Let’s look at a story about Anna and Simon and the Holy Spirit resting on them. I believe the Lord wants to encourage us with the sound of His voice, the Holy Spirit surrounding. He is releasing an awareness that He is bring us through. When we get to any line of demarcation, we look at things thinking that we wanted to get this or that done, or wondering if will ever get done. There can be a movement of disengagement. But, God is so good, that if we will just step inside His spirit, and hear His voice, we will see that we are moving actually moving with Him into completion. Many times, it is opposite.
1 Peter 1 and Hebrews 10 are great chapters to read right now. Both of these chapters talk about in the midst of our faith being tested, having to endure until the completion of faith and the ultimate victory that faith brings to every one of us, is the saving of our soul. This doesn’t mean that we weren’t going to heaven before this. We are already destined for heaven, born again. But our soul can get a little “squirrely”—our mind, will and emotions, the place where we live, the second heaven, the realm where there is warfare. There will come the day when we walk in such grace, peace, rest and salvation that it will be amazing.
God sends His church ahead so we can be salt and light to the world. Many times we may experience what the world is not encountering yet, so that we can get the victory before the world needs it. This is because God loves the world. He already gave His Son, so now He is giving us away. He’s giving us to release life.
God wants to give a place of faith, awakening and strength, for us to cross over and to receive salvation in a fresh new way inside.
In Luke 2 we see the account of Joseph and Mary bringing Jesus to Jerusalem:
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:21-24
He is coming and getting circumcised. And His name is being appointed upon Him and He is set apart as Jesus. Then thirty three days from this, is when Mary would go to the temple to offer sacrifice for her purification which is here in the word. On February fourth, Jesus with His parents, Joseph and Mary, are showing up.
I always use Joseph and Mary as His parents because the bible refers to them as such, even though Father, God is His Father.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be Joseph. What a job!—don’t mess up God’s son. I give Joseph a lot of credit because God spoke to him and he actually ushered his family forward during the times of Jesus’ formation. On February fourth, they were in the temple. They were in a new place.
By February, we too are in a new place. What is any one of us even thinking about now? Christmas and all of its festivities are gone. The last part of Christmas that we are remembering is that we got our credit card statement at the end of January and it is due sometime now at the beginning of February.
Here too, Jerusalem is probably stirred up over Imperial Rome trying the rule the land. It is supposed to have its own autonomy. There is taxation and grumbling about what has happened. No one is really aware of what has just happened. This wonderful gift of the day dawning and the Morning Star rising and coming into earth—JESUS!
Yet, there are two people, and a group of people, of which these next passages speak. One is Simeon, one is Anna and one is a company who carry that same spirit of Anna and Simeon.
We continue in Luke 2:25:
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Let’s take note of two words in this passage.
It means to invite, to show hospitality, to have an expectancy, to have patience. It is the same word that is used of “We are to be like those servants who wait for their master to return. And ready, when we hear his voice, to rise and open the door for him”. It’s the same word that’s used in Luke 23:50-51, of one of the Sanhedrin who actually stepped in after His death:
50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. Luke 23:50-51
There is this recognition that I am holding a posture to receive while something is yet to come, but yet is coming and will come. We can’t hasten the day, though we try, but neither can we deny the day, though the day seems to linger and take a while. This is Simeon. He is living in a “waiting for”.
This is a beautiful word. It’s the word for comfort, solace and help. It comes from the root word parakletos—the Holy Spirit. It is the very essence of the way God always is. He is always bringing comfort to us in the journey. It is not always His assignment to be there at the “Light, be” moment. He’ll be there a long time before the “Light, be” moment. He will offer water, encouragement and strength, He will offer a sense of awareness.
Simeon was a man that had been living with God. Luke 2:26 says:
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
So, Simeon was one that was waiting for consolation. Holy Spirit was upon him. He was carrying himself in the duties of his relationship. We are not sure if he is a priest or not. He’s just Simeon, a just and devout man who Holy Spirit was upon, who was waiting for consolation, who had been given revelation.
Revelation is a glorious word. This is because it is not the idea of something uncovered like what we typically think in revelation. It has to do with an oracle. He heard the voice of God. He had heard God speak to him, “You’re not going to die until you see your Messiah.” Something inside of him had latched on because that was a word he had heard. That was rhema. It was something he had heard.
