Living In The Fountain of Life

Christian living in the power of the Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 728:

Living In The Power of The Holy Spirit.

A Battle Royal: How to live a submitted life.

“When you do what pleases you, does what you do please God?

Good morning my friends, what a wonderful Alpha Experience evening we had last night. Our theme for the evening was all about The HOLY SPIRIT. We looked at the teaching, filling, empowering, seeking and yearning. We all admitted our NEED of God The Holy Spirit.

However, one of the main points of our discussion was what we’d talked about the previous week: How does God guide us? How does the Holy Spirit let us know His will? How can I live in such a way that I know I’m going to be victorious as a Christian?

We will understand and know His guidance the more we SUBMIT ourselves completely to Christ, but what we discovered afresh last night was, the more you submit yourself to God, the more you begin to realise how just un-submitted we really are. And therefore, how much we need God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing, power and presence every single day.

THE WALK OF GENUINE FAITH:

  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WILLS: God’s Will and Our Will. 
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of DESIRES: God’s desires and our own sinful desires.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WANTS: What God wants and what we want.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of PLEASURES: What pleases God and what pleases us. 

Thankfully our wills, desires, wants and pleasures change as we submit ourselves to Jesus and seek the fullness of Holy Spirit, but then as we go on in the walk of faith, they sneak back into our souls, sometimes, undetected.

Thankfully Holy Spirit reveals our condition: He’s a gentle Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, but he’ll not leave you, those who’ve received Him as Lord, in a condition of sin for very long. His heart’s desire is that you become more and more like Him: Holy, righteous, good and faithful.

When we follow our heart’s desires, wills, wants and pleasures instead of or in-spite of God’s revealed will, we become like an Adulterer: Unfaithful to the one who’s loved us.

James 4:4-10 (NIV)
4  You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (We become friends of the world when we do worldly things that God hates).
5  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
6  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
7  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

When Holy Spirit shows you your condition, He does not do it to make you feel guilty, but to bring you back, to stop you falling, to keep you on track with God’s good plan for your life. However, just like Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they sinned against God, our NATURAL tendency is to hide too, we want to cover it up, pretend it never happened, keep it in the darkness. As God looked for and called for Adam and Eve, he’ll be doing the same with you and me by His Spirit. “Adam, where are you?” … “Eve, come out of hiding”…. Notice what happens when we respond to the pull of the Spirit, when we draw near to God, “He draws near to us”. What grace, what love, what amazing mercy.

Encouragement:

  • Submit yourself to God:
  • Resist the devil (the worldly attractions, temptations and pleasures),
  • Come Near to God: When we draw nearer to God (Nearer my God to Thee)… He comes bounding towards us in Spirit. “He will come near to you”…
  • Wash, Purify, Grieve, Mourn, Cry: i.e. feel what God feels because of your sinful wills, desires, wants and pleasures and mourn about it. Decide in your hearts that you want to be cleansed and set-free again.
  • WHEN: When you submit, resist, draw near, wash, grieve and mourn and cry: i.e. HUMBLE yourself towards God: He WILL LIFT YOU UP.
  • WHAT IF?: What if I’ve failed again? What if I keep falling? My friends, if you feel guilty then you are in a good place, because God’s not giving up on you. It’s when you stop feeling guilty and keep sinning you should really start to worry, because “God resists the proud”. However, if you feel the sorrow of a sinner’s heart, then you will receive from the Lord “MORE GRACE” James 4:6.
  • Remember Psalm 103:12. When you come in true confession and contrition (sorrow for sin), then God takes your sins away from you and FORGETS all about them, as if they never happened.

Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV)
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

The Holy Spirit’s Intense Jealousy:

James 4:5 “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”

The Holy Spirit, that God caused to LIVE IN US, “Envies Intensely”: i.e. He’s jealous for God’s Glory and your own goodness in the Christian life. There’s an intense feeling of JOY when we walk in step with the Spirit.

FOUNTAIN OF LIFE:

The Holy Spirit: Becomes in us (Inside Us) a SPRING or FOUNTAIN… i.e. we get filled up with the Holy Spirit from within… It’s not external, but internal filling we need. Some people erroneously, mistakenly, foolishly “Call Down” the Holy Spirit, but how can you call down someone who’s already there? He is in you if you are saved by Jesus. You are full of Holy Spirit, but we leak… All we need is a greater filling, more of His fullness, more LORD!…. “Go on being filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:8-18.

