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Category Archives: Prayer in the Spirit

Putting On the New Man

Putting On the New Man

We’re continuing to go through the Book of Ephesians. I’ve been posting about the foundational teachings that Paul referred to in this letter.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV

So far, I’ve talked about the putting off of the old self and the renewal of the mind. The final piece that these early believers were taught was how to put on the new man that was created to be like God.

This process can take place slowly or quickly, depending upon our obedience and understanding. In looking at the modern church, it seems like this is the step that we know the least about. We definitely have very little experience with it.

But, before I get into the “how” of putting on the new man, I need to warn you. What I found in Scripture, as I studied it, totally changed my perception of how God works in us. As I got deeper and deeper into the Word, I found that my definition of the words I was reading was inadequate and, in some cases, inaccurate.

As we go along, I will have to redefine some words that the church has watered down over time. It wasn’t done maliciously, but it’s had a negative effect on us none the less. Please keep an open mind as you prayerfully take in what the Word of God teaches us.

Keep in mind that this is what the early believers were taught, at least under Paul’s ministry. Through prayer in the spirit, they overcame and put off the old man. They won the war against the flesh and its misdeeds.

Also, through prayer in the spirit they were able to grasp and retain the mind of the Lord. It caused their minds to be renewed in the process. They no longer thought the way they used to.

Now there’s a need to put on the new man. The old is gone, but we must replace it with something better. God wants to give us a new nature that’s been manufactured, fabricated, to be like God.

What’s the sign of this transformation? According to the Scripture, it’s true righteousness and holiness in the lives of those who accept it. I’m not talking about positional righteousness and holiness. As important as these are, they don’t always manifest in the lives of believers. They must be laid hold of by faith.

I’m talking about the actual, physical walk of righteousness. It’s living out the holiness that God has for us. When this happens, the world sees something different in us.

Unfortunately, based upon this definition of the new man, much of modern Christianity has missed it. What we have is a church that can’t get out of its own way. God’s people are too busy chasing after the world and its pleasures. All the while we’re confessing Scripture and believing for the blessing of God. Any talk of commitment or devotion to God is seen as condemnation and we avoid it.

The simple truth is that we’ll never be like Jesus until we put on this new man. The phrase put on literally means to sink into like a robe. We must be immersed in it.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Romans 13:12 NIV

It’s clear from this verse, and many others, that putting on the new man is a matter of our choice. It’s not automatic. Why would we be exhorted over and over again to do it if it would just happen by itself? It’s another step in our Christian growth.

In my next post, I’ll finish talking about this important truth.

Question: How does the modern church compare to the life that Jesus Christ exemplified for us?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Path to Daily Renewal

The Path to Daily Renewal

We’re continuing our walk through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church. In my last post I began talking about the renewing of our minds. We saw from Ephesians 4:23, that it’s a work that’s accomplished in the spirit.

…to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

Ephesians 4:23 NIV

Even the phrase be made new is full of meaning. It’s the Greek word ana-neoo. Neoo means brand, spanking new, right out of the box. Ana is a prefix that adds an intensive repetition. This renewal is to be done over and over again.

This is the only place in the Bible that this word is used. Every other place the word renew means to freshen or renovate. In this verse we’re talking about resetting everything back to the original factory settings. This is the ultimate do-over. But it can only be done in the spirit.

That’s why I place such a high emphasis on prayer in the spirit. Without it we have no chance of overcoming the sin nature or walking in the renewed life. I feel that the renewal of the mind is the most important part of the process. Without setting our mind correctly, it will never fully cooperate with God’s plan.

This is reiterated throughout Paul’s ministry. At one point he felt the need to remind Titus, a young pastor, about these things. He reminded Titus what they were like when they first came to God. They were just like everyone else in the world. They thought and acted like everyone around them.

…he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…

Titus 3:5 NIV

The salvation process is described here in two parts. First, the washing of rebirth – the removal of the old man and the putting on of Christ. Then came the renewal by the Holy Spirit. We have to give up the idea that it’s just about reading the Bible.

As important as Scripture is to us, I know many people who aren’t even saved, who read the Bible every day. Their lives show no improvement because of this practice. The Bible will only bring change if it’s activated by the Holy Spirit.

