RSS

Category Archives: Faith

Feeling at Home

In the present crisis that we find ourselves in, many people are staying home.  It’s funny that the longer we stay in the house, the more we long to leave it.  But, in spite of our feelings, we stay at home because we know what the alternative is.

That’s the same type of thing that Paul explains to the Corinthian church.

In my last post, we saw that God has a heavenly home prepared for us.  But we have to wait for Christ’s return in order to receive it.

Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 5:5

The good news is that we have more than just a promise of the great things to come.  God gave us a down-payment.  That’s the word Paul uses to describe the Holy Spirit in this verse.

God has placed His Holy Spirit within us.  That’s the guarantee that we’ll have a part in the resurrection.  But how does that help us right now?

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  We live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
2 Corinthians 5:6-9

With just a surface reading of this passage, it sounds like the apostle is talking about dying and being with the Lord.  I don’t think that’s the case.  I believe he’s talking about something a little closer to our daily lives.

The phrase, at home, is more about your familiarity with a place than your actual location.  It literally says that if your body is your home country, then you’ve emigrated from God’s presence.

That’s not Paul’s preference. He wants to pursue that which is unseen.  He would rather see God’s presence as his home turf, and the body as the place he’s emigrated from.

He even says that this knowledge causes him to be bold.  Having God’s presence available gives him the courage to do what he’s called to do.

That’s the big question that we all need to answer as God’s people.  Where do we feel more at home?

Is the pursuit of the temporary more comfortable for you?  Would you rather be a part of this world’s system?  Or do you prefer God’s presence and the pursuit of that which pleases Him?

Obviously, by Paul’s last statement, he knows that we have to go back and forth on this issue.  There are times that we need to take care of things in the natural.  But even in those times, we remember what we’ve seen in the spirit, and strive to accomplish God’s will.

We know that the “stay at home orders” are for our good in this crisis.  In the same way, we need to choose to stay at home in God’s presence.  This will bring about God’s best in your life.

Question: How “at home” do you feel in the presence of God?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Believing and Speaking

I’m continuing to go through our study in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church.  He is talking about his ministry to the body of Christ.  In my last post, he declared that by carrying the death of Christ, he can minister life to others.

He continues that thought.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
2 Corinthians 4:13-14

This is a very important truth that needs to be addressed in our generation.  There are many who preach about the relationship between our faith and our words.

It seems like many Christians spend their lives living in the “ruts”.  Instead of traveling down the main road of the Word of God, they take these side trails that lead to trouble.  This is one of those truths.

On the one hand, there are many who take no thought as to what they say.  They feel no need to talk about the Lord or His blessings.  As a matter of fact, if you only listen to what they say, you’d never even know that they’re a Christian.

Then there are those who live in constant fear that a “bad confession” might come out of their mouth.  They’re afraid that one wrong sentence could destroy all that they’ve gained in years of serving God.

Neither of these two scenarios is any way to live for Christ.  The above verse is referring to the result of faith.

The word translated as therefore means through which or consequently.  In other words, the consequence of my faith is manifest in what I speak.  It’s the spirit of faith within me that spills out of my mouth.

That’s how the life of Christ is at work in us by the Holy Spirit.  He is producing faith in us.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15

Because Paul spoke out what he believed, many were placing their faith in Christ.

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

Remember, in this passage, Paul is not talking about the entire church. In 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 can be prepared to speak from the spirit of faith within you.

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

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 13, 2020 in Faith, Leadership, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

God at Work

As we’ve been studying Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, we’ve seen that God wants His glory to reside in us.  He wants the world around us to be drawn to Christ by watching how we live.  This is an awesome responsibility.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7-8

This brings us to the greatest question of all.  Why would God ever want to place His glory into clay pots?  We may never fully be able to answer that.

But the truth is the truth.  God has placed His glory in us for a reason.  He wants all of creation to see His glory at work.

More than that, it’s proof that God’s power is at work in us.  The word translated as all-surpassing is a Greek word that means to throw beyond.

It’s an athletic term.  In a competition like a javelin throw or the discus, all the competitors achieve about the same distance.  Then someone throws far beyond all the others.  That’s what this term all-surpassing means.

The power that God wants to work in us is so far beyond anything we could accomplish on our own.  It becomes obvious that there’s a God who loves us and operates in us.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Paul talks about the evidence he sees of God’s power at work.  Everyone faces difficulties and challenges.  It’s what results from these times that makes a difference.  He lists four proofs of God at work.

