Waiting for the Spirit – Acts 8:14-17

No Believer In Christ Will Walk In Power Until The Holy Spirit Of God Comes Upon Them

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Beginning Believers

There is a debate amongst the bodies of disciples of Christ in various regions as to when the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer in power.  In order to understand this, the Bible must be taken as a whole.  For instance:

These are just a few examples to illustrate the differing circumstances that surrounded the Holy Spirit coming upon someone in power.  The simple fact is, disciples of Christ will NOT BE EFFECTIVE until the Holy Spirit comes upon them in power.

Power of Prayer

Prayer is the most powerful offensive tool that the believer in Christ has in the arsenal.  We are given unfettered access to the Throne Room of God at any time through prayer.  Anything we ask in the name of – the character of – Jesus, God the Father will do so that He may be glorified.

In this case, Peter and John went to Samaria to greet the new believers there.  Notice that the very first thing they did was pray.  John the Apostle was known by the nickname “Camel Knees” because he prayed so much!  Peter and John first prayed that the Holy Spirit would come upon the new believers (in power).  After bathing their requests in prayer, they acted upon their belief.  They laid hands upon the new believers.

Holy Hands

When they laid their hands, bathed in prayer, upon the new believers, the new disciples of Christ received the Holy Spirit in power.  They recognized from their own lives, having to wait until Pentecost to receive the Holy Spirit, that the new disciples would be ineffective until they had received the Holy Spirit.

The laying on of hands was to designate someone for a specific purpose or task.  When hands were laid upon the new believers, they received the Holy Spirit in power to provide them with the necessary means to be effective in ministry.  Each of us should greatly desire that the Holy Spirit come upon us in power.

If you are not sure if the Holy Spirit has come upon you in power, you should earnestly pray that God would do so.  Examine your life to see if you are living it in a manner that is pleasing to God.  Confess all sins, and repent of them.  Eagerly seek and desire the deeper understanding of the Bible and God’s will in your life.  God greatly desires that His people are ready and prepared to do the works that He has assigned for us to do since before the foundation of the Earth!

A Qualifying Question

Let’s as a question:  Has the Holy Spirit come upon me in power?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are glorious and full of grace.  Father, please help me to walk in Your ways.  Forgive me for my sins.  Help me to turn away from them and leave them at the foot of the cross, for Christ has born them already.  Help me to better understand Your word, that I would be able to live this life in line with Your word more and more each day.  May the Holy Spirit come upon me in power, that I would be prepared to do the works that You have prepared in advanced for me to do.  Strengthen me as You did when the apostles laid their hands upon the believers.  May You and You alone be glorified in what You are about to do.  This I ask in the name of Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Joy of God – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6

God Fills Us With Joy

4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

Children are Chosen

God has chosen His children.  He has predestined that all men should be drawn to His Son since Jesus was crucified.  The true children have heard, and will hear, the message of the Gospel with joy, and it will manifest itself with power through the Holy Spirit in the deep conviction that comes with the witness of the Holy Spirit about all things that are true. Truth is no longer an abstract concept relegated to relativism, but is now the embodiment of the Son of God who has declared:

“…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The Holy Spirit of God bears witness to the truth and power of the word of the Living God as the word penetrates into the hearts of all who listen.  God’s word will not go void;  everywhere it is heard, His word will have effect upon all who hear it.  The soil of our hearts is being plowed by the difficulties of life and the work of the Holy Spirit.  Even in the darkest of times, the Holy Spirit of God is able to soften the hardest of hearts in the emotional pain of suffering and loss.  God has said through His servant Paul that we are predestined to be His children.  We merely need to respond to the message.

Severe Suffering

We know that we are His children because we have responded to His word, and it has grown in us through the hardship of life.  Paul reiterates that when we become imitators of him, we are being imitators of the one who sent him.  Hardship and suffering produce perseverance,  which produces character, which then produces hope – a fully justified expectation of completion of what has been promised.

When we are tried through the crucible of suffering, our faith is tested, and it grows.  Those who do not have a deep faith in the solid rock of Christ will find that whatever they have placed their faith in will be eroded by the crashing waves of hardship and suffering, just as sand is swept away by the outgoing tide.  The sand erodes, and exposes the fragility of the foundation upon which the building was laid.  But upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ, no hardship or suffering can prevail.  For it is within Christ that we have our joy. and the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Justified Joy

The Holy Spirit testifies of the Son of God, and fills us with joy as we cling tightly to the author and perfecter of our faith.  And a peace that transcends understanding fills our heart.  We may not understand why, but we know that our joy is justified, well-placed, and authentic.  Nothing and no one can take that joy from us except that we take our eyes off of the one who beautiful gaze is the sole object of our affection:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace. – Helen Howarth Lemmel (1863-1961)

It is in the light of His glory and grace that we find our peace and our joy.  In these desperate and wicked times, turn to the author and perfecter of your faith, and witness the joy and peace that transcends understanding as He fills your heart with Himself.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I allowing the joy of the Lord to fill me up during my duress?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, glory and power be to You who are exalted above all.  Praise be to You in all things, for You are all in all, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.  Thank You for bringing me joy through Your Son, Jesus Christ, and the wonderful working of the Holy Spirit as I walk in Your ways.  Give me a heart of thanksgiving and joy as I contemplate the magnitude of all that You have wrought.  Tune my heart to Yours, and help me to endure the trials that are and that are to come.  Prepare me for the great and terrible day of the return of Your son.  Help my life to be a witness to the love, grace, and mercy that You extend to all people in the hopes of reconciling everyone to Yourself.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Faith in God – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

Christ Will Not Come Again Until The Great Falling Away…

1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.

