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Tag Archives: intimacy with God

Healing Faith

For the last couple of posts, we’ve been talking about the Synagogue ruler whose daughter was dying and the woman who needed healing from her bleeding.  Jesus agreed to go with the ruler to heal his daughter but was interrupted when the woman touched Him and was healed.

This incident is recorded in Mark 5:21-43.  It might be helpful to read through that section of Scripture before proceeding with this post.

This passage is a great example of what it takes to have faith for healing.  In times past, people were told that if you just had enough faith, you’d be healed.  That made it real simple.  As a minister, I could blame you if you’re not healed when I pray for you.

“Come back when you really have faith.”

That kind of thinking does great injustice to those who are seeking to be set free from their sickness.  The problem is that healing faith is always Word based.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17

In order for the sick to be healed, someone has to hear a Word from God.  Then as they move in faith – received from that Word – the healing takes place.  Even in the Old Testament, this was the case.

He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Psalms 107:20

A Word from God will inspire faith for healing.  Once it’s acted upon, the healing takes place.  That’s one of the reasons I like this section of Scripture.  It shows the power of this truth.

The woman in the above passage heard from the Holy Spirit that if she could just touch the edge of Jesus’ clothes, she would be healed.  Jesus confirmed this by saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.”

The synagogue ruler is the one who heard from God in that part of the story.  He knew in his spirit that if he could get Jesus to come to his house, then his daughter would be healed.

Sometimes it’s the faith of the one praying.  Remember the leper who came to Jesus and said, “If you are willing you can make me clean.”  It was the Lord’s faith that prompted Him to say, “…be healed.”  (Mark 1:40-42)

In another part of the Bible, we read about some men who heard from the Spirit that if they could just get their paralyzed friend in front of Jesus, he’d be healed.  They ended up cutting a hole through a roof to fulfill this Word.  Scripture records that when the Lord saw their faith He healed the sick person. (Mark 2:4-5)

In all of these cases and many more, somebody had to hear from the Father and walk in the faith they received.  It could be the sick person, the minister, a friend, or a family member.  That’s because faith is received through a Word from God.

That’s why it’s so important that we spend time in the Spirit.  We need to develop our sensitivity to the voice of the Lord.  I believe that only then will we see the power that was manifest in the life of Christ and in the church of the book of Acts.

Hearing from God.  That’s where the Lord is bringing His church to in our generation.  Let’s walk with His plan and cultivate our intimacy with the Holy Spirit.

Question: How many other Scriptures can you find that show this principle of receiving healing faith through a Word from God?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Faith, Healing, Power of God, Word of God

 

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Short-Circuiting God’s Work

Today, many Christians are trying to win God’s blessings by striving to make themselves more worthy. In New Testament times there were some who thought circumcision and submitting to the Law of Moses would help get you closer to God. Paul wrote about these people in his letter to the Galatians.

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.  Mark my words!  I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
Galatians 5:1-2

Wow! Paul uses some powerful words in this passage. Christ will not benefit you at all if you strive to do the work in your ability. Nothing on the outside will avail you in trying to deserve the power of God.

As a matter of fact, it will have just the opposite effect. It will hinder your ability to flow in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Paul continues.

Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Galatians 5:3-4

We’re always looking for the quick fix. So, in order to get around the time needed to be intimate with God, we’d rather try different Old Testament acts, hoping that they’ll do the trick. People try tithing, food laws, vows, and other Old Covenant traditions thinking that somehow it will make them more worthy.

Unfortunately, by doing this one simple act, Christ, the Anointed One is rendered idle in your life. That’s what the literal Greek in this verse says. Paul states that you have gone off course from grace.

But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
Galatians 5:5

The only way to walk in the power and righteousness of God is to wait in the Spirit. It’s only by intimacy with the Lord that we’ll gain this precious gift. It’s not going to manifest through your work and ability. It will only come about as God declares you worthy as a mature son.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that there’s something wrong with tithing, eating healthy, reading the Bible, confessing the promises or going to church. These are a necessary part of our growth in the Lord. They’re also a normal part of a mature Christian’s life. What I’m saying is that if your sole purpose in doing these things is to make points toward receiving God’s power, then you’re going to be disappointed.