Hard-pressed but not crushed.  That literally means that sometimes we seem to be crowded, but we cannot be boxed in.  Nothing the enemy does will be able to stop God’s plan.

Perplexed but not in despair.  This means that sometimes there seems to be no way out.  Yet even in those times, we don’t give up.  We expect God to make a way through, and our faith is rewarded.

Persecuted but not abandoned.  This means that sometimes it seems like we’re being pursued, chased, or hunted.  In our society, during times like this, it’s every man for himself.  But, in God’s kingdom, we’re never deserted or forsaken.  We can always run into God’s presence to receive His grace.

Finally, struck down but not destroyed.  This is just like it sounds.  I think about the Rocky movies.

The enemy gets in a solid punch.  We go down and it looks like the fight is over.  Then, before the count reaches 10, we’re on our feet again.  That must totally frustrate the enemy.

Never give up your trust in the Lord.  Even when things look the worst, God is at work in you.  Expect to see the power of the Holy Spirit bringing you through the tough times.

Question: How have you experienced the power of God work in you?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Human Yet Victorious

I’m so glad that the Holy Spirit doesn’t whitewash the lives of the great men and women of the Bible.  He lets us see them for who they truly are.  By showing us their strengths and weaknesses, we can identify with them and follow their examples.

We see this in the life of Paul the Apostle as we continue to look at his second letter to the Corinthian church.

Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there.  So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia.
2 Corinthians 2:12-13

I find this verse to be very eye-opening.  On the one hand, Paul acknowledges that it’s the Lord opening up a door of ministry for him in Troas.  On the other hand, he had no peace of mind as he ministered in that city.

Why was that?  It was all because of his anxiety over the whereabouts of his spiritual son, Titus.  They were supposed to meet up in Troas, but Titus never arrived.

I think that we sometimes get too comfortable with the modern convenience of our smartphones.  A simple text message, “Where are you?  I just got to Troas.  What’s your ETA?” can alleviate a lot of worries.

Back then, all they could do was to set a time and place to meet up.  Then, if one didn’t show up, there was no way of finding out what the problem was.

In Paul’s case, he started to get anxious and worried about all the possibilities that could have caused this delay.  However, Paul overrides all of this anxiety by his next statement.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
2 Corinthians 2:14

The next words out of his mouth are an acknowledgment of the victory he has in Christ Jesus.  The phrase, triumphal procession, means a victory parade.

That’s just like when a team wins the Superbowl or the World Series.  They come back to their city and have a massive parade in the streets.  That’s what Paul is talking about here.

We need to learn this lesson.  We’re never called to deny what we’re going through.  We don’t have to pretend that everything is flowers and butterflies.  We can speak the truth of the challenge we’re facing, as long as we then declare the victory that Christ has already won.

“The doctor just gave me a bad report, but Praise God, Christ is my Healer and He has the final word.”

That’s why it’s so important to know who you are in Christ.  It’s His victory that we’re walking in.  We must learn to declare what He’s done for us.

Paul explained what Christ did in another of his letters.

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:15

This is the victory that the Lord won for us.  It’s important to see this truth.

Never deny the challenge that you face.  But, at the same time, never forget to declare the victory that Christ gives you over it.

You’ll find that this changes your whole outlook on the future.

Questions: What challenges do you face right now?  What victory has Christ already won for you?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 8, 2020 in Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , ,

From Promises to Legalism

What’s your view of the promises of God?  Do you expect them to be fulfilled in your life?  How are they accomplished in us?

I’ve found through the Scripture, that if you’re not careful, trying to “claim the promises” might trap you in legalism.  There are some who are bound by the idea that unless I perform certain actions, God won’t bless me.

That was my thinking at one point in my life.  I was bound by the attitude that I HAD TO tithe in order for God to bless my finances.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.”  For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.  And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:19-20

One day, as I was in prayer, the Lord showed me that when I decided to tithe in order for God to rebuke the devourer (Malachi 3:10-11), I was appealing to the law for my financial blessing.

Through the gentle leading of the Spirit, I came to the realization that I had placed myself under the commandment.  I now understand that my trying to fulfill the requirements of the promises is a form of legalism.