The scripture continues: 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple…
We don’t ever have to worry about missing what God promised us. If God made the promise, He will make sure we are there when it is time to be there. All we have to do is walk with Him every day. We will be there. If we are not there, He will translate us so we are there! God is not at all worried over our movement. All we have to do is follow Him and we will be where we are to be.
Most of the greatest miracles in my life, had been promised before. But, by the time they come, I am not aware that they are about to happen. The times I’ve been promised something and I try to make it happen. This is usually the furthest I feel from it, and it doesn’t really happen then. There is much straining and striving.
Simeon now walks in by the Spirit. Boom. His eyes just drop in on that couple. That young child and there the Spirit of God whispers, “There He is.”
27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:27-32
The voice of God when revealed, and then carried, held, valued, loved, and nurtured in our hearts, always reproduces itself in sound. You can always tell someone carrying faith because they speak faith. They prophesy whether they are trying to or not. Simeon is thanking God for the completion of a word and now He is enlarging the word by saying “… it’s going to become light, for revelation to the Gentiles and it’s going to become glory to the people of Israel.”
May our lives have this kind of sound! It is not about it ever being seen for it to be real. It is about being believed and held and followed. This is when we become people like Simeon.
Joseph and Mary were going to go through some really tough times. Forty one days earlier they had had a pretty spectacular event, with angels and shepherds. They had been in an impressive place.
But they would have to go through a really difficult time. They were going to have to leave, and flee Egypt, in the next year or so. They were going to have to navigate life in different places, starting over and over again.
All of a sudden, they were hearing the sound of these words, this tenor over their child. It says, And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.
Now they are thinking, “Whoa…” They are carrying the word physically here, but they are also carrying the word in their heart so they can walk with the unfolding of God’s plan. And this is what we are doing.
Luke 2: 34, then says,
34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against”.
This was a Baby Dedication. Why do we have to fall before we rise? Because we have to die before we are resurrected.
Have you ever said, “Lord, I want to know the power of Your resurrection”? We may not want to do this. It just means we are going to have to die. Do we want to know a lot of power? We are going to have to know a lot of death. We have to think some of these thoughts out. There is a scripture that I prayed 26 years ago and declared it to be a banner over our house by the Spirit. If I had known what it would mean, I would encounter to discover this to be true, I would probably have chosen a different scripture. But we don’t choose scriptures by the journey that it will take us on. We choose scriptures by the voice that speaks them to us. The voice that speaks them to us, we embrace. The seed becomes ours. The next thing we know is that we are on a journey, that perhaps in about three-quarters of the way, we may wish that we weren’t on. But it’s too late. We have become gloriously captured in an eternal journey. Thank God for that.
Seriously. What is the world about except to know God and be known by Him? Even though there a lot of times we would like to have it more comfortable. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.
There’s going to be a lot of falling, so there can be a lot of rising, because of this child, Jesus. He is going to cause an offense and even be spoken against. This is now to Mary:
35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2: 35
Hebrews 10 and 1 Peter 1, speaks of the outcome of our believing, through what believing attracts, which is testing, of which patience is required to continue through, is the piercing of our souls. This is because the sword that we embraced, the Spirit of God, the Word of God that we hear, will actually do its own work inside of us.
Mary had to go through these, “What?”, “What do you mean?” “What does this mean?” “Wait a minute.” I gain more solace from Mary’s journey to carry faith than probably anyone else that was in the Gospels. I learned a lot from Peter and Paul after the fact. But Mary actually carried Jesus for thirty three years. It became a shifting season of letting go.
36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in … Luke 2:36-38
I just love these kind of days. They don’t happen every day. Most of the time life is just about journeying, but there are moments of time.
Luke 2:38, further says:
38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who redemption in Jerusalem.
The word ‘looked for’ is the same word of Simeon ‘waiting for’.
There is not just Anna and Simeon. There is also a company of people that are saying, “I feel by the Spirit that something is happening. I feel like the Lord is coming. I feel that the Messiah is here. I just feel like something has really shifted. I don’t know. It seems about a month and a half ago I felt in the spirit that something changed.” Do you understand?
