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Tag Archives: God’s purpose

How to Purchase Revival

Fake MoneyI’ve been posting about why revival seems to be delayed. I ended my last post by saying that we are not waiting for revival, but revival is waiting for us. The Apostle Paul wrote about this principle.

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment — to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Ephesians 1:9-10

In this verse Paul talks about the mystery of God’s will. He’s not talking so much about what God’s will is. The mystery is how God’s will comes to pass on the earth. Even today, how God’s will works is a mystery to most Christians.

“We may never understand the way God moves.”

Paul makes it clear that this mystery has been made known to us. It doesn’t matter what you call it. The verse uses God’s will, good pleasure, and purpose to describe what He plans to do on earth. What we need to understand is how His will is put into effect.

That’s the mystery that He has made known to us. This verse literally says that His will is put into effect in the economy of filling the time. The word economy is usually used to describe our monetary system. It’s a way of tracking the flow of assets in society.

We need to understand that filling time is a part of God’s economy. Think about the financial words we associate with time. We spend time, run out of time, save time, and lose time just to name a few. There is an economy of time in the Kingdom of God.

We must realize that time is a commodity. It’s something tangible. It can be traded and exchanged for stuff. That’s what we do on our jobs; we are trading our time for our employer’s money.

In God’s Kingdom, it’s time that purchases the fulfillment of vision and prophecy. Here’s the problem. We’ve learned to become cheerful givers of money. But we’ve become stingy misers with our time.

Getting back to the original question – how do we lay hold of revival? God wants us to repent – change our thinking. He wants us to turn around. Then He’ll send times of refreshing – revival.

We need revival – we may even want revival. But are we willing to do what it takes to initiate revival? If I said that revival would cost a million dollars, someone would come up with it. If I said revival will cost 2 weeks of your time, very few people would make the investment. It’s going to take our time – that’s the commodity of the next revival.

I wrote the outline for this series of posts a while ago. Since then I had the opportunity to meet with a friend of mine with a prophetic ministry. She said that the Lord had been speaking to her about the coming revival.

She said that God impressed her that it won’t be a revival as much as a revolution. Later on I thought about it. The word revolution comes from the word “revolve.” A turning around. It’s time for the church to turn around.

God’s people are spending too much time on their own desires. We have become a generation who gives God the bare minimum that we can get away with. It’s time to turn the tide. Are you willing to give God your time?

Question: Why is our time so hard to turn over to the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

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Know When to Give Up

SunriseIn my last post I talked about the times we find ourselves wrestling against God’s plan for us. We’re looking at Jacob as an example of this.

Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Genesis 32:26

No, God wasn’t getting tired. No, God wasn’t going to turn into a pumpkin when the sun came up. Why then did He impose a time limit? Purely and simply out of His love for Jacob. God knew that having fought all night, Jacob was getting to the end of his strength.

The Bible teaches elsewhere that God will not allow our struggles to go beyond our ability to endure. This is how God worked with Jacob. He made Jacob fight to the end of His strength. Up to this point, Jacob always found the easy way out of his troubles.

The scheme, the bribe, the fixed fight, whatever it took to win without breaking a sweat – that’s who Jacob was. God, however, knew he was better than that. He was created to father a nation. Through this experience God taught Jacob that he was able to overcome by his inner strength and determination alone, without all the scheming.

God wants to do that with us as well. He’ll allow us to get to the end of our strength so that we’ll cry out to Him. Don’t drop out of your fight too quickly. Make the determination to lay hold of the prize God has called you to obtain.

The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
Genesis 32:27-29

You would think that because he wrestled with God, Jacob would get in trouble. Nothing could be further from the truth. God doesn’t care if you struggle with Him as long as you learn the lesson He’s trying to teach you.

Up to this point in his life, Jacob had been trying to buy, fight, and steal his way to the blessing of God. Now he was to learn that the only way to obtain it is by freely receiving it from the Lord’s own hand.

He spent his life fighting God and man. Now God tells him that he has overcome. Overcome what? He has finally overcome himself. He now has the control to take his life and lay it at the feet of the Lord.

How do we know this? God gives him a new name – Israel – that means, “conquered by God.”

Perhaps you’ve been struggling in your walk with the Lord. Maybe there is an area in your life you’ve been refusing to turn over to God.

It’s time for you to give up and receive the blessing God’s been waiting to give you. Today, allow yourself to be overcome by God.

Questions: Are there areas, right now, where you’re struggling against God? What will it take for you to give up?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Power of God, Prayer

 

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Are You Wrestling with God?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe all face hardships in our lives. Sometimes it’s our own doing. There are even times that our goals are in direct opposition to what God is trying to accomplish in us.

Many Christians come up with their own plan for their lives. Then they pray about it simply to have God bless it. Unfortunately, if it’s not God’s plan, there will be no blessing no matter how hard you pray. You’ll simply find yourself struggling against God’s purpose in your walk with Him.

The Patriarch, Jacob, found himself in just such a position.

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
Genesis 32:24

We know from the context of Scripture that God came down to Jacob this night and wrestled with him. He was alone. His family couldn’t save him. His possessions couldn’t save him. He found himself totally alone with God.

This is the power of time alone with the Lord. If God wants your undivided attention, He knows just how to get it. We need to take the time to hear His voice speaking to us. It would save us a lot of grief in the long run.

When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
Genesis 32:25

This portion of Scripture always bothered me. How could Jacob, a man, beat God in a fight? There was something not right about it.

