example; when you rake leaves are you satisfied to leave some so you can “get the job done”? God demonstrates through Jesus that He is a God who only creates, heals, loves above and beyond 100% excellence. He is a God of quality over quantity…you and I cannot even fathom this. It is through God’s ultimate excellence we see His righteousness revealed as well. Look at all of God’s creation, everything God does is done with such care and detail, all His work blends together to make our world mind blowing. Think now of yourself, you are His creation, made for His glory and pleasure. In God’s eyes you are perfect. The apple of His eye! Nothing about you is a mistake or just so-so. Right now, take a moment to thank God for who you are and the opportunity you have to serve a loving Father, who never creates something less than.
John 4:43-54 The healing of the official’s son, Jesus knew He would face rejection as written in John 4:44, those who discard Jesus’ Truth miss God’s blessings, but those who welcome Him receive good things John 4:45, 47 and 54. Jesus goes the distance to bring salvation and truth to all of us. The message and Truth of Jesus is still moving in power and strength today, we as believers have the opportunity to share the Truth and so the message is ongoing crossing the boundaries culture, ethnicity and gender. Today, we celebrate around the world the Truth of Jesus Christ the One True God and His message of salvation. There is no comfort zone for God, He goes into the darkest places bringing His light to expose sin and the devils attempt to destroy God’s most precious creation, you and I. (John 10:10) Do you have a comfort zone? Do you find yourself saying “Well, I am willing to bring a covered dish to the church potluck or help a fellow Christian mow their lawn but….I’m not confident to share God’s goodness and Truth with that single mom who is struggling with addiction.”
Yep, right there you put limits on the distance you are willing to go. You will never have all the answers, it is not with persuasive words people come to Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5) You see the Holy Spirit will give you everything you need to bring God’s Truth in every opportunity God puts before you. In fact, ask God to show you more clearly whenever there is a situation, an encounter, that you can share the love of Jesus with an individual in need. You are more than able to go the distance, it is the gift of the Holy Spirit in you, Jesus went the distance for you, take time right now to praise Him, Jesus never gave up and He is willing to go the distance for you still.
John 5:1-15 Healing the man at the sheep gate pool in Jerusalem. In Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porticoes in other words entrances. Here we read that this man was ill and crippled for 38 years. In verse 6, we see Jesus knew he had been like “this” for a long-time. This healing shows us several things about Jesus, first, we learn…this healing demonstrates that Jesus is equal with God in nature, power, and authority. You must understand that healing touch you or others need where the spiritual and physical meet is all about timing. This man had allowed bitterness and hatred to grow within his spirit, the devil had repeatedly lied to him verse 7 says when he attempted to reach the water someone always stepped down before him. If you notice there was not only one entrance into the pool yet somehow this man continued to miss his opportunity. The devil used this circumstance to build resentment in him. The “if only” became the man’s excuse for staying just as he was, convinced he would never reach the water. Let us call this what it was a pity party. I am confident God is always working in us, even before we know Him, He is there intervening, positioning us so that in His perfect time we will be ready. Many of us call this “coming to the end of one’s self”. That attitude or behavior, say it now out loud, my “sin” that I am stilling holding on to or hiding is keeping me from receiving the full immersion of living water Jesus brings. Right here I need to point out that nothing is hidden from God, you maybe fooling yourself or others but not God. God’s timing is perfect in every situation, He is patience and His love steadfast. It is different for everyone, there is no exact formula, what I will say, you will reach that point, the end and God will call. Respond do not delay, He will call again however why miss out even one more moment of all God has for you. Remember, Jesus is always on time.