I remember when we stepped into accepting our call as a house of prayer. Our accepting a place that we started as a church 30 years ago. There came a point, when I asked, “Lord, if the intercession and prayer of Your saints is so key in the movement of God, where were they at Your birth?” He responded, “Just go over to this scripture.” The only two people that knew by the Holy Spirit and didn’t need angels to tell them was Anna and Simeon and a company of people. They were in the spirit and that are thinking, “I know God’s moving.” We don’t know how old Simeon is. We assume he is old, but he may not be. If he’s serving in the priesthood, he may be between 30 and 50 years old.
He says, “Now I can go. I have seen salvation.” Jesus was 41 days old! He hadn’t done any miracles. He could not and would not do any miracles until He was thirty years old. And yet Simeon was holding salvation.
Some of us have been given the privilege of perceiving God. Seeing Him. Receiving Him—His voice, His whisper, His flutter, His movement! I feel one of the strengths God wants to restore to each one of us is to value salvation in its infancy—to perceive it when no one else yet perceives it.!
Herod was busy with a building program. He was building a temple. It was to be a glorious temple. It was going to continue being built until after Jesus had been crucified and raised from the dead. It got finished about three years before it was destroyed! It was like a seventy year building program! It was crazy. Yet, who gives a rip, now? I mean everyone does when they go to Israel. We think that it is awesome. But seriously, two people and a company of people, like them, perceived, held, touched, and handled salvation. This was before salvation began to have a voice, and began to be declared, and began to move around the land. I believe there’s something powerful in that. I believe carry this!
I get so much hope from 2 Corinthians, even though this is where I got in so much trouble. The Apostle Paul was inarguably the greatest apostle of whom we are receiving the benefits of to this day.
Paul wrote two thirds of what we know as the New Covenant, the New Testament. He wrote more letters. His life was his own testimony of the power of Jesus for salvation. His journey, his expose on grace, his ability to say ‘no’ to Judaizing Christianity. Which are two silly terms on both sides. This idea that, yes, it is great now that Gentiles know Jesus, now let’s get them circumcised. He said, “No way. Jesus is far greater than an entrance into the Mosaic covenant, He’s beyond that. He’s the beginning, the middle and the end.” Thank God for that man.
Thank God he went into prison, because he had time to write. We now are reading what he wrote. And thank God he had the ability to reconcile circumstances from being bad or good. He had the unique ability to, wherever he was, he was there for Christ. He was the man that coined the phrase, “I am a prisoner for Christ.” I like that! I like the idea that I can claim that wherever I am, I am there for Christ. I’m bankrupt for Christ! Divorced for Christ! I’m broken for Christ. I’m bruised for Christ. I’m sick for Christ.
Too much of our faith is that we want it to look good on the outside. Therefore, we cannot accept any bad looking stuff as God, or part of the journey to follow Him. Now here was the Apostle Paul. This man wrote candidly.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all , 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The word Comfort here is Consolation. The God of Consolation.
We have to understand something about Apostle Paul. He understood that he went through things to discover God. Once he discovered God, he wanted to bring that discovery to other people so they didn’t have to go through what he went through. This is a father’s heart!
He said, that every time we go through a tribulation, there’s a comfort awaiting us. There’s a consolation. There’s a movement of heaven to make up for that which is coming against our faith. Faith is challenged because hell wants to erase it and heaven is allowing it to be perfected. God is using everything. Our faith, without being tested, is just like being a TV slob watching the Olympic sports, judging the one going off that ski jump by saying, “I think he’s not leaning correctly today.” Dear God. We are such a nation of people that observe and never do. Do you understand? We have to do it.
This is why testing makes faith yours not mine. Our faith will be tested because the devil sees the possibility of that becoming really ours. So, he comes up to snatch it away. God sees the possibility of it becoming really ours. Therefore, He lets the devil come to snatch it away because now we have to hold it. We have to say, “No, it’s valuable, I’m not letting it go.” Then the conflict of circumstances come all over our life and here we are. We are in Faith-101.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:5
Let me release off of us any idea that suffering is this or that, or that suffering is God or the devil, or that it is only the devil and never God, or always God and never the devil. Suffering simply means ‘something undergone.’
An example of this might be going to the gym January 2, which may be suffering for some. This is because now we have stepped back into our resolution to get back in shape. But, our body has been in merry-mode for a month. Perhaps we signed up for a class or gotten a personal trainer to be there to help us. Here we are—we are suffering. If we are smart, we will do it for Christ. We are undergoing.
