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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Is Your Heart Burning?

FireWhen Christ rose from the dead, He began showing Himself to groups of His followers in various places. At one point two of them were walking from Jerusalem to a town called Emmaus. They had an encounter with the risen Lord.

At first they didn’t recognize Him. Later, once they knew who they’d been with, they discussed it.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32

Recently, as I was reading this passage, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to study this more deeply. I want to take a couple of posts to talk about what I learned as I meditated on these “burning hearts”. I believe that it will help you in your walk with the Lord.

Let’s start at the beginning. If this is about their hearts, then how did they begin the process? This is an important question.

As I said before, they didn’t know at first that they were talking to Jesus. He asked them why they looked so sad. They were amazed that there was a person who they thought had no idea of what had just taken place in Jerusalem.

“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”
Luke 24:19-21

This is one of the most amazing confessions of faith AND unbelief that I’ve ever seen! On the one hand they saw in Christ the power of the Word of God. They were inspired to place their hope in Him as the Redeemer of Israel.

Yet at the same time they were walking in defeat, believing that there was nothing more to hope for. It was over. The chief priests and rulers destroyed the dream.

In this condition, they were what James called double-minded.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:6-8

Being double-minded doesn’t mean that you doubt everything. You’re trusting God for some things, while doubting others. You may trust God to save your soul, yet not believe that He wants to provide for your needs.

That’s the place that many Christians find themselves in today. They know what God’s Word says, yet they have no idea how to apply it to their lives. They’re hoping that God will do something in them, while at the same time they expect nothing to happen.

This is where the burning hearts come in. In my next post we’ll see the Lord’s remedy for this double-minded dilemma.

Question: When have you found yourself both trusting and doubting God at the same time?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Faith, Revival

 

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Don’t Give Up

WomanHave you ever felt like giving up? Everyone goes through times like this. We feel like giving up on our jobs, ministries, or marriages. You’re not alone. Even the prophet, Elijah, went through a point in his life when he felt like this.

It took place when the Queen of Israel, Jezebel, was threatening his life.

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
I Kings 19:3-4

Elijah is probably one of the most powerful Old Testament figures. Through him, God performed incredible miracles to turn Israel around. Yet at this point in his life he was ready to throw in the towel. He actually prayed for God to take his life.

What could cause such an uncompromising individual to leave the race? The answer lies in the first line. Elijah was afraid.

The evil queen, Jezebel, had ordered his arrest and execution. Fear had gripped his heart in spite of the presence of God in his life.

How many times do we lose sight of our calling when faced with the overwhelming problems of life? We need to take the same path that Elijah took – but not the same attitude. We need to run to a place of solitude with God and pour out our heart in prayer.

Just like Elijah, we need to admit our faults and failings. Only the Lord is able to meet the needs of our inner man.

We must use this time to seek the Lord’s help for the challenges we face. This may include confessing your failures and trials. God stands ready to enfold you in His arms. By doing this, we allow His strength to work in us the restoration that is needed.

Then he [Elijah] lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
I Kings 19:5-8

While he was on the very edge of despair, Elijah received sustenance from the Lord. As he was running away from the stress in his life, God provided him with supernatural food. God knew that the journey before him was too much for his flesh to handle. So, He provided what Elijah needed.

I’ll let you in on a secret. If you’re following God’s plan for your life, then your journey is more than you can take. You’ll need this supernatural food to sustain you.

That’s why your time with the Lord is so important. Spending time with the Holy Spirit is one of the most powerful, life-changing events you could ever plan for. Don’t neglect your spiritual food.

Take the time to find nourishment for your soul in the Lord’s presence. Cast your burdens upon Him and allow His strength to revive your spirit.

Question: How has the Lord strengthened you in His presence recently?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Encouragement, Ministry, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Secret of Inner Power

PackageDid you know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts? The things that are happening around us don’t determine our destiny. We need to learn to live above our circumstances.

…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joy.
Colossians 1:11

One of the things that the Holy Spirit desires to do in us is to strengthen our inner man. He wants to give us the power we need to stand our ground for Christ.

This life is very draining on people. I don’t believe there’s any such thing as an easy life. We all have to go through struggles and trials.

We look at the lives of others and think that they have it easy. That’s only because the things that get me down don’t affect you in the same way. Conversely, the things that you’re having trouble with don’t bother me at all. We all experience things differently.

That’s why everyone needs an abundance of endurance, patience, and joy. Those are qualities we seem to lose so easily. But they are the things that the Holy Spirit wants to equip us with.

