Podcast – The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Understanding
…is the foundation of his household
A Simple Study of God’s Amazing Spirit of Understanding
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning”
There is great comfort in knowing our God will meet us in the time of morning prayer. It is an unfathomable privilege to know that, as His children, His ear is attentive to our cry. Regardless of our situation, the bitterness and failure of yesterday must give way to the wonder of His presence today.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning”
Mercy and compassion envelope the diligent seeker in the early morning hours just as the dew that settles upon the lilies of the valley. His quiet and healing presence sweeps over our soul nourishing, restoring and drawing us near unto that Heart of pure love. How quickly fades the angst and concern over the fears of the day which lies before us. Light and peace fill the void and empty places within as a quiet confidence springs up from deep within our soul. God is here! Not only is He here but He is listening to our trembling voices and tentative hearts. He gives audience to His own; how good and gracious is our God!
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning”
“For I want you to know
how great a struggle I have concerning you…”
It is easy to know those who are partakers of the living Christ; His heart and cry is readily discernable in those who know of the struggle, the angst, and travail over the condition of God’s people. The threads of His heart are woven into His Own. By virtue of relationship, what is in His heart becomes the dominate cry of our own. The true purpose and power of faith is that it invests itself in the purposes of God. True faith can never be without the works of faith. It is impossible.
An inactive faith is the result of legalism. A faith which is the outcome of legal (positional) truths of scripture becomes passive and inactive. Its foundation is established upon the legal declarations of God and has very little to do with relationship with God. It sees and views salvation as a legal decree and rests upon these truths. There is no heartbeat of the living Christ; no passion or pursuit; no imperative pressing from within to declare the matchless wonder of Christ. There is no experience of “groanings which cannot be uttered”, birthed of the Spirit of God (Romans 8:25). The condition of the Church in our day is of little concern. It is easy to talk about its condition, but we must know the burden, the struggle and the groanings of God to see HIS purposes fulfilled in her. Men and women content with “their” church do not see and feel the heartbreak of a mindset that says “I have no need of you” to the other members of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:21). While many would never say such a thing in so many words, by their “works” they plainly reveal their true attitude. In the seven letters to the Church in Asia Jesus declared to each of them, “I know your works”. He was clearly saying that the “works” of their lives was the declaration of their faith. When people cut themselves off from the other members of His Body they are declaring emphatically “I have no need of you”. When they remain un-invested in the lives of others around them, when they only “fellowship” with like-minded ones, when they are content with isolated and insulated living, they do know not the heart of a God who so loved this world that He gave Himself.
“Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways”
While men labour tirelessly over “their” church/fellowship/ministry there remains a blatant disregard for God’s house. Any ministry who does not minister in such a manner that the hearers are moved by the compassion of God unto the unity of the faith are falling short of God’s purpose; they seek their own and not the things of Christ. Any ministry content with something less than the prayer of Jesus in John 17 knows not the heart and purpose for which Christ came and unto which end He also labours.
Those who live in the Father’s Name know of this one, over-riding prayer… that they may be ONE. While many may know of His salvation, while many know of the mercies of God, there are those who in the very depth of their being cry out for union with one another IN Christ and in the Father. The works, the groanings and the labour of their lives reveal the truth and the verity of His heart.
“Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me,
that they may be one, as we are…”
“But he who is spiritual discerns all things,
and he himself is judged by no one.”
1 Corinthians 2:15
Discernment has nothing to do with intellectual prowess. True discernment is the aggregate result of an individual’s walk and life in Christ. Many today have confidence in their spiritual condition due to the overflow of teachings readily available to all. Any teaching that does not bring a corresponding measure of the “fear of the Lord” is bereft of truth. The foundation of a discerning life is built upon the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 2:3-13)
Discernment requires a walk and an abiding in Him; the things of God will always culminate in the character of Christ. The very essence of truth is Christ who is the Truth. Whenever an expression is in conflict with His nature or character, it will be exposed.
Discernment is a consequence
of our abiding in Him.
Discernment is a faculty developed over time (see note below). It is the natural function of a life which has grown in its relationship with Christ Himself. This sounds trite, but it is a knowing which is the fruit of relationship; not an accumulation of knowledge about Him on an intellectual level. A carnal familiarity with God produces pride, self-assurance and an inflated view of self, whereas a true knowledge of God fills the heart with the wonder of Christ Himself. It is from this place of vital, intimate relationship that all things are compared with Him who is true.
“Which things we also speak,
not in words taught in human wisdom,
but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit,
comparing spiritual things with spiritual things”
1 Corinthians 2:14
Words, apart from the power and unction of the Holy Spirit, will leave people incapable of true discernment. Knowledge is a deceptive thing because it gives the perception that having a familiarity with the things of God alone is a safeguard. Words taught by the Holy Spirit produce a life of obedience which alone brings us into relationship with the living Christ. Obedience is the way into a life of friendship and relationship with God.
