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The Holy Spirit – Our Nourishment

FlyingI’ve been posting about the Holy Spirit as the Sent One to the church. I said that believing Him is what feeds our soul. Remember when Jesus met the woman at the well.

The disciples went off to the city to get lunch, and left Him alone. When they returned they saw that revival had broken out.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
John 4:31-32

What did Jesus tell the people about this spiritual food that feeds your soul? Believe the one God has sent.

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
John 4:33-34

According to Jesus, His food was to do the will of the One who sent Him. That means He heard, believed, and obeyed the Father. But how did He hear from the Father; how did they communicate?

I think the answer is obvious – it was by the Holy Spirit. So, what’s required to finish the work? Continue hearing, believing, and obeying.

Now I want to look back to the crowd in Capernaum that I talked about in my last post. They started arguing with Jesus about this spiritual food. They told the Lord that if He would do a miracle they’d believe Him. Incredibly, these are the same 5000 that He had just miraculously fed with the loaves and fishes.

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
John 6:32-33

We need to understand this. The bread of God is He who comes down from heaven. Who is the One from Heaven in our generation?

In talking about the prophets of old, Peter said…

It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
1 Peter 1:12

Who is now sent from heaven? It’s the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. He comes from heaven; He’s the spiritual bread to us. He’s the One who gives life to the world.

This is an important truth for us to grasp. It’s one of the main reasons the church is lacking in power these days. Without a deep relationship with the Holy Spirit, we’ll lack the spiritual nourishment – the vitality – to see God’s power work through us.

In my next post I’ll take this thought a step further.

Question: How have you been strengthened as you spend time with the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on July 15, 2015 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Inconvenient Truth about Obedience

MeditationIn my last post I talked about the connection between faith and obedience. It’s one of the toughest choices we need to make as believers.

This goes beyond what we usually think about obedience.

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.
Romans 1:5

Contrary to popular belief, obedience is by faith, not fear. It’s easier to obey if I trust the one I’m submitted to. This is especially true in my relationship with God.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
1 Peter 1:14-15

According to Peter, this obedience comes as a result of calling. If that’s the case, then we need to look at the calling of God. Let’s review the verse we first read in my last post.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
Hebrews 11:8

It all starts by being called to go out of where we’re currently living. Then we’re called to move into a place that God expects us to inherit. The callings to go out and to move in are the two sides of God’s work in our lives. Both require our obedience.

It’s as if God is saying to us, “Let’s get you to the inheritance.” We then have to trust God enough to want the destiny that He’s prepared for us.

Bible talks a lot about obedience. Children and parents, employees and bosses, governments, church leaders, etc. This is how God gets you to the place He sees for you.

However, the biggest problem with God’s way of calling is that Abraham did not know where he was going. The verse literally says that he did not stand upon where he was going to.

Jesus understood this in His time on earth.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered
Hebrews 5:8

This verse is talking about Christ but it’s the same for us. The word suffer is talking about a feeling. The truth is that we only learn obedience by what we feel. Unfortunately, it’s usually a painful experience.

If I’m hungry and someone says, “Come to dinner,” that’s not obedience for me to come and eat. Obedience is when I’m watching TV and my parents tell me to put out the trash.

We need to understand that obedience is a learning process. It teaches me that to enjoy the best life, will require some discomfort now, for a greater return later. The inheritance is the fun part. It’s the calling that’s usually inconvenient.

Question: How does faith help us to obey God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Faith, Revival

 

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The Faith – Obedience Connection

ClimberSometimes we may get the idea that faith is just a matter of getting our thoughts right.

“As long as I trust God on the inside, everything will be okay.”

That’s a good place to start, but will it be enough to carry you through to your destiny? Actually faith is more than just the internal. It’s a continual process of revelation and response. We can learn a lot from Abraham’s example.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
Hebrews 11:8

This verse tells us how Abraham applied the principles of faith to his life. If we boil down all the extra words, we’re told that by faith Abraham obeyed. He heard the Word that God spoke to him and chose to obey it by faith.

Up to this point in our Christian walk no obedience necessary. If you never hear from the Holy Spirit, then you’re not responsible to respond. Of course, neither do you see any miracles that come with your obedience.

It’s at this level that we start to mature in Christ. We want to do more than just fill a pew. We’ve accepted Christ as our Savior. Now we want to experience growth.

It’s unfortunate that so many believers want to stay at the infant stage of their spiritual life. They come out on Sunday morning, read the Bible, sing, clap, and pray. They continue to drink in, yet they feel no need for obedience.

