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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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Where is your God? #prayforrevival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs I was reading in Psalms the other day, I came across this question.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?
Psalm 42:5a

Are you downcast over the society we find ourselves in?  Are you worried about the future?  You’re not alone.  Many find themselves in this position.  It’s what you do about it that counts.

The writers of this Psalm felt the same way.  So much so, that they asked this question twice in this small passage.  You’ll find they ask this in both verse 5 and verse 11.

I also noticed something else in this section of Scripture.  Twice, in verse 3 and verse 10, the world asks a question of us.

My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Psalm 42:3

This seems to be the cause of their downcast soul.  I believe that it’s affecting the church today as well.  We’re so worried about looking foolish in the eyes of the world.

As they taunt us – “Where is your God?”, we slip back into the shadows so that we won’t be hurt by their actions.  That’s when we find ourselves depressed and confused over the spiritual condition of our nation.

I believe that this Psalm holds the answer to the problem.  The second half of verses 5 and 11 says…

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalms 42:5b

Put your hope, your expectation, in what God promises His people.  In that way you’ll have a better attitude over the situation we’re in.

But sometimes that’s easier said than done.  How do we put our hope in God in the midst of the taunts of the world?

There’s more to this Psalm.  The solution is simple, yet we have a hard time with it.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Psalms 42:1-2

This is the key to a victorious attitude in an ungodly culture.  We hear what the world is telling us – the taunts and ridicule.  It depresses and disturbs us.  But there’s another response that it should summon up in us.

The state of our society should drive us to our knees.  It should push us into the presence of the living God.  We need to let the condition of the world light a fire for Christ in our hearts.  Only then will we place our expectation in what the Lord is about to do.

It’s time for God’s people to wake up from their slumber and affect our culture with the Word of God.  That will only happen as we spend quality time in the Lord’s presence.

Question: How are you affected by the society you live in?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Encouragement, Revival

 

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Our Problem – The Flesh #spiritualfast

Give UpI’ve been posting about the New Testament fast.  There’s an event in Jesus’ ministry that sheds some light on it.

As Jesus was returning to the city form the mount of transfiguration, He was met by a crowd of people.  While He was away, the disciples tried to cast a demon out of a young man, but were unable to.  This is important, because they had been personally trained by the Lord and should have had an easy time with it.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered.   “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him.  But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus.  “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:21-24

Knowing the three parts of our being helps us to understand the man’s statement in Mark 9:21-24.  He didn’t understand how he could both believe and not believe at the same time.  It’s important for us to see that both faith and unbelief or “unfaith” can exist at the same time in the same person.

My spirit is always full of faith.  My flesh is always full of doubt and unbelief.  It was this realization that caused the man to cry out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  This is the key issue involved in our desire for the miraculous to be evident in our ministries.

Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
Matthew 17:18-19

Everyone who wants a walk of excellence needs to know the answer to this.  We all read the Word of God.  We know that it’s God’s will to heal and deliver.  Why is it so hard, sometimes, to see the manifestation of the Spirit of the Lord?  Listen very intently to Jesus’ answer.  It will help us to move up into the excellence of ministry that He has for us.

Obviously, the disciples didn’t ask in public in case the answer was in the form of a rebuke.  They would rather take it in private.  But their question was valid.  Why couldn’t they do what Jesus did, even though they had the faith to try it?

They had been trained by Jesus Himself to go out two by two.  They had prayed for the sick and saw them healed.  They had rebuked demons and saw them bow to the Name of Jesus.  Why, all of a sudden, did it seem to stop working?

We need to open our heart to what Jesus says.  This could explain our lack of results.  We have faith.  We step out.  But many times we experience nothing.  Why?

In my next post we’ll see how the Lord answered this question.

Question: How has your flesh hindered your walk with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Fasting, Spirit of Excellence

 

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The Foundation for Fasting #spiritualfast

BibleI am posting about the New Testament fast.  I believe that it can revolutionize your walk with the Lord.

Did you ever feel like your spiritual breakthrough was right there?  You could almost taste it.  You have the faith, but you just couldn’t cross over to the promise before you.

Hopefully, that will no longer be the case.  No, you don’t have to fast to be saved.  However, if your desire is to walk in the fullness of the salvation that the Lord has provided for you, then fasting is one of the tools available to propel you forward.

Fasting is something that should be a normal part of your walk with the Lord.  As a matter of fact, no one should even be aware of your doing it.

When the Lord spoke of washing your face and putting oil on your head he was referring to the normal grooming that most people of His culture did each day.  In other words, go through your day in the normal routine, only without eating.  That is the impact of what Jesus was teaching in the verses we looked at in my last post (Matthew 6:16-18).