That’s why this is not a one-shot deal. The word renewal contains the thought of repetition. We must continue in it day after day. Prayer in the spirit is not a holy “toy” that we take out of the box merely to play with on Sunday mornings. It’s a vital agent of change that needs to be cultivated day after day. We must continue to refresh and reset our minds.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV

In the context of this verse, Paul is not talking about the entire church. We read this and think that every Christian is being renewed daily. That is absolutely not the case. In all of 2 Corinthians, chapter 4, Paul is talking about himself and his ministry team. Paul, who prayed in the spirit more than most believers of his day, was allowing himself to be renewed daily in the spirit.

This is why our daily time with the Lord is so important. We must take the time to read the Bible and pray in the spirit. Reading gets the written word into you. Prayer in the spirit activates that word and brings it to life within your heart.

That’s how you live in daily renewal, just like Paul. Not doing this is one of the biggest hindrances to serving Christ in His ability.

Question: How do you spend your daily time with the Lord?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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A Renewed Mind

A Renewed Mind

I’m continuing my posts about the teachings that the Apostle Paul referenced in his letter to the Ephesian church.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV

My last few posts dealt with the putting off of the old self. Now I want to talk about the second thing that the Apostle Paul said was taught to the believers in Ephesus. He tells us that we need to be made new in the attitude our minds.

In the sequence of putting off the old self and embracing the new, the mind becomes the battlefield. It can be our greatest ally or our worst enemy. That’s because our mind can side either with the flesh or the spirit.

In order to win the war, our minds must be renewed. This can be a very quick process, if it’s done in the spirit. But the mind must be in agreement with submission to the will of God.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 NIV

So many people have approached me over the years asking how they could find God’s will for their lives. The reality is that you can never “find” God’s will. According to Scripture, you must approve the will of God for your life. This will only happen as your mind comes into agreement with what God wants for you.

God has a perfect plan for your life. He developed it before the foundation of the universe. He knew you before you ever existed.

Even so, He’ll never implement His plan without your approval. That’s why we’re told not to conform…to the pattern of this world. That literally means don’t be forced into the world’s mold.

Instead, we are to let our mind be renewed. The word Paul uses for this is like the English word morph. We know about morphing in special effects in movies and on TV. When one thing changes into another, we say that it’s been morphed. That’s what God wants to do with our mind.

He wants to remove the thought pattern that we’re used to, the attitudes of the world. Then the Lord changes them into His thought patterns. In that way we’re renewed into His way of thinking. This is a work that the Lord must perform in us.

We’ve watered it down, in this generation, to the point where I’ve heard it taught that all you need to do to renew your mind is to read the Bible.

What is the Scriptural way to a renewed mind? It’s right in the second verse that we first looked at.

…to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

Ephesians 4:23 NIV

Again, the translation waters down the true meaning of this verse. We need to get back to the original meanings. The literal Greek of this verse says renew, in the spirit, your mind. Let that sink in. We need a spiritual renewal. How can we ever expect our mind to renew itself?

There needs to be an outside force at work in our mind. That’s where true renewal comes from. It’s a work done in the spirit.

I don’t know why we keep striving to do in the natural what can only be worked in the spirit. You may think that I’m wrong for continually emphasizing it, but our spiritual prayer life is more important than we realize.

Question: How has your thinking changed since you’ve been saved?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Unity of the Spirit

The Unity of the Spirit

As we go through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, we must keep in mind that the Holy Spirit is beginning to emphasize our corporate walk. He’s showing us how to function together as the body of Christ on earth. This thought continues.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:3

In order to grasp this, we must first define the term, unity. We must understand that there’s a big difference between unity and agreement. Most Christians use these two terms interchangeably. Actually, they’re two very different truths.

The Word of God is clear that agreement is when we think and believe the same way.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 18:19

In this verse, the Greek word that’s translated, agree, is sumphoneo. It’s where we get our English word symphony. It literally means to sound together. You agree on the facts, so you speak the same thing.

This means that if I believe Jesus is Healer, and you believe Jesus is Healer, we’ll sound the same when we speak. In that case, we’re in agreement. That makes it a function of our soul.

Unity is a whole different thing. Look at the above verse from Ephesians again.

In the same way that agreement is a function of our soul, unity is a function of our spirits. What we need to realize is that we’ve already been made one in Christ. It’s now our job to keep or guard the unity of the spirit.