To understand this, we need to know what it is that we’re to obey. The above verse makes it clear. We are to obey God’s calling. This is the normal process of growth in the life of a believer.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

This is probably one of the clearest Scriptures on growth in the Bible. We’re told to offer ourselves to the Lord on His altar. Then comes the renewing of our mind. Finally, I can approve (obey) God’s will.

Sometimes our problem is that we put the cart before the horse. We want to know what God’s will for our life is before we decide to obey Him. That’s not faith. I need to trust Him with my life first, then He’ll make his will know to me.

That’s why I need to know Him. It’s hard to trust someone, if you don’t really know them.

In my next post, I’ll explain why this call to trust God in obedience is one of the hardest things we’re asked to do.

Question: Why does it seem so hard to obey God’s calling?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Faith, Word of God

 

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The Last Days – The days of Noah #returnofChrist

UmbrellaIn my last post I talked about a statement that Jesus made to the church.  In it He warns us that the last days before His return would be similar to the days of Noah.  What was that like?  Things were going along business as usual.

The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
Genesis 6:5

That sounds very familiar.  God saw how great man’s wickedness had become.  People’s thoughts would turn in the direction of evil all the time.  Our society is like that today.  The main concern of most people is, “How can I satisfy myself?”  That’s fallen man’s cry from morning until night. Both Noah’s society and what we see happening around us today sound the same to me.

You know the rest of the story.  God shows Noah His plan.  Noah obeys and builds the ark for the saving of his family.  But what does all that have to do with the return of Christ?  Jesus is making a comparison here.

The world was filled with violence during the days of Noah.  Our society is plagued with the same things as well.  We see wickedness, evil thoughts, corruption, and violence all around us.  If you live in the inner city, violence is a way of life.  Unfortunately, it’s moving out more and more into the countryside, just like it was in the days of Noah.  What is this leading to?

On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.  They had with them every wild animal according to its kind…Then the Lord shut him in.
Genesis 7:13-16

Just like it was in THE DAYS of Noah, they were eating, drinking, and marrying right up until THE DAY Noah entered the ark.  Scripture says “the very day” Noah entered the ark.  At that point the flood came.

Did they have any warning that the flood was coming?  They sure did!  Noah had been warning them for about one hundred years.  That’s how long it took him to build the ark.

What we need to understand is that when the door to the ark was finally shut it was too late.  Here is a very important question.  Who shut the door to the ark?  Please pay careful attention to this fact.  It was God who shut the door.  Noah didn’t shut it, and he couldn’t open it.

Once that door was shut, no one could change their mind and get in.  It was too late.  I’m sure that when the rain started falling, there were people pounding on that door.  But when God shuts the door, the time of repentance is over.

I believe that there will be a day when God will close the door to salvation.  That’s why it’s imperative that we preach the Good News while God’s ark of salvation remains open.

Question: What are you doing to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Return of Christ

 

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Continuing in Power #powerofGod

PowerI have been posting about how Christ was tempted in the wilderness.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, He overcame all the assaults of the enemy.  But there’s more to the story than just the devil’s defeat.

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.  Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
Luke 4:13-14

The story goes on.  After the devil had done everything he knew to do, he was finished.  The enemy had totally drained his battery.  He had to leave for a while to recharge.

Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t miss a beat.  He’d been fasting in the wilderness for 40 days.  Then the Lord experienced a spiritual battle the likes of which we’ve never seen in our lives.

Was He drained?  Did he have to recuperate?  Absolutely not!  Jesus Christ came out of the wilderness experience just as powerful as when He entered 40 days before.

We need to walk in this kind of power.  But in order to do this we must let go of our reliance upon the promises and start acting like spiritual adults.  We need to truly tap into the full potential of the power of the Holy Spirit who is at work within us.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
Ephesians 3:16

Without a doubt, this is the key – the Holy Spirit living within us.  Being led by the Spirit is the earmark of a son.  We must remain in Christ if we are to access this potential.  Christ is our example.

I don’t know why we’ve turned it around and made it all about us.  As if we have the power to change anything.  We think that if we find the right promise or confess the right Scripture verse, then a miracle will happen.  Maybe if we put together the correct formula of words in a prayer the power will manifest.

What’s the secret of how Christ consistently walked in the power of the Spirit?  It wasn’t confessions or formulas.  It was the time He spend remaining in the Father’s presence.  He prayed, He listened, and He obeyed.

It’s time for us to learn this lesson.  We need to stop looking for an easy way to tap into the Spirit while continuing to live for ourselves.  I need to submit to the Lord’s agenda for my life.  Time in the presence of God is the only thing that will bring about this transformation.

Question: What would have to change in order for you to spend more time in the Lord’s presence?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Power of God, Prayer

 

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