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Tag Archives: revelation

What’s the Point?

In my last post, I talked about the importance of a Word from God in the church.  When we gather together, there should be an expectancy that we will receive an impartation from the Lord.

In First Corinthians, chapter 14, Paul continues with this thought.

Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?
1 Corinthians 14:6

Having already told the church that he desires everyone to pray in the spirit, the apostle now talks about his own ministry.  He, personally, has a rich spiritual prayer life.  And he will continue it when he comes to the Corinthian church.

When Paul prays in the spirit, he’s speaking to God.  When he comes to the gathering of believers, he wants to speak to them.  That’s how the church will be built up.

This statement is not an either/or proposition.  Paul prays in tongues so that he will be built up.  Then, when he comes to the church, he’ll have something to impart from the spirit.

He says there are four things that you can expect from his ministry.  They’re the same four things that should be the earmark of a healthy church, even in our generation.

Revelation.  The word, revelation, means an uncovering.  There are times when the preaching of the Word will uncover things that have been hidden.

We’re told to be the light of the world.  There are times when people don’t want to come into the light because it exposes the things that they’re hiding.

Anointed preaching has a way of opening people’s mail.  That’s a step in setting them free from their sin nature.

Knowledge.  Knowledge is simply the understanding of facts.  It’s learning something that you didn’t know before hearing it.

Godly preaching will expose you to facts about the people and places in the Bible that you hadn’t heard about before.  The more knowledge we receive, the stronger our faith in God will become.

This is a very important aspect of preaching.  Unfortunately, there are churches where knowledge is just about the only thing you get from their ministry.

Prophecy.  I’ve talked about this one before.  Prophecy is speaking a message that God wants to be delivered.  It doesn’t always deal with the future.

I believe that all preaching should be prophetic.  Personally, I don’t want to stand before a congregation unless I know that I’m saying what God wants them to hear.

But it’s not just preaching.  It could be a word of encouragement that the Lord wants you to share with a friend at work.  It doesn’t always have to be spoken before the whole church.

Word of Instruction.  This is specifically teaching that applies to your life.  It’s an instruction on how to live for Christ.

We have lived in the world, according to its rules, for our whole life until coming to Jesus.  Now, we’re a new creation, in a new kingdom, with a new destination, and therefore have a new lifestyle.  We need to be instructed on how this new life works.

When I come to a church gathering, there’s an expectation that one or more of these four aspects will impart God’s power to me.  Prayer in the spirit equips those in ministry to walk in this anointing.  It also prepares me to receive what the Lord has for me.

Question: How would the body of Christ look if this were in place in all church meetings?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Hearing God’s Wisdom

I’ve been posting about how the Wisdom of God can bring your life to a whole new level.  It was destined, by God, to bring glory to the church.  We now need to see how we can lay hold of this wisdom.

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

The power of the Spirit takes us beyond our own human understanding.  No eye has seen – You can read the Bible from cover to cover and not see everything God has prepared for your life.

No ear has heard – You can listen to every sermon, prophet, and apostle and yet still not hear all God has for you.

No mind has conceived – You can’t brainstorm, imagine, or even dream up everything that’s your portion in the will of God.  BUT…God has revealed it by His SPIRIT.

Paul then goes on to explain that the spirit can investigate everything, even the deep things of God. I believe that Paul is talking about your own human spirit. Your spirit can search out all things.

You may think Google is good. The Bible tells you that your spirit is the greatest search engine ever created.

I know that Paul was given an enormous amount of revelation.  He wrote most of the New Testament under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  How did he receive all of that?  By spending time in the spirit.

Here Paul tells us the secret of this supernatural revelation.  It can only be received in the spirit.  He makes it clear that your flesh (eyes and ears) cannot grasp it.  Neither can your soul (mind) come up with it.  It has to be a work of your spirit.

If this is true, then you must know how to use your spirit in order to access this information.  It only comes to a person who knows how to interact on the spiritual level.  This means that you must know how to pray in the spirit in order to receive the revelation that’s referenced by this verse.

