VIDEO Winning into Freedom – How to Seek the Holy Spirit

Winning into Freedom

If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the spiritual part of our being never says “I can’t”; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.

God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, “I can’t do that.” God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring our “arguments…and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)— we have to do it. Don’t say, “Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts.” Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.

“If the Son makes you free….” Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20 when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ….” His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him. “…you shall be free indeed”— free to the very core of your being; free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

We are apt to think that everything that happens to us is to be turned into useful teaching; it is to be turned into something better than teaching, viz. into character. We shall find that the spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something but to make us something. The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed, 664 L


How to Seek the Holy Spirit – John Piper

 

Feb 2, 2018

Without the work of the Holy Spirit, we are helpless. Seek him, and he will rest upon you — especially in your hour of greatest need.

 

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Don’t Stop Building!

The eye of their God was watching over [them] . . . and they were not stopped. Ezra 5:5

When an opportunity came to take on a new role at work, Simon believed it was a godsend. After praying over the decision and seeking counsel, he felt that God was giving him this opportunity to take on bigger responsibilities. Everything fell into place, and his boss supported his move. Then things began to go wrong. Some colleagues resented his promotion and refused to cooperate. He began to wonder if he should give up.

When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to build the house of God, enemies sought to frighten and discourage them (Ezra 4:4). The Israelites stopped at first, but continued after God encouraged them through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (4:24–5:2).

Once again, enemies came to hassle them. But this time they persevered, knowing “the eye of their God was watching over [them]” (5:5). They held on firmly to God’s instructions and trusted Him to carry them through whatever opposition they’d face. Sure enough, God moved the Persian king to support the temple’s completion (vv. 13–14).

Similarly, Simon sought God’s wisdom to discern whether he should stay or find a new position. Sensing God calling him to remain, he relied on God’s strength to persevere. Over time, he slowly gained his colleagues’ acceptance.

As we seek to follow God, wherever He places us, we may face opposition along the way. That’s when we need to keep following Him. He will guide us and carry us through.

Remain strong, for God’s eye is on you.

By Leslie Koh 

INSIGHT

It was a Persian king by the name of Cyrus who ordered the release and return of Israel from Babylonian exile (Ezra 1:1–7). Israel had been waiting for a national deliverer who would be a descendant of King David. Yet according to Isaiah, God had called Cyrus to be his servant and shepherd (Isaiah 44:21–45:6). Is it possible that long before Jesus, God was giving us reason to never give up on His ability to come to our rescue in the most unexpected ways?

Mart DeHaan

Spotting False Teachers

2 Peter 2:1-3

People have an expectation that those who talk about God must also be serving Him and His people’s best interests. I wish that were always true. But sadly, the many warnings about deceivers entering the church are as relevant today as when the New Testament writers penned them.

In case you think I’m overstating the problem, let me point you to the words of Jesus: “See to it that no one misleads you” (Matt. 24:4). He warned that many would falsely claim God had sent them. Christ was not talking only about the early church. His caution was also directed at the generations to come—particularly those living during the present earth’s last days.

The apostle Peter gives a helpful test with which to evaluate teachers and preachers of God’s Word:

1. A deceiver attempts to manipulate and exploit his hearers. He uses half-truths, exciting promises, and flowery language to draw in followers. We’re to be on guard especially against the erroneous doctrine that denies the truth of the entire Bible.
2. Many false teachers will have morality problems.
3. Most will also be greedy and materialistic. If we observe these habits in the life of a leader, we must reject his or her teaching.

How can you see past a false teacher’s camouflage, cunning, and/or charisma? Filling your mind with Scripture will enable you to compare someone’s words and actions with God’s truth. Follow the psalmist’s advice and treasure God’s Word in your heart so you won’t sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

Angelic Shout

“. . . when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7) 

The phrase “shouted for joy” in this verse is actually a single word (ruwa) in the Hebrew, and it can carry a number of meanings. It is most frequently translated simply “shout,” as when the army of Joshua surrounding Jericho shouted and the walls fell down (Joshua 6:20). In Psalm 100:1, it is translated “make a joyful noise.” It can refer to a shout of alarm or shout of triumph, as well as a shout of joy, but it always refers to a loud shout. In fact, it comes from a root meaning “to split”—a noise that would split eardrums or shatter glass.