John 6:1-15 Feeding the five thousand. I love this example of how good God is, how patience, how big, there is always enough of Him for everyone. Such a teaching moment for all of us. I know the disciples where scratching their heads, nodding back and forth, whispering to one another “no way, we have 2 fish and 5 loaves, look at all these people??!!” BUT God always provides enough…Jesus says in verse 35 “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” You and I can never have to much Jesus, we must never become tired of church, prayer, or worship. In fact, if your relationship is limited to Sunday there is no way you are experiencing all God has for you. You will never cross the barrier Satan has constructed between you and God if you do not invest the best part of yourself in Jesus. God demonstrates that He is more than enough, there is plenty of Him to go around, He is calling each one of us to Him. It is His desire that “not one would perish”, His Word is our food and when you fall in love with Jesus believe me, you can not get enough. Think of your favorite food or TV show that you binge on, come on we all do. You know like fresh baked bread with delicious fresh butter melting over it…yum…you keep going back for alittle more and then alittle more, you just can not stop! That is what your relationship with Jesus should be like…fall in love with your Creator. In fact, there is enough for you to share with those around you. I call God, My Forever Father. He is waiting, calling you and He is a God who is more than enough and always provides.
John 6:16-21 Walking on the water. After feeding the 5,000 Jesus perceives there is a mob forming to make Him King right there and then. It was not His time or His way there was still much to do, as we well know. So, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone. Meanwhile, the disciples went down to the sea and started to make their way across. The scriptures say, “Jesus had not yet come to them.” Every occurrence in the Bible happens for a reason, nothing was or is a surprise to God. We see here that Jesus is going to use the boat, the sea, some wind, and the disciples to demonstrate something new. Jesus reveals His power over circumstances. When He is with you, you have nothing to fear. In verse 20 Jesus tells us “It is I; do not be afraid.” As I read through these scriptures again, my eyes latch on to these words in verse 21 “So they (the disciples) were willing to receive Him into the boat.” Look at those words, “they were willing” this is so key, Jesus is such a gentlemen, He never forces us to believe, if He did then our free will to decide, to embrace Him can be thrown out the window. They asked Jesus into the boat and immediately their circumstance changed “the boat was at the land which they were going.” Safe, through the wind, possible storm, rescued…the power of Jesus in your life. This is what happens when we become a believer, the storm may still be raging based on your decisions and associations, but God is there at once positioning you…providing the strength to see it through. Your part is to be “willing to receive”, “to allow”, “to surrender”. It is a process, a change in thinking and the best part is one day you will open your eyes and declare “How did I get here?!” Well, long story short you decided to follow Jesus and that life once destroyed has been not only restored but even more than you could ever dream about. If you are there take a moment right now and praise God, thank Him that you are loved and not forsaken. God has promise to do a good work in you until it is completed, and it is happening right now! Remember, Jesus is bigger than any circumstance!
John 9:1-34 Healing the blind man. This healing brings two God Truths. First, blame is done! Just stop blaming yourself or others! It is just time to seek the Truth of God, the Truth of why Jesus came, walked among us and how we now have the Holy Spirit to help us. Jesus clearly tells us that we need to stop looking back and trying to figure out why this or that happened and who was responsible. You will never be free as long as you hold on to the dead things in your life. Jesus warns us that we must not turn our hurt, our offense into bitterness and hate…DO NOT romance the trauma, the addiction, the abuse, the sin. He wants us to wash the mud away and put our eyes on Him, to see clearly that a time is coming when everyone will be held accountable. God has set Jesus as the judge and He will take care of the locust in our life. Second, this healing of the blind man is a warning to the believer, the doubter, and the unbeliever alike. When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior you are the blind man healed with Jesus’ spit and alittle dirt.
Your salvation and relationship with God is not about you, yep that’s what I said “IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!” Ouch, you see this new person you are becoming is the miracle of Jesus and as such your transformation becomes a light of hope into a dark world. In verse 8 and 9 the man’s neighbors do not recognize this changed man, a discussion breaks out because those around him cannot believe their eyes. Now that is a true example of God working in someone life…darkness to light. The man declares Jesus, shares God’s Truth you see it is not about his transformation but about the One who transformed him JESUS! Now the “they” in verse 13 take the man to the Pharisees. Here again, God uses what is happening to plainly bring more Truth…some will have a hard shell, a religious spirit, the devil has spoken lie after lie cleverly sometimes even wrapped in God’s Word to deceive. In this instance there was a law in the old testament that one could not work on the Sabbath. Sadly, these pharisee’s would rather see a man remain blind, (lost to God’s Truth) because Jesus “wasn’t doing it right.” Jesus warns us in verse 39 “For Judgement I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” The Pharisee’s and some of the neighbors had developed their own sight and so they became blind to the Truth. Jesus is calling us to reflect His Light to those around us, to stand firm…full of His Love to the lost, the hurting and leave judgement to Him. Jesus is the only one who can truly bring sight to the blind!
