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Category Archives: Revival

The Spiritual Battle – Pressing In

Do you know where you are in the history of the church?  This question isn’t about a place, but time.

I’m posting about the spiritual battle that’s going on around us.  It’s vital that we know the times we live in.

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Romans 13:11

We need to know where we are on God’s timetable. I don’t like saying it, but the truth is that past generations of believers could “sleep” through their Christian walk. Not us. We live in dangerous times.

The Apostle Paul continues talking about this.

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. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Romans 13:12-14

In this generation, we need to lay aside the things that are a part of the darkness. In their place, we must put on the armor of God.

We must live carefully and clothe ourselves with Christ. And as I focused on in my last post, we need to watch and pray. That’s how we keep alert spiritually.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:18

This verse literally says that we must keep watch with all persistency. That word persistency means to be strong toward, to be diligent. We must be diligent in the battle zone.

When we say that we need to be strong toward something, it speaks about a goal, a direction. We sometimes use the term “press in.”

In battle, there are places that are hard to get to. There are houses you can’t enter until you bind the strong man. It isn’t easy to press into the miraculous. If it was – everyone, every church would have it.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
Acts 2:42-43

Was it any easier back then, in the early church? Did those believers have all the time in the world to do all these things? I don’t think they were any different from us. It was as hard for them as it is for this generation.

If we want God’s best, it takes diligence. It will cause us to leave our comfort zone. But the spiritual rewards will be worth it.

Question: What do you find to be the most difficult about pressing into God’s presence?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Power of the Rhema – Word

I want to continue my discussion from the last post.  I was dealing with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the rhema – Word of God.  We need to understand just how powerful this Word is.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Hebrews 11:3

The word, command, in the above verse, is the Greek word rhema.  This tells me that the rhema of God created the universe – everything there is – visible and invisible.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Hebrews 1:3

That word is used again in this verse.  The universe, both the visible and invisible, is sustained by the rhema of His power.  We need to see that the rhema – Word of God is the power of God.

This Word is also the power of God in me.  I must be hearing from God and acting on it.

Please understand that quoting Scripture didn’t create the world.  Quoting the Bible doesn’t sustain the world.  It’s His Word of power, the rhema of God that formed these atoms.  It’s the rhema of God that keeps them arranged the way they are.

In the same way, the rhema of God can rearrange them.  When I hear from God and say “Be healed” by the rhema of God, cancer cells become healthy cells.

You might be thinking right now, “That’s good for a pastor or minister, but not for me.”

Look at what Jesus said to the Pharisees.

“He who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
John 8:47

Jesus literally said that he who belongs to God hears the rhema of God.  Do you belong to God?  If so, then this is for you.

But what does it say?  “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
Romans 10:8

In context, “It” is our righteousness by faith.  The righteousness that we stand in tells you that the rhema is near you, it’s in your heart and mouth.  This is the rhema of faith.

We should know by now that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).  We should be spending quality time with God, praying in the spirit.  As you do, He puts His rhema in your heart, and then it overflows from your mouth at the right time.

The church has yet to learn to use this powerful weapon.  The early church used it to turn the world upside down.  That was before they had any Scripture.  It was before CD’s, DVD’s, TV, radio, or internet.  They did it with only the rhema of God.

I believe the next revival in the church will be God’s people laying hold of this.  We can’t fulfill God’s plan without hearing and obeying God’s rhema – Word to us.

For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Romans 13:4

In our generation, most of the church has been ignoring the sword.  It’s time to pull it out and use it to drive the enemy back.

Question: Why do God’s people seem to ignore hearing God’s voice?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Equipped by Prayer in the Spirit

In my last post, we saw that we receive the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit as we pray in the spirit.  In today’s post, I want to show that this is not just a singular occurrence in Scripture.

We are in a spiritual struggle against unseen forces.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12

Contrary to how some people act, our fight is not against people.  As followers of Christ, we’re not struggling against political parties, social issues, or those we see as “sinners”.  The real enemy is the spiritual kingdom that enslaves those in the world system.

