Podcast – The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Understanding
…is the foundation of his household
A Simple Study of God’s Amazing Spirit of Understanding
“And he sought God in the days of Zechariah,
who had understanding in the visions of God”
2 Chronicles 26:5
Uzziah was influenced by a man who had understanding in the visions of God. The effect of this man who walked with God helped him to prosper in his own life and walk. Influence arises from lives who are themselves influenced.
Those who are impacted by the living God must impact others.
Christ Himself is the core from which all life and power flows; in Him the sun rises and sets. God has purposed all things to bend and bow at the feet of Jesus. Whatever things have not yet succumbed to His Lordship will do so in the days to come. If these things be so, one cannot hold the life of Christ within and have no effect upon the world in which they live.
Zachariah’s influence upon Uzziah was revealed in a heart that sought God for himself; such is the true purpose of all ministry. What was the result of Uzziah’s personal pursuit of God?
“…and as long as he sought the Lord,
God made him to prosper”
2 Chronicles 26:5
The individual who truly bears the light of the living God is a beacon of hope for the weary, a lighthouse of truth to warn others of the reefs of destruction, and a point whereby they can set their compass to find their way safely into the harbor of God Himself.
Those who walk in the light of God
cannot keep it from others.
“And Abraham said unto God,
O that Ishmael might live before thee!”
It is the nature of man to settle for less than God’s purpose. God’s call is never static but always moving His own to higher ground. John was on the Isle of Patmos for the testimony of Jesus. He was in the Spirit, walking in the present truth (the Lord’s Day), when he heard a voice behind him calling to come up higher to see the things of God! How we need fresh stirrings of His Spirit to see greater things than what we currently see and walk in. Men and women of vision are never content with the status quo, never at rest until God’s will is accomplished in fullness. Jesus said He came to do the will of the Father and to FINISH His work. Those who live in the Spirit of Christ hold within their hearts a flame and an intense desire to see God’s will and work completed in this earth where we live. There is a passion for the Body of Christ to arise out of the quagmire of man’s ways, man’s wisdom and man’s complacency.
“Jesus saith unto them,
My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
and to finish his work.”
Whenever Christ dwells and reigns within a heart there is a sense of divine purpose which transcends the call of the world and the religious ways of men. There is an impelling force of the Life of the Son to press and draw us to the greater thing. For thirteen years Abraham thought that Ishmael was the promise. God had a higher call for Abraham than Ishmael. God’s promise came to Abraham long after his own inherent ability to bring forth the promised seed was gone; a pure and blessed son “born of the free woman” (Gal. 4:22). So we too are grateful that He is able to bring forth true fruitfulness in our lives in spite of the Ishmaels of our own making.
In this day of lethargy God calls His own to higher and deeper places in Himself; places that stagger the natural mind and are far beyond our own abilities. He calls us to live out of HIS resources and to flee the reservoirs of carnal reckonings and low expectations of our God. It is a day to lift up our eyes unto the hills and behold the crucified One beckoning us to live in the power and the wonder of His Life. We must let go of the idea that “the Ishmael at hand is God’s doing” that we might see new and wondrous things which we have not considered.
“Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth…”
It is a day to reconsider our ways and to draw near to Him who is able to make the desert bloom and the hearts of all to burn with the Holy Fire of God. There is a life waiting for those who hunger and thirst for more of God. It will turn ordinary men and women into blazing beacons of hope and righteousness. Let us allow His vision to lift us up out of the drudgery of this world to where we can see that the fields are ripe unto harvest. It is to this life we have been summoned by the King of kings. May we be renewed and energized by the power of His Life! God reserves His greatest Light for when the world grows dark.
The present Ishmael must give way to the Son of the promise; the two cannot abide together. It is not possible for the son of the bond woman to share in the inheritance of the Son of Promise.
“Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”
“And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me.
And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands,
and in the midst of the seven lampstands
One like the Son of man…”
Those who are true desire the truth; living truth which comes to those who walk and live in the Spirit. It comes at a cost and with the requirement for the individual to respond in order to receive its power. Any “truth” that does not require response and change is not living truth. It is in hearing and turning we are enabled to see. In turning from our ways and the current measure of truth we hold we are enabled by His wondrous grace to see Him anew. Those who walk in the static world of religion, words, teachings and doctrines of men never change. The growth and development of that on-going revelation of Christ becomes stagnant and motionless. The horizons of vision do not change with the passage of time and the wonder of His life becomes drab and uninviting to themselves and to those about them. The fervency of passion has long since subsided and the fire of burning hope is replaced with the cold and emptiness of a religious life.