What I desire is to see the church reach its maturity in Christ. Only then will we see the manifestation of the power of God in our services. As long as we have the mentality of spiritual childhood, we’ll never experience it. Having to recite and claim the promises are a part of childhood.

It’s what children do in the natural. It’s the “are we there yet?” attitude. If we decide to go fishing on Saturday and I tell you I’ll be by to pick you up at 5:00 AM, you don’t keep calling me to remind me. I show up at your house at 5 and you’re ready and waiting. That’s what adults do (or should do).

My children don’t have to keep reminding me that it’s my responsibility as a parent to feed them. They know where the refrigerator is and they know they’re free to get something whenever they want.

It’s the same with God. Jesus, as a mature Son, did not have to keep reciting the promises to the Father. He knew that they’d activate when needed. Maturity lives above the promises. If only we could grasp the freedom and power of spiritual maturity. It would propel us into a more intimate relationship with the Lord.

Question: How does waiting on the Lord in the Spirit bring growth and maturity?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
 

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The Pattern of Jesus

heart CrossI’m continuing to talk about the pattern of life handed down to us from Scripture. The Apostles learned it from Jesus. They lived with Him. They saw the Lord, and how He walked, for months at a time.

So I guess that the real question is; what was the pattern of Jesus’ life? If I can understand how He lived and ministered, then I can start to implement that into my walk. What is it about Jesus that made the difference?

Without a doubt, the defining characteristic of Jesus’ life on earth was His relationship with the Father.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Luke 10:22

That’s the key – relationship with the Father. It’s not knowing about the Father. Jesus knew who the Father is. He had an intimate relationship with the Father. It’s from this relationship that everything else flowed.

Jesus described the power of this relationship on many occasions.

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 5:19

It wasn’t a matter of deciding what to do at the moment. The Lord didn’t see a sick person and, at that point, pray and hope that the Father would heal them. Jesus knew what He was going to do BEFORE He got into the situation.

This was because He had already seen the Father doing the work. He spent time with the Father in the Spirit so that He was prepared for what was to come. But it wasn’t just the work that needed to be done.

For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
John 12:49-50

This is an amazing statement. Not only did His words come from the Father. But the very way in which He presented those words was orchestrated by the Father.

He didn’t attend seminary (although there’s nothing wrong with studying). He didn’t sit down and craft a good sounding sermon. The content and the delivery were learned in the presence of God. That’s why it was acknowledged that no one ever spoke like Jesus did.

It’s clear from the Gospels that the pattern of Jesus’ life was first of all, be in an intimate relationship with the Father. Then, watch what the Father is doing and listen to what He is saying. Finally, do and say exactly what you saw and heard.

This is the pattern that was handed down to the Apostles.

Question: How would the church look if we all followed this pattern?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Ministry, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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In the Spirit – A Special Time & Place

MeditationI’ve been posting about the intimacy that comes from worshipping God in spirit.  That brings us to another question. What does in the spirit mean?  It’s a common enough expression throughout the Word of God, but do we really know what it means?

On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…
Revelation 1:10

This is the Apostle John describing what took place just as the Lord was about to show him the Revelation he recorded in the Scripture.  He went out of way to let us know that he was not just eating breakfast or reading the newspaper.  He was in the spirit.

It sounds like this is a special place.  Of course, that’s only logical.  Even in our natural lives intimacy with another person requires a special time and place.  A man could not be intimate with his wife in the stands at a hockey game.

In the same way, intimacy with God requires a special time and place – that is being in the spirit.

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.
Philippians 3:3

In this section, Paul is talking about those who were trying to place Old Testament rules on Gentile believers.  It’s about the overcoming church that he writes, “It is we who worship God in spirit.”  We are the ones who boast only in Christ.  True Christianity places no confidence in flesh.

The Scripture is clear that flesh and blood cannot worship at the level of the spirit.  The Biblical picture always shows that in worship, our flesh must be prostrate and silent.  That’s why we read things like, “I fell at His feet like a dead man.”

