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Have You Met El Qanaa?

Lightning 3In my last post I showed the first thing the Holy Spirit wrote about Himself. This was found in James 4:4-5. It declared in no uncertain terms that the Holy Spirit is intensely jealous over us.

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
James 4:5-6

But what really caught my attention was the phrase Scripture says. I started to ask myself where the Bible talks about this jealousy. So I searched the Old Testament.

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Exodus 34:14

In this section of Scripture God is giving Israel the Law through Moses. As I read it I was taken by surprise to find out that His name is Jealous.

Please understand, I’ve heard a lot of teachings about the names of God. He’s Jehovah-Rapha, the Healing God. He’s Jehovah-Tsidkinnu, God our Righteousness. These names don’t even scratch the surface.

But in all of these teachings that I’ve heard about the names of God I was never told about El Qanaa. The Jealous God. (Pronounced like El Kanaw)

We need to lay hold of this. For purposes of comparison I started counting. Jehovah Jireh, the God who Provides, is only used 1 time in Scripture. Abraham was inspired to use this name for God when He provided a ram for sacrifice in place of his son.

In contrast, God calls Himself El Qanaa 7 times in the Old Testament. I think that this is a part of God’s character that shouldn’t be ignored.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30

This verse literally says do not make the Holy Spirit sad, mournful. I think we lose sight of the fact that He’s a person with feelings. How many times do we make Him feel rejected or ignored?

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

This verse tells us that God did not call us to a life that’s not cleaned. That phrase could also mean not pruned. We think it’s okay to say, “I just don’t want to be cleaned up right now.”

The truth is that we’re called to a set apart life. This is accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit within us. So He starts the cleaning process when we’re saved.

When I reject the process – His instruction and guidance – I reject God, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to do a work that He’s proud of in us.

Then we tell Him, “Not now. Come back later.” That makes Him sad. He knows the destiny He’s leading us to. We need an increased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit working within us.

Question: What has the Holy Spirit been working in you lately?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Revival, The Church

 

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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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A Prophecy for 2014 #prayforrevival

ClockI have found that the Psalms have lined up with current affairs since the year 1900.  Over the past 10 years or so I have preached from a Psalm each year and it’s been amazingly accurate.  The Psalm for this year is Psalm 114.

When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue…
Psalm 114:1

This psalm uses both Israel and Jacob.  They refer to the same person, yet they’re different.  He started out as Jacob, but his name was changed after an encounter with God.  His new name, Israel, literally means conquered by God.

The Lord knows where you’re at.  It’s time to go deeper.  There’s a call going forth this year for the church to leave Egypt.  We’re too much a part of our society.  It’s time for us to break from the world.

Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
Psalms 114:2

But the Lord starts where you’re at.  Israel is the whole nation.  If you’re part of the crowd, then become God’s dominion.  We’re not living for ourselves like the world does.  We must come under the dominion of the King.

Judah refers to the tribe from whom the kings were chosen.  They consistently served the king.  There are those who have set apart Christ as Lord.  For these believers there’s a further step.

You must become God’s sanctuary.  Literally – God’s clean, holy place.  It’s one thing to see yourself as owned by God, another to see yourself as His sanctuary.

The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
Psalms 114:3-4

This is the miraculous intervention of God.  But it’s not just for survival.  This is God’s intervention for a people who are moving forward.  God wants to do the miraculous for those who are obedient.

The sea refers to the Red Sea.  This was for those who chose to leave Egypt.  If you choose to make a break with the world, then God will give you supernatural assistance to do it.

Becoming His sanctuary is crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land.  If you want to take that step, then God will supernaturally open up the way.

The key is that you have to take the first step.  Israel didn’t wait for the sea to open up before they left Egypt.  Then, when they got to the Jordan River, they had to step in before it parted.  We need to make the first move by faith.

Then you’ll get to the mountains and hills skipping.  That’s the new things that God wants to do once you’ve surrendered to His will.

Why was it, O sea, that you fled, O Jordan, that you turned back, you mountains, that you skipped like rams, you hills, like lambs?
Psalms 114:5-6

Now a question is asked.  Why is God making it as easy as possible for us to obey His call?

It’s getting late; His coming is drawing close.  We need to prepare for the final harvest.  We’re partying in the house, while the grain is starting to rot in the field.

20 years ago this was largely an anti-spiritual society.  The concept of God or miracles was distasteful to the world.  Now the entertainment industry is all about magic, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and superheroes.

That’s actually a cry for the supernatural.  But the church must wake up to show what’s true.  There’s a reason God wants to perform miracles.  It’s to bring people to the cross.

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.
Psalms 114:7-8

God wants to get the world’s attention.  He does this by bringing the refreshing waters of revival to the church.

It seems like I preach this every year.  But that’s because this has been God’s call for many years.  Every year revival depends on our response.