In the Greek, the phrase, make every effort, means to use prompt and earnest effort. This tells me that it requires work on our part. There’s something we need to do. In order to keep this unity, it will require the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.

It’s all about allowing the Lord to connect me to those around me in the body of Christ. Only then can we fulfill our calling together. Listen to Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian church.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel…

Philippians 1:27 NIV

Whenever I read this verse, I have to change the tone of my voice. This should be read like a general encouraging his troops on the eve of battle. Their goal is to have complete victory over their enemy.

It’s the same for the church of Jesus Christ. Everyday should be considered life on a battleground. As a matter of fact, Paul will get into that further on in this letter to the Ephesians.

Too many believers don’t understand this fact. They think that they can float through life caring only for themselves. That’s a recipe for defeat.

The Lord, Himself, as well as the apostles make it clear that we’re in a spiritual battle. If that’s the case, then it’s impossible to win this victory all by ourselves.

Paul’s commands are perfectly clear. We are to stand firm in one spirit. That’s the only way that we can be contending as one man for the Gospel. In order to do that, we need to line up our spirits with the Holy Spirit.

I believe that this means we need to be praying in the spirit. It’s this prayer in the spirit that unifies us for the spiritual war that we face each day. This is the unifying factor in the church.

Question: How often are you involved in corporate prayer in the spirit?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Beyond Myself

Beyond Myself

In today’s post, I’ll finish chapter 3 of Ephesians. Paul has been showing us the blessings of our “in Christ” position. Now he closes this section with an exclamation of praise to God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

He praises God for His matchless power. This is a power that the Lord uses for our sake. It’s more than we could ever ask for, or even imagine.

However, that doesn’t mean that I get everything I ask for. Neither do I get everything I imagine. What it does mean is that I get things I didn’t even know I could ask for. In the same way, the Lord blesses me with things that are beyond my imagining.

He’s a good God. And He’s done more for me than I could have ever deserved or hoped for. But the great thing about this is that God works these things in us.

God’s unlimited power is at work in us right now. The Lord is accomplishing everything He desires for us. We just need to lay hold of it. The real question is; how do I lay hold of all this?

Paul talked about it in one of his previous letters.

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV

This verse is talking about the supernatural revelation of God. He wants to show us those things that are beyond ourselves.

Remember, a few posts ago, I talked about the manifold wisdom of God bringing His glory into the church. This is a huge part of it.

But, the revelation talked about here is not for those who simply live for themselves with no thought to the spirit walk. God reveals His plan to those who, through their daily walk with Christ, are seeking the mind of the Holy Spirit. They’re the ones who see God’s plan for their lives.

Prayer in the spirit is the gateway to this revelation knowledge. The power of the Holy Spirit takes us beyond our own human understanding.

“No eye has seen” – You can read the Bible from cover to cover and not see everything God has prepared for your life. “No ear has heard” – You can listen to every sermon, prophet, and apostle yet still not hear all God has for you. “No mind has conceived” – You cannot brainstorm, imagine, or even dream up everything that’s your portion in the will of God. BUT…God has revealed it by His SPIRIT.

He then goes on to explain that the spirit can investigate everything, even the deep things of God. I believe that Paul is talking about your own human spirit. Your spirit can search out all things.

You may think Google is good. The Bible tells you that your spirit is the greatest search engine ever created. I know that Paul was given an enormous amount of revelation. He wrote most of the New Testament under the direction of the Holy Spirit. How did he receive all of that? By spending time in the spirit.

Here Paul tells us the secret of this supernatural revelation. It can only be received in the spirit. He makes it clear that your flesh (eyes and ears) cannot grasp it. Neither can your soul (mind) come up with it. It has to be a work of your spirit.

It’s through this divine wisdom and revelation that we can lay hold of those things that are beyond all that we can ask or imagine. It comes through time spent with the Holy Spirit.

This only comes in a life that knows how to interact on the spiritual level. This means that you must know how to pray in the spirit in order receive the revelation that’s referenced by this verse.

Your body and soul can never search out the deeper things of God, it will only be accomplished by your spirit working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. We need to strive for this level of intimacy in our generation.