We’re in this battle whether we want it or not.  So, we’re told that we need to be spiritually prepared for the struggle.  We’re given the explanation of the armor and Paul concludes in verse 18 by giving us the means by which we arm ourselves – prayer in the spirit.

However, this isn’t the only section of Scripture that talks about our warfare.

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
Jude 3

Jude was one of the early leaders of the church.  He was a half-brother of Jesus who became a believer after the resurrection.

In this short letter, he explains that he simply wanted to write a brief word of encouragement.  He wanted to bless and uplift those who would receive it.

Instead, once he sat down to write, the Holy Spirit grabbed his attention and caused him to speak of the spiritual battle.  Jude felt the urgency to warn them to diligently contend for the faith.

In Ephesians, Paul was contending against demonic forces.  Jude is contending against false teachings.  But in both cases, they equipped themselves for battle the same way.

Look at Jude’s concluding remarks.

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Jude 20

It’s important to note here that the word, “and”, does not appear in the original Greek text.  It should actually be translated, build yourselves up in your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit.

We face battles every day.  There are many directions that the attack may come from.  It could be our flesh, the world system, or the demonic kingdom.

In all cases, we prepare for this struggle in the same way.  Both Paul and Jude talked about their battles.  They were two different people in two different struggles.  Yet they both concluded that it was prayer in the spirit that would prepare them for victory.

I don’t know how anybody could read this and say that the gift of tongues is not for today.  We can’t win the victory without it.

They try to justify it by saying that they can pray in the spirit in English – or whatever their native language is.

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
1 Corinthians 14:14

Paul makes it clear that praying in tongues is praying in the spirit.  If you’re using your mind to come up with the words, you’re not praying in the spirit.

Prepare for the battles you’re about to face.  Spend some quality time praying in the spirit.

Question: How much time are you spending in prayer for 2020?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Receiving the Spiritual Weapons

Over the past weeks, I’ve been writing about spiritual warfare.  I’ve talked about it in general and then specifically about the armor of God.  In my last few posts, I’ve explained the anointing, God’s approval process in our Christian walk.

Now I want to try and bring it all together.  There are some practical things that we need to know if we’re going to walk in the power of God.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:17-18

I’ve already talked about the helmet and sword.  They’re the pieces of armor that are issued after we’re properly trained and approved.  If you remember, the word, take, actually means to receive or accept.

Now the question is; how do we receive these powerful spiritual weapons?  To answer that, we need to understand the Greek language of these verses.

First, let me say that I’m grateful for the translators who have given us the Holy Bible in the English language.  I’ve met some of them and I know that most of them are sincere in their service to Christ.  The time and dedication that they gave is a wonderful gift to the church.

That being said, there are some inherent challenges when you translate a text from one language to another.  Depending upon your experience and/or your spiritual baggage, sometimes your own thoughts can unknowingly color the translation.

This is especially true when dealing with prayer in the spirit – praying in tongues.  We know that the Apostle Paul had a very rich experience praying in the spirit (1 Corinthians 14:18).  He had an understanding of this discipline more than most believers, even in our generation.

The problem comes in when a translator who has never even experienced the gift tries to figure out what Paul is saying.  They look at the Greek words but have no understanding of how to apply them.  They then make their best guess at how to align the translation in a way that also works with their own personal experience.

On top of all that, the Greek language allows for what we would call some huge run-on sentences.  Sometimes two, or even three, English verses are actually all one sentence in the original Greek text.  In order for the passage to be more understandable to modern readers, the translators have broken them up for us.

This is the case in the above section of Scripture.  The clue to this is when you see verse 18 starting with the word, and.  That should tell you that verses 17 and 18 are actually all one sentence.

In the original text, the word translated, and, is actually the Greek word, diaDia literally means through or by means of.  That one change brings a whole new meaning to this verse.