Your body and soul can never search out the deeper things of God; it will only be accomplished by your spirit working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?  In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
1 Corinthians 2:11-12

We have to understand how our human spirit functions.  Most people have no idea what it does.  Other than knowing that we have a spirit, most people don’t even give it a second thought.

Our spirit it the most important part of our being.  It has abilities and functions that are indispensable to our Christian walk.  One of its functions is to search out what we’re thinking about.  Your spirit knows what you want as well as all of your hopes and dreams.  The fact is that your spirit knows you intimately.

In the same way that your spirit knows your thoughts, God’s Spirit knows His thoughts intimately.  Now for the question that can unlock the power of God in your life.  What if these two spirits get together and compare notes?  Your spirit knows your needs, thoughts, desires, and questions.  God’s Spirit knows all the answers to these things.

When they get together, the result is a release of the power of God over your life and ministry.  It’s through prayer in the spirit that this will happen.  That’s how to lay hold of the wisdom of God.  It can only be done in the realm of the spirit.

Question: How does prayer in the spirit affect your life?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Light – The Blessing of Discipleship

We’re continuing to deal with the subject of parables in the Gospel of Mark.  One of the questions that many have is; why did Jesus speak in parables?  Why didn’t He simply state the truth in plain language?  That’s a good question.

The disciples wondered about it too.  Here’s a verse we looked at a few posts ago…

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.  But to those on the outside everything is said in parables…”
Mark 4:10-11

The word translated secret in this verse is a special word.  It refers to a mystery that you’re not privy to until you’ve joined the group.

Jesus is talking about the secret of the kingdom of God.  It’s something that you won’t understand until you’re actually a member of it.  Once you’re in the kingdom, you can handle the knowledge.

The Lord then went on to explain the parable of the sower.  We looked at that over the last few posts.  He then explains about the kingdom secrets.

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed?  Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?  For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.”
Mark 4:21-22

This question sounds like a no-brainer.  The very purpose of a light is to reveal what’s in the dark.  If you want to remain in darkness, then just don’t bring in the light.  There’s no sense in hiding it.

This statement by Jesus was supposed to be an encouragement to the disciples.  He wanted them to continue to ask questions about His teachings.  There were even times that the Lord asked them, “Do you understand what I just said?”

At that point in history, Jesus was the Light of the world.  He was the one revealing the things of the Father to those in Israel who would listen.

In essence, He was telling the disciples, “You have the light with you right now.  I’m here for a reason.  Let me reveal to you the things that may seem hidden.  I want you to know the secrets of the kingdom.”

The things that had been concealed for ages past were not meant to be kept secret forever.  It was time for those with the faith to trust the Messiah to hear these truths.

But it gets even better than that.  This is a Word to us as well.  Whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.

That’s the job of the Holy Spirit in us.  He’s the One who teaches us all the things we need to understand in our walk with God.

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

We don’t have to walk around in the dark.  We have the light of the Holy Spirit within us.  Time spent with the Spirit is time spent in the light.  Use this great blessing that we’ve been given.  Walk in the light of the Lord.

Question: What are some things that the Holy Spirit has revealed to you in the past?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Fellowship – In Step with the Spirit

Jet Plane to NowhereIn my last post I started to look at our fellowship and unity. We saw that to operate in these we must fix upon each other. We also saw that the revelation of God is the glue that holds us together.

We originally looked at a verse in Amos, chapter 3. Further down in that chapter we’re told how God operates.

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
Amos 3:7

This goes right along with the truth that revelation keeps us together. God’s desire is to always let His people know what’s coming on the earth. He wants us to be prepared to minister.

This is something many believers don’t understand and are not looking for. God wants to reveal His plans to us. But is that really the case? Look at these Scriptures…

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
Psalms 25:14

This literally says that the Lord has a secret consultation with those who fear Him. So it’s not just for prophets, but for anyone who fears the Lord.

…for the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
Proverbs 3:32

This is the portion of the righteous, to be in the Lord’s confidence. He wants to share with us exactly what He’s going to do. But is that a New Testament truth?

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

This verse is not talking about things prepared for us after we die, but things that will take place during our lives. Jesus Christ, Himself, spoke of this aspect of the Holy Spirit.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
John 16:13

This is how the Lord wants to deal with His church. He desires to keep us together and in unity by showing us what’s coming on the horizon.

