We live in an unsettling world. Thinking about the people you know, probably everyone is faced with some sort of difficulty, ourself included. We, personally, know of people fighting for their life in a hospital, some that are strained in their relationships, and others stressed because of work, finances or life choices. The issues at hand are real, day to day battles and struggles. Everyone deals with problems! The real test is HOW! Many cannot cope and thus experience breakdowns, emotionally and physically.
Ephesians 6:12 (ERV) says, "Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness. We are fighting the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places." Understand that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, and behind most problems are satanic forces that are sent to kill, steal and destroy our lives, our hope and our faith!
In Luke 10:18-19 (ERV) "Jesus said to them, I saw Satan falling like lightning from the sky. He is the enemy, but know that I have given you more power than he has. I have given you power to crush his snakes and scorpions under your feet. Nothing will hurt you." Just like a policeman, who has authorization over wrong doers, as a believer in Christ, we also have dominion over satan's attacks. The problem is most people don't take their authority! People often view the situations at hand as if it was meant to be and resolve to accept them.
Regardless of the challenges you face, financial, physical, or mental, there IS hope. Heb. 4:12 says, "For the is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...." When we pray about our circumstance, often a scripture will drop into our spirit. We could say that the Spirit of God is revealing the Word on our problem. As that scripture rolls around in our heart, it can become so intense that we sense the need to verbalize it. When we speak it, it has then become the two-edged sword. First it came from God's mouth, then from ours. That's when it is powerful, going into the spiritual realm and changing the situation! (Mark 11:24)
Today we want to bring some inspiration into your life to help you to achieve victory. Whatever you battle, identify the spirit behind it, take your authority with God's Word, believe and receive. Be sure to realize, although we live in the world, we do not war according to it. Our weapons in the spirit are not carnal, but they are mighty in God. You can pull down every stronghold, cast down every reasoning and all things that try to elevate themselves against the knowledge of God and His Word. It means we must take captive our thoughts and opinions that do not line up with His Word and make them inoperative! Only the Word is powerful enough to gain control in life! Use IT! (2 Cor. 10:3-6)
On one specific occasion, I was at an important meeting, when I realized I left a much needed item at my home. Since I was close to my house, I decided I had enough time to get there and back before the meeting began. As I drove, I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit telling me to take an alternate route other than the one I was on. Instead of 'acting' upon His instructions, I thought my way was better and quicker. Nonetheless, He kept urging me, and I continued resisting. It was when I reached a certain street, only minutes from my house, that I realized WHY the Spirit was imploring me to go a different way. Right in front of me firetrucks were blocking the road, and I was completely halted. Now what? If only I had acted upon His prompting, I would not have been in this predicament.
We spoke last week of being led by the Holy Spirit. Part of being led, is being obedient. Let's face it, if I would have yielded to His instruction, I could have eliminated stress, delay, and frustration. Learning to follow the Spirit's leading involves taking actions of faith! The Bible says, "...the just live by faith." (Heb. 10:38) Faith is being bold enough to step out and DO what He's telling us to do! In my situation, I thought I had the better way. Isn't that the real problem, we think we know it all, like we've got all the answers, right? But, John 16:13 says, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." Many times, He is trying to help us stay out of danger and direct us for purposes unknown. What good is hearing the voice of the Spirit and not obeying? If we ignore Him too long, we desensitize our knowing His voice.
Complying to the leading of the Holy Spirit always involves faith. It's trusting Him with all our heart and not leaning to our own understanding. A person in faith, does something to demonstrate his faith. Abraham, the father of faith, is a great example. He trusted God when he was told to sacrifice his son. Doing all that God told him to do, even to the point of raising his knife to slay him. He knew that no matter the outcome, God was going to do something miraculous. And because he obeyed, his faith was validated! (Gen. 22)
It's not enough to know the principles of faith or entirely quote the Word. These things, although important, are not the result of faith. They teach us what and how to exercise faith, but it's in the doing! "..Faith without works is dead", James 2:14-26. Truthfully, we must live a lifestyle of faith! People that say, 'I tried faith, it doesn't work', haven't made it a life style. They believed they were in faith by listening to someone preach about it, mimic someones actions that acted in faith, and quote the scripture ever so often. But they forgot one thing, to be a doer.