It literally reads, “Receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God by means of prayer and requests, always praying in the Spirit.”  The apostle makes it clear that we receive these weapons through our prayer in the spirit.

I know that there are those in the body of Christ who don’t believe that this gift is still active and available.  Unfortunately, that’s the result of some translation issues that I’ve outlined above.  So, over the next few posts, I’m going to specifically write about prayer in the spirit (tongues) as it relates to spiritual warfare in Scripture.

God’s people need to be spending quality time in the spirit if we’re going to see the end-time harvest in our generation.

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

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Path to the Anointing

This is the last post in a series I’m writing to explain what walking in the anointing of God means.  It seems that the church is under the impression that just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same anointing as Jesus.

Hopefully, based upon my last few posts, you understand why that’s not the case unless you go through the same process He went through.  We need to seek God’s approval to walk in His power.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

We’re now in a position to understand what Paul was telling Timothy in this verse.  Do your bestbe diligent – to present yourself to God as one anointed.  When you’re approved before God there’s no need to be ashamed.

This is a big problem among God’s people in our generation.  We’re full of boldness when we’re in praise and worship.  But on the job or at school it’s a different story.  We keep our faith inside, not wanting to “offend” anyone.  That’s foolishness since every other group will openly declare what they believe to be true.

It all comes down to power.  I want to say to those I work with, “God loves you.  He’ll change your life.  He’ll heal you and bless you.”  But I worry that if they let me pray with them, nothing will happen.

Furthermore, what if I’m not healed and my life isn’t blessed?  What if they ask me about that?  I’d rather just keep quiet and avoid the embarrassment.

The church needs to be on its knees seeking approval for ministry.  Then, when the anointing is upon us, we’ll not worry about what the world or our friends think.

I believe that the next great revival will involve the church coming to an understanding of this truth.  But we’ll have to attain a certain level of intimacy before the Lord will manifest His anointing in us.  This is probably going to be the hardest move for the church to enter into.

I don’t think it will come as a wave, but as individuals begin paying the price for God’s approval.  Then, they must show up at the place and time of their anointing.  It could be a big or small meeting.  It won’t matter as long as it’s God’s appointed place.

Do what it takes to secure your anointing.  Follow the example of Christ.  Seek intimacy with the Father.  Then, as the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, walk in obedience to His voice.

Understanding this truth gives us more insight into the spiritual battles we face.  We need this approval in order to wear the helmet and wield the sword.  Too many Christians are entering this struggle with no spiritual weapons.

It’s time for God’s people to submit under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  We need to allow Him to bring us through His training program.

It’s only when we can correctly handle God’s Word that we’ll be entrusted with true power.  Over the next few posts, I’ll talk about this in more detail.  My desire is to see the church rise to the level God is calling us to.

Question: What could happen if the whole church walked in the anointing of the Lord?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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God’s Armor – Using the Sword of the Spirit

In my last post, I explained that the Sword of the Spirit is a special Word that you’ve received from God.  You get it by spending quality time in His presence.  The Holy Spirit trains you before giving you this gift.

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

This truth is hard for us to accept sometimes.  The true Word of God is alive and active.  It has a life and will of its own.  I can speak it, but I can’t control what it does.

We sometimes think that if God would speak through us, we’ll have such a great time.  That’s not always the case.

Think about Elijah.  He heard from God and then spoke to a king saying that it wouldn’t rain for a few years.  Because of that Word, Elijah had to live by a brook for his water.  Later, the brook dried up and he had to go to a widow for provision.

When God’s Word is invoked over a situation, that Word has its own plan.  Scripture makes it clear that it will accomplish what God ordained it to do. (Isaiah 55:11)

Even more than that, once God’s Word goes forth, nothing can be protected from it.  It can totally change every area of your life.  The writer of Hebrews continues with this thought.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:13

When this verse says that everything is laid bare, it uses a special Greek word.  It literally means to expose the neck of a victim so that they can be killed.  This is a powerful spiritual weapon.

