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Jealous God

I believe that much of the church doesn’t treat the Holy Spirit as it should. We don’t fully understand the blessing we’ve been given. We have the Spirit of the living God residing in us.

We learn about who the Holy Spirit is through Scripture. Who wrote the Bible? Obviously THE HOLY SPIRIT! The Lord breathed His Word through individuals to bring us the Scripture.

I asked myself a question. What’s the first thing that the Holy Spirit says about Himself? After all, first impressions are the most important.

As I’ve said in this series, James was the first New Testament book to be written. This next verse is the first reference which speaks about the Holy Spirit.

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. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
James 4:4-5

We know that God the Holy Spirit wants to be your friend. But it’s interesting to see that the first thing He reveals about Himself is that you can’t be both His friend and the world’s friend.

Understand this – you can have friends in the world. But the Spirit of God doesn’t want you to be a friend of the world system. We can’t be chasing after the same things that the world does.

The Scripture above literally says that the Holy Spirit is intensely jealous. This is a destructive jealousy to the point where He actively seeks to destroy whatever would try to steal the heart of those He loves.

He knows that you love Him. He knows the plans He has for you. He wants to bring you prosperity and health. He has a hope and a future destiny for you.

But at the same time He sees someone trying to steal your heart. Someone who has plans to ruin your life. Someone with a desire to steal, kill, and destroy.

My question is; if that’s the first thing He says about Himself, how important is it to Him? Unfortunately, I believe that many of us have lost this sense of the Lord’s jealousy.

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Exodus 34:14

In this section of Scripture God is giving Israel the Law through Moses. As I read it I was taken by surprise to find out that His name is Jealous.

I’ve heard a lot of teachings about the names of God. He’s Jehovah-Rapha, the Healing God. He’s Jehovah-Tsidkinnu, God our Righteousness. All of these names don’t even scratch the surface.

But in all of these teachings that I’ve heard about the names of God I was never told about El Qanaa. The Jealous God. (Pronounced like El Kanaw)

For purposes of comparison I started counting. Jehovah Jireh, the God who Provides, is only used 1 time in Scripture. Abraham was inspired to use this name for God when He provided a ram for sacrifice in place of his son.

In contrast, God calls Himself El Qanaa 7 times in the Old Testament. I think this is a part of God’s character that shouldn’t be ignored.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30

This verse literally says do not make the Holy Spirit sad, mournful. I think we lose sight of the fact that He’s a person with feelings. How many times do we make Him feel rejected or ignored?

There’s a work that the Holy Spirit wants to accomplish in us. When we tell Him, “Not now. Come back later”, that makes Him sad. He knows the destiny He’s leading us to. We need an increased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit working within us.

Question: What has the Holy Spirit been working in you lately?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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Have a Chat with God

AloneThere’s a story that’s told of a conversation that took place during the Welsh revival. A minister was approached by a member of his congregation. He asked the pastor a question.

“Can you guess what’s the happiest time I have in religion?”

The minister figured that it was a simple question.

“Why, we’re all as happy as we can be during these revival days, and at our prayer meetings night after night.”

“Well,” the man answered, “That’s true, but I wasn’t thinking about that. Try again.”

“Then, it must be when you’re at prayer.”

“You are getting near it now,” the man said, “but it’s not exactly when I pray. It’s when I’m done praying, and God and I are just chatting.” **

I thought it was interesting. He considered his chats with God to have taken place after the praying was done. I believe that it’s in those times of friendly conversation with the Lord, that the true power abides.

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.
James 2:23

It’s all about friendship and intimacy with the Lord. Friendship assumes that you enjoy being with someone. You stick with them for no other reason than that you like being around them.

Too many of our prayers are these formal petitions as we go through our lists of requests. We need to “get real” with God. We should talk to Him as we would any other friend.

Of course, with that said, we must speak to Him in the respect He deserves. He is the King of kings, Lord of the universe.

Yet in spite of His grand position, Christ allows me the privilege of sitting down and chatting with Him whenever I desire. More than that, He looks forward to those times.

We need to cultivate our friendship with Christ. As with any other relationship, it’s not the times we’re together in public that bring closeness. It’s the private times when we can reveal to each other who we really are.

Continue to pray. Bring your petitions and requests before the throne of God. But don’t forget to have a chat with Him from time to time. I believe that this will be the most memorable of your times in His presence.

(** The above conversation is adapted from Illustrations of Bible Truths, Copyright © 1995, 1998 by AMG International, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Question: What are the different kinds of prayer times that you experience with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Prayer, Revival

 

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God and the Candy Machine in the Sky

CandyI’ve been posting about how similar our modern attitudes are to the crowd in John Chapter 6.  They seem to have their eyes on the temporary, while Christ is trying to point them to the eternal.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty…And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:35-40

Notice that Jesus repeats Himself here.  Two times He said to them, “I will raise them up at the last day.”  It’s a very simple statement.  It’s so simple, in fact, that most Christians miss it as well.

He told them that if they come to Him and put their trust in Him, He’ll give them eternal life and He’ll raise them up at the last day.  The key is that you must have this eternal life in you BEFORE you enter the grave.  If you have this eternal life in you, then death will not be able to keep you any more than it could hold on to the Lord.

He said it twice yet they didn’t hear him.  Look at their reaction.

At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
John 6:41

It went right over their heads.  They missed it.  The Lord said you can have eternal life and that He’d raise you up at the last day.  All they heard was that He thinks He’s bread that has come down from heaven.  “What does He mean He’s bread coming down from heaven?”

They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?  How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered.  “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:42-44

Jesus is desperately trying to get it into their head that He wasn’t emphasizing bread coming down from heaven.  He was trying to get them to embrace eternal life.  Over and over again He said, “I’ll raise him up at the last day.”  They just didn’t get it.

I think, that just like us, they didn’t want to get it.  They could tell that what Jesus was talking about meant change.  They would have to change their views and attitudes about God.  The Lord would no longer be that big “candy machine in the sky,” but a friend with whom you must spend time cultivating a relationship.

Question: How do you deepen your relationship with Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Encouragement, Return of Christ

 

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