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Tag Archives: spirit and truth

Cain – Repentance Breaks the Curse

CrossesI’m posting about Cain’s experience. He murdered his own brother because he thought that it would allow him to worship God on his own terms. It didn’t work.

He found himself away from his calling, and hidden from God’s presence. He even feared that he would be killed for his actions. But God did something surprising.

But the Lord said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
Genesis 4:15

God gave Cain the world’s first tattoo. It read, “Kill him and answer to Me – signed – GOD.”

Why would God do such a thing? Throughout His Word the Lord has said that murder is punishable by death. The answer is in His mercy.

Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.”
Genesis 4:25

This is a very strange statement for Eve to make. At this point she already had over 100 children. Why did she see the need to specifically replace Abel? The name Seth means to place in as a substitute.

Here’s where we see God’s mercy.

Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.
Genesis 4:26

What this verse tells us is that something happened when Seth was old enough to have children. The Bible literally says that calling on the name of the Lord was opened up. (The word men is not in the original Hebrew)

Why did God not allow Cain to be killed? The Lord wanted Cain to see the day when a new prophet would rise up. Seth could now offer the sin-offering for Cain’s forgiveness. I’d like to think that Cain took God’s offer of a second chance. I believe that we’ll see him in Heaven.

Remember – Cain’s curse was that he would be a restless wanderer.

Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.
Genesis 4:17

Do you hear that? Cain built a city. He’s not a wanderer anymore. It sounds like the curse was broken over his life. I believe it’s because he took God’s offer of forgiveness.

What can we learn from all of this – the way of Cain? I can’t worship God on my own terms. It’s an epidemic of our generation of believers.

Many people say that they’re pursuing God. The truth is that I can only pursue God the way God wants to be pursued. Anything else and I’m just a spiritual wanderer.

We must worship God the way He wants to be worshipped – in spirit and in truth. Anything else misses the mark.

Question: What curses has God broken from over your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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Posted by on March 23, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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It’s All About Relationship

RelateAn area that the modern church has glossed over is our relationship with the Lord. The Bible describes many levels, yet we seem to think that just because we sing or read about the highest levels, then that’s where we are. We need to relearn what God thinks when He uses these terms.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:23-24

It’s clear from these words of Christ that the Father’s greatest desire is for relationship. But He doesn’t just want the surface relationship that many are satisfied with. He wants us to come to His presence on His level – in the spirit.

I praise God that I can use my mind and my mouth to approach God. But God is a spirit and He wants us to come before Him at that level. I want to look at the way in which a relationship with God was revealed over time through the Scripture. Let’s start at the beginning.

And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:9

In this verse we see the garden that God had created. In the center were two very special trees. In them we see the choice that was before mankind. It was life versus the recognition of good and evil. This is where God placed the first man, Adam.

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Genesis 2:16-17

The choice was his. Adam was allowed to eat of any tree he wanted. But he was specifically asked by God not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One tree would give life, the other would bring death. It was all about Adam’s trust in God’s Word.

It always comes down to this single choice. Life and death are both about relationship. It has always been this way from God’s perspective. We are the ones who redefine things for our convenience and self-justification.

Israel got the same choice many years later.

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16

Loving God is to relate to Him. Our life then flows from this relationship. It’s an undeniable fact. I must participate in His plan, and I must allow Him to participate in my life. The two go hand in hand. This is the relationship that Adam had with the Lord.

The choice he had was all about life and death. Life is a relationship with God. At the start of this story, Adam had a perfect relationship with God. God wants worshippers who worship in spirit and in truth. This is how Adam related to God.

Question: How does the choice between life and death work in our Christian walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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Worship and Spirit

PowerlessI’m posting a series about true worship. It’s amazing to me how many things we call “worship” that really don’t qualify.

At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
Revelation 4:2

This verse shows us an aspect of worship that few teachers ever emphasize. Worship is a function of the spirit. This is an import truth that God’s people need to understand.

We label a lot of things as worship. When we go to church on Sunday morning, we call it a worship service. Then when it’s time to sing we call it praise and worship. Somehow we’ve redefined it in such a way that the fast songs are praise and the slower ones are worship.

Actually they are simply fast and slow praise songs. When you understand true worship from Scripture, you see that all the functions of our flesh and our mind are a part of our praise to God.