There is another thought to remember that Holy Spirit said, so wonderfully to me, “You’ve got to undergo something to overcome.”
Have you ever asked God to make you an overcomer? This means that we then have to undergo before we can overcome. Under – Go….this is not good. Over-come…..that is good. You start undergoing until you overcome. Do we think that we just float into overcoming, by skipping from one mountain top to the next? I wish we could. I thought I could! But I can’t. This is because the very nature of journeying with Jesus is that we attract trouble. Hell hates us.
The second heaven wars over jurisdiction and rights. It wants to usurp our promises and take away our identity and destroy us. It comes with a venomous hatred. Yet God says, “Come on. Watch the word of God grow up and get stronger and stronger and stronger.” The good news is that all that it requires to overcome, according to Jesus, is endurance! All endurance means is that you keep going! This is not what we really wanted to hear, but it is truth. This is where we are is valuable to God. And where we are is on purpose.
I am confident that Simeon and company heard that sound: Miracle…Messiah, for all their intentional pursuit. God never talks about what He is doing tomorrow yesterday. It is always a seasonal movement. They were aware. But, they weren’t aware until they finally came. They were living in a waiting.
Paul says, “We may have an abundance of undergoing, but we will have an abundance of consolation coupled to the undergoing. And the consolation will make us overcomers.
6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 2 Corinthians 1:6
Consolation: This is the apostle Paul. It is always the father’s heart. If I am going through something it is so I can bring you comfort. I may be ahead of you in the curve, but it will help you as you walk through the curve yourself.
There is a sound of victory in this.
Too many of us are being re-framed by the devil right now:
- He talks to in our minds
- He re-describes our journey
- He tells us that we have failed
- He tells us we have fallen short
- He tells us that we are not going to make it
- He tells us that it is not going to work
- He tells us things will never change
This is the accuser! The condemner! The deceiver!
He works in our brains, especially in seasons of transition. He wants to get us to agree with him, because if we agree with his voice, then the voice of the Father no longer resonates in us. We are no longer prophetic people. We become bitter people that are angry and frustrated and murderous religious people. No! We are to be liberating people!
7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. 2 Corinthians 1:7
Sufferings—under-goings precede comfort and consolation
This is a general truth. Now Paul gets very personal:
8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of trouble which came to us in Asia: that were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that despaired even of life. 2 Corinthians 1:8
Here, life is not psuche life, it means the life of life—just living. The apostle Paul, who championed so well, has opened in a real honest moment. He said, “Hey, it got so overwhelming, beyond measure, beyond our strength…the testing that we were in, that we would rather have just died.”
If you have ever felt that way, you are in good company. Seriously, we are in good company, because this means that something is pressed against us to tell us that there is no reason to keep going. It’s never going to turn around. It’s never going to change. It’s going to be this way forever. And you for some reason say, “I don’t know how to reconcile this. I’d rather it just be over.” And yet, there we are.
Here now, we get to see some insight. Will we take hold of this insight? Something is going to be re-valued that was losing its value. Something’s going to break that was trying to suffocate your life!
Listen to what he is saying, because he is teaching us here. This is the man that we want to sit in a class and listening to. I read his works all the time. He is telling us that he didn’t want to keep living because of the pressure that he was talking about in the big picture. The pressure that was causing consolation to break into his life because this tribulation releases a life-giving of God, that we cannot obtain from God unless we walk through it. And, even though we are walking through it, we don’t want to walk through it. It is an undergoing because we are being made an overcomer. Yet it gets to a point, for him, that they heard of the trouble and there was no other way than just saying, “Oh Lord, take me. Like Elijah; I’m no better than the rest of my fathers; take me.” This despair like Jonah….”I just want to go.” And he says, But we had the sentence of death in ourselves.
You know why? Because this is what we were born with. We carry it through life. It will not work in the kingdom – our selves. Our selves were not kingdom initiators or completers. Flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom. So we will fail. Our flesh will fail and our strength will fail.
In verse 9, he says,
9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead 2 Corinthians 1:9
There are two things happening.