It’s time to see the hand of God at work.  If we will become God’s dominion, God’s sanctuary, then we will see a miraculous revival in our land.

Question: What does it take to see a revival?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

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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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Have You Transferred Ownership?

contractPaul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…
Romans 1:1

Paul uses some interesting language in this verse.  He calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ – literally a slave.  It’s interesting, because on various occasions Paul made a point of proving his freedom.

Once he was arrested and he asked the guard why he was being denied his right to a trial as a Roman citizen.  The guard explained that he, personally, had to buy his freedom.  Paul, on the other hand, said that he was born a free Roman citizen.

At that time, if you were born a slave, you were expected to be a slave forever – there was no escaping it.  Under Roman law, a slave could find out his “sale price” from his master.  Then, if he saved enough money, he could pay the buying price to and have the ownership transferred to one of the many Roman gods.  Then, as a slave to that god, could serve as a free man.

I believe this was in the back of Paul’s mind as he penned these words.  We are all born under slavery to sin.  That was our unfortunate lot for the rest of our lives.

Jesus Christ paid the “slave price” for us.  Now, just as Paul did, we need to transfer the ownership of our lives over to God.  As God’s slaves we can now serve as free citizens of the kingdom of Heaven.

We have to live under this knowledge if we are to have a fulfilling life in Christ.  We don’t own our lives.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8

Christ, Himself, set the standard of living that we need to follow.  He said that He came to live a life of service.  That should be our attitude as well.

The Apostle Peter understood this truth.

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16

In the first verse above, Paul said that as a slave, he was called to be sent forth as an apostle.  Once we’ve transferred the ownership of our lives to God, our callings will open up to us.  We are now free to serve Him to the best of our ability.

Paul finished off the verse by saying that he was set apart to the Good News.  That literally means that we are set off by a boundary.  The Good News is our field of service.

This is the attitude that will push you to great things in the body of Christ.

Question: Have you transferred the ownership rights of your life to the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Encouragement, The Gospel

 

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You are Called to a Life of Excellence

TrophyA couple of weeks ago I blogged about how the Bible describes our excellent God.  It’s one thing to acknowledge that a perfect, holy, and Most High God is excellent.  It’s quite another to see that we’re called to that same level of excellence.

Again, let me remind you that it’s not what we do, but whom we have become that makes us excellent.  A ministry is not excellent because of its money, technology, modern equipment, large size, big building, or anything else that we may possess.  It’s only when we compare what we’re doing to the normal, the average, or the expected that excellence can be seen.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Acts 13:2

The very act of finding and entering your calling is being set apart – you are being divinely moved from a large group to a smaller group.  This, by definition, is the more excellent group.

It is a group of those who have been called, prepared, chosen, and accepted for a divinely appointed task.  Don’t ever think you’re just like everybody else; you’re not.

There are levels to our callings based upon our obedience and excellence.  The more we manifest excellence in our walk and ministry, the further from the pack we move.  Make no mistake about it; the Lord is very clear in His call to us – we are to leave the normal behind.

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48

This seems like an almost impossible task. Are we really to be as perfect as God?  Actually, the word perfect in this verse means fully mature.  God wants us to grow up and act as mature believers.  The life of maturity in Christ is the life of excellence to which we are called.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15-16

It is clear from the above verses that God is calling us to live a life worthy of His excellent name.  Please don’t get confused by what I’m saying.  I’m not talking about your salvation.  It’s not by works that we’re saved, but through the grace of God.

What I am speaking about, however, is the fact that once we’re saved, there is an expectation of change (for the better) in our lives.  God is looking for His children to grow and mature into a people who accurately portray His kingdom and His desires.

For Christians, the walk of maturity is the walk of excellence.

Question: In what areas have you seen yourself mature since you’ve come to Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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Be Holy

1 Peter 1:15-16
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

To be “holy” means to be “set apart.”  It means that we see ourselves as reserved exclusively for God’s use.  I am no longer a part of a crowd, headed for destruction.  Through Christ, I have been singled out to serve the Lord.

Having a special time and place to meet with the Lord each day, helps to reinforce that mindset.  As I make a break with the general population and come away to His presence, a change starts taking place.  I am transformed from just a tiny drop in a huge bucket to a unique servant of the Most High God.

It is God’s desire to work in me through my own particular personality, strengths, and weaknesses.  He has a calling for my life that no one else can accomplish quite the way I could.  There is a destiny and a purpose set-aside just for me.  I am special in the eyes of God.

Make that break from the pack today.  See yourself as set apart, holy to the Lord.  Don’t settle on just being a number or a statistic on somebody’s role somewhere.  Start today seeing yourself as God sees you, as a chosen and unique vessel exclusively for the Master’s use.  Armed with that knowledge, you can come boldly into the awesome presence of his holiness.  Receive from the Lord today all that you need for fulfilling your destiny in Him.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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