Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Missing Link

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.“ - 1 Corinthians 2:9-12

I was recently asked to explain a prophecy spoken over me by someone who does not believe the prophetic word still exists.  The question was asked “But, how did he do it?”  It was as if the prophet had performed some magic act.  Questions like this are best answered by God’s word because they come from a desire to disprove God’s Man and God’s power.
We all have the spirit of man inside us from birth.  This spirit allows us to feel emotions, be made self-aware, be creative, individual, have intellect, and understand intentions and thoughts of other people. Through our spirit we can “read” body language, facial expressions, and eyes.  Some of us are more aware than others through levels of maturity, but we all have the spirit of man inside us. 

But those who are born again, who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation, have received the Spirit of God.  Ephesians 1:12-14 says In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” The Holy Spirit is given to us as a seal of the promise of salvation.  And again in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 we read, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. He, God who anointed us, has given the Holy Spirit (notice the capital “S” in Spirit) in our hearts as a guarantee.
We did not receive the Holy Spirit as a guarantee because God cannot be trusted to keep His promises, nor because God needs a reminder of who is His and who is not.  The Holy Spirit within us has a purpose just as Christ had a purpose.  In John 14:26 Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit to come and says But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to first be our teacher, teaching us “all things”.  But we don’t need to be taught “all things” relating to man because we have the spirit of man inside us.  We are to be taught “all things” about God through His Spirit – His Spirit to the Holy Spirit in us.

The Holy Spirit is our missing link in understanding God and the ways of God.  While we were not born with the Holy Spirit within us, we were born to have Him enter our hearts and be our teacher and guide.  As 1 Corinthians 2:9-12 tells us, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him are not found in the heart of man, but revealed to him through the Holy Spirit.  Man, through the spirit of man, can understand himself.  But to understand God, to truly know Him, we have to possess His Spirit. 
Paul explains again the purpose of the Holy Spirit saying Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These “things that have been freely given to us by God” are the revelations of God, who He is, His Word, and His Voice.  His Holy Spirit is the only way in which we can understand Him fully.  He is Spirit, and only through His Spirit can we understand Him.

A quick word study on “revealed” will show that His Spirit reveals who He is, and who we are in Him.
“the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been REVEALED to His saints.  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:26-27

“how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,  by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),  which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been REVEALED BY THE SPIRIT to His holy apostles and prophets:” – Ephesians 3:3-5
Even Simeon, the priest to who God had promised through His Spirit would live to see Christ born, spoke of the Holy Spirit.  In Luke 2:34-35 we read, “Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against  (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

The Holy Spirit knows the things of God because He is God, just as Christ is God, the Holy Trinity.  Yet He often takes a back seat to God and Christ, because His ways are not found without faith.  You can have the faith to believe in Jesus Christ, and yet not have enough faith to believe the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Faith allows for God to be revealed.  Romans 1:17 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the POWER OF GOD to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed FROM FAITH TO FAITH; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” From faith to faith, one level to a higher level, even greater things of God are revealed. 
So what about prophecy? What’s its place if we have the Holy Spirit in us to reveal the things of God to us?  From “Faith to Faith”, we can through the Holy Spirit understand the things He reveals to us about ourselves, our place in Him, and His plans for us.  But when our faith remains too weak to grow, or our disobedient spirit refuses to believe, the gift of prophecy can grow our faith to the level of belief needed to accept what God’s voice has already revealed. When the words of God’s voice are spoken over you from another believer, trust me, your faith is renewed.

Prophecy is no magic act. There are no smoke and mirrors, no tea leaves or cards to be read, and no crystal balls.  The Holy Spirit who knows the hidden things of God, who is all knowing and all powerful, is at work.  It is a revelation of God and has very little to do with the person who delivers it, and everything to do with the Spirit who reveals it.  

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