What I had forgotten was this:

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
James 2:10

By placing my hope in keeping the tithe law, I was missing the rest of the puzzle.  Here’s what I had neglected.  The passage in Malachi showed me the conditions to rebuke the devourer.  But there are 20 other verses that deal with things I can do that allows the devourer to get my stuff.

They talk about everything from hiring prostitutes to neglecting the needs of the church.  So in effect, when I tithed, God rebuked the devourer.  Then, if I neglected the church, I was calling the devourer back so he could continue his work.

I became more and more aware of the fact that trying to fulfill the requirements of the promises actually puts me under the law.  So I did a study of promises in the New Testament to see how they’re used under the New Covenant.

I was surprised at what the Scripture had to say.  Nowhere did I find it taught that we have to fulfill the requirements.  As a matter of fact, it was just the opposite.  The reason for this is the finished work of Christ on the cross.  He even told us that was why He came to the earth.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
Matthew 5:17

In this statement, Jesus tells us the whole foundation for walking in the blessings of the Word.  Part of His work was to fulfill everything written in the Old Covenant.

The word, fulfill means to cram full, to fill in the holes.  All of the open-ended requirements needed to “claim” the promises have been filled in by Christ.

This means that we are exempt from the requirements unless we voluntarily place ourselves under the law.  In that case, the kingdom of the enemy has the right to use its power against us on the same level.

God caused me to mature in how I view the promises.  I still tithe, because I know that it’s the spiritually mature thing to do.  God blesses my finances because, in Christ, I have already received this blessing.

Question: What promises have you turned into laws in your life?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 30, 2020 in Faith, God's Provision, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Grace Under Pressure

Right now, the world is reeling under the threat of the Corona Virus.  People are scared.  Whole sections of grocery stores are sold out.  All public venues are closed down.  How do we respond to all of this?

The Apostle Paul had pressures in his day as well.  Listen to his insights.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia.  We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.  On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.
2 Corinthians 1:8-10

It’s my hope and prayer that you’re never in a life-threatening situation.  I’m also trusting God to keep us safe and healthy in spite of all that’s going on around us.

I know, however, that weather, accidents, and natural disasters can come when least expected.  It seems like every day there’s something going on in the United States that could have tragic results.  If and when that occurs, you will be faced with a choice – do you despair and give up or do you continue to put your hope in God?

I’ve been in that kind of situation.  I know what it feels like to be trapped by an unforeseen incident with no way out and no help in sight.

At one point, I was on a solo hike in the backwoods of Maine.  I had an accident that resulted in a severe sprain.  I could barely walk and I was miles from the nearest road.

At about the same time, a huge thunderstorm hit the area.  I can tell you that at a time like this there’s a great temptation to just give up.

I praise God that the Holy Spirit within me was there to encourage me.  I continued on, even through the pain, and was miraculously brought safely out of the wilderness.  I say “miraculously” because this was before I had the use of a cell phone.

It’s truly in those times of need that God proves Himself faithful.  I can say, without hesitation, that God has never abandoned me to my problems.

We’re facing many challenges right now in our society.  The question is; how will we respond to the pressure?

The key to making it safely through a problem, either present or future, is to make the choice now, that whatever happens, you will not abandon your trust in God.  You’ll find that He’s always there with you to help you in your time of need.

The main thing that helped the apostle was the ability to look back and see how God had been faithful in the past.  As you remember what God already accomplished in you, it’s easier to trust Him with your future.  Because God showed Himself strong in my past challenges, I can expect Him to show up in my present situation.

In your prayer time today, reaffirm your trust in the Lord to take you through the hard times.  Place your life fully in His hands.

Question: What challenges has God already brought you through in the past?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 20, 2020 in Encouragement, Faith, Power of God

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Overcoming the World

In my last two posts, we’ve seen what the world is and our relationship to it.  Today I want to talk about what it means to be victorious over the world system.

…for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:4-5

The first thing we need to see is that you can’t be victorious over the world system if you’re a part of it.  Only a citizen of the kingdom of God can win this battle.

It requires a victory over your own flesh and a renewed mind.  Only then can you direct your faith in a way that goes contrary to where the world is headed.

I think that in many ways, our generation of believers has used the term “relevance” as an excuse to join with the world.  We will very easily miss meeting with the saints in order to attend parties, sporting events, or other activities.