It is in the hearing of His Word and the response from our hearts to the voice which calls us where we see Him in a new and higher way. This turning causes the former things to pass away as we step into that which is new and living. Transition and repentance is the hallmark of those who desire The Way. Those who walk in this living path become an antagonism to those who are static and set in something less than the “new” of God. God’s truth is one of unveiling the mysteries and glories of Christ and as such there is never a point of arrival; His Glory has no end! Eternity is not long enough to exhaust the wonders of our risen Lord. The scriptures are full of men and women who knew the Way of change and transition.
“I have heard of You by hearing of the ear,
but NOW my eye has seen You;
Therefore, I despise myself,
and I have repented on dust and ashes”
Job 42:5-6 (LITV)
We must ever be going on. That which I know today must be eclipsed by a further seeing and knowing of Him. Those who are of the truth cannot abide in what they see now for within is the continual cry to see Him in a deeper and fuller way. Consider Moses who saw such signs and wonders in his walk with God yet cried out at the end of his journey show me more of your glory.
You have begun to show Your servant
Your greatness and Your mighty hand…”
Moses at the end of his life knew that all he had seen, heard and understood was the mere beginning of God’s glory. Do we not feel within our own heart of hearts the desire for “more of God”? Is there not an aching to go deeper and higher wherein dwell things which cannot be put into words? Paul saw things, heard things, which could not be shared because of their holiness and the inability to put them into the vernacular of man. How can men and women rest in the shallow waters of teachings and concepts (though good in themselves)? These things must become the bud of which the flower is produced, and the flower must give way to the fruit. and the fruit must give way to the seed so that it may replicate the wonder and glory of God in another heart. Such is the law of Life.
Ezekiel could not stop at the waters to the ankles, he could not linger in the waters to the knees, and the waters to the loins could not hold him from the depths of the “waters to swim in” (Ezekiel 47). Let us find grace to hear, to turn and to respond to the call of God to see Him anew. May we be so smitten with His Glory that the present place of abiding is merely a momentary one of provision to finish the race set before us. Let His hunger to fill our hearts with more of Him. Relationship is the mystery of God into which we have been called; not things about God or even of God. The true heart cannot rest until it is found in Him and in Him we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) of wonder at which even the angels will marvel for ages to come.
“…that He might show in the coming ages
the exceeding great riches of His grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”
The hunger of the average Christian life in our day is revealed in the contentment with the status quo. Paul in writing to the Church of God in Corinth about the Love of God spoke to them of transition and going on. He had earlier called them carnal for clinging to the ministries of God by choosing one over another thus segregating and secularizing the Body of Christ. (i.e. “I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ”) Paul’s call to this carnal church (which fully resembles the one in our day) was to move beyond the childhood phase to grow up and become full grown people in God. The transition from childhood in God into maturity requires us to put away (turn from) childish things. Childish things are not wrong in themselves but they become wrong when people linger in them and fail to develop in God.
“When I was a child, I spoke 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
In the processes of God, we must grow from the infant into the man, we must go from needing bread to becoming bread, and we must go from water to the ankles to waters to swim in (Ezekiel 47:1-5) by responding to His living word.
The deeper truths are withheld from His children and reserved for those who have been exercised in their growth in God.
“Concerning whom we have much to say,
and hard to interpret since you have become dull in hearing”
The Apostle was eager to share the deeper truths of Melchizedek but was restrained because of their lack of development:
“For indeed because of the time you are due to be teachers,
yet you need to have someone to teach you again
the rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of God,
and you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food;
for everyone partaking of milk
is without experience in the word of righteousness,
for he is an infant
But strong meat is for those full grown…”
Our ability to see Him in His word is dependent upon growth and development within our own lives! It is we who determine what we see (i.e. Matthew 5:8), hear and know (in an experiential way) of the depths and wonders of Him. It is a day for us to turn, to give heed to that which He has spoken. If we linger it will be to our sorrow not only here but in the eternal to which we have been called.