“You are my friends,
if you do whatsoever I command you”
A disobedient life will never have the true faculty of discernment because it is does not have an experiential identification with Christ. Friendship with God is revealed in an obedient life. Obedience is the fruit of a life that loves God more than itself. True discernment cannot be disassociated from obedience and the fear of the Lord.
Note: Discernment of a diligent believer is developed over time by its constant use from which a growing sensitivity to Him and His ways is fostered:
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern
both good and evil”
“For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.”
2 Chronicles 34:3
Whenever and wherever a soul begins to seek God in truth, the result will be a purging of unclean things both within and without. Those who declare they are earnestly seeking God but have not this heart, have not yet found God. It is one thing to seek Him; it is another thing to find Him.
“For in the eighth year… he began to seek God
and in the twelfth year he began to purge…”
God is not found overnight. He is not found in a few days of seeking. The true in heart set their lives apart to seek Him. It is not a quick and easy process; it takes learning, discovering and an earnest cry within the human heart for Him alone. He is unfathomable, eternal and infinite. The is no end to His Glory nor His purposes for us. One cannot touch Him and remain the same. The life that constantly seeks Him shall surely be filled with the constant finding of Him.
The promise stands sure to all who would find Him.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
The secret to finding Him lies in the persistency of seeking.
It is a lifelong pursuit which intensifies in passion because of the beauty that beckons the hungry heart onward. Faith will not be deterred. The human element which seeks for other purposes grows weary in its search; the faithful heart expends itself all the more. The Syrophenician woman would not be dismayed by the seeming rebuffs of Jesus, crying out “even the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7:28). Jesus responded with great delight at the display of her great faith.
It is incumbent upon us to set our hearts afresh to seek Him and to remain faithful in our pursuit of Him. His promises are sure and those who find Him will speak to the world around them of righteousness and purity of heart. The anointing falls on the life of those who love righteousness and hate iniquity.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God,
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness…”
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts”
The nature of our walk will influence our requests to God. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with His desires. If we walk in the flesh our entreaty can be influenced by the lusts and appetites of the flesh. Prayers delayed or unanswered may at times be prayers offered amiss because we are asking to satisfy or fulfill our own desires; or we may read our desires into the needs of others. Only those who are in the process of dying to self are able to be free of the taint of self. Our sympathies to the needs of others (especially ones we are close to) can skew our ability to see and pray clearly. It is here that our walk in God will determine our effectiveness. Only true disciples can learn to pray effectually for discipleship is only known by carrying our cross and following Him. The outworking of the Cross in our lives brings us to the heart and mind of Christ. It is within the confines of His rule that we begin to touch the true power of prayer.
“If ye abide* in me,
and my words abide* in you,
ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.”
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon translates the word “Abide” as “something that has established itself permanently within my soul and always exerts its power in me”. The depth of abiding in Him is revealed in His Word exerting power within us. Obedience is the evidence of His Word wielding power over me. Those who do not obey express a life in which His Word has no power. Men and women may quote the scriptures, may teach others with seeming knowledge, but if there be no life of doing His word, it in fact has no real influence in their lives. If His Word has no power in us, our prayers will have no power with God. It is as we abide in Him that our prayers become the extension of His heart; His nature praying through us to the Glory of the Father.
Our progress in effectual prayer is contingent upon the growth and reality of our abiding in Him. We all begin our walk in Christ as children and we are “born anew” into a whole new realm of life and wonder.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby”
1 Peter 2:2
This initial stage of our journey is blessed and one which we all experience and walk through. Prayer time is spent asking for things and often the answers from our heavenly Father come quickly as He seeks to strengthen and confirm our faith in Him. However, as time goes on God brings us into deeper things as He seeks to teach us the ways of relationship and intimacy. We are required to grow in the wisdom of His ways and as this transpires it effects the tenor and spirit in which we pray.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child,
I thought as a child: but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11
A life of change is the evidence of life. Where there is little or no change in the lives of His Own it is the result of His Word having little or no effect within. As we grow from a child into maturity we begin to speak differently and think differently which brings a dramatic change in our prayer life with God. As we put away the former things we begin the process of becoming men and women of God.
“Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you”
“And our Lord next unfolds the principle of prayer which laid such hold on the mind of the Apostle John: If ye abide in me (and then, instead of adding, “And I abide in you,” he says); and my words abide in you; i.e. if my teaching so abide with you as to control your thoughts and ideas, remain in you as your guide and inspiration, “then ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done to you”.
Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer