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Joined: 2012/5/26
Posts: 61

 Holy Spirit - Part 2

The hurdles in receiving the Spirit

Self will & God’s will

The will of man and will of God are in opposite directions. One has to make a choice. This is why Jesus made it very clear that one has to deny self, take up the cross daily (meaning paying a price) to follow Him.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to {them} all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

A few men of God have stood and even now stand as a testimony to us that an unworldly life is possible. I have seen a few and I am being challenged by the lives of some of them. The reason for their victory is only that they never stopped trying and praying for it, despite many failures. Some genuine believers have testified, they got victory in many areas but were failing in some other areas. They kept on trying and finally got victory in them too by grace!

I have experienced victory in many areas though I still fail in some. I guess God has kept it that way. But I am working on them and is sure of victory in them too. If I continue to put my heart and soul into it and pray sincerely, our Lord is going to lift me up in those areas I have failed over and over as I have accepted my incapability. We have nothing to claim about, nothing to be proud about other than the mercy and grace of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. All we would then say is ‘saved by grace, carried by the Spirit’. Hallelujah!

So realize your deficiencies when you go through the word of god, desire victory in the area, admit your inadequacy in getting victory by yourself (usually this happens ONLY after a series of failures), then pray with all your heart for victory. Our god will grant you that in a moment you never expected or deserved it. Be ready to wait for it and never fake it. And what is the mark of a victory from God? You would never fail again in that particular area! Praise God. You get victory and a mighty power from above to keep you victorious. Strange but true, I am talking from my experience.

Let us look at some of the common hurdles in receiving Holy Spirit. This is true about light in general that is supposed to come through the word of god.

Teachings falling short of ‘sound doctrines’

There are so many promises in the New Covenant though the idea or the central theme is to prepare for the heavenly abode by walking with Him. Unfortunately, false prophets offer the best of the world and heaven. Word of God warns it is not possible. Are you ready to accept this basic fact?
God has called us to be the light and salt of the world. The world is under a spirit of darkness. Unless we light up through the Holy Spirit, it is not possible to be the light of the world. When we indulge in everything ‘normal’ of the world (by its own standards and not from word of God) we become part of the darkness. So how do we choose? When we meditate the word of God, the Spirit reveals to us principles of love, simplicity, detachment, moderation, humility, equality and many such virtues within God’s will. When one desires these, the Spirit equips to achieve those standards. This is the only way to win over the spirit of the world.

John 3:19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

A believer may easily read and forget the above verse as it looks as if meant for someone who is a non believer. Let us just do a simple test.

For instance someone asks you to join him for breakfast on a Sunday morning, you immediately deny that saying you have your church meeting. (fine, you have to attend the church meeting). The same friend talks ill about another common friend and you spend hours listening to that. Did you violate any new covenant teaching here? Which situation would you take more seriously? Avoiding church meeting or gossiping? Similarly, in other cases, if not gossiping it can be making a little extra money while compromising Jesus teachings. Avoiding a little tax amount by a small misappropriation, telling a little lie so as to get a material reward, or spending money for extravaganza etc.

A Pharisee kind of person would never skip the church meeting even though the other things won’t affect him much. As Jesus rightly described that, they would meticulously clean the exteriors, practice external holiness but a matter that concerns the heart will not affect them as much.

A holy man would never skip the church meeting unless it is an emergency. He doesn’t stop there. He would NEVER sit and listen when someone gossips, never compromise on any Christian values even for personal gains. You see the difference, for one it is external rules and for the other, it is a relationship and a covenant and not rules. This is the new covenant relationship with Jesus.

John 3:20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Many believers are in a state of self satisfaction and self justification for the commandments they have obeyed, the rituals they practice and the tithes they pay. They are even happier when they receive material blessings as they consider God is well pleased by their activities and is blessing them. This state of mind stops them from looking at themselves in the light of the word and praying to God for changing and cleansing them. Most of such practitioners of religion become Pharisees who would never listen to the mild voice of God.

Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven {will enter.}

The following verse again reiterates that all that is in the world is not from the Father. He created us and put us in a world which has good and evil. We need to choose. We need to deny ourselves and choose the will of God.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

This point is becoming clearer and clearer in our study. Today unfortunately, very few men speak of these things. The reason is, most of the listeners are worldly and they don’t want to irritate or challenge the members. They do not have the burden or sincerity to correct them as they fear losing their empathy and thus chance to ‘minister’ to them – for personal gains!

John 12:25 “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

See how clearly the word of God reveals to us that we need to hate this life (consider as unimportant and disliked) in comparison to eternal life. If so, we would consider doing His will more important. This include, living a selfless life (concern for others), living a simple life, seeking His opinion before taking all kinds of decisions and actions (even in spiritual work), living a sinless life etc. What we see now is everyone living for self. (Self includes family as love for family comes from self – you love your child because it is yours!). Loving one’s own church, religious work, denomination etc more than the will of god is nothing but idolatry. We need to love beyond those limits.

1 Pet 4:2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

The above verse says we have to live the rest of the time, doing the will of God and NOT for the lusts of men. When we hear the term lust we relate it only to physical lust. But the actual meaning is much more than that. It is about the lust (strong desire) for anything, say lust of eyes, lust of the world, lust for money, power etc.

1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and {also} its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

The world and its lusts, not just one lust, are all against the will of God. We need to really seek His will to understand what is outside His will.

Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

If we honestly seek God’s will and not ours, God is glorified. It is hard, as our desires are so strong. Only the Holy Spirit can help us deny our will and do His.

It is sometimes difficult to understand this self will and God’s will. If God created everything, how do we sin when we enjoy or indulge in what God created? This is one thing we need to understand before going further. God created human beings, male and female, gave us the desire to mate and reproduce. But God never wanted us to commit adultery. Similarly, God gave us intelligence and wanted us to use it for the betterment of our life. But God never wanted us to use it to make atom bombs that kill many. Using the same intelligence, men created airplanes, automobiles etc. Good as modes of transport. But God never wants us to own luxurious models to show off –as status symbols. So let us not testify God blessed me with a Porsche, Mercedes etc as they are all from one’s own will even if the person is a servant of God. It is quite possible to go out of the will of God so let us be careful before we desire, ask or receive. So when the need goes beyond God’s will, it becomes sin. You may hear people who claim the Lord asked me to live the way I am living, buy the car I did etc. This is nothing but heights of lust and deceit. And to make it worse for such men, they also take the name of the Lord in vain.
To make this clearer, if we analyze our decisions and actions, we would find many of them are from our own will and against (outside) the will of God. Holy Spirit can guide us and give clarity in the area. When we accept Him and give full control, we would slowly deny our will and start doing His will. This is the purpose of God’s Spirit in us, leading to a victorious life. This is the spirit which we are seeking here. This is Holy Spirit of God! When He comes, one becomes holy.

In the following verse we see how dependent Jesus was on His Father. He asked Him what to speak!

John 12:49 “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment {as to} what to say and what to speak. John 12:50 “I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

I need to add a line here about myself before I proceed further. Every time I meditate or write about God’s word, I am humbled as I know how unworthy I am to do it. The only qualification for a man to speak or write about the word comes through grace alone and not one’s knowledge, experience or any worldly authority. All that could help only if one is in grace. No one is perfect or even close to that, without Him. This is quite evident in people (including myself) as we can find self, flesh and unspiritual characteristics manifesting in various degrees.
A true believer is on a journey to perfection. Let us not look down at someone walking behind you in a certain area. It is quite possible that he is ahead of you in another. So let us accept one another the way we are and depend only on the Holy Spirit to transform us to what we are supposed to be.

Phil 1:6 {For I am} confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


 2012/6/18 2:16Profile

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