Awesome! Because when God lifts you up, you’re going to have one of those MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCES.

Focus on God’s desires, focus on Jesus, focus on His awesome tender compassion, kindness and love.

  • He give GRACE to the Humble.
  • He RESISTS the Proud.
  • The Spirit’s Presence is like a FOUNTAIN.
  • Go on being filled… i.e. every day. 

Amen!

Don.

Worship: Wonderful Grace.

A Postcard From Heaven

Jesus is communicating at a heart to heart level

Daily Spirit & Word: 696: A Postcard From Heaven.

Jesus Knows What You Are Going Through.

Revelation: Letters to the Seven Churches; Smyrna.

Good morning my friends. With three couples we had another session of Marriage Preparation last night in Church, we were chatting mainly about communication, levels of communication. How there are five levels of conversation ranging from Hello: Which says very little at all, then sharing facts (it’s raining), then sharing of Views (I know it’s going to be sunny later), then sharing of Thoughts (I think I like the rain), then sharing of Feelings (when the rain splashes on my face it makes me feel awesome), then sharing of the Heart (How does the rain make you feel?). As we chatted it soon became obvious that there was a need to be sharing and communicating at a heart level more in all our relationships. When we share at a heart-to-heart level we don’t need to say very much at all.

In our second letter from Jesus to the Churches, you’ll observe that He doesn’t say very much at all to the church in Smyrna, it’s like a Postcard to the Persecuted Church, but we must bear in mind our LORD Jesus is communicating at a Heart-to-Heart level: He’s skipped over saying “Hello” and “I know this” and “I think this” and “I feel this” to “This is what it is”…

Revelation 2:8-11 (NIV)
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.
9  I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10  Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Such a short letter to a church that’s undergoing severe persecution, but within such a few words so much is communicated. It’s like a well crafted line on a Valentines Card to a LOVED ONE: “Roses are red, violets are blue, storms may blast, but I’ll always love you”…

Jesus is encouraging those poor, poverty stricken, faithful under trial, persecuted and suffering believers. He wants them to know that He KNOWS. He sees everything that happens under the sun. He even sees into the Heavenly realms and knows all about Satan’s tactics to bring those brothers and sisters down.

Keep in mind as you go through the book of Revelation the whole counsel of Scripture. Within the pages of the Bible believers are warned by God, by Jesus and by the Holy Spirit that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms. We might just think we’re going through trouble, because trouble is natural, earthly, but most trouble is stirred up by Satan to “Afflict” the saints on earth.

  • Remember how Satan came to Adam and Eve? They were in the Garden of Eden (Paradise) with everything they could ever need.
  • Remember how Satan came to Jesus in the Wilderness? He was in a Desert Place with nothing.

Satan will come and tempt you, when you are in plenty or in want in your life. There is no place on this earth, no circumstance that he will not use to try to get at you. Once you are a follower of Jesus, then Satan takes note of it and begins to attack you, trying to tempt you, trying to stop you following Jesus Christ. No one is exempt. If Satan can come and try and tempt Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who Created the Universe, then my friends, he is going to come and try and tempt you too. He hates the fact that you’ve been saved and are following Jesus.

Verse 10: “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer” is a real encouragement to me today.

There’s NO NEED to BE AFRAID. Because you’ve got Jesus watching, you’ve got the Holy Spirit empowering, as Jesus did in the wilderness and overcame, you’ve got a Heavenly Father who loves you and cares for you and is watching out for you. He has promised that NOTHING in all Creation will be able to snatch you out of His all powerful hands. Submit yourselves to Him who is able to keep you from falling. Amen!

Verse 10: “I will give you the crown of life”… My friends, the gift of Eternal Life is waiting. Keep going!

NOTE: In the letter to Ephesians Revelation 2:1-7 yesterday, the promise at the end was: “I will give the right to eat from the tree of live, which is in the Paradise of God”… Today it’s “I will give you the crown of life”… Awesome promises from our Blessed Lord Jesus.

Like a Postcard To A Persecuted Church.

Like a Valentines Card Communicates His Heart.

You might be tempted to think: “They were going through all that trouble and hardship and that’s all that Jesus has to say to them, surely He could have encouraged them just a little bit more?” My friends, when you are communicating at a Heart-to-Heart level as Jesus does, you don’t need to say very much at all. Just as a Postcard reveals beautiful place and that everything’s going well. Just like a Valentines Card communicates the heart of LOVE: My friends, Just ONE WORD from the LORD will be enough to sustain you and keep you. Seek the LORD whilst He may be found.