Hearing the Word brings faith which then governs our response. Acting upon the Word, according to your measure of faith, will produce the results for which you're believing God. (Matt. 9:29 "...according to your faith let it be to you". The Holy Spirit's leading, quoting scriptures, and hearing the preached Word are the course to actions of faith!
We challenge you when exercising your faith to completion, by doing something that substantiates it. If you're believing for finances, when you quote "My God supplies all my need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." listen and obey the Holy Spirit to act upon your faith. He may tell you to give a certain amount in the offering. Perhaps you're believing for a healing, quoting, "By His stripes I am healed". The act of faith at the Holy Spirit's direction could be getting up out of bed. What ever the measure of your faith, there is an action that is suitable for it. The Spirit of God will lead you, just obey.
Years ago, we were on a youth outing to another city. Because of the number of people that went, we had to take multiple cars. Some of the people that drove were not familiar with the city freeways, so they were following us to the venue. The driver of the second car thought it would be fun to drive along side of our car instead of remaining directly behind. Much to their surprise the lane they were in, happened to be an exit only lane onto another freeway. So without warning, suddenly they were going east and we were going north. Needless to say, had they been following us, they would not have gotten off course. Going the wrong direction can be alarming and disheartening. To be guided by one that knows the way is, definitely, the safest way to go.
In John chapter 16 Jesus tells us of the 'Helper' that will come after He leaves. In verse 13, He says, "...when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth..." This word 'guide' is likened to a tour guide that is trained to go into unknown territory. How many of you know that this life we live, is an unknown territory? Dealing with surprises and difficult circumstances is similar to traveling in unexplored places. Having a guide that can lead us safely through, helping us to avoid pitfalls, disaster, and danger, will keep us on course and in the Truth. I'm all for that!
Truthfully, people are seeking direction every day. Some refer to horoscopes, palm readers, tea leaves, fortune cookies, ouija boards and various other methods. These are NOT the way to finding the truth or true direction from God. Others depend on dreams, visions, prophetic instruction, angels, goosebumps, and good or bad feelings. Again, these are NOT sound in the leading of God.
Realize that the devil can imitate all the outward signs for guidance. In light of this, we understand that we can not depend on dreams, angel visitations, visions, prophetic words, goosebumps or feelings to direct us. If any of these are prevalent, they will ALWAYS be accompanied by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit if they are from the Lord. They should be disregarded if they are not. The people in the old testament were led by these things because the Holy Spirit had not yet come. Today we can depend on His guidance. And since there are no scriptures to support outward leadings, we know veering from the Word is dangerous and can lead to deception.
Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." This IS the true leading from God. If you want to have a guaranteed escort through the course of your life, first become a 'son of God'. Then the Holy Spirit will give you direction every day. Verse 16 tells us how He does this, "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit.."! 'Bearing witness', also considered as 'inner witness', is a knowing within your spirit to His leading. We could also say, it's when something just seems right, although your mind doesn't quite understand.
His unction is directed by God and will always be in line with God's will. Some key points to know about the Holy Spirit's leading is: 1) He's a gentleman, He will not aggressively push us into doing anything, He leads. 2) He will never have us do anything that's contrary to God's Word. and 3) His leading will not always agree with our mind or flesh. (Rom. 8:7 "...the carnal mind is enmity against God...." & Gal. 5:17 "...the flesh lusts against the Spirit...")
Along with His leading, God has also endowed us with knowledge and wisdom. In some instances we won't have a leading of the Holy Spirit because we have a knowing about something. For instance, if I know the temperature outside is 110 degrees, I don't need the Holy Spirits leading to know i shouldn't go running. Or if I know it's dangerous to be in a particular place, I don't need Him to tell me not to go. I have the measure of knowledge needed to govern specific decisions. And if I'm going in a direction that my knowledge tells me is good, unless the Holy Spirit gives me a 'check' or 'stop' then I can proceed.
Learning to follow the leading of the Spirit, will help us in every facet of life. Gaining more insight to being led can be obtained by praying. It increases sensitivity to hearing His voice. Be sure that when you begin to experience His leading, obey instantly. This develops your spirit, and keeps the devil from discouraging you. Stay out of feelings, reasonings and self will. Practice by being a listener. Be sure to know who's in the lead. Following the Holy Spirit will ensure peace, safety, and security.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."