We want to show the world that we’re not different from them.  The fact is that in Christ we are different – very different.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James 4:4

The problem is that we have a hard time differentiating the people from the system.  The people who live and work around us are not the world.  The world is the system that controls them.

The goal is to show them that we are different.  Only when they see that there’s a life uncontrolled by the world, will they want what we have.

Remember, the objective is to set them free from the enemy’s control.  But first, they need to see their condition.

They must understand that in Christ, my prosperity is not tied to the world’s economic system.  My joy is not dependent on what’s happening around me.  I’m not shaken by the threat of catastrophes that they see looming over their future.

I’ve been set free from the system that has them bound up in slavery.  It’s only when they see the difference that they can be ready to receive the truth of the Gospel of Christ.

Instead, many believers try to become friends of the system in order to reap the benefits that it promises.  In most cases, the cost is too great.  They find themselves in places and conditions that they never thought they would enter.

It’s time for us to live whole-heartedly for Christ.  Victory over the world system means living a life in total freedom from that system.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

You were set free in Christ.  Don’t go back to the same old routine.  Walk in the victory that was won for you at the cross.  If repentance is necessary, then do it quickly.  Get back on the path the Lord has laid out before you.

Question: How have you seen freedom from the world system in your life?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2020 in Faith, Revival, Spiritual Walk, Spiritual Warfare

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Fasting and Victory over the Flesh

I’m posting about how to win the war against the flesh.  There’s one more battleground that we need to talk about.  It’s illustrated in something that happened with Christ and His disciples.

The disciples had tried and failed, to cast a demon out of a young man.  After Jesus was able to do it, the disciples asked Him privately why they were unable to.

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Matthew 17:20-21, NKJV

The disciples’ problem was unbelief.  Jesus explains to them that faith as small as a mustard seed, working all by itself, can move a mountain.  Nothing would be impossible for us if faith was the only issue.

If it were only about faith, then America should have the most miracles of any country on earth.  We know that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  In America, we have access to more of the Word than in any other country.

The problem is that we have unbelief alongside that faith.  The U.S. is also one of the most flesh-driven countries on earth.

Just driving down the street I can see a billboard that feeds my flesh.  Standing in a checkout counter, listening to the news on the radio, almost everything I do causes me to access food for my flesh.  Even though I try to filter it by “taking every thought captive,” some of this trash still gets through.

So the stronger my spirit is built up by the Word of God, the more my flesh is built up just by living in this society.  It’s the presence of these two powerful forces in my life – faith and unbelief – side-by-side, that’s watering down my spiritual strength.  What can I do about it?

The key is the statement made by the boy’s father.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24

We have plenty of faith, but how do we overcome our unbelief?  There is a solution.  Jesus tells the disciples, “This kind only goes out by prayer and fasting.”

The question is; this kind of what?  Most people say He was talking about the demon.  I don’t believe it.  A demon couldn’t care less whether you’ve fasted or not.  Look at the emphasis of the verse.  It’s the disciples who were talking about the demon.

Jesus never once mentioned the demon.  He spent the whole time talking about the problem – unbelief.  What Jesus wants you to get rid of is unbelief.  It’s this kind of unbelief that blocks the working of your faith to the point where nothing happens, even though you believe the Word of God.

Where does fasting come into the picture?  Fasting is a way to forcefully and supernaturally win a major victory against your flesh.  You’re telling it, “I don’t care what you say – I’m not listening to you today.”

When you fast, it’s as if you’re turning down the volume control to the voice of your flesh.  This allows the faith that you have to effectively become stronger.  Without the voice of your flesh talking so loud, you will be better able to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to your spirit.

This is why I often tell believers that if they want to see a great change in their lives, they need to fast regularly and consistently.

Question: How well do you hear from God presently?  Would you like to increase your spiritual sensitivity?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Victory over the Old Self

In my last post, I talked about the spiritual, surgical attack that puts off the old man. We saw from Scripture that this is accomplished through prayer in the spirit.

This is one of the reasons why prayer in the spirit is so important. It’s also the reason why so few believers win the battle over their flesh. They don’t realize that it can only be won in the spirit by the power of the Word of God released in us. That’s why Paul could say…

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live…
Romans 8:13

This work is only accomplished in the spirit. The misdeeds of my body will never be put to death by any decision that I make – no matter how much I desire it. I can try and try in my own strength. The work is a spiritual breakthrough and only comes as I yield my spirit to the Holy Spirit.