Separate Speculation

Paul warns the disciples of Christ to not be alarmed or unsettled by alleged teachings of the apostles that the second coming of Christ has already occurred.   There were people who were spreading false rumors that Jesus had already come, and that the faithful disciples had been left behind.  Paul was putting an end to these rumors, and sought to help any who had heard these rumors that they were not true, and to assure them that any such teaching did not come from them.

Remember the Rebellion

And here we see a very interesting sign that will precede the coming of our Lord – the great rebellion must first take place.  Paul is very care to remind us that before Jesus comes in the clouds, with a shout at the last trump of God, there will first be a great rebellion.  The people of God will abandon Him.

This seems to be odd, because once the Holy Spirit sets up residence in us, we would think that He would continue to witness to us about Jesus.  But for some reason, there will be a great number of people who will give up their faith.  Jesus warns about letting our love grow cold in the great Mount of Olives discourse in Matthew chapter 24:

9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Paul gives us a more in-depth look at what the rebellion will look like in 2 Timothy 3:1-9:

1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- 9 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Paul is not talking about people who do not profess faith in Christ – these are people who claim to be believers – Christians!  But by their very actions, they demonstrate that they are not disciples of Christ, nor do they indicate that they love God.  If they did, they would obey His commands and submit to the Holy Spirit:

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Christ will not come until the rebellion first appears.  Love is the primary characteristic of God that is prized above all.  Remember to guard your heart, and grow in love, even when everyone else around you is abandoning their faith.  Remain faithful unto death.  And when the Son of man returns, let Him find faith on Earth.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I growing in love in the midst of the increase of lawlessness in the world?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have given me the gift of eternal life in Your Son through His shed blood.  Help me to find peace in my heart as the world becomes increasingly filled with lawlessness and injustice.  Help me to cling to You and Your word through the most difficult of times.  See me through the valley of the shadow of death, and help me to be prepared that the lamp of my body, my eyes, would be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit, fully prepared for the return of the groom, Jesus Christ, when we least expect Him.  Grow in me the love that You have for all of us, that I would properly bear Your image before men.  Guard my tongue and my heart that I would not sin against You.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Witnessing for God – Matthew 10:16-20

It’s Not Paranoia When They Truly Are Out To Get You

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

Shrewd as Snakes

Jesus warns His disciples that they will need to be as shrewd as snakes.  He is, literally, sending them us into the pits of vipers.  The religious leaders did their very best to trap Jesus in what He said and did.  And Jesus, submitted to the Holy Spirit, saying only what He heard the Father saying through submission to the Spirit of God, was able to refute them, befuddle them, confound them, and reveal their very hearts to them.

Snakes are very shrewd creatures.  They make very little sound.  They study their prey, and carefully calculate whether they have both the ability and opportunity to take down their prey.  They slowly position themselves around their prey, giving it no opportunity for escape.  For some, they strike hard.  Others they reach out and coil around to slowly squeeze the life-breath out of them.  Others will drop from above without warning on their prey, surprising those that aren’t looking for them.

God desires that we be shrewd as well, for we will encounter these very same types of people looking to malign the good name of The Lord God Almighty.  Be aware of people and what they are trying to do.  Understand their tactics and do your best to prevent yourself from being waylaid.  But Jesus also gave His disciples another piece of advice – be as innocent as doves.

Innocent Inside

Doves were considered “innocent” because they have beautiful white feathers.  White is used throughout scripture as a sign of innocence and purity:

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.”

We are to be aware of our enemies’ ways, yet keep our ways pure.  Just because we understand what they do, we are to choose the path that keeps us as far from sin as possible.  Shrewd does not necessarily mean evil – it means wise.  And Jesus, shrewd towards His accusers, was as innocent as white snow – He never sinned once.  We must remember His example and conduct our lives in a similar manner.

Potential Placement

God fully intends to place His disciples in places where most people would not even be able to secure a private meeting.  He placed the apostle Paul in front of kings and leaders of men.  Paul was faithful in witnessing to them every time he was given the opportunity.  Be prepared to be arrested and brought before the authorities – Jesus has told us this in advance.  And do not worry what you will say, for when you are submitted to the Holy Spirit in obedience to the word of God and His leading, He will provide you with the words that you should speak.

Powerful Persuasion

God Himself, through the Holy Spirit, will provide you with everything that you need to witness.  We can see this in the lives of the apostles as recorded in the word of God in the book of Acts.  Peter, John, and Paul were repeatedly brought before the governors and kings for proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ and His message of salvation.  Their audiences were astounded when they realized that these men had been with Jesus, and apart from Paul (who had the equivalent training in today’s terms of at least a double doctorate in Theology), they were simple men who spoke boldly what they had seen and heard.

