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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Are you Plugged In?

PlugI’ve been posting about the power of God at work in us.  How far are you willing to go to walk in the power of the Spirit?  Experience tells me that we would rather talk a good game and make excuses, than to put forth the effort to see the real thing.

“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

This is the last verse I looked at in my previous post.  It deals specifically with the power available to those who remain in Christ.  It says that they can ask what they wish and it will be done.

Think about the trust God places in that kind of believer.  I personally wouldn’t give that kind of power to most Christians that I know.  It would be dangerous.

The fact is that in this fifteenth chapter of John, the Lord referred to us remaining in Him 8 times in 4 verses.  I think He’s trying to make a point.  It’s required that we remain in Him if we want Him to manifest His power in us.

I asked a question four posts ago – in the first of this series (Power and Authority – The Difference).  I asked which form of power – AC or DC – was better?

You probably answered the question as most people do.  They say that they prefer DC batteries because they can go where they want.  They can take their device with them when they leave the house.  When you have to plug it in the wall, you’re confined to stay at home to use it.

This is the big problem in the body of Christ today.  We want to be able to leave the house.  If your goal is to go in and out of the house, then batteries are better.

If you intend on doing that in the spirit – living for Christ sometimes and living for self at other times, then the power of the law is better than no power at all.  Christians of this generation have a real problem with remaining in the spiritual “house.”

There are two forms of power.  The greater of these requires you to remain in Christ.  Our goal seems to be to live with one foot in the world, and one with Christ.  You can’t do that and use the power of the Spirit to any great extent.

We need to take an honest, hard look at our walk with God to see where we fit into this picture.  We must then be willing to make the changes necessary to remain in Christ.

Question: What will it cost you to remain in Christ?  Are you willing to pay the price?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Power of God, Revival

 

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Are you a Transient Christian?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn my last post I talked about the differences between the power of the law and the power of the Holy Spirit.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

There’s another big difference between the law and the Spirit.  When you walk by the Spirit, you are totally dependant upon the Spirit.  The law, on the other hand, allows you to be self-sufficient.  All through Scripture we see this truth.  If we are to minister for Him, then we must work in His strength.  There is no other way to operate in the Spirit of God

The law gives you the appearance of self-sufficiency.  That is, until the batteries die.  That’s why it’s so hard to reach people in legalistic churches.  They know what they’ve done to keep the law – to live right.  They know the effort they’ve put forward.

“I’m okay because I’ve served God faithfully for forty long years.”

That brings us to the final difference that I want to cover.  It’s actually the same as the last one, but from a little different perspective.  To understand this we could look at the whole of the Gospel of John, chapter 15.  Instead, I’ll only look at a few verses that emphasize the point I’m trying to make.

“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

REMAIN IN CHRIST!  That’s the crux of the whole matter.  In order to be entrusted with the power of God, we must remain in the Spirit of Christ.  This is what trips most of us up.  We don’t want to remain.

The law is a little more lenient, it allows you to be transient.  What’s transient?  Now there’s a word you don’t hear very often, but it describes the situation exactly.  Let me explain it to you.

My parents used to have a summer home in the state of Maine.  It was in a trailer park in the woods.  We used to have a lot of fun going up there each year.

My parents spent most of the summer and fall there.  They knew all of their neighbors and had a wonderful time living there.  While my family and I visited, we heard about another section of the park, with a different sort of people.  That was the “transient section.”

The transient section of the park was reserved for those who would come for only a week and then leave to go somewhere else.  They didn’t remain there permanently, as my parents did.  Instead, they wanted to come and go as they saw fit.  This seems to be a problem of epidemic proportions in the body of Christ today.

We don’t want to remain in the Spirit.  We want the freedom do what we want and have the blessing of God on our lives.

According to Christ, it is as we remain in Him that we enter the place of power.

Question: Why does remaining in Christ sound so difficult to this generation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Power of God

 

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Spiritual Power – The Holy Spirit versus the Law

PowerI’ve been posting about the two different sources of spiritual power – the Holy Spirit and the law.  Remember, it’s the law that powers sin.  There are some important differences between the law and the Holy Spirit.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

Literally, this verse says God is powerful enough to do everything you need according to His grace.  In all things, at all times – this means that the power of the Holy Spirit is permanent, whereas the law is temporary.

If I base my walk on how well I follow the law, I’ll soon be in big trouble.  Everything is fine while I’m at church, especially if I just went to the altar and repented.  I go on my way feeling strong spiritually.

Then it happens, on my way to the car I get into an argument.  It all goes downhill from there.  Now Satan has a base for accusation again and I can feel my power dwindling.