Be blessed in Jesus today, be full of the Holy Spirit and you will be able to stand your ground against the enemy. Put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-20).

BTW: Please, remember the levels of communication and try to get further than levels 1,2 and 3 to 4 and 5. Commune with one another at a Heart-to-Heart level.

LOVE: In Jesus,

Don.

NOTES: On Smyrna.

From The Commentary by J. Vernon McGee.

Smyrna is the martyr church, the church that suffered martyrdom for Christ. The word Smyrna means “myrrh” and carries the meaning of suffering.

The city of Smyrna is still in existence in our day. It has a Turkish name, Izmir, which may lead you astray, but it is the same city. It has been continuously inhabited from the time it was founded. I have been there; in fact, we stay in Izmir when we visit the sites of the early churches in that area. It is a commercial city. There are those who have told us that Izmir will soon be larger than Istanbul. It will certainly be a larger commercial center. There is a tremendous population there. The modern city covers so much of the ruins of ancient Smyrna that you are apt to miss the beauty which was there.

I have taken some pictures of it and use them as slides in an illustrated message. I try to point out the beauty of that harbor. It is very large and one of the most beautiful harbors that I have seen. In fact, Smyrna was one of the loveliest cities of Asia. It was called a flower, an ornament, and it has been called the crown of all Asia. The acropolis is located on Mount Pagos. In fact, the early city that goes back to about 2000 B.C., a Hittite city at that time, was built around the slope of Mount Pagos. Later Alexander the Great had a great deal to do with building it into the beautiful city that it became. There were wide boulevards along the slopes of Mount Pagos. Smyrna was called the crown city because the acropolis was encircled with flowers, a hedge, and myrtle trees. The city was adorned with noble buildings and beautiful temples — a temple of Zeus, a temple of Cybele (Diana), a temple of Aphrodite, a temple of Apollo, and a temple of Asclepius. Smyrna had a theater and an odeum, that is, a music center — it was the home of music. Also it had a stadium, and it was at that stadium that Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and student of the apostle John, was martyred, burned alive in A.D. 155.

In Christian literature, Smyrna means “suffering.” The Lord Jesus, in His letter addressed to the church there, said that He knew their sufferings and their poverty. He had no word of condemnation for them or for the church at Philadelphia. They were the churches that heard no word of condemnation from Him, and it is interesting that these two cities, Smyrna and Philadelphia, are the only two which have had a continuous existence. Their lampstand has really been moved, but there are a few Christians in Izmir. Although they are under cover, they have made indirect contact with us when we have been there. They do not come out in the open because Christians are persecuted even today in modern Turkey.

Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.

 

Who told you that you were naked?

Sin and Disobedience

Daily Spirit & Word: The Fall of Mankind into Sin.

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Good morning my friends, my holiday is over, I’m back at work, it’s been awesome to have a long break from my usual routine, but it’s also good to get back to ‘normal’. It’s early morning and I’m up with my Lord Jesus. You know something, I’ve been meeting with Him every single day of my holiday, because you cannot have a holiday from being a follower of Jesus.

Yesterday someone came around to my house and asked me this question; “How many times can you go away from the Lord before you finally and fully fall away?” It was a simple and honest question. When someone asks me a question like that, I know that it’s like a loaded-gun or an iceberg, there far more below the surface than above the water. Some people have said to me, “How can you fit 120 men inside one of those, referring to my Submarine?” Then I have to explain, “You know my friend, an Submarine is much like an iceberg, there’s far more beneath the water than there is above” If you could see a Submarine in a dry-dock then you’d realise what I mean, it’s an immense piece of exciting engineering which always reminds me of a whale.

My response was, “You only need to go away from the Lord ONCE before it becomes permanent.” His face fell immediately, because, as I’d guessed, he was looking for a way to excuse his life of sin. You see my friends, we cannot have a holiday away from the Lord once we’ve started upon the journey of faith with Jesus. Do you remember the Lord’s words on this subject?