Question: How much time do you spend in the spirit?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Strength for the Journey

Strength for the Journey

We’re continuing our study through the book of Ephesians. Paul is writing to us about the riches we share as the body of Christ on earth.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

Ephesians 3:14-15 NIV

Paul now gives us some insight into his prayer life. He’s constantly in prayer for the churches and people who have come to the Lord under his ministry. It was a great burden on his heart.

It’s important for us to see where this intercession starts. He doesn’t go right into the petitioning for God to bless these people. He starts out by kneeling before the Father.

That’s an important fact that we sometimes miss. Throughout the Bible, whenever worship is described, there are certain common elements. One of them is kneeling.

Whenever a body position is described, a worshiper is always kneeling down. Many times, they have their face to the ground. Most Christians don’t realize that this is the normal position for worship.

Because we call the songs before a service “praise and worship”, we think fast songs are praise and slow songs are worship. That’s an American church thing. It’s not the Scriptural definitions.

In reality, praise involves the body. It’s about what God has done. It could be music and singing, clapping, dancing, or loud declarations of thanks to God. Worship is very different.

Worship is about who God is. It’s an act of our spirit (John 4:23-24) with no body involvement. True worship is usually silent. It happens infrequently when a “holy hush” comes over the congregation. Most of the time we get uncomfortable and start to fidget, hoping the service will continue quickly.

Paul makes it clear that his prayer time starts with worship. He begins by quieting his heart before the Lord God. Only after his time of worship does he begin to lift up God’s people.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

Ephesians 3:16-17a NIV

Paul wants to see the church walking in the power of God. That’s how we can fully operate in the spiritual life God has for us. But, it’s important to note that this takes place through our spirits.

Again, it has a lot to do with our worship of God. We need to spend time praying in the spirit to see the power of God increasing in our lives.

The word, strengthen, in the above verse is not a one-time thing. That word implies an ongoing strengthening. We need to become spiritually stronger day by day. It’s a lot like becoming strong in the natural. I had to learn that lesson.

Now that we’re in the Spring season, my mind starts to think about hiking. Those who have read this blog for a long time will know that I love to get out and walk the Appalachian Trail. In order to be ready, I’ve been out walking whenever I can. I want to strengthen those lazy winter muscles.

Strength is a necessary part of the outdoors experience. When my wife and I started to add children to our family we stopped hiking because of the limited time we had. Since I’ve started back up again, I’ve lost 30 pounds. (Pounds that I had “found” up till that time!)

I can tell you by experience that out of shape people cannot enjoy hiking as fully as those used to the rigors of trail life. I remember well the pain in my legs and back when I first started. I had to stop every few feet while going uphill, just to breathe. Thank God, I’m starting to get in shape again!

More important than physical condition, however, is the shape of your inner being. The spiritual trail we’re on is far tougher than any wilderness trail. God wants to strengthen you for that journey.

It is going to take quality time spent in the presence of the Lord. That’s why prayer in the spirit is so beneficial. It builds you up internally. To do this you must free yourself from distractions so that you can concentrate on Christ.

As I’ve been saying, that’s what worship is all about. Spend time before Him just drinking in His Spirit. Take the time necessary so that your inner man is ready for the road ahead, no matter how rough the path.

Question: How strong is your inner man?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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In Heavenly Realms

In Heavenly Realms

Ephesians is one of those books that regularly gets misapplied. There are Scripture passages that get taken out of their context and bring frustration when they don’t work “as advertised”. I’m going to look at one of these in today’s post.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…

Ephesians 2:6 NIV

This is an incredible truth. Christ did the work, and now we have complete access to the presence of God. Here, the apostle Paul is continuing to show us the incredible work Christ accomplished for us on the cross.

I keep repeating the fact that this letter emphasizes how we’re to serve God corporately. My calling is not as an individual, but as a part of the body of Christ on earth. This is important to understand.

Unfortunately, this translation misses the point of what Paul’s saying here. Reading this in the Greek, it actually says that God raised us up TOGETHER, and made us sit TOGETHER, in Heaven, in Christ Jesus.

That’s a mouthful. I think it’s important that I’m not seated in Heaven with Christ, but I’m seated in Christ. That makes all the difference. Why is that? I’ll let Jesus Christ, Himself answer this.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

John 15:7-8 NIV

There are many believers who simply think they can “claim” the manifestation of this position, without remaining in Christ. If you read all of John 15:1-11, it should be clear to you that remaining in Christ is not something that happens by default.