John 11:1-44 Raising Lazarus from the dead. Soon Jesus will be facing death, the cross. When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead we see what is coming. The gravity of what is coming alludes the disciples, Mary and Martha and Jesus’ followers, I think they are still waiting for Jesus to take the throne, wear the crown here on earth. We see in this final example of who God is, why Jesus came revealed. Jesus waits for the perfect time, he waits for Lazarus to die, verse 17 says Lazarus was in the tomb for 4 days. This is done intentionally; the world must see that not even death is final…eternity awaits everyone. Martha rushes out to meet Jesus and declares “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Then she perceives Truth, “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” So much power, over every circumstance even death. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?” Here it is, salvation revealed…Jesus is going to the cross, He will defeat death and His earthly ministry will be finished…our relationship with God restored because Jesus takes the sin of the world upon Himself. There are two Truths made clear to me here, first though our flesh dies, our spirit will live (verse 11:25) even for those who do not believe. Are you confused? This is God’s Truth…you can live with Him, forgiven and loved or suffer in the fire of hell for eternity. Do not shoot the messenger…God clearly states this in His Word. We all are spiritual beings’ believer, doubter, and unbeliever. Second, Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension all have eternal weight. His death carries our sin past, present and future. His resurrection declares our relationship with God has been restored and we can walk here on earth in that Truth…price paid, atonement made,sacrifice done; spiritual death (separation from God) conquered. Finally, His ascension means we have an advocate that sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. How glorious this is! The icing on the cake is, Jesus tells us that He has sent a helper the Holy Spirit and through the power of the Holy Spirit we will represent Him.
Wow! Spend time in the Book of John, there is so much there! I pray these words minister to you and that they challenge you to a deeper relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Blessing, Sister Laurie
“With all prayer
and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in
view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all
the saints.” Ephesians 6:18
This perfectly placed scripture comes as the conclusion to
Paul’s teaching on the Armor of God. The
Baptism of the Holy Spirit and specifically “Speaking in Tongues” is the final
weapon within our spiritual armor to fight the devil and his army of
Everything God does in you starts from within and moves
without, every work in you by the Holy Spirit starts from within will manifest
outward. As an example, divine physical
healing starts from within you not in the physical realm, but it starts within
you by FAITH in God, the power of the Holy Spirit which is spiritual-supernatural,
and it manifests outwardly as physical healing.
The gift of speaking in tongues, an intimate prayer-spirit language with
God, begins within your spirit and the Holy Spirit within you. When you were saved you received the Holy
Spirit, however there is a release of the Spirit that you must activate with
faith and desire. This release is the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He
who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His
sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11
“I baptized you with
water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:8
“John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize
you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to
untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and
fire.” Luke 3:16
“For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with
the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:5
“And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say,
‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’”
The gift of speaking in tongues is the overflow of the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation we receive Him, at Baptism we release
Him. When that Baptism has reached from the Spirit, to the soul and then the
body it is manifests physically as vocalized by the sound that you hear, that’s
when the overflow has reached our physical body as speaking in tongues. When we
pray in the Spirit the Holy Spirit Himself prays for us.
Let’s look again at God’s Word to gain a better
I Corinthians 2:9-14 says that there is a fellowship between
the spirits and that they communication spirit to spirit. no one knows the Father
like the Holy Spirit and no one knows you like your spirit (your mind can be
1 Corinthians 14:2 tells us that when we speak in tongues we
are speaking to God not man.
1 Corinthians 14:4 “One who speaks in tongues “edifies”
himself the meaning of this “edifies” is defined as strengthening oneself,
building up of faith in a personal and intimate way that only the Holy Spirit
can provide. This gift of intimacy with
God is for everyone.