On the other hand, I can base my spiritual walk on the Holy Spirit within me.  I know that He’s always there.  I can run to Him in all things, at all times, and I know that He’s able to meet my need no matter what.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
1 Corinthians 4:20

There’s a second difference – the Holy Spirit is true, but the law is deceitful.  What does that mean?  When it comes to the law, you can always talk a good game.

“I pray, read my Bible, and am always on time for church.”

You can make it appear that you’re very powerful in the Lord, if that’s what it takes.  It’s a good thing that most believers don’t know what true power is or the charade would be over.

With the power of the law, you can hold the batteries in your hand.  Show off how much voltage you’re capable of.  We can even hear other’s proclaim, “Boy, those are a lot of pretty big batteries.”

The reason I said that the law is deceptive, is because the batteries can be dead and no one would know the difference – unless they looked for change being produced.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret – even the little pink bunny that keeps going and going eventually dies.  His batteries run out.

When yours do, because you’re relying on how well you follow the law, then you’re left with only the appearance of power.  That’s when we get together and “Remember when…”  Remember when our batteries were charged and we saw someone saved, or healed so many years ago.

It’s time for the church to tap into the only reliable source of power – the Holy Spirit whom God has placed within us.

Question: How have your attempts at following the rules turned out?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Power of God

 

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Do You Know the Enemy’s Power Source?

BatteryIn my last post I talked about power and authority.  Power is the ability to produce change.  Authority is the permission to use power.

Jesus told us that we had authority over all the power of the enemy.  This causes me to question our current church experience.  If what the Lord said is true, then why does the enemy seem to be winning?

To understand this you must realize that just like electricity, there are two forms of spiritual power.

“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

These were some of the last words of Jesus before He was taken up into Heaven.  We must realize that our power comes from God Himself through the Holy Spirit in us.  This means that the two sources of spiritual power are the Holy Spirit and sin.

This is a very important fact to know if we’re to grow in our spiritual walk.  Our goal should be to only receive our power from the Holy Spirit.

We must be certain that we’re not powered by the same thing that powers the enemy’s kingdom.  To have this assurance, we need to ask a very important question.  If sin is a power source, then what is the power of sin?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57

That should be an eye opener.  Most Christians have no idea that the power of sin is the law. We seem to have missed this fact even though it’s plainly taught in the Scripture.  This means that without the law, sin would have no power.

As a matter of fact, Satan’s power is derived totally from sin.  So if there were no law, then the enemy would have no power.  Everything that Satan is able to do is powered by the law.  Whether you realize this or not, every accusation and attack that he makes is all based upon the law.  The problem we have is that just knowing this truth isn’t enough to defeat him.

Like AC and DC, both forms are very powerful.  AC is the type of electricity that powers your house.  DC is the type that starts your car in the morning as well as supplying power for the lightning we see in a thunderstorm.  In the same way, the two forms of spiritual power can be very potent.

We, as believers, need to understand the differences so that we’ll not fall into the trap of trying to use the enemy’s power to defeat sin in our lives.

Question: How do we sometimes try to use our sinful nature to defeat sin in our lives?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Power of God, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Power and Authority – The Difference

SONY DSCA few months ago, I talked at length about the power of God that’s working in us.  In that discussion we saw that true power is the ability to produce change.  It should be obvious that the power of God changes everything that it touches.

At some point, we also talked about the two components of power – love and a saved mind.  In that regard, faith is the fuel that energizes our love to action.  This is the nature of the power of God working in our lives.  It should be our goal to act just the opposite of those who “have a form of godliness but deny its power.”

Over the next few posts I want to continue to look at the power of God and how it parallels natural electric power.  One of the things that we know about electricity is that it can come in two different forms.  We know them as Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC).

The fact is that both are useful.  As a matter of fact, I can use both of these forms of electricity to power my portable DVD player.

I can choose to use the DC batteries or plug the AC adapter into the wall plug.  Which is better?  Think about that and we’ll talk more about it in a later post.  You will probably be surprised at how closely the answer to this simple question relates to Christians today.

In talking about spiritual power, Jesus said the following to His disciples…

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Luke 10:19

We need to learn that authority goes hand in hand with power.  I haven’t talked about the concept of authority yet, so we need an understanding of how it fits into the whole picture.  While power is the ability to produce change, authority is the permission to use power.  In the natural realm the Electric Company gives you the authority to use electricity in your home or you will have no power.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Matthew 28:18

Jesus said that He had been given permission to use all power in Heaven and on earth.  It is a blessing to know that He has given some of this power to us.  According to the Lord, our power is effective over all the power of the enemy.  Now that’s good news, that our power is greater than Satan’s kingdom.

