Daily Discovering the Blessing

Archive for February, 2015

Developing Holy Spirit Consciousness – The Gift of Tongues

He who speaks in a {strange} tongue edifies and improves himself… (1 Corinthians 14:4)

The Word goes on to say in Verse 4 that he who prophesies helps the church to be improved and edified. In other words, as we preach in our native tongue others will hear and understand and be built up in their faith.

But you, beloved, build yourself up {founded} on your most holy faith {make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher} praying in the Holy Spirit. (Jude 20)

This is another aspect of the importance of taking our Abba at His Word and operating within Its Truth. The practice of praying in tongues edifies, improves, and builds us up. It strengthens our spirits and confirms the Presence of the Holy Spirit within. As we relinquish tongue and voice to the Spirit not only are we in correct order with the will and purposes of God, we are in the process of improving and strengthening, building up and edifying ourselves. That alone calls me to the practice.

The Presence of the life of God within, the Presence of the Holy Spirit, is so powerfully made manifest through this Gift. It is reality, it is Truth, that God Himself, through the Person of His Holy Spirit, dwells within each born again believer, controlling and directing us (Romans 8:9). Yet, the choice to utilize this powerful Gift of speaking with other tongues is left up to us! We choose whether or not to submit to this aspect of Holy Spirit ministry. We choose whether or not He has full reign in this area of our maturing spirit. And many choose to ignore, to judge the Word as being an uncomfortable challenge to our rational thought.

Like so many other aspects of our spiritual maturing, being comfortable with the practice of speaking with other tongues comes with faith, and faith comes with hearing.

Faith comes with hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

“Hearing” in this particular passage is in the continuous present tense and could be correctly translated, “hearing and hearing and hearing”. Continuously hearing the Word on a specific subject, whether it be peace and no fear, healing, prosperity, or speaking in tongues, allows God’s alive and active Word (Hebrews 4:12) to alter preconceived and erroneous beliefs.

Sharing intimacies with God, praying effectively and with result for ourselves and for others (even those we know not of), building ourselves up in our faith, and becoming more and more aware of the Holy Spirit in us, all of these extraordinary abilities are enhanced and perfected by the process of speaking in tongues. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the fullness of His life in you. In faith, knowing what the Word says on the subject, ask Him for this most enabling Gift.

(See “Entering Into Holy Spirit Consciousness” Parts One and Two for more on the gift of tongues – October 16th and 18th, 2013 post)

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Waiting on God – Part Two

But those who wait for the Lord {who expect, look for, and hope in Him} shall change and renew their strength and power, they shall lift their wings and mount up {close to God} as eagles {mount up to the sun}, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. (Isaiah 40:31) (Emphasis mine)

The process of quietly waiting before the Lord, and tuning into the Spirit’s words, not only honors God – it sanctifies us. Daily periods of quiet “waiting on God” reveal to us areas in our lives that need improvement, re-direction, or complete removal. The Holy Spirit is with us, in us, to shine His light into any darkened area of our lives. Areas that need the light of God’s Word, the revelation of His expectation, the deep and intimate insight into Gospel Truth.

Hebrews 12:1 speaks of “…the sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us”, and James 4:8 exhorts us:

…{realize that you have been disloyal} wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts {of your spiritual adultery.}”

Harsh words! Keith Greene, a Christian singer/songwriter, sang about straying from the Lord’s path for him when “up came the strongest wind meant to send me back into His arms again”. When we view God’s Word as absolute Truth, even the harsh words are life-giving!

Satan’s sole purpose in the lives of believers is to distract, mislead and misdirect. Our Father wants always, only to do us good. When we resolve to set apart daily, quiet time in the care and tutoring of the Holy Spirit, we are recognizing the Truths spoken of in James4:8 and Hebrews 12:1. Satan’s tactics revealed in these two Scriptures – divided interests, wavering commitment, and the various sins that cling and entangle – cannot gain a foothold when we purposefully place ourselves in the position to hear from God and to honor and obey His leading.

Initially, just sitting quietly, tuning out the world’s distractions and thinking on God, expecting Him, is a huge step toward success and is so pleasing to our Father. Throughout His Word He exhorts His people to “wait” on Him, indicating the rewards of such action. Progressively the waiting process becomes a time of refreshing, guidance and instruction, and increased intimacy with, and knowledge of, your heavenly Father. In these times God, through His Holy Spirit, is untangling the knots of sin, revealing misconceptions and erroneous teaching, redirecting errant footsteps and pathways and guiding us into all the Truth (John 16:13). The assignment of the Holy Spirit is to come into close fellowship with us (John16:7). When we earnestly wait for God He promises to show Himself active on our behalf ( Isaiah 64:4). His ongoing work in our lives is to make us increasingly fit for the work He has for us to do.

In his book entitled Letters to the Seven Churches, John Barclay writes:

“Happy is the man who feels that his inmost desires and thoughts can bear the scrutiny of both men and God. Only Christ can so cleanse us that we can bear the gaze of His own eyes.”

This life-giving, spirit maturing, sweet, sweet fellowship with God is His desire and your life’s key to kingdom realities.

Humble yourselves in the Presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you {He will lift you up and make your lives significant. (James 4:10)

Waiting on God – Part One

We are a peculiar people –

…a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, {God’s} own purchased special people. (1 Peter 2:9)

so that we may display to the world Who He is – “the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness and into His glorious light.”

In both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament the word “peculiar” refers to a jewel, a special treasure, particular, and beyond usual. One of the most particular, beyond usual and special qualities we exhibit in this modern day, self-involved, fast moving society is our understanding of the profound importance of waiting on God. People scramble for self-fulfillment, as they loudly insist upon their right to be heard, to choose lifestyles, belief systems, and personal pursuits. God’s people honor Him by recognizing that the most powerful and correct form of action is the action of waiting. Waiting in this case is not inactivity, rather it is a necessary, purposeful process.

To begin with, it is not an easy pursuit; certainly not at first. The world and its demands speak quite loudly. Spending inactive, quiet moments trying to tune into the Holy Spirit certainly frustrates our flesh and intellect. But truly it is at the very center of who we are in Christ. In Him we are many things all at once. We are priests (1 Peter 2:9), we are friends of God (John 15:14); through the power of the Word and faith in that Word we are victorious conquerors (1 John 5:4) and overcomers (1 John 4:4). But first and foremost we are His children (John 1:12) and that alone establishes our privilege, our power and our authority.

Ironically, the foundation of all of this privilege, power, authority, conquering and overcoming is submission – waiting. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price and purchased with a preciousness (1 Corinthians 17:28). In this world we are His. He alone establishes our path, assigns us our ministries, and daily instructs us in our walk before Him. How effective that guidance is depends entirely upon our willingness to put ourselves in the position of waiting and listening, which acknowledges our complete dependence on Him for everything associated with life.

Daily quiet time in the Presence of the Lord establishes you in the Truth that without Him you can do no good thing (“good thing” referring to God’s purposes and plans, His work through you) (John 15:5). Waiting on God – quiet daily periods of waiting, listening, and honoring Him – informs your heart that He is there and that He has words and direction just for you. It is not an overstatement to say that this is your life’s supply line, your nourishment, your very reason for being now. It is how He created you to function and what He created you for.

Setting aside this time to spend with your Abba establishes correct priorities for you. He is your source of life – He is your correct direction and purpose. He is love (1 John 4:16)and He loves you. Place yourself daily in the position of experiencing that.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight and understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.