Romans 8:26 says “In the same way the Spirit also helps our
weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit
Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
1 Corinthians 14 is a dedicated Chapter in God’s Word which
broadens our understanding of speaking in tongues and its appropriate use. I encourage you to study the truth found
If you have asked God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit,
sought it out in earnest but you have not received the gift of speaking in
tongues that doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit has not be released in you. Tapping
into the power of the Holy Spirit is a process, not all of us obtain the gift
of tongues immediately. For me it was a
long process to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This process for me was centered in believing
I was truly a child of God, worthy and loved.
Grasping what Jesus accomplished on the cross for me personally. My prayer is that you will not let the devil
hold you captive as I was for so many years, that you seek help from other
believers and that God Himself would reveal to you that you are sanctified in
Jesus Christ. Here are the most common
reason believers are stalled in this area of their relationship with God, Jesus
Christ and the Holy Spirit.
1. Over thinking -You
cannot understand, you over think it, the world has taught us that everything must
be proven on man’s level. Better yet is
man’s belief that we make our own truth.
This is almost laughable because most movies coming out in the theater
today have a supernatural element because we have a need deep within us for the
spiritual truth that only God can satisfy.
You need to agree with God that He alone is supernatural, creator, giver
of all life and that this will remain a
mystery, our ability to have spiritual(supernatural) power is a gift only Him
gives…the devil will bring worry, unbelief, chaos and confusion to block this
beautiful outward spiritual gift.
2. Pride – Pride
keeps people from speaking in tongues for fear of what others will think, or
how they might appear. Tongues is the language of surrender, it is the language
of emptying yourself of every thought that doesn’t belong to God’s Kingdom,
it’s an understanding that there needs to be less of me and more of God, not your
will but God’s will, your ego is telling you who you think you are instead of seeking
who you are in Him. It’s a LETTING GO!
3. Fear – Letting the
“what ifs” take control, what if it is just me, want if this is fake, what if
this is a demonic spirit? What if it’s
just all emotion? Hype? God’s Word tells
us in Matthew 7:9-11, “how much more will your Father who is in heaven give
what is good to those who ask Him!’ If
you ask for the Holy Spirit to be activated within you and the gift of your own
spirit language to be manifested, you must prayerfully ask God for this gift
not based on your discernment. Remember,
God is not going to give you something bad, God only gives good.
4. Inaction – Waiting
for something to happen, while this is a supernatural gift from God, the Holy
Spirit is not going to come down and start moving your tongue. I used this for
an excuse for years, I would say “Well that’s fine that Sue or John speak in
tongues. God can move a mountain so if
He wants me to speak in tongues…He will do it.” Wow, if’s almost as if I was darning
God into action. So how will this
happen? When you surrender to the Holy Spirit and give Him surrendered sounds,
syllables, you allow the Holy Spirit to be the author. When you pray in your own words you are
adding your meaning to your own words, sounds and syllables, when you pray in
tongues you are removing meaning from your sound, syllables and allowing the
Holly Spirit to attach His own intentions and purposes.
Have you ever prayed for something and you just could not
put it into towards, the desire for God to know was overwhelming, an almost
groaning happens, tears, overwhelming emotional, it is at that point the Holy
Spirit wants to move and intercede for you giving your requests and concerns a
supernatural heavenly sound. It’s in your control, it’s the language of
faith, so what is your part? Our part is to give it sound and God’s part is
making it spiritual, remember everything spiritual begins as God’s command then
it turns into an act of faith and the result is a miracle. The gift of tongues is a miracle, so how much
more can God do? Surrender to this gift today!
1 Corinthians 14:39 says “do not forbid to speak in tongues”.
In closing I would say for you to go to the scriptures, allow God to reveal His truth. I have only touched on one of the ways the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is revealed. There are two more commonly recognized ways in which the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues is manifested. Having one of them doesn’t necessarily mean you will or have received them all. Briefly, speaking in tongues in a public setting is a form of prophesy and will come with an interpretation from a different person. Both are considered individual in nature and given to some but not all. Praying in the Spirit is for everyone and occurs both in private and when praying with or over someone for a specific need. Sometimes those needs are unknown however, in our faithfulness to God we pray and allow God to hear and respond.