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Worship – The Place of Power #trueworship

PowerWithout a doubt, the Bible teaches that God’s power flows to us through the Holy Spirit.  In my last post we looked at what Jesus said in John, chapter 7.

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.  Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
John 7:38-39

The first thing the Lord told us was that you must believe as the Scripture declares.  We can’t just believe anything that we want.  It will not work with faith simply for faith’s sake.  Our faith must be firmly based in the Word of God.

In order to get into the flow of God’s power we must trust Him as the Scripture declares.  We must also couple this with the knowledge that power involves intimacy with the Lord.  We must remain, abide, live, dwell, and reside in Him.  If intimacy with God is the priority, then we must ask ourselves what’s the most intimate place, spiritually?

There’s a biblical word that’s used for the concept of spiritual intimacy with God.  The meaning has been all but lost to modern Christians.  I’m hoping that the church will once again make this their goal.  The word I’m speaking about is WORSHIP.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word translated worship means to prostrate yourself or to lay down with God.  In the New Testament, the Greek word they used for worship literally means to lean forward as if to kiss.  Both of these concepts involve intimacy.  You would never want to lay down with someone or kiss someone unless the moment was just right.

As I said before, we have all but lost the concept of what true worship is all about today.  To most Christians, leadership included, the difference between praise and worship is that praise is the fast songs and worship is the slow songs.

Actually, if you study the Scripture, you’ll find that both the fast and slow songs are praise.  This is because anything that we do toward God with our flesh (sing, clap, dance, etc.) is praise.

According to the Word, worship is a function of our spirit.  That’s why throughout the Old and New Testaments, whenever the position of worship is described, the worshipper is always prostrate or leaning on something.

Praise is always my flesh giving glory to God.  It’s a team effort.  That’s why when we’re in a meeting, the bigger the crowd, the more incredible the praise.

Worship, on the other hand, is just me and God.  Think about the times in church during the praise time when suddenly a “holy hush” comes over the congregation.  This is when the Lord is calling us to be intimate with Him.  It’s usually the most uncomfortable time there is in church.  That is because we are so unused to true worship.

What we have to realize is that if power requires intimacy, then worship is the place of power.

Question: How comfortable are you with being quiet before the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Are You Living by the Word?

SpotlightWe understand the principle that the Word of God is like seed.  I want to discuss how this seed is received into our hearts.  If the Word is my life, then it’s important that I know how to handle it correctly.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4

It’s the Word that gives us life – the essence of life, the abundant life.  That’s what we desperately need as believers in this generation.

How do we receive this life?  To answer that we’ll go to the beginning of the Gospel of John.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
John 1:4

We see in this verse that life is only found in Christ, the Living Word.  Not only is He life, but this life is the light of men.  If we’re truly going to be the light of the world, then we need this life – the life that only comes from Christ.

If Christ is the life, then how is that life transferred to us?

I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.  I am the bread of life.
John 6:47-48

This is vital to our understanding of how to receive life.  Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life.  That’s the theme of the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel.  The Lord sums it up in this way.

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
John 6:63

We’ve now come to the bottom line.  In order to walk in the abundant life we must live by every Word of God.  Christ is the Living Word – the personification of the Word of God.  His Word is Spirit and life.  It’s a life that can only be received by the spirit.  This is the foundation of understanding how the Word works in us.  Now we must apply it in our everyday situations.

Over the next few posts, I’ll talk about how the Word of God relates to us.  How I receive the Word is important because without it, I’m powerless.

Too many believers are trying to live for God without placing the Living Word at the center of their being.  This is a sure recipe for disaster.  We need the understanding of Scripture to bring us to the place where we operate out of an overflow of God’s Word.

Question: How important is the Living Word of God to you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Word of God

 

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Are You Distracted? #wordofGod

WeedI’m posting about the different kinds of soil that Jesus said was contained in our hearts.  Today’s is about someone with very good soil.  It produced bountifully.  The problem was that it wasn’t producing fruit.

Instead, it raised a great crop of thorns and thistles.  Then the few good plants that sprung up were choked out before they produced anything.

