“GET BACK TO THE BIBLE”
After 18 years of being a missionary living in China, we are making our plans to relocate to Australia in the New Year or a little bit before that. I will be in Australia first at the end of September. That does not mean the work here in China will stop. It means we will travel from Australia to here and other countries. This has thrown up many questions for me. Where are we going live (home) so our daughter can go to school? What can I do for income? And the list goes on. So many questions, thus, ‘am I wanting too much’. Like all of us we want to know things now, but God says, “Wait”
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God! I will be praised among the nations, I will be praised in the earth. (MKJV)
Christians and non-Christians alike want things; and we want them now! Like little children we hate the words, “No wait”
This attitude is a major component of dissatisfaction. Or could it be a factor in change?
We are always looking for things to do that we think (or hope) is what God wants us to do. While the world is falling apart we want some power over our lives. When we face despair we can easily fall into deep anguish. Where can we turn for help?
As Christians we know that is Jesus whom we are seeking, but sadly some do not believe the Bible is relevant for today.
Mary and Martha faced despair and deep anguish after their brother Lazarus, fell sick and died John 11:20-21. Martha said to Jesus “… Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died”
Did Martha have unbelief or belief in Jesus?
They were downcast and at loss because of their brother’s death.
Martha had a belief in Jesus, but her desire was not met in her time-frame.
Many of us miss out on the fullness of what God had been teaching us through His Word in our situation. We want God; and we want Him the way we think He should be right now.
Why did Martha not know that when the Lord Jesus spoke a word all would be in the will of God? She believed in Him but lacked confidence and inner knowing confirmation.
To know God’s inner confirmation, you need to hear Him in your heart.
In the Old Testament
Psalm 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where shall my help come from?
Remember Psalm 121:1 was before the Day of Pentecost thus the New Testament Church had not started; where 1John 4:4 after the Day of Pentecost.
In the New Testament
1John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
The infilling of the Holy Spirit is essential for the building up of our knowledge of our faith. We have full measure of the Holy Spirit and faith we need, given to us by God. God is no respecter of persons as He treats everyone the same, so He gave us all the same Holy Spirit and the same measure of faith. It is not the Holy Spirit or our faith that grows; it’s our understanding of the workings of Him and our faith in Him that is growing in us. Our situation is the activator that brings into focus the measure of faith and the relationship with the Holy Spirit we need to step up to, to see victory.
Many professing Christians today are running on a half-a-tank, because they have not asked or received the Holy Spirit in His full manifestation according to Scripture. Scriptures are as relevant as they were when they were first written. Nothing has changed.
One of the great benefits of the infilling of the Holy Spirit with all His manifestation is that we will be more physically alert and run our engine longer. Fifteen minutes praying in tongues along with God will build us up.
Let us get back to the Bible and be filled with the Holy Spirit in His full measure.
Running on a half-a-tank can be caused by lack of teaching or the experience of encountering Him in a living way. Let me say here you will receive the Holy Spirit at your salvation, but sadly we put Him away in the back of the cupboard, so to speak, and say, “I have Him now and I will do it my way the only way I know how to.” This to me sounds normal, in most cases, but that is not what the Lord wants. He wants us to constantly be in communication with the Holy Spirit.
Presumption or hyper-faith is a practice that many Christians in service to the Lord are practicing every day or week. I hear so many godly people saying, “I am so tired!” My question is, “Why?” My answer to that is many do not want to walk in the full counsel of God’s Word and select a few favoured Scriptures. I have said this before, “When the whole teaching of the Bible is considered, it has to be consistent!” Please do not select a set of Scriptures which may be out of context to support your unbelief which is in conflict with other Scriptures.
The way to overcome this problem is to “get back to the Bible!” Why do I say this? If Jesus has not changed then He is doing His work today in the believers and will continue to do so.
Simply if you believe in Cessationism, that is to say the Holy Spirit is not working in the believers as He did in the Book of Acts, then don’t go any further. Why, because we would need to tear out one third of the pages in the New Testament because of your unbelief. Cessationism is “cherry-picking, cafeteria Christian philosophy, which results in Carte Blanche theology which results in unbelief.
I cannot find the Scriptures which say either, God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit has stopped operating in and through the believers.