In the context of Job 38, the Lord is reminding Job and his friends of the great primeval event of creation. When the earth—which is destined eventually to house God’s throne in the eternal ages to come—was established on solid foundations (on the third day of creation), a resounding noise like mighty thunder—or, better, a gigantic angelic anthem— echoed throughout the universe. An “innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22), identified in the poetic structure of the Hebrew parallelism in our text as both “morning stars” and “sons of God,” shouted exultantly and sang in unison when the solid earth appeared.

The angels probably were created on the first day of the creation week, immediately after the creation of the universe itself. Even though Satan and other angels later rebelled against God, most of the angels still obey Him, and one day we ourselves will actually hear them singing His praises and shouting for joy when He returns to Earth (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 4:9-11; 5:11-14; Psalm 148:1-6).

Therefore, “praise ye him all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts” (Psalm 148:2). Someday, we shall join them in a “joyful noise” at God’s throne. HMM

Be ye perfect, as your Father, which is in heaven, is perfect

Titus 1:1-9

Titus was another of Paul’s sons in the faith, and is spoken of by the apostle as “my partner and fellow-helper.” Paul wrote this epistle to give him instructions how to put in order the churches of Crete to which he had been sent.

Titus 1:5

The gospel had been preached in Crete, and converts made; but the churches needed to be properly constituted. Churches without elders are like an army without officers. Those err greatly who despise order.

Titus 1:6

So that a church has no right to forbid ministers to marry.

Titus 1:7-9

bishop or overseer, described in the fifth verse as an elder

Titus 1:7-9

See what ministers ought to be, and pray that many such may be found for our churches.

Titus 2:1-14

Titus 2:1, 2

Aged Christians are nearer heaven than others, and should be more heavenly-minded.

Titus 2:3-5

The young woman’s first duty is at home.

Titus 2:9, 10

Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not disputing, or using impertinent language.

Titus 2:9, 10

Not purloining or stealing little things, whether under the name of perquisites or otherwise

Titus 2:11-14

We have heard much of “the peculiar people,” be it ours to be peculiarly holy.

 

When from the curse he sets us free,

He makes our natures clean;

Nor would he send his Son to be

The minister of sin.

 


My Saviour and my King,

Thy beauties are divine;

Thy lips with” blessings overflow,

And every grace is thine.

 

Thy laws, O God, are right;

Thy throne shall ever stand;

And thy victorious gospel prove

A sceptre in thy hand.

 

Cross Over Jordan

O death, where is thy sting?… thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57)

The prophets and the psalmists of the Old Testament wrestled as we do with the problem of evil in a divine universe, but their approach to God and nature was much more direct than ours. They did not interpose between God and His world that opaque web we moderns call the “laws of nature.”

They could see God in a whirlwind and hear Him in a storm and they did not hesitate to say so! There was about their lives an immediate apprehension of the divine. Everything in heaven and on earth assured them that this is God’s world and that He rules over all.

I heard a Methodist bishop tell of being called to the bedside of an elderly dying woman in his early ministry. He said he was frightened; but the old saint was radiantly happy. When he tried to express the sorrow he felt about her illness, she would not hear it.

“Why, God bless you young man,” she said cheerfully, “there is nothing to be scared about. I am just going to cross over Jordan, where my Father owns the land on both sides of the river!” She understood about the unity of all things in God’s creation.

 

Clearly Supernatural

“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” Zech. 12:8

One of the best methods of the Lord’s defending His people is to make them strong in inward might. Men are better than walls, and faith is stronger than castles.

The Lord can take the feeblest among us and make him like David, the champion of Israel. Lord, do this with me! Infuse thy power into me, and fill me with sacred courage that I may face the giant with sling and stone, confident in God.

The Lord can make His greatest champions far mightier than they are: David can be as God, as the angel of Jehovah. This would be a marvelous development, but it is possible, or it would not be spoken of. O Lord, work thus with the best of our leaders! Show us what thou art able to do — namely, to raise thy faithful servants to a height of grace and holiness which shall be clearly supernatural!

Lord, dwell in thy saints, and they shall be as God; put thy might into them, and they shall be as the living creatures who dwell in the presence of Jehovah. Fulfill this promise to thine entire church in this our day, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

 

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