1. Whatever we are walking through, whatever it is – for some it could be you broke your nail. This might throw somebody into a heap of depression. Perhaps, someone was just told that they were going to die next month. It doesn’t matter what it is. you. And what it does to you is dependant on who we are, where we are, what’s happening. But I guarantee you, everyone has something trying to overthrow their faith. Something that you are undergoing, of which you did not say, “Hey! Choose me! Choose me!” You are walking it out.
2. He says that the goal of the undergoing death is to not trust in ourselves. Apparently God recognizes that we are so self aware that it’s going to take a lot of effort of self to rescue to finally give up accessing, resourcing self to rescue.
Sooner or later, we are going to say, “You know what? Every time somebody tells me I have do harder or try harder, it gets worse. I think I’m not going to keep trying so much harder.” Some how it’s got to be God, not me. So you don’t trust self. I don’t have the ability.
According to Philippians 2, we are the true circumcision who worship God in the spirit, not at a place, who rejoice in Christ Jesus, not in ourselves. And, who put no confidence in the flesh.
Give me something beautiful; leave me alone; I’ll make it ugly. Give me something working; leave me alone; I’ll break it. It is just the way we are. This is flesh and blood.
We are shifting our trust base. We can be a Simeon. We can be an Anna. We can be a company of people. We can say, “It is not about me. It is about Him. It is about Him. And, it will be when it will be, even if it is another year…”
Israel, the Jewish people, had kept themselves alive, though being scattered all over the earth, until they were restored to a nation. Many times they never had access to their nation, but every year they would say, “Next year in Jerusalem!” That’s hope! That’s the power of waiting. That’s the power of knowing that the inevitable truth and faithfulness and goodness of God is coming! I am not the one making it happen or stopping it from happening. God is bringing it! There’s something strong in that. There’s something that causes you to carry things that makes you an agent of deliverance.
If the world starts falling apart, like our life fell apart, now we found hope and consolation, and we can now administer it because any victory that we get, in God, on our journey, is transferrable. This is because we now carry authority to give the victory to others. This is a powerful truth! No one wants to do it, but it’s the only way we get it. It’s the only way we get it –we have got to go through it. We have no victory till we go through it. We only have a concept. Or maybe we have a revelation. But until the revelation is tested and until there’s a cross, there’s no . I don’t like this, but Peter didn’t like it either.
But we trust in God which raises the dead…See some of us will be like Job at times and we will think, “I don’t have a clue how I’m here, or why I’m here, or what this is. This is wrong!. But though You slay me, I am trusting You!”
It is better to trust a God I cannot see than to attribute what I see to Him. I’ll trust. Into Your hands I commit my spirit. I have prayed this prayer many times and in many places because I know this is the closure of a cross experience.
“Into Your hands I commit my spirit. I’m not fighting. I’m trusting.” There is power in that word!
Now, here’s the deal—stuff happens. We are not in our situation because we are stupid or because we strove. Whatever we are in, that we wish we weren’t in, is not because we are stupid or we strove. Because if this was the case, then we would not have to be there if we were smart and had used our faith. That’s a bad equation. It is not a biblical equation to say, “Where I am is because of something I did or because of the lack of my faith.” We may be momentarily stuck there, but there is something larger than all of that.
It is like the tsunami that hit two years ago that obliterated the Asian coastline. The people were on vacation and enjoying themselves. They didn’t do anything wrong. The next thing they knew was the water going up onto the beach and sweeping everyone away and killing hundreds of people. Some things happen that are beyond anyone’s preparation or control. Some of the things that have swept us into our situation were beyond our own preparation or control. It would be like skiing on a mountain and enjoying a sunny day when all of a sudden a sound of an avalanche comes. It doesn’t matter how good of a skier we might be. We won’t get through it.
There are some things that happen to us, that we will not have the ability to navigate. If we don’t navigate them correctly, we then go into condemnation, our “should haves, and could haves”. We find ourselves in a place that we weren’t prepared to be. THIS is the place where God says, “Here I will begin My resurrection! This will be My finest work in your life!”
We are reclaiming God’s sovereignty in our lives. We are facing accusation and condemnation and saying “No! The blood of the Lamb secures me and what God began, He will complete. I will not crumble under my own self. It is not about me. This whole thing is about my not trusting in myself.”
We cannot let “our part” be the part we magnify in our lives and thereby lose heart and not even want to get up and try. This is self.