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Mark 4:18-19

These believers get further along than the other groups.  They believe the Word and actually let it take root in their lives.  Their problem is that they let other things grow right along next to it.

The first plant Jesus mentions is the distractions of this age, in the original Greek.  What a description of the modern Christian – DISTRACTED!  It’s not that we’ve turned our backs on God.  On the contrary, we want God’s best – His Word and His grace.  The trouble is that we want the world’s best right along with it.  We’re getting distracted by the things of the world.

Right along with that is the delusion of wealth.  When we think of wealth, it tricks us into believing that it can supply all of our needs.  The truth is that wealth can only obtain material possessions.

Wealth can never satisfy the longing of our souls.  If it could, you would never hear of a wealthy person committing suicide.  The thing we need to put into perspective is that only the things that come from the Word of God are truly able to fulfill our lives.

The third plant that grows next to the Word is simply desires.  What the verse implies is that this is a desire for the things that were given up in order to follow after God.  When we start looking back at these things with longing in our hearts, it’s a sure road to failure.

Please understand that it’s not doing the former things that causes the trouble, it’s the desire to do it.

The biggest thing that the Christians of this generation need to realize is that you can’t have it all, no matter what any televangelist will tell you.  You can’t have the power of God manifest in you, as well as everything your flesh desires.

It’s a well-known principle of farming.  When weeds and valuable crops are allowed to grow in the same space, it’s the weeds that will win out every time.

We’re so quick to blame God.

“Oh God, I planted the Word.  Why is there no harvest?  Why have you failed me?”

I’m here to inform you, it wasn’t God who failed.  Everything grew as God ordained it to.  It was the weeds in your life that choked out the Word before it was able to produce fruit in you.  That’s why there was no harvest.

Question: How are you keeping your heart free from weeds?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Word of God

 

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Our Problem – The Flesh #spiritualfast

Give UpI’ve been posting about the New Testament fast.  There’s an event in Jesus’ ministry that sheds some light on it.

As Jesus was returning to the city form the mount of transfiguration, He was met by a crowd of people.  While He was away, the disciples tried to cast a demon out of a young man, but were unable to.  This is important, because they had been personally trained by the Lord and should have had an easy time with it.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered.   “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him.  But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus.  “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:21-24

Knowing the three parts of our being helps us to understand the man’s statement in Mark 9:21-24.  He didn’t understand how he could both believe and not believe at the same time.  It’s important for us to see that both faith and unbelief or “unfaith” can exist at the same time in the same person.

My spirit is always full of faith.  My flesh is always full of doubt and unbelief.  It was this realization that caused the man to cry out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  This is the key issue involved in our desire for the miraculous to be evident in our ministries.

Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
Matthew 17:18-19

Everyone who wants a walk of excellence needs to know the answer to this.  We all read the Word of God.  We know that it’s God’s will to heal and deliver.  Why is it so hard, sometimes, to see the manifestation of the Spirit of the Lord?  Listen very intently to Jesus’ answer.  It will help us to move up into the excellence of ministry that He has for us.

Obviously, the disciples didn’t ask in public in case the answer was in the form of a rebuke.  They would rather take it in private.  But their question was valid.  Why couldn’t they do what Jesus did, even though they had the faith to try it?

They had been trained by Jesus Himself to go out two by two.  They had prayed for the sick and saw them healed.  They had rebuked demons and saw them bow to the Name of Jesus.  Why, all of a sudden, did it seem to stop working?

We need to open our heart to what Jesus says.  This could explain our lack of results.  We have faith.  We step out.  But many times we experience nothing.  Why?

In my next post we’ll see how the Lord answered this question.

Question: How has your flesh hindered your walk with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Fasting, Spirit of Excellence

 

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The Foundation for Fasting #spiritualfast

BibleI am posting about the New Testament fast.  I believe that it can revolutionize your walk with the Lord.

Did you ever feel like your spiritual breakthrough was right there?  You could almost taste it.  You have the faith, but you just couldn’t cross over to the promise before you.