The reality of this is apparent as I look back over recent history. I think about my grandparents’ generation. When I hear the testimonies of how they came to the Lord, I used to get frustrated. Their lives were totally turned around. Before Christ, their lives were characterized by drunkenness, gambling, and foul language.

When I came along, I only knew them as strong believers who told everyone they met about the power of Christ. They were humble examples of the life-changing work of God. Why did this frustrate me? Because I wanted my life to line up with the Word the way theirs did.

When I asked how I could become more like Christ, I was told that I needed to be more committed.

“When those old saints of God were saved, they really submitted themselves to God’s law.”

But it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t live like them. I was angry that God would change them so radically, while I was left trying on my own to overcome the flesh.

Now that I understand the work of the spirit, I can see what really happened in my grandparents’ lives. It was a spiritual work that changed them. Remembering back to what I saw in them, I now realize what made the difference. The main characteristic of their lives was prayer in the spirit.

They went to church meetings three days a week just to pray in the spirit. I remember hearing my grandmother (I lived with her) get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and begin praying in the spirit for hours. This was her daily routine.

I remember hearing people laughing at their commitment to this practice.

“That old Italian prayer meeting went on until midnight yesterday!”

Little did we know that it was the secret to the walk in the spirit that we could never attain on our own.  They had learned that the spiritual battle against the flesh could only be won in the spirit.

I also see the same thing happening in our generation. At one point our church began having a weekly meeting for the sole purpose of prayer in the spirit. This went on for about a year. During that year I remember commenting that those who came out and participated in the prayer were being radically changed.

At that time I didn’t know that they were putting off the old nature through prayer in the spirit. All I understood was that they were undergoing a rapid change in their spiritual walk.

The church needs to once again learn this truth. We need to submit to the Holy Spirit to perform the change in our hearts. Only then will the world see the difference that will draw them to the cross of Christ. Only then will we experience the revival that we so desperately hunger for.

Question: How committed are you to prayer in the spirit?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , ,

A Surgical Strike against the Flesh

I’ve been posting about our spiritual war with our old sin-nature. In my last post, I said that water baptism was the first step in this process. Through it, we identified with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

Here Paul tells us that in the same way we trusted Christ in baptism, we must count or literally inventory ourselves dead, indeed, to sin.

This goes right along with our baptism. In verse 3 of Romans chapter 6, we were baptized into His death. Now in verse 11, there’s something that Paul is hoping you’ll move into by faith. Paul describes this step to the Colossian church.

In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Colossians 2:11-12

This is what we want to concentrate on – the putting off of the sinful nature. According to Paul, this is a surgical procedure that can only be done by Christ.  So, in terms of warfare, you could call this a surgical strike against the flesh.

It isn’t a work I can perform on my own. It doesn’t matter how much will-power I put forth. Only Christ, Himself, can bring it to pass in my life. I must submit under the blade of the divine Surgeon.

There are two prerequisites to this surgery. The first is baptism and the second is faith in the power of God. This means that I can’t look to myself and how well I can obey God. It’s all about how much I trust His power working in my life. How much am I willing to surrender to Him?

It’s the same as in the natural world. If I don’t trust the surgeon in a medical procedure, then I will not allow them to put me under the anesthesia.   I’ll only let someone I trust have that much power over my body. Do we trust Christ enough to consent to His life-changing work in us?

No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
Romans 2:29

There’s another key point to this work of Christ in us. It can only be done in the spirit. It’s not something that I can physically accomplish. Neither is it a choice that I make in my mind.

The change is required in my heart. The old self has to be removed. How can my sin-nature remove itself? It would never willingly choose to do that.

To get the old sin nature out of our heart requires outside assistance. That’s why it’s a work that only Christ can do, and it must be a spiritual work.  It’s for this reason that an understanding of the Word of God as a sword is so important.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

The sword of the spirit is the scalpel that performs the work in our hearts. In the past, I’ve emphasized that the things of the spirit can only be received through prayer in the spirit. This is the work that needs to be done in us. It’s a work that must be done in the spirit. It’s only prayer in the spirit that will accomplish the change that’s necessary in our hearts.

In order for God to do this work in us, we must yield ourselves to Him. As in any surgery, we must willingly go under the knife if our healing is to take place. This is true for our spiritual surgery as well.

Question: How has Prayer in the Spirit changed your life?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,