Endurance. This comes from a Greek word that means to remain under. Sometimes we have to go through experiences that are uncomfortable. We feel like giving up. The Holy Spirit can give us the power to see it through to the final victory.

Patience. This one sounds the same as endurance but it’s a little different. It literally means to be long passioned. In other words, it’s the ability to go through a hard time without “having a meltdown.” Sometimes in the midst of problems we say or do things that we’re sorry for the rest of our lives. The Lord wants to keep us from making these kinds of mistakes.

Joy. Joy is an interesting concept in the New Testament. It’s very different from the emotion of happiness. Happiness is based what happens. Joy is based upon the knowledge that you are in Christ and nothing can touch you without His permission. Therefore, you can have a positive outlook on life because Jesus has the final say.

The fact is, apart from His Spirit we would give up too soon. I want to see the finish line and cross it with strength. I don’t want to barely finish my race then collapse in exhaustion. I want to enter Heaven with my head held high, knowing that the Lord has brought me through victoriously.

To finish strong I must rely on His strength for my life. I must come to the realization that “without Him I can do nothing.” It’s a humbling experience to tell the Lord that you need Him. But that’s why Scripture teaches that if you humble yourself before Him, He will exalt you.

Draw on the power of the Holy Spirit today. Spend quality time in His presence and watch what the Lord can do in a life that’s yielded before Him. Make use of His promises. Let Him grant to you His endurance, patience, and joy.

Question: How have you seen the Lord’s strength working in you recently?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Power of God, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

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Old-Time Saint…Cutting Edge Ministry

BrideWhere is the Lord trying to take His church in this generation? What’s His end-game? Have you ever stopped to think about these things? The reason I think these questions are important is that it’s easier for me to cooperate with the Holy Spirit if I know where He’s leading me to.

In talking about husbands and wives, the Apostle Paul wrote about it. He said that this was Christ’s goal…

…to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:26-27

It’s clear from this passage that God’s desire is to perfect the church. I must admit that sometimes I look at where we are and wonder how He could ever accomplish it. The simple fact is that I have to trust in God’s ability to do that which He’s promised.

Recently I was reading a biography of Charles Parham. He was quite a teacher who lived around the turn of the century (the 1900’s). I believe that his message was cutting edge, even by today’s standards.

Here’s a quote from this awesome man of God…

“At Christ’s Second Coming the Church will be found with the same power that the Apostles and the early Church possessed. The power of Pentecost is manifest in us. The Christian religion must be demonstrated. The world wants to be shown. Then let God’s power be manifest through us.”

These words resonate in my spirit. The church must become what we were meant to be. That’s the only thing that will turn this nation around.

In the past I’ve said that my ministry was all about seeing a revival in our generation. But as I reflect upon Parham’s words and the Scripture above, I’m starting to get a clearer picture.

I don’t merely want a revival like the many awakenings and movements that have happened in the past 100 years. I’m hungering for more than that. I want to see the church rise up to its full stature in Christ.

I don’t just want revival. I want complete restoration to what we’ve lost since the book of Acts. I want to see the message of Christ coming forth with power, signs and wonders. I want to see healings and miracles taking place on a daily basis in the lives of God’s people.

This is where I believe God is taking us to. He’s making us a radiant church – with His glory shining through us. He taking away our blemishes and our shame so that the world can see in us all that He is.

That’s my prayer…my goal…and all that my ministry is trying to reach toward. Make that your heart’s cry as well. And together, we can see God’s glory manifest through His church.

Question: What will it take for God to bring us to this level in Him?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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Walking with the Shepherd

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes we get the idea that we have to set the agenda for our lives. But that’s not the right way to live. It’s the Lord who should be choosing the path we’re on.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3

Green pastures, quiet waters and right paths – what else could you ask for in a Shepherd? He knows the way ahead and he knows the needs of our hearts. There’s no one who’s more worthy of our trust than the Lord is.

In the real world sheep don’t get to choose their shepherd. They belong to whoever owns the flock. It’s not up to them to decide to leave one shepherd for another. But because of the work Christ did on the cross, we have the privilege of choosing Him no matter what our background might be.

The blessing is now ours to be led in the best possible way. We can walk along paths that will restore us rather than harm us. We have something that can feed our hungry souls and living water to refresh us.

Trust the Shepherd of your soul. He’s worthy of that trust. Realize that He wants the very best for you if you’ll just open up and receive it. There’s no greater place to be.

Of course there will be problems

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:4-5

The valley of the shadow of death – it definitely sounds like a place I’d rather avoid. As if that wasn’t enough, there are also the enemies. Sheep are defenseless against such predators as wolves and lions. The world can be a very evil and dark place sometimes.

