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Tag Archives: move of God

Christ the Baptizer in the Spirit

I believe that America is ripe for revival.  I also believe that prayer in the spirit will play a major role in this move.  John the Baptist preached about this subject in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1:6-8

We’ll need an understanding of this if we’re going to flow in revival to the level God desires.  I’m talking about coming face to face with Christ, the Baptizer.  He’s the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

But there’s a question that this brings up.  How can Christ do that if He wasn’t baptized Himself?  I believe that Jesus was baptized in the Spirit and prayed in the spirit.

Of course, Jesus prayed in the spirit without the manifestation of tongues.  The reason for this is that speaking in tongues is the reaction of our sinful flesh to the work of the Spirit.  Our flesh can’t comprehend what’s happening when we pray in the spirit.

In another Gospel, we see John the Baptist witnessing something unique.

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’”
John 1:32-33

This was unheard of in their day – the Holy Spirit remaining upon a person.  This was the point where Jesus was baptized in the Spirit.  I believe that from this day forward, Jesus prayed in the spirit.

But I think that the key word here is, remained.  The Holy Spirit remained upon the Lord and Jesus remained in the Spirit.

That’s something we need to see the importance of.  Very often we think that what Jesus did was a special case.  He said that the same works He did, we would do.  But in order for that to happen, it will take the same preparation.

We need the same remaining in the Spirit.  You could also call it immersion in the Spirit.

Before He ascended to the Father, Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for this gift.  Don’t preach, don’t make disciples, don’t do anything, just wait.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

That was fulfilled in the baptism found in Acts chapter 2.

What about Jesus?  He was baptized by John who testified that the Spirit remained on Him.  Then Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days.  There, the Lord was tempted by the devil himself, yet…

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
Luke 4:14

What power did He walk in?  The power of His immersion in the Spirit.   We need this same power to be evident in our lives.  In that case, we must remain in the Holy Spirit just like He did.

Question: How does Christ exemplify the Christian walk?

 

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Revival in Our Generation

agricultureIn my last post I talked about repentance as the first step toward revival. It doesn’t matter whether you want a personal breakthrough, or are looking for the church to awaken. That’s where it starts.

So many people talk about revival. I’ve heard a lot of prophecies saying that a new move of God is on the way. Right now, many seem to just be in a waiting mode.

Is that how it works? God says that revival is coming and then we just sit back and wait for it? I don’t believe that this is what the Bible teaches.

Israel learned it the hard way. The prophet Jeremiah gives us the principle.

If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
Jeremiah 18:7-10

The problem is that people don’t understand the role of prophecy. Usually it’s dependent upon the hearers.

Please don’t get me wrong. The prophecy of Scripture is totally independent of anything we do. Jesus Christ is going to return to establish His kingdom regardless of what the world does. That’s not the issue here.

I’m talking about a prophecy that deals with a certain time and place; that affects us. These are the ones that need to be listened to carefully. They will only be fulfilled if we do our part.

For instance, a prophecy may come forth that God wants to send a move of His Spirit to a region. That’s great, but it doesn’t end there. God’s people now need to do what it takes to usher in that move.

As in all areas, God is a gentleman. He tells us His plans for our good. But if we don’t want them and refuse His Word, then it will never come to pass.

I believe the Word that I’ve heard though many individuals. God is sending a new awakening to the USA. But I can’t let it stop there.

There’s something I need to do to prepare. We need to be prepared as individuals and as the church. The first step involves prayer and seeking God by the Holy Spirit. It’s not enough to sit back and “trust God to do the work.”

We need to be involved in the process.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

This is the verse that keeps coming to us again and again. It’s time we heed the voice of the Spirit; and move our nation in the direction of a great awakening.

Question: What can you do to prepare for a move of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Why We Choose Talk Over Power

PhoneFor the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
1 Corinthians 4:20

For a couple of posts I’ve been talking about the power of God. In my last article, we learned that the definition of power was the ability to produce change. If there’s no change taking place in our lives, then no power has been manifest. The simple fact is – when God shows up, things begin to change.

You have to remember that the above passage was written when Christians were the people who were turning the world upside down for the Gospel. In light of this, we must ask ourselves; how powerful is the kingdom of God today?

There are those who might get mad at me and say that you can’t quantify the power of God. That’s because we like to spiritualize things that we don’t understand. There’s an easy way to tell how much of the power of God is being released in our lives and ministries. You simply take into account how much change is being produced.

The unfortunate answer is – not much. In a lot of churches around the country not many are being healed, set free from sins, or seeing great growth in their spiritual lives. The problem is that we’ve become masters at using talk over power.

We say things like, “That was a powerful message.” Or, “We had a powerful service last night.” I’ve also heard, “She has a powerful anointing to sing.”