Hopefully, that will no longer be the case.  No, you don’t have to fast to be saved.  However, if your desire is to walk in the fullness of the salvation that the Lord has provided for you, then fasting is one of the tools available to propel you forward.

Fasting is something that should be a normal part of your walk with the Lord.  As a matter of fact, no one should even be aware of your doing it.

When the Lord spoke of washing your face and putting oil on your head he was referring to the normal grooming that most people of His culture did each day.  In other words, go through your day in the normal routine, only without eating.  That is the impact of what Jesus was teaching in the verses we looked at in my last post (Matthew 6:16-18).

On the other hand, I have seen people get religious about this point.  They lock themselves in their room for the day.  It’s not a sin for people to know that you’re fasting.

My regular fasting day is Tuesday.  It would be impossible for me to hide this from my wife and children.  What I’m not to do is use fasting as a way to make myself look good in the eyes of others.  I simply go through the day normally – only without eating.

The big question is – why does the Lord want us to fast?

To understand fasting, we must look at an incident that occurred in Jesus’ ministry.  This happened immediately after the Lord’s transfiguration on the mountain.  I will look at it in detail in my next post.  By understanding this event, we will see why the supernatural is so difficult to enter into in the United States.

The first thing I need to understand is who I am as a person.  I’m a multi-part being.  I exist as body (flesh), soul (mind), and spirit.

My spirit is the part of my being that communes with God.  My spirit believes everything in the Word of God.  It agrees, without reservation, to every word spoken by the Lord.

My flesh, on the other hand, is the part that I inherited from my ancestor, Adam.  It rejects and doubts whatever God says.  The tension between the flesh and the spirit has created a war that’s constantly waging within me.

The third aspect, my mind, is the part of me that’s in control and has to sort it all out.  This will be the case until we receive our resurrected body from the Lord.  So we better know the scriptural way to handle it.

In my next post we’ll see what Jesus says the problem is.

Questions: Have you been trust God for a spiritual breakthrough?  How close is it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Fasting, Spirit of Excellence

 

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Living Saved – Past, Present & Future

GalaxyIn my last post I talked about how the work of salvation was started in your life.  But that’s not the end of it.  The Word has a greater job to do in you.

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
James 1:21

James is writing to the church in this passage of Scripture.  As I’ve stated before, I believe that the book of James was the first New Testament Scripture to be written.  If that’s true, then the Word he refers to could not be the Bible, since that was unknown at this point in church history.

What James is telling us is that the Word has been planted in us and is continuing to grow in us.  It’s there to change us.  Actually, what he says in the original Greek, is that this seed has the power (dunamis) to save your soul.  James is telling us to allow the seed of the Word to do its job, the saving of our souls.

Wait a minute!  I thought that if I accepted Christ, then I’m saved already.  The answer to that is an important one.  Yes, you were saved from sin and hell.  If you died right now you would go to heaven to be with the Lord.

However, in the broadest sense, salvation is not a one time thing.  It’s ongoing.  I’m saved (from sin and hell), I’m being saved (from the effects of sin in me), and I will be saved (from my flesh).  It’s this ongoing process of salvation that James is writing about.

Salvation itself is a package deal.  It includes everything that Christ paid for on the cross.  That same Word that brought me over from death to life also works God’s health and provision in me.  But for this to work, it has to start in my soul and work its way out.

That’s why the Word is called a seed.  Much of its work is done in the unseen places, below the surface.  Then, as it continues its work, it bursts out into the sunlight to bring the work in my life to completion – the bearing of fruit.

The question may arise – where does the seed come from?  The answer is simple.  It comes from the processes of the Spirit.  The seed grows, produces the plant and then the fruit.  The fruit itself contains more seed.  That seed is then planted in new ground to produce even more – and the cycle continues.

So, in reality, the seed comes from those who at one time received the Word, allowed it to grow, and then brought forth fruit.  The seed comes from someone who accepted the Word.  According to the parables of Christ, there can be 30, 60, or even 100 times what was originally sown.  God wants an abundant harvest.  The greater the harvest, the greater the next planting will be.

Question: How much has your life changed since you first made Christ Lord of your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Word of God

 

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