Praise God that we have a Shepherd who knows the dark paths we must take. He’s been there and has come through victoriously. When I don’t know the road ahead, I can rest assured that He does.

I can be free from the fear of enemies. His rod and staff will be my protection. As a matter of fact, my enemy will have to watch as I feast at the table of the Lord. The Shepherd will bring me through, in spite of the enemy’s best-laid plans to destroy me.

When the burdens of life start getting me down – when I start getting discouraged – He’s right there to anoint me with the oil of His joy. He knows just how to refresh and invigorate me.

If you’re going through a hard time today; turn the problems over to Jesus. Let Him comfort, refresh and renew you.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:6

His goodness is unmatched. He wants the best for your life. His plan for you is greater than you could have ever asked or imagined.

His love for you is deep and unchanging. Never think for a moment that you have to win, earn or work to receive His love. He showers it on you freely.

If you have never given Christ your all, then today is a good day to surrender. Commit everything you are and everything you have into His hands. He only wants the very best for you. Take the time right now to bow your heart and place your life in the hands of the Chief Shepherd.

Question: How has Christ been a Good Shepherd to you in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Encouragement, Faith, God's Provision

 

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Spiritual Words

WifiI’m posting about the tremendous amount of power we have access to while praying in the spirit. It’s all about how our spirit and the Holy Spirit work together to bring about God’s will in our lives.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
1 Corinthians 2:11-12

God does not desire to hold anything back from His children. Verse 12 tells us, literally, that we can know by seeing what God has freely given us. This is not known to us by reading the Bible. It’s not revealed by hearing great sermons or prophetic words. It’s only known in that intimate place when my spirit and the Holy Spirit communicate in the language of heaven. This is reinforced by the next verse.

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
1 Corinthians 2:13

What is it that the Spirit of God teaches us? He teaches us the wisdom of God. But He can’t put it into human words. They’re not adequate for the task. The Spirit must use spiritual words.

What is a spiritual word? If you ask some people, they’ll tell you that King James English is speaking in spiritual words! Using “thee” and “thou” does not mean you’re speaking in spiritual words.

Spiritual words can only be words spoken in the spiritual realm by your spirit and the Holy Spirit. It’s the language they use to communicate on that higher level.

Look at it this way. If I had a friend in Italy, and wanted to send him a message, I could type it up and send it Airmail. They would then receive it in about a week or so. This is how humans have conversed long distance for thousands of years.

Now, with my computer, I can type up the letter using E-mail. When I hit the “send” button, the entire letter is converted into digital words and sent into the internet. My friend can then receive it instantaneously. But in order to use this marvelous technique, my computer must be interfaced with the internet so that this letter can travel through cyberspace.

But it’s much more than that. It’s not only English words that can be converted into digital words. I can convert pictures into digital words and send them just as fast. More than that, I can also convert songs and videos into digital words and send them instantly across the planet, simply because of the power of the internet. I can’t do that with human words.

This is the truth that Paul is trying to convey to us about the language of the spirit. It was something that he had an intimate knowledge about, but we’ve all but lost in our modern age. He’s trying to tell us that there are deep principles that God wants us to learn. The problem is that if the Lord has to use the English language it will take Him 20 years to get it across to us.

Yes, God has many means at His disposal. He could use the Bible, pastors, teachers, situations and a host of other things. But if He could communicate to us by the Spirit, using spirit words, He could get the whole message across to us in one instant. The language of the spirit is the single most efficient way of communicating with the Father. Every believer should be using this gift that has been bestowed upon the church.

Question: What have you learned from the Holy Spirit while praying in the spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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The Holy Spirit Working With You

SpotlightI’ve been posting about how prayer in the spirit allows the Holy Spirit to bring your prayer life to a whole new level. It causes your spirit and the Spirit of God to interact together. Yet, even this is only the tip of the iceberg.

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

The power of the 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 can’t 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 to a person who 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.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
1 Corinthians 2:11-12

Remember when I asked you to keep an open mind about Romans 8:26-27 in my last post? I told you that I believed that Paul was talking about our human spirit as the one who searches our hearts. I told you at that time that we would eventually get to a verse that supports that assumption.

We are there now. Verse 11 above makes it very clear that your spirit knows the thoughts of your heart. The fact is that your spirit knows you intimately.

In the same way that your spirit knows your thoughts, God’s Spirit knows His thoughts intimately. Now for the question that can unlock the power of God in your life. What if these two spirits get together and compare notes? Your spirit knows the needs and the questions. God’s Spirit knows all the answers. The result is a release of the power of God over your life and ministry.

Question: How does prayer in the spirit affect your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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