On the other hand, I have seen people get religious about this point.  They lock themselves in their room for the day.  It’s not a sin for people to know that you’re fasting.

My regular fasting day is Tuesday.  It would be impossible for me to hide this from my wife and children.  What I’m not to do is use fasting as a way to make myself look good in the eyes of others.  I simply go through the day normally – only without eating.

The big question is – why does the Lord want us to fast?

To understand fasting, we must look at an incident that occurred in Jesus’ ministry.  This happened immediately after the Lord’s transfiguration on the mountain.  I will look at it in detail in my next post.  By understanding this event, we will see why the supernatural is so difficult to enter into in the United States.

The first thing I need to understand is who I am as a person.  I’m a multi-part being.  I exist as body (flesh), soul (mind), and spirit.

My spirit is the part of my being that communes with God.  My spirit believes everything in the Word of God.  It agrees, without reservation, to every word spoken by the Lord.

My flesh, on the other hand, is the part that I inherited from my ancestor, Adam.  It rejects and doubts whatever God says.  The tension between the flesh and the spirit has created a war that’s constantly waging within me.

The third aspect, my mind, is the part of me that’s in control and has to sort it all out.  This will be the case until we receive our resurrected body from the Lord.  So we better know the scriptural way to handle it.

In my next post we’ll see what Jesus says the problem is.

Questions: Have you been trust God for a spiritual breakthrough?  How close is it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Fasting, Spirit of Excellence

 

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Famine

Genesis 42:1-5
When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?”  He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt.  Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”
Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.  But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him.  So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also.

Many people down through the ages have had to deal with famine.  Sometimes it’s a dry weather pattern.  It might be poor farming techniques.  Whatever its cause in a particular area, its effects can be devastating.  We have all seen pictures of famine victims from around the world and maybe have even sent some money to help relieve the suffering.

The Bible speaks, however, of an even greater famine that is experienced by His people.  I’m talking about a famine of the Word of God.  It seems that these days, it’s not a famine of availability but a famine of receiving.

In the above verses Jacob’s sons were willing to take a wilderness journey of many weeks in order to satisfy their physical hunger.  With us – if it’s not handed to us on a platter, we are not willing to strive spiritually.

We need to take the initiative to hear from God’s Word.  Are we willing to put forth the effort to receive a feeding that will last throughout time and eternity?  Avoid a famine of the soul.  Spend quality time in prayer, read the Word, and hear from God that your spirit may be full.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Needing a Drink

John 4:4-7
Now he [Jesus] had to go through Samaria.  So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.  Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.  It was about the sixth hour.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

It is interesting to see that The Lord took on Himself the same physical limitations that we have.  When He exerted Himself in the heat of the day, it produced hunger and thirst in Him.  He knows what we go through.

Walking the road to Sychar made Jesus thirsty.  In the part of the world the Lord walked in, the heat could get downright oppressive.  Water drawn from deep down in a well was cold and refreshing.  Jesus knew that His body needed that kind of a lift.

I was on a hike once where I ran out of water.  It was a hot day and I began to dehydrate as I tried to get to the next source of water.  I remember the pain as my muscles started cramping up, and each step was painful.  It felt like Heaven on earth when I finally arrived at a tiny trickle of water across the trail that I could use to rehydrate my body and fill my canteens.

Of course, as important as water is to our physical well-being, there is a deeper truth.  As He continued talking to the woman, Jesus related the need to spiritual water.  Think about how thirsty you get when you walk under the blazing sun.  You can then understand how thirsty your soul must get traveling through this world filled with problems.  You need to do something that offers spiritual refreshment.

Spending time in the Word and listening to the Lord, is like a cold drink to your soul.  Refresh your inner man today.  Take a nice long drink at the well of the Lord.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Examine Yourself

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?

There are times that we need to test our walk with the Lord.  To do that it is best to be alone and quiet.  In this age of cell phones, MP3, and DVD players it is hard to have any quiet time at all.  I even feel that many people – without Christ – “plug in” for the purpose of not hearing their own heart.

Many people are afraid to examine their inner man.  It is probably because they are afraid of what they will find.  Please realize that it is a healthy thing to take a long hard look at yourself.  You need to see how you measure up to Christ, His calling, how far you have come and the direction in which you are headed.

Re-evaluation is at the heart of a holy walk.  It means we are willing to take the occasional course correction when God gets our attention.

Take the time needed today to get a long glimpse of what is going on in your soul.  Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and insight.  Examine your life, dreams and goals in His presence.  Then purpose to make the corrections that God offers you.  You will be glad that you did.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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