This level of walk requires a lifestyle of intimacy with Christ through the Holy Spirit. The more time we spend in the spirit, the more of His Word we retain inside of us. This is what elevates our walk into the heavenly realms.

However, there’s more to it than just that. There needs to be a corporate intimacy with the Lord. I showed that by highlighting the words, together.

As a matter of fact, when I read the words, made us sit together, I get flashbacks to my childhood. When my younger brother and I would get into a squabble, my parents would step in and discipline us. Then, they would make us sit or play together – whether we wanted to or not!

In the above verse from Ephesians, I see the Lord doing pretty much the same thing. He makes us sit together in Him. It’s not up to me who I fellowship with in the body of Christ. If it were, I might have chosen a whole different group to surround myself with.

That being said, now that I’ve come to know those who the Lord has called me to associate with, I’m very grateful for these relationships. I would have never experienced the growth and encouragement of being with people very different from my limited world view.

Now, as a part of the church of Jesus Christ (not a denomination), I can progress together with others of like precious faith. That’s an important part of our spiritual growth. It’s the goal of our daily walk with the Holy Spirit.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14 NIV

Being seated in Christ is a calling – “Come up here.” It doesn’t just happen by accident. It’s the result of a life dedicated to seeking and obeying God’s voice.

Question: How intimate are your prayer times with the Lord?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Eyes of Our Mind

The Eyes of Our Mind

As we continue through the book of Ephesians, we’re looking at the blessings of a mature walk with God. In my last post, I talked about the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Now, Paul will show us more of these blessings.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints…

Ephesians 1:18 NIV

In this verse, Paul talks about something we should view as very important. The NIV translation is poor at this point. In the original Greek, the apostle says that he wants the eyes of our mind to be lit up. The mind being the faculty of our understanding.

We need to understand this. The eyes of our mind is an important concept in Scripture. It’s something that Jesus emphasized throughout His ministry. As a matter of fact, if you think about eyes that are lit up, the book of Revelation describes Christ as having eyes that blazed like fire (Revelation 1:14).

We have to realize that in the pages of Scripture there are two sets of eyes. There are the natural, physical set of eyes that we see the world with. But then, there’s another set of eyes that are always talked about. They’re our inner eyes.

That’s what Paul’s talking about when he says, the eyes of our minds. They’re the same eyes that Jesus talked about when He rebuked the crowds who were listening to His teaching.

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”

Matthew 13:15 NIV

Jesus is frustrated with these people because they’ve closed their inner eyes. Because of this condition, they couldn’t understand who He was or what He was offering them.

As believers, we can’t afford to close the eyes of our mind to the things God is showing us. It’s the key to all of our fulfillment in Christ. In another passage, the Lord put it in very clear terms – if you know which eyes He’s talking about.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Matthew 6:22-23 NIV

We need to walk before God with these eyes wide open. I have to be seeking Him and His ways no matter where His Holy Spirit leads me. That’s what faith is all about.

I agree to follow the Lord’s will for my life before I know what it is. I trust that the Holy Spirit has the best path worked out for me.

In the above verse from Ephesians, the word for hope literally means expectation. If I keep my eyes open – seeking God’s ways, I will know what to expect concerning my calling. I may not see the finish line, but I’ll know the next step that I need to take.

On top of that, since I know that it’s God who’s leading me, I also know that I have an inheritance with all the saints. I know that my reward is secure. My future is something to look forward to. I don’t have to worry about what’s happening all around me.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

1 John 1:5-6 NIV

This is the level at which Christ wants all of His followers to attain to. We should all seek to live by the truth with our eyes wide open. This requires intimate prayer times in the Holy Spirit. That’s the road to a victorious life in Christ.

Question: What’s the condition of your “inner eyes”?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Wisdom and Revelation

Wisdom and Revelation

We’re continuing our walk through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church. He’s writing to a church that exemplifies the mature walk of faith and love. Now the apostle wants them to progress further in their experience with the Lord.

The rest of chapter one is a view of the good things that come with maturity in the spirit. It should spur us on to seek the Lord with all of our heart.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Ephesians 1:17 NIV

The first thing that Paul wants for this church is a spirit of wisdom and revelation that comes as they seek to know God more intimately. Wisdom is the ability to take the knowledge you have and apply it to your situation.