The fact is, we come to church on Sunday mornings and sing a host of songs about the power of God. Then we sit back and think that because we just sang about it, somehow that means we’re walking in it. If there’s no change, then our power is just words.

If no one leaves the service changed, then there was no power manifested in that meeting. People weeping during the worship service is no indication of power. There are plenty of unsaved actors and singers that can evoke an incredible emotional response from their audience, but that’s not power.

We’ve learned to mask our powerlessness by calling the release of emotion “power”. The bottom line is – no matter how many people wept, no matter how many chills ran down your spine, no matter how many people were slain in the spirit – if no one was changed, then there was no power.

Don’t get me wrong. There are churches around the country where the power of God is manifest at every meeting. People’s lives are being changed daily. But that’s not the norm in America.

If we’re ever to see the real move of God, then we must first come to grips with the truth. We have to desire change. To be hungry for God’s power is to be hungry for change. We must admit our need for God to do His work in us.

Question: Have you seen the power of God at work? If not, are you hungry for change?

© Nicolas Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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Elijah and the Prayer of Faith

KeyI believe that there’s something missing in our Christian experience. That’s the foundation of the next move of God – the restoration of power to His church.

What is this principle that’s eluded us for so long? The good news is that the key is recorded in the very passage we’ve been looking at for the last few posts. James goes on to illustrate the prayer of faith that he’s talking about.

Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
James 5:17-18

In these verses, James uses the prophet Elijah as an example to us. Remember that this is in the context of the prayer of faith for healing. James mentioned it three times in the previous verses. It’s clear from his comments – Elijah prayed and the rain stopped. He prayed again and the rain returned.

According to James, this is the same type of prayer that will bring healing to the sick. What are we missing? Let’s take a look at the Scripture concerning Elijah’s prayer.

But first, I need to make a disclaimer. Sometimes we, as believers, get all caught up in new prayer “formulas”. You need to be aware, right from the start, that I’m not putting forth a new wording for prayer. On the contrary, I am going to show you a new kind of lifestyle that will usher in the move of God’s power.

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
I Kings 17:1

This verse is the only one in the Old Testament that shows the events surrounding Elijah and the rain stopping. James said that Elijah prayed and the rain stopped. This is the verse he was referring to.

Have you ever prayed a prayer like this? Have you ever heard a prayer like this? As far as I can see, Elijah was talking to the king, not to God.

What exactly was the prayer in this verse? We need to understand that not all prayers fit into the “dear God” category. The scope of prayer is a lot deeper than we can fathom sometimes.

In this encounter, even though Elijah was speaking to the king, he was invoking the name of the Lord over the situation. He was speaking, on God’s behalf, to the king.

Prayer, in its simplest form, is invoking the name of the Lord into a situation. That’s what Elijah did. He was speaking out a divine truth to the king.

In my next post we’ll see what’s so important about this kind of prayer.

Question: How does this compare to your thoughts about what a prayer should be?

© 2016 Nicolas Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2016 in Healing, Prayer, Revival, What's Missing?

 

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How God Got My Attention

Cloud2I believe that we’re headed into a new move of God. As with all moves of the Spirit, God is restoring something that was lost. This new move will encompass every area of our Christian walk.

It will change the way the world views the church and even the way in which we minister. I believe that it will open the door for the end-time harvest of souls just before the coming of the Lord.

If God is restoring something, then by definition, something’s missing. What is this missing ingredient? To answer that question, I’ll bring you through the process God used to bring it to my attention.

I was pastoring a small but growing church in New England. We added staff. We were selling our old building and looking for a new one. During that process my wife and I were able to buy a house. Things seemed to be going well.

Why do we find it so hard to learn important lessons when things are running smoothly? At least that seems to be the question in my life.

This smooth sailing ended abruptly. The church had to go through a few moves into temporary facilities. The congregation lost about three-quarters of the people. We had to let staff go. Things began to look dark.

It eventually got to the point where we lost our house during a national housing crisis. We’re now renting an apartment. During these challenging years my frequent cry was, “Why, Lord?”

I’m pleased to report that God brought us through all of these difficulties. Along the way He taught me some valuable lessons about His grace and provision. I also learned what it means to be a son of God.

There was one final event that opened up my spiritual ears. My life-long mentor – the pastor who raised me up in ministry – was diagnosed with cancer. He wasn’t very old. He preached the healing power of God. He and his family were trusting God for his healing. I was praying and trusting God as well. Hundreds of people were standing with him in faith.

When he passed into eternity, it took a toll on me and many others. Where was God in all this? I began to cry out to the Lord. It was during this time that the Holy Spirit showed me the condition of the church in our generation.