But if this is our portion, then why do we seem to be groping around in the dark. Many times we’re either in one ditch or the other. Too far in front, or lagging way behind what the Spirit is doing. It often seems like the body of Christ is like a crowd of people simply walking down the street with no purpose or direction.

This ability to see what God’s doing only comes through time spent in quietness before Him. He will not speak to us if we’re not listening.

The only way to keep the unity of the spirit is to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. But keeping in step with Him requires us to fix upon the Spirit of God. It requires time in His presence.

If we want God to confide in us, we need to be found in that intimate place with Him. Then, as we keep in step with what Christ is doing, we’ll keep in step with each other.

Question: How often do you spend quiet time with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Fellowship and Unity

WalkWhat is fellowship? Is it merely sitting together in a church service, then going home? Or is it more than that?

I want to take a couple of posts to talk about fellowship and unity. Both what it is and why it’s so important.

The Old Testament prophet, Amos, had some insight into this subject.

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
Amos 3:3

That’s an interesting question, and one that we should be asking ourselves regularly. What he’s really asking is if two can walk in unity, as one. How do you accomplish that?

In English it reads that they agreed to do so. The literal Hebrew says that they must fix upon each other. That’s just like soldiers marching together.

They need to fix upon each other so that their steps will be in sync with the soldiers around them. That’s the difference between soldiers marching together and a crowded sidewalk.

Sometimes I wonder about the body of Christ these days. Are we more like soldiers, marching in step? Or an unruly crowd, all headed in generally the same direction?

That’s why we need true fellowship. It’s through fellowship that we coordinate our lives together. Fellowship and unity go hand in hand. You can’t have unity without true fellowship.

Fellowship is knowing that I can’t serve Christ effectively without understanding your calling. That’s because none of us is called to serve Christ in a vacuum. We’re all interdependent upon each other (or at least we should be).

Our natural inclination is to only think about ourselves. We’re all individual pieces with nothing to hold us together. There needs to be some sort of spiritual “glue” to keep us from going in separate directions. Actually, God has provided just what we need.

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
Proverbs 29:18

We must have a revelation – a clear Word – from God. This verse says that without it we cast off restraint. That literally means that our group loosens and falls apart. Hearing from the Holy Spirit is what keeps us marching together.

That’s why we must be in fellowship with each other. We hear from God to hold us together. We fix upon each other so that we can walk in sync together.

In my next post I want to go into detail about these issues. I want to talk about the revelation that’s needed and also, how to fix upon each other so that we can walk in unity.

Question: What would church look like if we were all ministering in unity?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2016 in Fellowship, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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The Second Coming – Order is Everything

CakeIn my last post I began looking at how to make the return of the Lord less confusing to us. I talked about methods of study that are helpful, and not so helpful.

Another confusing method that some people use is to start their study of the end times with the book of Revelation. They just can’t wait. They don’t realize that Revelation is the icing on the cake.

When baking a cake, we don’t start by getting the icing into the shape we want and then try shoving the cake into the icing. That would be foolish (and messy). But some Christians do that with the Second Coming by starting with the book of Revelation.

What I intend to do, is to start with Christ. If anybody knows about His return, it’s Him. He’s the One coming back. So we’ll start with His teaching and then build upon it by adding the apostle’s teaching to the Lord’s foundation.

Only then can we see how the book of Revelation applies to the whole. If you start with the right foundation, there’s no room for confusion and contradictions.

I’ll also be defining terms as we go along. Phrases such as the last days, the last day, the day of the Lord, and the day of the Son of Man need to be defined based on their use in Scripture. I can’t just use a term like the day of the Lord and make it mean whatever I want it to mean. I’ve got to know what the writer meant when the Holy Spirit inspired him to use that term.

As we look at all these things together, we must be prepared to let the Word of God speak to us. You’re going to hear some things that will challenge you. Hopefully you’ll rethink some of the things that you’ve always assumed about the coming of the Lord. Our goal is to be witnesses who are ready for Christ’s return.