This means that my hands cannot worship God.  Neither can my mouth, my feet or my entire body.

Worship can only be an act of my spirit.  So, if I don’t understand how my spirit operates, then I really can’t understand true worship.

Let’s start with the basics.  God created us all in His image.  He is a three-part being – Father, Son, and Spirit.  God created us with the same three parts.  We have a body, a soul, and a spirit.

Our soul is who we are.  It’s the seat of our mind, memories, personality, and emotions.  My soul is the real me.  When I want to talk to you, it’s not your body I want to talk to, but your soul – the person inside the body.

Your soul is housed in a thing called your flesh or your body.  This is the part of your being that allows your soul to interact and communicate in the physical, natural realm.  It’s the part of you that can taste, smell, touch, hear, and see.

Unfortunately, this is the part of your being that’s marred by sin.  Because Adam chose the path of rebellion, the flesh now desires to be first place in your life.  This is what causes most of our trouble.

The third part of our being is our spirit.  This is the part of us that allows our soul to interact and communicate in the spiritual realm.  This is the dimension where God, angels and demons usually dwell.  It’s with your spirit that God desires to have fellowship with you on His level.

Question: Why is overcoming the flesh so important to the believer?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Why You Need to Keep a Spiritual Journal

Journal 2

Spending time in God’s presence is not an option, if we want to hear from God.  As we quiet ourselves in His presence we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit more clearly.

The question is, what happens when you leave the place of prayer?  Do you remember what you heard in the Lord’s presence a week later?  How about a month or even a year later?  How can you thank God for fulfilling His word to you, if you don’t remember what He’s said?

As you seek the Lord’s presence, you’ll find more and more that He wants to speak to you.  He wants us to be a people who hear His voice.

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”
Habakkuk 2:2

It’s God’s desire to reveal Himself to all believers.  If you’re listening, you may receive a word from Him concerning your personal walk, your home life, your ministry, or your career.  The Holy Spirit may speak to you about new ventures to launch or old things to cut out of your life.  The point is, whenever you hear from God for your life, write it down!

It doesn’t matter if you’re sure it was God’s voice, or if it was only a slight impression.  Maybe your heart was stirred over a certain passage of Scripture.  Perhaps you feel a leading to do something new for God.  It doesn’t matter how weak or strong the feeling is – it needs to be recorded.

So often we miss out on God’s best because we forget what we heard, or we alter it along the way.  It’s good to be able to look back in a journal and see the conversations we’ve had with the Lord.  Make it a point to bring a journal along with you in your prayer times  – and use it to record what you’ve learned.

Very often, I look back through my journals.  It gives me encouragement as well as insight onto the path God has me on.  I need to review the things I’ve learned in the presence of God.

Keep your eyes and ears open.  God will speak to someone who is prepared to listen.  Keeping a journal shows that you value the voice of the Lord.  Begin today recording what you learn in your private times with Him.

Question: Do you keep a spiritual journal?  How has it helped you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Encouragement, Prayer, Word of God

 

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Mountains and Hills

Psalm 72:3
The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.

I have always thought this was an interesting verse.  It tells us that the mountains will bring God’s people prosperity, the fruit of righteousness.

How can a mountain “bring” anything?  It can’t unless we do something first.  If it is to be an abundant harvest of crops, then the mountainside or hillside must be cultivated, planted, and harvested.  If it is to be a spiritual harvest, then we must climb the mountain by prayer and intimacy with the Lord.  Either way it will require an effort on our part.

The mountain cannot do it alone.  We are expected to initiate the blessing.  People talk about “mountaintop experiences”, but I don’t think they fully understand them.  They think it’s just a happy time in their life.  That’s not quite it. A spiritual mountaintop is a place of clarity in your walk with God.  It is a time when you see that way ahead and have a renewed vision for your destiny.  This is the basis of true prosperity.

Seek out these mountaintop times with the Lord.  Find a quiet time and place to prepare your soul to hear from the Lord.  You can be changed in His life-giving presence.  You can receive a new abundance in your life that you have never known before.

Spend time with the Lord today.  Have a “mountaintop” experience.  Come down from that place refreshed and renewed in your inner man.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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