I’d like to blame God, but He’s not the problem. Christ provided for our healing on the cross. The problem lies in how that healing power gets from the Healer to the sick person. Clichés just don’t cut it. It’s more than just an issue of our faith.

God made it abundantly clear to me as I cried out to Him in my confusion. There’s a key ingredient that’s missing from the lives of most Christians. I made it my goal to pray, meditate and study the Scripture to find and restore what was lost. This is the first post in a series about what I found on this quest.

I believe that there’s a hunger in the body of Christ today. We desire a more powerful walk with God.

Question: Is it just me, or do you feel it too?

© 2016 Nicolas Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Revival, What's Missing?

 

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Spiritual Frustration

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been posting about the stages of spiritual growth. In my last post I talked about spiritual maturity. I showed the blessings that come with it.

Here’s the problem. We know what it should look like. But many are trying to do it within the confines of a childish spiritual walk.

We’re always on the lookout for some new teaching or “move of God” that will give us our breakthrough. We want the Six Steps to Prosperity or the Ten Confessions that bring Healing. We’re trying to get the freedom and resources of maturity while desperately hanging on to our childhood. This is never going to happen. It’s only when we attain to the goal of spiritual adulthood that we’ll see these things accomplished in us.

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
James 3:2

There’s more to the mature walk than simply getting our needs met. This word perfect is the same word for mature that we have been talking about. When you reach this level in your Christian experience sin is the exception rather than the rule. It’s not about trying harder. It’s the Holy Spirit working in you to perfect you.

So much of our energy is spent on trying to “be good.” Many preachers are wasting their time using guilt and scare tactics to try and get their people to live a righteous life. That’s not the scriptural way to get there.

It’s the work of the Holy Spirit in us that overcomes the sin nature. We have watered down this good news by making it all based on what I can do. Then we get frustrated that we can’t live up to the lifestyle put forth in the Word of God.

I believe that we’re at the point, in this generation, where we don’t understand what maturity is. We read the Bible and see how far we are from the abundant life described by the Lord. We’re like little children looking up to their older siblings and saying, “Why can’t I do that?”

We need to break out of our childhood. We must enter into the adult world, spiritually speaking. That’s why it’s so important to understand the progression of sonship. We have to go from the initial paperwork of adoption to full-fledged, mature, revealed sons of God. I am convinced by all that I see happening in the church today, that this is the next step on God’s agenda for us.

The frustration comes in when we want to walk in the blessings of the mature without going through the stages of growth. We need to focus on becoming mature, instead of merely seeking God for things.

In order for us to get where we need to be, we must first acknowledge where we are. Then submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in us. There’s no quick solution.

It’s all about time in the presence of the Lord. That’s where true change takes place. As the life of Christ is birthed on the inside of us, the outside will become more like Him.

Question: What are you doing to submit to the Holy Spirit’s work in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Revival, Sonship, The Church

 

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Your Schedule – Who’s Time is it?

Time ChainI’ve been posting about clearing our schedules for a move of God. Did you know that this is how God operates through His people? It’s only when they turn over their time to Him that the Lord will move in a manifestation of His power.

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

We are told in this passage, about the mystery of God’s will. Actually, Paul uses three different words to get this point across. He mentions God’s will, His good pleasure, and His purpose in Christ. These are the things that He wants to accomplish on the earth through His people.

The question is; are we willing to position ourselves to let the Holy Spirit use us in this way? I’ve been saying that this requires our time. There’s no other commodity that will purchase God’s will.

How do I know this? The above passage is very interesting to read in the Greek. It says that this will, good pleasure, and purpose of God is put into effect in the economy of the filling of time.

Economy – that’s a financial term, like when we talk about the economy of the United States. Here we’re talking about the economy of the Kingdom of God. A large part of that economy is time.

In essence this verse tells us that God’s will is accomplished on earth as we deposit time into the bank of Heaven. God doesn’t need our money or our resources. What He really needs in order to do His work is our time.

Actually, who’s time is it? We like to think of it as all belonging to us. With that attitude, we schedule everything we want to do, them place the Lord’s work in any leftover spots.

I know there are things that we need to do. Scripture says that if we don’t work, we don’t eat. The Lord doesn’t want us to neglect our families either. There’s a place for all of these in our schedules.

But are we really operating in the plan of God if there’s no time for the move of His Spirit? In our generation, we’ve learned to add so many good things to our schedules, that we’ve left no room for the best.

I’m truly convinced that if we want to see a move of God in our nation, it’s going to require us to make a sacrifice. Not of money, but of time. Peter puts it this way…

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do…
1 Peter 4:3a

Ours is not the first generation to run into this problem. But it’s something that needs to be straightened out – quickly. Time is short. Now is the time. We are the people God is calling to turn this nation around.

Question: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to bring about a move of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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