Our direction is simply to follow Jesus’ outline as He taught His disciples. He started with one simple precept and built on it. What you’ll find, if you study out all the teachings of Christ, is that He taught on four main tracks in dealing with the end-times. We’re going to take each of these tracks of teaching at some point in my future posts.

We’ll proceed down these tracks in the order that Christ taught them to His disciples. In this way, we’ll have a clear picture of the end-times that’s received straight from the Savior’s mouth. If you’re prepared to receive Jesus’ teaching, wherever it may lead you, then you’re ready to begin the journey.

I suggest that you subscribe to these posts by e-mail, so that you don’t miss any of them.

Question: Are you excited by the thought that Christ will return? Are you looking forward to that day?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Return of Christ, Spiritual Walk

 

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Holiness – The Pull of Worship

EmeraldI’m currently posting about the atmosphere surrounding the true worship of God. I’m using the gems mentioned in Revelation, chapter 4, as a starting point. I’ve already talked about praise and the principle of ownership.

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.
Revelation 4:3

The next gemstone that I want to talk about is the emerald. Emeralds are in the beryl family. Because chromium is in their composition, they have a green color.

Many nations have used this gem for their crown jewels. It’s considered by many cultures a “Holy Gem.” The emperor Nero had glasses made of it to watch the gladiator games. Aristotle said that owning an emerald made you important simply because you possessed it.

When I think about all of these aspects, I can understand this emerald glow around the throne of God. When I come into the Lord’s presence I can see things as they truly are.

I came to God as a worthless nobody in my sight, now because of His grace, I’m important to Him. He wants me in His kingdom. The Lord looks the same way at you. We are all precious to Him.

True worship springs from this attitude of holiness. When I understand that I’m set apart for God, for His good pleasure, it’s easier to worship.

You need to understand that in Christ you’re not like everyone else in the world. You’ve been born again into the family of God. You’re a joint-heir with Christ Jesus. You have a calling and a destiny that’s greater than you can imagine.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
Psalms 96:9

Throughout the Bible worship and holiness are linked together. One flows from the other. It’s even found in the New Testament.

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.
Romans 12:1

This is true worship. It’s birthed in the atmosphere where you see your whole being as set apart for His purposes. When you’re in that place, worship can flow freely. That’s because you realize just how much you mean to the Lord. You’re free to be intimate in His presence.

As God’s people we need to cultivate this attitude of holiness. It will truly usher us into the matchless presence of our loving Father.

Question: How do our attitudes about holiness affect our worship of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Revival, Worship

 

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Ownership – The Foundation of Worship

 

SealI’m posting about the atmosphere surrounding the true worship of God. I’m looking at the worship scene around God’s throne as an example to us. Specifically – the gems talked about in Revelation, chapter 4.

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.
Revelation 4:3

In my last post I talked about jasper stones. The second mentioned is carnelian. This stone is a silicate with iron-oxide mixed in. That gives it the color of orange to a deep blood-like red.

One of the most important properties of carnelian is that hot wax will not stick to it. Because of this the ancient Romans made their signet or sealing rings from it.

When important scrolls or letters were written, hot wax was dripped on it to seal it. While the wax was still soft, the owner would make an impression in it using this ring. Only the one with the proper authority could then open the letter – usually under the penalty of death for unauthorized breaking of the seal.

These rings carried with them the power of authority and ownership. Worship understands God’s ownership of us. So many problems arise from not acknowledging God’s ownership.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22

The Bible is clear – we were bought at a price. The price was the precious blood of Christ. That’s why it’s so meaningful that the carnelian can be a blood red stone.

Knowing that I belong to Christ makes it easier for me to worship Him. When I’m under the impression that I own myself, worship then becomes optional. I worship the Lord when and if I feel like it.

When Satan tested Christ in the wilderness, at one point he showed the Lord all the kingdoms of the world. The devil then said that he would give it all to Christ free and clear if He bowed down and worshipped him. That would have been an easy way out. Jesus would never have had to go to the cross and suffer.

What was the Lord’s response?

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Matthew 4:10

It’s clear from Scripture that worship and service go hand in hand. Unfortunately, many believers worship themselves. I need to come to grips with the understanding that I’m not my own. I’m here at Christ’s good pleasure. That will lead me to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.