We are right where we are supposed to be. God needs a dead person to resurrect. He needs a situation where it is impossible for it to be called a miracle. He needs it to become something that is for Him and not for us, so He allows it to get to the point where it is no longer yours but His.
9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:9-10
We serve a God that delivered us! Does deliver us and will deliver us! This is all He knows: I did deliver. I do deliver and I will continue to deliver!
We don’t know if we were put in prison because of Joseph’s assignment on our life. We don’t know if we were sent out on the backside of a desert to care for another man’s sheet, in another man’s religion, or another man’s home, because we were going to deliver a nation. We just don’t know till we know! We don’t know until we walk in and then SEE—the Messiah, this is it! But, until then, we wait. We advance and move.
11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the granted to us through many. 2 Corinthians 1: 11
Why are we a body? Why do we go to church? Why don’t we just do it on our own? Because, we join in prayer for one another.
They heard of Apostle Paul, that he was stuck there and had trouble going on in Asia. They had heard just bad things, but began to pray for the victory, Your kingdom come, Your will be done. Prayer began to rise. Prayer. Prayer again. Prayer—the one thing we can do. The Apostle James said, “If there is anyone suffering, let him pray”. How bad is your life right now? The worse it is, the better the prayer goes. Is anyone rejoicing? Let him give praise.
Here in 2 Corinthians 1:11 it says that they gave thanks for the gift. The word gift is charisma. Spirit substance, supplied by the Holy Spirit, something that was not natural! We don’t want to start a year with resolutions to do it differently. I know that I will not do it differently. We as a people cannot work smarter. We won’t. We need the Spirit of God to bring us in. We need less of us and more of HIM! For Him to get more…we have to get less! We need God in another dimension, then our strengthening our resolve, helping our will or getting our intelligence sharper. We need God to do what we cannot do.
Twenty seven years ago, this scripture was highlighted as my mission statement, the goal He wanted me to pursue:
12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. 2 Corinthians 1: 12
Simplicity is the opposite of duplicity. It simply means that I don’t have angles. I’m not working other plans. I’m just walking forward in naïve, childlike faith. Simplicity and godly sincerity means that I am still amazed at the One Who captured my attention and I still want to respond like the first day He got me. I don’t want to become jaded or cynical. I don’t want to have the system working through a system. My conscience says, “Here we go, simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom.
We can use fleshly wisdom. Some of us may wish we had used fleshly wisdom. It costs us a lot. We wanted to gain but we lost. We may wish we would have seen it coming—but we can’t when we are in love. We can’t when we just say, “Yes”. But simplicity and godly sincerity is our conscience decree that we know and God knows to be true. It is who we are. He goes on to say that we have not conducted ourselves in this world with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God—and more abundantly toward you.
I claimed this and twenty six years later He say, “Good, start at verse two. Verse two will get you to verse twelve. That is like the promises in Revelation 12. You have to start at Genesis 1. We are getting there. We are being this people. So, we don’t have to despise ourselves. We have eyes to see what no one sees. We said yes to what we saw, and we began a journey…a very short journey on this earth. We value and hold what we have heard. The presence of God is with us.
Father God, we acknowledge that as a people, we may be going through “undergoings”. But Lord, as we undergo, there is something greater than suffering. Lord God, there is a promise of a grace that is beyond—- The dimension of salvation that is rich and free comes to us through Jesus Christ.
Today, we step as Paul did, through out of circumstances of life as a defining statement of who we are.
Spirit of God rise up!
Recovery of sight to the blind to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. And it starts with you and me. As we lift up our hands, let’s say,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me to preach good news and liberty and healing and deliverance and freedom. He is upon me. He is my resurrection, my deliverance. God has delivered me. God will deliver me and is delivering me, right now. I am who I am, right now, in Christ, Who is in me. He is the hope of glory. So, Glory, come! Victory, come! Christ be revealed in us.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 7pm: New Year’s Eve Service. Come join us as we worship Christ the King and release the prophetic sound for 2015.
Sunday, January 4, 2014, 9am and 11am: I will be sharing on, “Reviving Grace for 2015, Part 1 and 2”. Join us as we step into and receive the new grace for 2015. We will also receive communion at both services.
Sunday, 10:20am: Join us in Praying for the Nations. A time of declarations and petitions for the Kingdom of God in all Nations.