The promise of God is sure and it is one upon which we can stand:
“Seek and I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone asking receives,
and the one seeking finds,
and to the one knocking, it will be opened”
James tells us the reason we do not receive is because we do not ask. The lack of seeking is the reason for not finding and the failure to knock is the reason why men and women do not have new doors opened in their lives. Let us hear this solemn word…
If we believe His Word our lives will be filled with asking, seeking and knocking.
“Except a man be born again,
he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”
This verse has become in some ways the message of the modern church. It presents a vital and eternal truth; a man MUST be born again. The word “except” precludes any other way. Yet within the confines of man’s relationship with God it is the matrix into eternity but not the Kingdom of God. It is by being born again that man is awakened and enabled to SEE the Kingdom, not enter it. Entering the Kingdom is vastly different than the mere seeing of it. How sad it is that men are satisfied with seeing rather than entering. The nature of Vision is that by stepping into the one, it always offers glimpses of another. Being born again is the beginning of our walk not the end. Most of Christendom is satisfied with seeing, a good and wholesome start, yet only the beginning of the wonder of eternal life. Some venture into the truths of the ceremony of baptism in water and even into the baptism and birth of the Holy Spirit where giftings become an experiential reality. Jesus goes on to say…
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”
Jesus begins to speak of the higher things of God. Now instead of SEEING the Kingdom He speaks of ENTERING the Kingdom. He speaks of being BORN of water and of the Spirit. This is a new call to ASK and SEEK for these things to become real in the lives of His disciples. Jesus told His disciples that He had many more things to share with them but that they were not ready to bear them. Their development of character was not sufficient (in the original language) but he said that when the Holy Spirit came HE would lead and guide them into ALL TRUTH. If being born again was to be the sum total of His Truth to us why would Jesus speak of greater things to come by the ministration of the Holy Spirit? Our failure to seek and hunger for the greater things makes us settle for seeing rather than apprehending. Paul cried out in Philippians that he was on a quest to “apprehend” something and that in the pursuit of the ONE THING he counted the loss of all things as dung in order to lay hold of it. This should be our cry as well. We settle for far less than what God has for us because the pursuit of that call involves a cost. It is a cost that few men are willing to pay. As a result of faithless inactivity their eyes grow dim, their hearts wither and they settle for the comfort of a teaching that will soothe and often even quench the fire for more of Him.
Let us consider the Call to Abraham the “Father of our faith”.
“Lift up now thine eyes,
and look from the place where thou art northward,
and southward, and eastward, and westward”
Abraham’s faith had brought him thus far. He had obeyed the call and left the UR of the Chaldees. He had passed through many places and built several altars unto his God. Men and women of faith cannot settle and abide in the Land of their Birth for faith is an active thing; a living thing that is filled with purpose and quest. Abraham had obeyed, had followed his God, and remained a sojourner in his day. The original call was to Abraham alone, yet Abraham brought Lot with him on his journey contrary to the call to leave all. Finally, in the dealings of God Lot and Abraham separate, Lot choosing the land that was compatible with his heart and Abraham remaining in the land of his promise (Genesis 12:7).
“And the Lord said unto Abram,
AFTER that Lot was separated from him,
Lift up NOW thine eyes…”
It was AFTER Lot had finally departed, after the separation that God came to him and spoke that word of wonder… “Lift up NOW thine eyes and look…” Obedience is the key to VISION. It was after Abraham and Lot were separated that the word of God came. For many years Abraham kept Lot in his company. Lot in the original means “veiled one” and we see the result of Lot’s faith in choosing the cities of Sodom to dwell in. This walk of separation is the price paid by those who walk in the faith and the obedience of The Call. It is costly and at times lonely; yet a small price to pay in comparison to hearing God say “Lift up NOW thine eyes…”
Vision lifts the beholder out of the “present world” and shows the promises of God. The danger of any vision is that it becomes stagnant and remains undeveloped. Men are prone to letting vision be the end rather than the womb of something greater. Every vision is only the beginning of a new journey, a new impetus into the deeper and higher things of God. Had Abraham been content with the seeing of the earthly land of promise he would not have become the father of our faith.