Question: How does your life show that it’s owned by Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Worship

 

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Praise – Prelude to Worship

087True worship of God is essential to maintaining a growing relationship with the Lord. Revelation, chapter 4, is a beautiful picture of what worship is like in the throne room of God. We need to have these same attitudes as we worship on the earth.

Today, I want to start a small series of posts based upon the gems which form the atmosphere surrounding worship. It’s the way God represented this to John in his vision.

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.
Revelation 4:3

In this short verse we see 3 precious stones mentioned. On the earth, kings wear jewels and gems. They have crowns and scepters. It shows that they’re special.

There’s a majesty surrounding our God. To look at God is to look at majesty itself. That’s why I want to look at the gems around Christ, and how they inspire worship from His people.

The first stone mentioned is jasper– a mixture of a few different elements. That’s why it has bands and spots of all different colors.

A few years ago I was in Machias, Maine. Near there was a jasper beach. The entire beach was made of jasper stones. It’s one of only two in the world. The other is in Japan.

This beach was an incredible place. Every time a wave would come in, as the water receded, it sounded like thousands of people clapping their hands. It sounded to me like there was continual praise going up to the Lord.

In my experience, worship usually springs from an atmosphere of praise. It seems that praise and worship always go together.

Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Nehemiah 8:6

Usually it’s very easy to go from praise into worship. I’ve only rarely heard a meeting go from worship to praise.

Throughout history jasper has been known as the warrior’s stone. It’s interesting that there’s a link between praise and warfare.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalms 8:2

That’s because praise clears the air spiritually. It gets rid of the junk we’ve been thinking of and focuses us in on Christ. As we lose sight of the earthly distractions, we’re better able to enter that intimate place of worship. It’s so much easier to enter into worship if you’ve spent time in praise.

Question: What do you do to prepare your heart to worship the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Worship

 

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The Truth about Mountaintops – Clarity

 

ViewIn my last post I talked about how to climb to a spiritual mountaintop. You don’t just magically wake up there one day. You have to be intentional about doing the daily things that you know to do.

Today I want to expose another myth many people have about these spiritual peaks. They usually equate a mountaintop experience as an emotional high – a very happy time. As I said last time, you need to understand the physical to grasp the spiritual.

I’ve climbed many mountains, but I haven’t always been happy when I got to the top. I remember one time in particular when I fell and got a bad sprain on the trail. The only way back to the nearest road required me to continue up and over two mountains.

When I made it to the summit I was tired, hurting and very frustrated. In spite of this, what I found on the top was still the same as always. There’s something that happens that causes you to stop and take it in.

The defining characteristic of a mountaintop is this – clarity. Usually you get an unobstructed 360 degree view that goes on for miles. This is what being on the mountaintop is all about.

It’s the same for the spiritual. As we go through our daily routines, as boring and monotonous as they are sometimes, suddenly the view opens up. We hear from the Holy Spirit. We get a vision of where God is taking us to.

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

The revelation talked about here is not for those who simply live for themselves with no thought to the spirit walk. God reveals His plan to those who through their daily walk with Christ climb this mountain of revelation. They’re the ones who see God’s plan for their lives.

There is one catch, however. When I stand on a mountaintop I can see the next few mountains that the trail will cross. What I can’t see is the trail itself. In spite of the great view, I don’t know the exact route I’ll take to get there. All I know is that if I stay on the trail, I’ll get to my destiny.

Another plus of mountaintop clarity is that you can see where you came from. There are times when we think that God is taking us the wrong way. But looking back from the peak I can see that there was a lake that I had to go around – that’s why it took so long. It’s always good to realize why God took you the way He did. It inspires faith for the future.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Ephesians 1:17

God’s will is for all believers to live at this level of spiritual insight. This clarity in the spirit is a wonderful thing. Once you’ve experienced it, you don’t want to lose it. So remember, mountaintops are not about being happy, but having a clear vision of where the Lord’s bringing you to.

Question: How clear is your vision of your destiny in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Faith, Prayer, Revival

 

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