There is no reason for me to fear, because God’s power is operating in me.

Question: How should the above knowledge affect our walk with God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Power of God

 

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Are you Asking the Right Questions?

Question MarkWe live in an age of hero worship.  It seems that people are more inclined to follow those with the most glitz and showmanship.  It has, unfortunately, carried over into the body of Christ.

When it comes to the teachings we accept, how do we decide who to listen to?  We need to be asking the right questions.  This was something that was clearly portrayed in the ministry of Christ.

The following is taken from the Scriptural passage found in the Gospel of Luke 4:16-40.  You will want to read that first to understand what I share in this post.

In that section of Scripture, Jesus preaches at two different synagogues.  One was in His hometown of Nazareth, and the other in Capernaum.  In both cases He preached the same message.  Knowing that it was the Lord, I am assuming that both messages had the same level of anointing.

In spite of these similarities, only one of the towns, Capernaum, received a blessing out of the visit.  It is clear to see from the narrative, that the reason was the questions that they asked themselves as Jesus was ministering.

This is important to us because we are guilty of the same type of attitudes that these people had.  I believe that we have missed out on countless blessings because our attitudes got in the way.  What makes the difference?

Verse 22 shows the question the people of Nazareth were asking.  It demonstrates what they were focusing on.

They spoke well of Him.  They were amazed at the words from His lips.

“Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

They were concentrating on who was speaking – was He all that they were expecting?

Capernaum was a different case altogether.  Verse 32 and 36 make it clear that they were amazed at His teaching.  They recognized that His Word had power and authority.  Who He was and what He looked like didn’t figure into their acceptance of the Word.

As a result, revival fell in Capernaum that day.  Demons were cast out and all the sick that lived in that area were healed (Verse 33-40).

We need to learn this lesson.  Sometimes the biggest show has the least anointing.  On the other hand – there are times God wants to perform great miracles through His “unknown servants”.

We need to be asking, “What is the anointing, authority, and power upon this Word.”  How big a following someone has shouldn’t figure into it.  It’s all about the spirit behind the message, not the person God is using.

If we keep this in mind, then we’ll find the blessing of God in some of the most unlikely places.  We will also open ourselves up to the miraculous.

Question:  Have you ever received a blessing from God’s unknown servants?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Revival, The Church, Word of God

 

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Recognizing the Spirit of Antichrist

TreeMany people are looking for “the Anti-Christ.”  Even Hollywood has done movies about it.  If you’re a believer, then you need to realize that we are already facing the spirit of antichrist that’s at work in the world.

Can you recognize the working of this spirit?  Do you even know what to look for?   This knowledge is important for our spiritual well-being in these last days.

But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
1 John 4:3

The Apostle John tells us that there is a spirit of antichrist.  According to him, it was already at work in his day.

What is it?  Well, let’s think about it.  The title Christ means the Anointed One.  It was a description of the Messiah.  Anti means that this spirit is actively working against the Anointed One.

When we bow our knee to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we place ourselves under His anointing.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22

We now have the Anointed One and His anointing active in our lives.  This anointing is leading us somewhere.  It is guaranteeing what the Lord want to accomplish through us.  That’s the Spirit of Christ in us.

The spirit of antichrist is active in the world.  There is an “anti-anointing” at work trying to neutralize what Christ is doing through us.

What we have to realize is that it’s all about Christ.  Have you ever noticed that if you talk about God or a “higher power,” it’s okay?  You can even talk about religion to some extent.

But, as soon as you try to talk about Jesus Christ, the conversation gets shut down.  Using that precious name to swear is socially acceptable.  Yet when I want to show how that name can transform a life, it becomes an “off limits” topic.

There is power in the name of Jesus.  That’s where the source of our anointing comes from.  We cannot minister without it.

That’s why the kingdom of the enemy is so adamant about trying to shut it down.  The spirit of antichrist – this anti-anointing that’s in the world – wants us to remain silent.

That’s why it’s so important to recognize where this comes from.  Even more important to know, is that our anointing is greater, stronger, and more effective than anything in the enemy’s arsenal.  If we stand in Christ, then we cannot be stopped or silenced.

As believers, we need to recognize that this anti-spirit is active around us.  But we must never fear it.  Neither will we submit to it or compromise with it.

Question: Have you seen this antichrist spirit active in the people around you?

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Spiritual Warfare, The Church

 

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