This is why the Holy Spirit must train us to use it.  God will never entrust it to an infant, the unapproved, or fools.  It can totally destroy the work of the enemy in someone’s life, in a city, or in a region.

As believers, we should desire to enter the spiritual battle.  Our goal should be to set the captives free from the influence and control of the enemy.

In speaking about those with God-given authority, Paul made an interesting observation.

For he is God’s servant to do you good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Romans 13:4

I know that in its context, this verse is talking about people in authority, such as the Police Department, who are authorized to keep the peace.  But there’s a greater application.

Are you God’s servant?  Do you desire to do good?  If so, then this verse could be applied to you in a spiritual sense.

This verse tells me that there’s a reason why the police carry a gun.  In the same way, the Lord doesn’t issue the Sword of the Spirit for no reason.  If you have no reason to bear the sword, you will not be issued the sword.

What’s the reason that we’re given this sword?  To explain it, I’m going to give a word by word translation of the last sentence of the above verse.  In essence, God’s servant is a punisher, who repeatedly carries out justice against evil, while motivated by a violent passion.

Please remember – I’m ONLY talking about attacking the devil’s kingdom IN THE SPIRIT.  I’m not talking about any physical attack.

With that in mind, if you have no intention of attacking the enemy’s kingdom with a violent passion, then you’ll have no reason to be given the Sword of the Spirit.  To put it another way, God will have no reason to give you a special Word from Him.

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to train us.  Our generation needs more believers who can handle this sword.

Question: How passionate are you about seeing God’s will done on earth?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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God’s Armor – Using the Helmet of Salvation

In my last post, we saw that the Helmet of Salvation speaks of the authority we’re given in Christ.  If you remember, all of the armor is put on by my choice.  This piece is received once I’m trained in its use.

Think about when Jesus entered the Temple courts and overturned the tables of the money-changers.  At that point, the priests asked Him, “Who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)

That’s because authority is like a chain.  Each link is connected.  Authority must be given and received.

So how does salvation enter into all of this?

Salvation means that we’re safe and defended.  When I say that I’m saved, I mean that I’m safe in Christ.  However, there are three distinct works that the word, salvation, refers to.

The first took place when I bowed my knee to Christ and prayed for Him to save me.  I was saved.  I was taken out of the world’s trash heap and placed in God’s house for His use.

Now, in God’s kingdom, I’m experiencing an ongoing cleaning process.  All that “stuff” from the world that stuck to me is being removed – sin, sickness, poverty, anxiety, depression, bitterness, etc.  I’m in the process of renewal.  I am being saved.

Then, someday Christ will return to take physical possession of the earth.  At that point, I’ll receive my new resurrected body.  I will be saved from decay and death.

The question is; which of these works does the helmet speak of?

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
1 Thessalonians 5:8

If you read this verse in the original, you’ll see that it’s not saying that we’re hoping for salvation.  Instead, it’s the hope, literally the expectation, that comes from our salvation.  So it speaks of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

If I submit to the process of salvation, I am being saved.  It’s this ongoing work that protects my authority in Christ.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

This verse makes it clear that salvation requires power.  That’s important because, like I said in my last post, authority is the permission to use power.  Submitting to this cleaning process allows God’s power to flow through me.

Please understand what I’m saying.  You don’t have to be absolutely clean and perfect to walk in God’s power.  But you do have to be submitted to the process.

How then do I receive and put on this helmet?

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:12-13

It’s obedience to God that works out this salvation in us.  The reason Paul tells us to use such respect – fear and trembling – is because it’s the God of the universe who’s working in us.  Simply put, obedience is the acceptance of His process at work within us.

I put on the Helmet of Salvation as I submit myself to God’s ongoing work in me.  That brings an expectation of the good things to come as a result of this.

Question: How well do you see yourself submitting to God’s process of renewal in your life?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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