Then it occurred to me – if it was God’s intent to beat Jacob in a fight, the Lord could have squashed him like a bug. God could have done it with a word, never even laying a finger on him. As it turns out, the fight was not for God’s benefit. The Lord didn’t need to prove He could win. It was all about getting Jacob’s attention.

This shows me the love of God. When we find ourselves struggling against His will, He lowers Himself so as to fight at your level of ability. Like a father wrestling on the floor with his child, the goal is not to win, but to instruct.

I find that it’s easier to have these wrestling times with the Lord in private. In public you have to act like everything’s okay. When you’re alone, you can take your time and struggle through some issues without the usual distractions.

Don’t be afraid to tackle some big issues with the Lord. Remember that He’s not out to hurt you, but to make your life better than you could ever do it on your own. Give Him the chance to help you fight through your struggles.

Questions: Have you ever found yourself struggling against God’s plan? What were the issues? How did it turn out?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Prayer

 

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Are You Setting Yourself Up for Offense? #wordofGod

RockyI’m posting about the different “heart soils” in Luke 8.  Today I’ll deal with the rocky soil.  This is about rocks with only a thin layer of dirt to cover them.  The seed germinates and springs up quickly.  But just as quick, the sun comes out, scorches the plant, and it withers and dies.

Jesus explained the spiritual application this way.

“Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
Luke 8:13

This verse literally says is that these people receive the Word in the middle of joy.  It sounds like camp meeting to me.  There’s excitement in the air.  The whole atmosphere of the meeting is charged with a heavenly joy.  It’s easy to believe in a place like that.

We’re not talking about people who don’t believe what they hear.  They believe it’s for them.  The problem is that what has sprung up so quickly, also withers just as quick.  What is it that withers?

For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:24-25

What withers is the glory of man.  This type of person hears the Word and believes that it’s “all about me.”  That’s why there’s all the joy and excitement.  They think that the Word is for my blessing, health, and prosperity.  Forget about what God’s ultimate purpose is.  It’s me that’s important.

The Lord says that in this rocky heart there is some faith exhibited for a while, but it doesn’t last long.  Eventually trials and testings will come.  When this happens, Jesus literally says that they will become offended.  Why does Christ use this word?

When I go through a time of testing, I realize that it’s not all about me.  I get offended that I’m not the center of all the attention.  I don’t want the spotlight on Christ and what He’s trying to accomplish in me.  I want the priority to be my comfort and happiness.  The result is that I get offended and walk away from the Lord and His plan for my life.

If I want my heart prepared for an abundant harvest, I must assume that the Word of God spotlights Jesus Christ.  I must desire to know His heart.  There are many who read the Bible and pursue God only for what they can get from Him.  The big question on their minds is, “What’s in it for me?”

Instead, we should be focusing on God’s eternal purpose – to draw all humanity into His kingdom.  The blessings of God are great, but they’re not an end in and of themselves.

God has promised us prosperity, but it’s to finance the spread of the Gospel.  God has promised us health and healing, but it’s so that we can minister the Good News of His love to the best of our ability.

All the promises of God should be viewed through the filter of God’s will and plans.  That’s what’s missing in the shallow faith of rocky soil.  We need to keep our hearts clear of the rocks of self-centeredness.

Question: How is God working through you to bring about His purpose?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Word of God

 

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Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness

FlyingAs I was reading the Bible the other day, I came across a Scripture that caught my attention.  It was describing Christ and how He was revealed to the world.  It got me thinking about our relationship to God.

…and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:4

Jesus Christ was shown to be the Son of God.  Not just by someone’s testimony.  It was an act of power by God raising Him from the dead.

That in itself was not news to me.  The part that really spoke to my heart was who did the declaring.  The passage says that it was through the Spirit of holiness that He was shown to be the Son of God.

That’s what I found to be interesting – the Spirit of holiness.  Why did Paul not call Him the Holy Spirit?  Isn’t that the more common term?  Actually, this is the only place in Scripture where He’s called the Spirit of holiness.

Holiness is something that this generation of believers really needs to come to grips with.  It seems that we tend to back away from any mention of holiness.  We find it boring and old fashioned.

This is a subject of great importance in the Bible.  It’s found throughout the New Testament.  We are to be a holy people before God.

Holiness is related to separation.  It means to be set apart for God’s purpose.

It’s like this.  When Christ found us, we were like a dirty, cast off piece of pottery in the trash heap of the world.  When we turned to Him as our Lord and Savior, He rescued us from that place – that’s our salvation.

He then took us as His own and placed us on display in His household.  We are now to be exclusively used for the Lord’s purposes.  That’s holiness.

As we remain in His house, Christ continues to clean us up and restore us.  That’s our sanctification.

By using the term Holy Spirit, we mean the Spirit of God who is set apart from the world and the things of the world.  The phrase Spirit of holiness brings it to a whole other realm.

He’s not only the Spirit who is set apart – but the Spirit who sets us apart.  He is the Spirit of God who makes us holy.  That’s where we try to water down the truth.

We like to think of the Holy Spirit as the power source of the church.  Miracles, healings, signs, and wonders always draw a crowd.  But separation, on the other hand, sounds too much like commitment.

This generation seems to want the power without the holiness.  I believe that it’s time for us to seek the Spirit of holiness.  At the place where we are separated for God’s exclusive use, we will find all the power we need to live victoriously and win the lost.

Question: Have you seen examples of the Holy Spirit setting you apart for His use?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Encouragement, Power of God, Revival

 

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