When Jesus talked with the woman at the well, He explained it to her this way…

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24

That’s the underlying truth – God is spirit. This word, worship, speaks of intimate relationship. How do you have intimacy with a spirit? There’s only one level of interaction, and that’s in the spirit.

That’s why daily prayer in the spirit is so important. It’s the vehicle by which we have intimacy with the Father.

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

Do we really put no confidence in our flesh? Especially when it comes to our relationship with God, many believers are driven by their flesh. We’re proud of our trained voices and our professional sound. We want to be moved emotionally by our corporate experiences.

Please understand me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things – if you’re talking about praise. But this post is about true, scriptural worship.

In worship, we put no confidence in our praise, our singing, how long we practiced or even our obedience. The only confidence we have is in Him. That’s why most of what we do in church is actually praise.

Praise can be done loudly and in a group. As a matter of fact, the bigger the group, the more stirring the praise – usually.

Worship is different. It’s intimate. It’s personal – one on one, just me and God. Even if I’m with a crowd of believers, I have to zone them all out and just focus in on the Lord.

The easiest way to do this is to begin praying in the spirit. That’s how our relationship with God is built, spirit to Spirit. It’s time for God’s people to stir up the spirit of worship within them. Let’s stop calling everything we do in church “worship”. It’s time to simply bask in the presence of a holy God and spend some quality, intimate time with Him.

Question: How often do you worship God in the spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Prayer in the Spirit, Worship

 

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Death – A God’s Eye View #prayerinthespirit

GravesIn my last post, I talked about the three parts of our being – body, soul, and spirit.  Knowing all of this, let’s move on to an understanding of just how our spirit operates.  To do this we must go back to the beginning when man was first created.

There are a few basic things that I have no Scripture for, but I have to take on faith, knowing what the Word of God infers.  First, I believe what Jesus said – that God desires true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Second, I believe that God created Adam to be absolutely perfect and that in this perfect state Adam communicated with God the way God wanted him to.  Because of these two beliefs I infer that Adam, in his perfect state, did not communicate with God using his flesh.

All of the interaction between God and Adam took place in the realm of the spirit.  I also believe, if you will stick with me for a moment, that the Scripture will bear this out.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Genesis 2:16-17

When I read this passage, I see Adam hearing in his spirit the command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He was warned that if he did ever eat it he would surely, definitely, absolutely, DIE.  My problem was this – when Adam ate from the tree, he didn’t die.  At least he didn’t die according to our modern society’s concept of death.

What I found was that we don’t understand what God means when He uses the word death.  We usually only see it from the earthly standpoint.  Just because our body stops functioning does not constitute death to God.

We are told in the letter to the Romans to “Count yourself dead to sin” (Romans 6:11).  Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (II Cor. 5:8)  This tells me that when my body stops working, I merely change residences.

To understand the events in the Garden, I need to know what God means when He uses the word death.  A careful study of the Word will prove that when God says that someone has died, it means that communication has stopped.  There is no longer any capability to interact with that person.

That’s why, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father said, “My son was dead, but now is alive.” (Luke 15:24)  The prodigal was not physically dead, but the father could not communicate with him.  So, to the father, he was dead.

Even among Christians we’re told not to grieve like the world that has no hope.  We understand that when we attend the funeral of a fellow believer, the parting is only temporary.  Why do Christians grieve?  Because of a temporary loss of fellowship.

This concept is important to our subject.  In my next post, I’ll apply it to Adam’s situation.

Question: How does this view of death explain sin’s affect upon us?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Worship on this Mountain

John 4:19-24
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.  Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

The Jews and the Samaritans worshipped God on two different mountains.  The woman speaking to Jesus in this verse was starting to get uncomfortable with where the conversation was heading.  She thought that she could start an argument about which was the right place.  Fortunately the Lord was not distracted from His objective by her question.

Jesus answered that God is Spirit.  He knows no physical limitations as to time and place.  He explained to the woman that anywhere you worshipped God was the right place.  This is a great blessing to us.

Worshipping God is one of the greatest experiences you could have.  It doesn’t matter where you set aside the place.  The key is that we come into His presence in spirit and in truth.  To be alone with the Lord is something you cannot afford to miss.

Take the opportunity today to worship in His presence.  Worship Him in spirit and truth, as He calls us to.  You will find it to be one of the high points of your day.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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