Hand to the Plough:

Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

But I’m going through Genesis at the moment and a phrase jumped out a me this morning:

Genesis 3:7-11 7  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 
8  Then the man and his wife heard the sound (voice) of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 
10  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 
11  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 

Thankfully, those who’ve trusted in Christ Jesus have been SAVED:

Colossians 1:13-14 13  “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

When we come to Jesus who knows the end from the beginning, He knows your whole life, even before you gave in and trusted Him as your Saviour, so He knows those times that you’ll yield to temptation, that you’ll be weak and fall into sin. And He still gives you the blessings of the knowledge of forgiveness and a new heart to obey Him. What amazing grace and mercy.

Yes Jesus has ‘rescued’ you from the dominion of darkness: However, we still get those same, Adam like, feelings of separation when we sin. Remember how Adam and Eve, once they’d eaten the forbidden fruit, made coverings for themselves out of leaves and hid themselves in the garden of Eden. What was it that made them hide? They heard the voice of the Lord in the garden. The Lord was either singing or saying something out loud, and the voice of the Lord became a terror to them. They knew that they were naked; i.e. that the Lord could see what they’d done, it was open before Him who’s eyes see and know everything. It’s the same with anyone who sins, even just a little, the mere fact and act of disobedience has the exact same effect, we all want to run away and hide from God, from his presence, from His Holy voice. We don’t want to see Him, we don’t want to hear Him, we don’t want to be anywhere near Him, so we run away and hide and try our best to cover-up our shameful nakedness.

Asking that question, “How many times can we go away from God before it becomes permanent?” is like asking “How many times can I choose to sin and get away with it?” The answer is “NONE” You’ll never get away with it, God knows it all and He’s right there as a witness to every single act or thought of disobedience.

Alexander Maclaren has said it brilliantly: “These are still the two lies which wile us to sin: ‘It will do you no harm,’ and ‘You are cheating yourselves out of good by not doing it.’ Alexander Expositions of Holy Scripture – Genesis.

When God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” He KNEW that Adam and Eve had eaten and had received the knowledge of Good and Evil.

My friend related how he’d been feeling; that there was an emptiness, a barrenness, how God seemed distant, far away. Then he said something amazing, “You know, I know, that God has not moved away, it’s me”…

Temptation to sin: We’ve already lost the battle when we’re thinking to ourselves; “I wonder how many times I can do this and get away with it?”

Disobedience: Acting or Thinking sinfully; results in cutting us off from the Lord. Even after we’ve come to faith and trust in Jesus. Until we get right with Him again we’re separated from Him, we’re not walking with Him, we’re in the darkness and there is a feeling that we want to cover-up our shameful nakedness, to hide our inner-self from the Lord. There is no peace when we’re walking in the darkness. There is no joy in our hearts.

“Who told you that you were naked?”

When we choose to sin, afterwards it’s like the LORD is not there, as if our relationship has died, we’re cut-off from Him. We’ll also get fearful and want to run and hide from God, because we become aware that He can see right through us. 

When Temptations Come:

We’ve got a choice: We can listen to God’s voice, His witness within, our Conscience, that will be crying out to us; “This will lead to the death of your relationship with God”. Or we can reason with ourselves and con ourselves into believing; It’s not that bad, everyone else is doing it, everybody thinks it’s OK, it won’t do me any harm, why not enjoy yourself, you deserve it, you’ve earned the right to enjoy it”

But Moses Chose A Different Way:

Hebrews 11:25  “He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”

When we choose to follow God’s WAY: It’s costly in terms of dying to self, in saying “No!” to the pleasures of sin for a season.

Hebrews 11:25  “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”

Yes we can enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but whilst we’re doing so, we’ll be doing it away from Jesus and it will be as if He’s dead to us, as if He’s not real, as if there is no God. The realisation will come to us that we’re NAKED and we’ll want to run and hide like Adam and Eve. But just like a dark-cloud hides the sun, the sun still continues to shine behind it’s dark lining; so God continues to reign and rule behind the darkness of our disobedience.

Just as God called out in the Garden of Eden for Adam: “Adam, Where are you?” He’s calling out to you and me today: “Where are you?”

  • Are you walking with the Lord?
  • Are you seeking to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season?

Have an awesome day with Jesus. Choose LIFE, JOY, PEACE and FELLOWSHIP with God today. It’s going to be FREEDOM and FOUNTAINS of LOVE flowing within.

Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I pray today that when temptation comes, I’ll be listening to You in my heart. Help me to know that choosing to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season is like death to my relationship with You. This day Lord; I’m choosing LIFE and the joy that comes as I walk with You. Help me Lord! Amen.”

Don.