Vision in our language means to see; vision in God’s language means to enter into, walk in and possess. The great tragedy is that men become content with seeing. They enjoy discussions, teachings and even prayers concerning what they see. People gather together on the basis of a vision but with the passing of time the vision fades from a pursuit to an ideal. Faith once passionate and living now becomes a doctrinal statement and a forlorn distant concept. Those to whom the promise was once given, (through unbelief fail to enter in) their bones bleach white in the wilderness of disobedience. The vision remains and it waits for a new generation who will rise up out of the failures of the former and enter into a fresh aspect of God’s purposes.
The entering in to the new land of promise requires a greater vision to obtain it. It is one thing to cross over the river. It is quite another to have the vision of seeing God afresh, for that new land is filled with powerful enemies that must be conquered. There is no end to a new seeing of Him in our walk. One victory leads us to new battles and new victories for those who are gripped by the power of a living faith. The Call is not a High Call. It is an UPWARD CALL, one that is filled with an ever-increasing discovery of the Eternal Riches of Christ in God. There is no point of arrival for the unsearchable riches of Christ are eternally unveiling new vistas, new wonders and new dimensions of Grace and Glory!
“After this I looked, and, behold,
a door was opened in heaven:
and the first voice which I heard
was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;
which said, Come up hither,
and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter”
”Many shall be purified,
and made white, and tried;
but the wicked shall do wickedly:
and none of the wicked shall understand;
but the wise shall understand”
Understanding comes to the wise. The wicked pass through life void of the understanding of the Almighty God. Though trials, testings and temptations are the common lot of those who seek first His Kingdom, there comes to us the consolation of true understanding that more than compensates for the hardness of the way. With true understanding comes Vision. In the purposes of God, vision must give way to reality. Joseph’s dream must become substance. For a vision to remain something visionary only is the danger of religion; where the impulse of the desire of God becomes a teaching and a doctrine, a thing instead of a life. Men linger in the realm of words and creeds. A living vision must create a life of pursuit and quest where obedience is not optional.
“Whereupon, O king Agrippa,
I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
True vision communicates a need for obedience for it births a burden for the thing to come to pass. All true visions concerning God and His purposes must impart a burden for the thing to be made real. Vision is the womb of a quest. It is the conception that enables a birthing of that which was promised. People with a teaching are content with words; people with a burden cannot linger. During a great storm the disciples were besieged in a small boat. In the midst of this they saw Jesus walking on the water and they were terrified. Only Peter saw Jesus in a way that communicated a longing to walk as Jesus. The vision imparted the desire to walk. The vision birthed the impulse to launch himself from the security of the boat into the violent sea. Men and women throughout the ages have launched themselves into the purposes of God. They have left the safety of their “boat” for the great sea of God’s will. Abraham went out…not knowing where he was going. The launch precedes the knowledge of the destination; the impulse is in itself the very compass which will unerringly bring us to His End. To ignore the impulse is to miss the launch.
The launching of our lives into the purposes of God is a series of definitive acts not just a one time occurrence. It is a life of yielding to Him. There are many opportunities along the way for compromise and failure. Our one hope is found in His Faithfulness. Faithfulness to lead us from the good to the better, from the better to His highest. We see Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration saying it was good to be there and “let us build” only to be rebuked from God Himself. While many settle for the good those whose vision transcends the status quo can never be satisfied with the building of human hands regardless of how “good” the experience or motive. The heavenly call is upward not just higher. Upward communicates a direction not a destination; higher is just another step in the stairway.
Men declare their heart by their “abode”. The demoniac dwelt in the graveyard, Lot in Sodom, and Abraham in Mamre. In all of God’s creation every organism has a habitat that is in harmony with its inner life; so also in the spirit. Where people dwell is the revelation of the life within.
“And Jesus saith unto him,
The foxes have holes,
and the birds of the air have nests;
but the Son of man
hath not where to lay his head”
The scriptures are full of such illustrations. May we find within our hearts the call to follow, the call to forget the past and the call to apprehend that for which we have been apprehended.
“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place“
1 Samuel 26:25
Saul’s vision was for himself, his concern was for his house (legacy), while David’s was for God and His House. Such is the contrast between the static and the dynamic.