Some Christians called Cessationist have developed unsupported Carte Blanche theology believing that the gifts of the Holy Spirit had stopped with the ascension of Jesus and the death of the Apostles. The two main reasons that Cessationist views are weak are: -. One; they have not experienced these manifestations and two; their poor understanding of Scripture in failing to produce one Scripture in support of their position. Remember if God is no respecter of persons He must treat all believers the same, so why would the gifts not be for today?
The Holy Spirit is our inner confirmation
Once you are saved please do not rush into your ministry as that would be a bad thing for you and will be for all the people that you will lead.
Many would-be prophets prophesy over new convert about the great call of God in that person’s life. This may be correct, but also it could set in place a mindset that is destructive. Why I say that is because it has its focus on what the person can do for God. In other words, it is all about works as a repayment for being saved. Many operate in ministry out of presumption. Do not misunderstand me because out of a deep love afire with God, in time works of faith will come. We need to have an inner confirmation by the Holy Spirit prior to any word spoken over us. If it’s a new thing spoken by a person, there is no need to throw it away, but be careful and place it “on the shelf” for a future date.
Power comes from Sitting
We should consider a pattern that can be found in the Bible.
One: (COME) God calls a person to salvation.
Two: (SIT) God says to that person sit in fellowship with the saints, pray and read your Bible and then learn. Another way to say this is for the convert to wait until he or she gained enough knowledge to go out and serve in the ministry God is call them to.
Three: (GO AND BRING) When we have been prepared we will ready to go or be sent and bring others to God.
Number two: (SIT). This is where many go wrong because of impatience or self belief in what they can do without listening to God. Running before walking or even sitting just waiting is what God wants.
In Luke 24:49 to 53 we can see clearly that we are to sit waiting while worshiping the Lord because we will know what to do which has a joyful outcome as we are dressed in power.
Luke 24:49 And behold, I send the promise of My father on you. But you sit in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high. 50 And He led them out as far as Bethany. And lifting up His hands, He blessed them. 51 And it happened as He blessed them, He withdrew from them and was carried up into Heaven. 52 And worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Do not think for one moment that power from God is only for a few! It is not a request from you to God to get the power but a gift from God. The only thing you need to do to get this power is a command made by God in Acts 1:4-5, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the promise”
Acts 1:4-5 And having met with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the promise of the Father which you heard from Me. 5 For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
WAIT is a command from God. Impatient people try to run off and start a ministry, but it is doomed for failure. I say this because I have seen many get a “word” from some well-meaning believer and run too quickly into trouble.
Authority comes because Jesus gave that to all believers, but power comes from waiting to hear from God so that we can go directly to the appointed moment in our lives.
When we consider the day of Pentecost, ‘ALL’ the disciples were filled with a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues such that had never seen before. It is still the same today for all believers. My recommendation is to sit and wait on God for the gift.
Matthew 6:8 Therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him.
God knows what you need better than you do!
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Sitting and waiting on God runs counter to our flesh as we want to do things to achieve a good thing. We say, “God give me patience, RIGHT NOW! But consider this; if we put aside our fleshly desire to do work down, and just sit with God we will learn to listen to the still small voice that will bring to us an understanding to what God wants us to do.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh;
Having confidence in our own self will always work against the things of the Spirit.
The Scripture tell us to put our confidence in God not by doing things but by waiting upon Him to hear the thing we should do.
Read carefully “A God driven purposeful life”.
Our life is not “a purpose driven life (cafeteria Christian philosophy)” but “a God driven purposeful life” (Balanced Theology).
Do not allow a purpose to drive your life; let God “the Good Driver” drive it! Sit and listen to the Driver and wait. That is the only sure way to get to your destination.
Many things are good ideas in the eyes of man but that might not be what God wants you to do. Put your trust in God and look to Him waiting and listening for His direction. If nothing comes keep waiting, and when you hear from Him – then move.
Before we move we need to have an inner confirmation from the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in Jehovah than to trust in man.
Micah 7:5-7 Put no trust in a friend; put no hope in a guide; keep the door of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom. 6 For the son dishonors the father; the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.
God has chosen us not because of our abilities but our inabilities. He will use our abilities but it’s the work in area of our weakness where He gets all the glory.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are; 29 so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
Self-will and self-strength can hold us back. We need to have knowledge of what the Holy Spirit is doing in us and through us. So WAIT!
Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety onto Him, for He cares for you.
When the whole teaching of the Bible is considered, it has to be consistent! This will produce a consistent Christian.
Let us get back to the Bible and be obedient to the commandment to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon us. Then go in power.