Revelation is even deeper. That word literally means to take the cover off. There are things in society or in people’s lives that are covered up. The Holy Spirit wants to reveal them to us. But we must be mature enough to handle this knowledge.

This also includes the plans that God has for you. God wants to show us what we need to prepare for in our ministries. He always wants to reveal what’s ahead for His people.

We need to realize that in order to see this requires intimacy with the Father.

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV

The revelation talked about here is not for those who simply live for themselves with no thought to the spirit walk. God reveals His plan to those who, through their daily walk with Christ, are seeking the mind of the Holy Spirit. They’re the ones who see God’s plan for their lives.

Prayer in the spirit is the gateway to this revelation knowledge. The power of the Holy Spirit takes us beyond our own human understanding.

“No eye has seen” – You can read the Bible from cover to cover and not see everything God has prepared for your life. “No ear has heard” – You can listen to every sermon, prophet, and apostle yet still not hear all God has for you. “No mind has conceived” – You cannot brainstorm, imagine, or even dream up everything that’s your portion in the will of God. BUT…God has revealed it by His SPIRIT.

He then goes on to explain that the spirit can investigate everything, even the deep things of God. I believe that Paul is talking about your own human spirit. Your spirit can search out all things.

You may think Google is good. The Bible tells you that your spirit is the greatest search engine ever created. I know that Paul was given an enormous amount of revelation. He wrote most of the New Testament under the direction of the Holy Spirit. How did he receive all of that? By spending time in the spirit.

Here Paul tells us the secret of this supernatural revelation. It can only be received in the spirit. He makes it clear that your flesh (eyes and ears) cannot grasp it. Neither can your soul (mind) come up with it. It has to be a work of your spirit.

If this is true, then you must know how to use your spirit in order to access this information. It only comes in a life that knows how to interact on the spiritual level. This means that you must know how to pray in the spirit in order receive the revelation that’s referenced by this verse.

Your body and soul can never search out the deeper things of God, it will only be accomplished by your spirit working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. We need to strive for this level of intimacy in our generation.

Question: How deep is your prayer life in the spirit?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Power to Witness

Power to Witness

This will be my last post from the Gospel of Luke. He ends his view of the life of Christ with some important words. It’s the great “take away” from his Gospel.

You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Luke 24:48-53 NIV

Here we see the final interaction between the Lord and His disciples. The torch was being passed. It was now up to the apostles to bring the message of repentance and forgiveness to the world.

They were to go out and tell of everything the saw and heard under the Lord’s ministry. That’s a big assignment. They probably felt unprepared for such a task. Just like we do sometimes.

I like the fact that at His departure, Jesus blessed them. But it’s more than that. As He ascended into heaven, Christ continued to bless them. That tells me that the blessing is continual – even to us – as we proclaim the Good News.

However, there’s more that we need to see in this event. Luke gives us more details about it in his second volume – the book of Acts.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 1:4-5 NIV

The Lord makes it clear that something had to be done in their lives BEFORE they could go out and evangelize the world. They needed the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. That is the baptism, or immersion, in the Holy Spirit.

We sometimes get confused by this. The truth is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is different from the infilling of the Holy Spirit. This is evident in the fact that the disciples were already filled with the Spirit before they were baptized (John 20:22). This took place after the resurrection and before the ascension.

Just before He left this earth, Jesus once again made this clear to the disciples.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

This is a part of receiving God’s power into your life. It’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes up residence within you when you’re saved. But the baptism is the immersion in the Holy Spirit.

I believe that this is one of the most important steps in the Christian walk. It opens us up to the power of God working in us. If we want all that God has for us, then we need to actively seek this baptism.

I know there are some who teach that this is no longer necessary for us as believers. But that doesn’t seem right to me.

The apostles walked with Jesus Christ for over three years. They heard His intimate teachings. They watched His life in public and in private. Yet, even they needed something more than just the teachings of Scripture.

How much more do I need the manifestation of the power of God in my life. Here I am, 2000 years after these things took place. I need the power of God activated in me. That’s what will get the attention of the world. It will draw them to the life changing power of Christ.

Question: How much of God’s power does it take to be a true witness of who Christ is?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

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