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Jealous God

I believe that much of the church doesn’t treat the Holy Spirit as it should. We don’t fully understand the blessing we’ve been given. We have the Spirit of the living God residing in us.

We learn about who the Holy Spirit is through Scripture. Who wrote the Bible? Obviously THE HOLY SPIRIT! The Lord breathed His Word through individuals to bring us the Scripture.

I asked myself a question. What’s the first thing that the Holy Spirit says about Himself? After all, first impressions are the most important.

As I’ve said in this series, James was the first New Testament book to be written. This next verse is the first reference which speaks about the Holy Spirit.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
James 4:4-5

We know that God the Holy Spirit wants to be your friend. But it’s interesting to see that the first thing He reveals about Himself is that you can’t be both His friend and the world’s friend.

Understand this – you can have friends in the world. But the Spirit of God doesn’t want you to be a friend of the world system. We can’t be chasing after the same things that the world does.

The Scripture above literally says that the Holy Spirit is intensely jealous. This is a destructive jealousy to the point where He actively seeks to destroy whatever would try to steal the heart of those He loves.

He knows that you love Him. He knows the plans He has for you. He wants to bring you prosperity and health. He has a hope and a future destiny for you.

But at the same time He sees someone trying to steal your heart. Someone who has plans to ruin your life. Someone with a desire to steal, kill, and destroy.

My question is; if that’s the first thing He says about Himself, how important is it to Him? Unfortunately, I believe that many of us have lost this sense of the Lord’s jealousy.

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.

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. All of 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)

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 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?

There’s a work that the Holy Spirit wants to accomplish in us. When 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 2017

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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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Our All-Powerful God

LightningI’ve been posting about our need to walk in the power of God. It’s beyond question that we serve a God of power. He doesn’t have to merely talk about it. In the Old Testament He’s called God Almighty – the all-powerful God.

In referring to Him we say that He’s omnipotent. That means that He has unlimited and universal power. There’s nothing that God can’t accomplish through the working of His power.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Hebrews 1:3

This verse literally says that Christ is the beaming out of God’s glory. The Son manifests everything that God is. Part of the glory of God is His power. That tells me that true power is found only in Christ. That’s why it’s so important that we spend time with Him. Paul understood this concept intimately.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

How badly do you want to walk in the resurrection power of Christ? Do you know Christ in the power of His resurrection? This is the unbridled power of God that raised Christ from the dead.

The good news is that you can know Christ in this way. If it was possible for Paul, then it’s within your reach, if you’re willing to put forth the effort that an intimate relationship with Christ requires.

I’ve found that if you talk about power enough, then people will send you money just to hear your words. Sadly, there are many others who’ve made this same discovery. Most of them have found a lucrative place on Christian TV. They’re getting rich, while God’s people remain sick, poor, weak, and bound by sin.

My goal is to help the church to once again walk in spiritual power. Simply put, I’m not satisfied with the talk of power that’s prevalent in the church today. It’s time for the church to accurately portray who Christ is.

Jesus is Savior, Healer, Redeemer, Provider, and Life-Giver. I want to be a catalyst for change. I want to see lives changed by the power of the Spirit of God. I want to be able to understand both the Scripture and the power of God.

Only as we are willing to spend time with the Lord, will we see the power we desperately need. That’s why the Holy Spirit is always trying to draw us into His presence. That’s the place of power.

Question: What will it take for us to walk this road?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Holy Spirit, the Word, and the Blood

cross 2Very often we like to talk about the Holy Spirit. But there’s a work of the Spirit that we don’t usually look forward to. But whether we like it or not, it’s important to let the Spirit have His way in us.

Look at what Jesus said in the section of the Gospel of John where He was talking about sending the Holy Spirit.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
John 15:1-4

So when Christ talks about remaining in Him, He means that we continue to commune with the Holy Spirit. If that’s the case, then who’s doing the life-changing work in us? It must be the Holy Spirit’s job.

We may not like it, but the Spirit of God was sent to prune us to greater fruitfulness. Even the Apostle Paul understood this.

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

In the original Greek language this verse reads, God did not call us to be unpruned. No one in the kingdom of God should be unpruned. If we reject this work, then we’re rejecting the Holy Spirit. That’s probably why He gets grieved over us sometimes.

So it’s clear from the Gospel of John that the Spirit prunes every branch.

The Lord told the Disciples that they were already pruned because of the Word He spoke to them. How can that be the case? Jesus explained it to the disciples.

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
John 6:63

They were pruned because Words Jesus spoke were Spirit and Life. So what exactly is it that prunes us? I want to look at one more verse to help us see an incredible truth.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Hebrews 9:14

Here we see the Holy Spirit working together with the blood of Christ to cleanse us. This is a powerful work of God in us. It all works together for our righteousness.

We need to understand the interactions of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the blood of Christ. In my next post we’ll look deeper into this life-changing aspect of God’s grace.

Question: How has your life changed since you let the Holy Spirit work in you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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God is God

GalaxyIn my last post I started talking about the person of the Holy Spirit. I’m trying to show that the language we use is messing us up sometimes. We don’t serve three gods. We serve one God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We run into problems when we try breaking them apart into separate entities. That’s because it’s God we’re talking about.

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 2:12

So who lives in us? According to this verse it’s the Holy Spirit.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Does Christ live in me or does the Holy Spirit live in me? That’s a dumb question – God lives in me.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Romans 8:9

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. He’s all the same person. To know the Holy Spirit is to know Christ and the Father. We just need to deepen our relationship with Him.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

The Lord wants us to be one in Him. How will He accomplish this? Jesus said, “I in them…” It’s His Spirit within us, bringing us to unity.

That’s why we call that the unity of the Spirit. You can’t break up God into little separate pieces. God is God – Father, Son, and Spirit.

In many areas of life there’s overlap and cooperation in their function. You can’t say – “Only the Holy Spirit did this.”

The fact is that the God of Glory, Creator of the universe has decided to take up residence in His people. I don’t understand why He’d want to do that, but I’m glad that He did.

It’s the greatest insult imaginable to ignore His presence in us. We should be eager to run to Him throughout our day. It’s the Holy Spirit of God that leads and guides us into the life that’s truly worth living.

Draw on this precious relationship that we’ve been given. The more time you spend with the Lord, the greater the blessing.

Question: How much quality time do you spend with the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
 

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Who is the Holy Spirit?

DoveHere we are 2000 years from when the Holy Spirit was given to the church. But do we fully understand who He is?

We’ve developed a religious language that’s not based on the Bible. It seems like it’s based on songs and traditions. If you listen to our language you get the idea that there are three Gods.

There is only one God. My goal is to explain some things that may sound confusing at first. But throughout this series I want us to have a clearer picture of who the Holy Spirit actually is.

The fact that we’ve been created in the image of God should give us a foundation for understanding Him. Just like us, there are three parts to His being – Father, Son and Spirit.

Part of the problem is that we like formulas. Many times I’ve heard that we must pray to the Father, through the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. While there’s nothing wrong with that, a lot of what we do sounds like this…

If you were meeting with a friend, would you say, “I just want to sit down with your body and talk to your mind through your ears.”

We don’t do this in the natural. We simply say, “Can I talk to you?”

Even something as simple as “Who created the world?” sometimes can be confusing.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Genesis 1:1-3

We know that God created everything, but we argue over whether it was the Father or the Spirit who said, “Let there be…”

In talking about Jesus Christ, Paul said…

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
Colossians 1:15-16

Was it Father, Son, or Spirit who created us? What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t matter – God created us – all the parts of His being worked together.

That’s like asking; was it my spirit, soul or body who drove my car? I DROVE MY CAR!!!

I think that we get so caught up in the parts of God’s being, that we miss the big picture. God Himself lives in us. I have access into His presence.

I don’t believe that the Lord is as concerned over our formulas as much as our relationship with Him. We must spend quality time getting to know the person of the Holy Spirit.

That’s what the next few posts will deal with.

Question: How would you characterize your relationship with the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Creation, Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Holy Spirit Working With You

SpotlightI’ve been posting about how prayer in the spirit allows the Holy Spirit to bring your prayer life to a whole new level. It causes your spirit and the Spirit of God to interact together. Yet, even this is only the tip of the iceberg.

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 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.

He 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 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

Remember when I asked you to keep an open mind about Romans 8:26-27 in my last post? I told you that I believed that Paul was talking about our human spirit as the one who searches our hearts. I told you at that time that we would eventually get to a verse that supports that assumption.

We are there now. Verse 11 above makes it very clear that your spirit knows the thoughts of your heart. 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 the needs and the questions. God’s Spirit knows all the answers. The result is a release of the power of God over your life and ministry.

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

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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The Sent One

BreadI’m taking some time to talk about the Holy Spirit and His work in us. In my last post I looked at the following verse.

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:25-26

Notice that Jesus explained that the Holy Spirit was the one whom the Father will send in my name. It’s important to understand that the Spirit was sent to us from the Father.

At one point, just after He fed the 5000, Jesus was speaking to the crowd that was following Him.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
John 6:26-27

As He speaks, the Lord begins to tell them about spiritual food. He calls it food that remains to the point of eternal life. In other words, food that is eternally alive in you – always nourishing you. It doesn’t just leave your body after a day. That’s what we should be working for.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
John 6:28

They knew He was talking about spiritual food so they asked what kind of work was required.

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
John 6:29

This is how you work for food that remains in you, bringing you eternal life. Believe in the one God has sent. Jesus could have said “believe in me”, “believe in my words,” or “believe in the Son of Man.” But He didn’t and there’s a good reason.

I’m a firm believer that Jesus meant what He said and said what He meant. Since He used a broader term – the one sent – it must be important.

At that point in history – Jesus was the revelation of God sent to Israel. But what about now…to us? Right now the sent one – the revelation of God sent to the world – is the Holy Spirit.

According to Christ, the work of God that feeds your soul is to believe the one that’s sent – the Holy Spirit. When He speaks I have to believe Him. That’s how I nourish my soul. That’s how I can receive spiritual food others have no concept of.

The Holy Spirit has been sent to us. We need a greater revelation of His work in us. In my next post, I’ll continue, taking this in more detail.

Question: What was the last thing you heard from the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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