And when you are given the opportunity by God to witness, allow Him to provide you with the very words that you speak so that He may be given glory through your obedience to Him.  And when you allow Him to speak through you, He will powerfully use you to bring people into His kingdom.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I allowing God to use me in such a way that He is positioning me to reach the broadest of audiences and the people He wants to hear His message of salvation?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You provide for my every need.  Help me to speak boldly of you every opportunity that I am provided. Help me to submit to Your Spirit that I would speak the words that You intend for me to speak, and to be in the places You intend for me to be.  Help me to yield myself to You so that You can use me in the most powerful and efficient ways possible.  Help me to be bold as I speak, and to completely trust that You are sovereign over my circumstances, regardless of what they are.  Help me to keep my eyes firmly focused upon You, so that regardless of the outcome, You would be glorified and magnified among men.  This I ask in the precious and holy name of Jesus, Amen.

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The Law of God – Psalm 119:17-20

We Should Meditate Upon God’s Law Day and Night

17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.

Following Faithfully

The psalmist recognizes that it is much easier to obey God’s law when we are experiencing the goodness of God.  When we are in the midst of trials, being tormented by our enemies, and trying to deal with our emotions, it takes a significant amount of concentration, control, and effort to react appropriately.  It is especially difficult when we are being tested, and the awareness of the presence of God about us seems to have disappeared.  God has not forsaken us, but is showing us what is really within us as He watches at a short distance, just like a teacher who is observing the student take a test.

There is nothing wrong with asking God to reveal His presence and peace to us during trials.  But in order to grow, God must take the training wheels off of our bicycle, and we need to put more effort into it to learn our lessons.  It is especially difficult when God does the opposite of what you request as you seek to honor and glorify His name.

Precious Perceptions

Sin clouds our perceptions and judgments.  We need God to remove the blinders from us so that we can see clearly.  When our blinders are removed, God can show us wonderful new things in His law.  As we are more obedient to the revealed truth of God, He entrusts us with more of Himself.

We will be judged not for how much we know, but for what we did with the truth that was revealed to us and that we understood.  As we are faithful in observing God’s laws and statutes, the blinders of sin will begin to fall away.  The psalmist greatly desires to know more of God’s character and insight.  We should do the same.

Concealed Concerns

The Earth is not our home.  We need God to reveal Himself and His truth to us so that we can live faithfully for Him.  We cannot live faithfully for God if He conceals His truth from us.  The psalmist knows that if God hides His face from him, he will not know the truth.  And since we are not yet with Him in Heaven, we need Him to show Himself to us as we patiently await the glorious day when His Son, Jesus Christ, returns in Glory, and we will know Him as we are fully known.

Delightful Desires

As we are yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit, He will put an ever-increasing desire to know God’s character and to live it out within us.  The desire to live righteously and to see righteousness be done will increase greatly.  We will become so driven that the desire to live righteously will consume us.  We will long for it as the pants for the water.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask ourselves a question:  Is the desire to live righteously for God a consuming desire in our heart?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Your love for me is amazing.  You greatly desire that I be consumed with You.  As the desire of my heart is increasing for You, You have said that You will give me the desire of my heart.  Please do not hide Your face from me, but rather, help me to know Your holy character and live it out in faith.  Strengthen me as I am being tested, and keep me from stumbling.  Father, place such a great desire in my heart to know You and to live righteously that I will be consumed with it.  For Your Son has said that if we love You we will obey Your commands.  Reveal them to me, and help me to be faithful in following all of them, regardless of my circumstances.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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A Promise of God – Deuteronomy 6:8

When God makes promises, circumstances change.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Not Just for Joshua

The author of Hebrews took to heart that this promise was not just for Joshua, son of Nun, but reiterated it in Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

A Promise Provided

This promise is fulfilled with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  He is a down-deposit for our inheritance.  He won’t just go away when we sin, or are in need, or feel lonely, or scared, or depressed.  He is ALWAYS there – comforting us, guiding us, leading us, empowering us, and encouraging us in our walk with God.

Light Leads through Love

Ephesians 5:18, showing us that the Holy Spirit leads us, saying:

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,

The word “filled” is plErousthe in the Greek.  It means “to be controlled by.”  Just as wine controls us in drunkenness (who can honestly say that they are in their right mind and in control when they are drunk?), we are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit in all that we do.  It is an imperative command – not a suggestion!  We are expected to do this!

Since God is love, everything that The Holy Spirit does is in love – even if it is to refine our character and test our hearts through trialseven when we sleep!  We can be confident that when God is leading, we are in good hands.

Provision of Power

God doesn’t just give us an empty promise.  He promises not to forsake us.  To do that, He empowers us through The Holy Spirit:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God provides us with the source of the power of the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He doesn’t just dwell in us; He provides power for all that we are to do.  We can take comfort and strength knowing that He is not just accompanying us through our journey, but providing for us as well.

The Fear Factor

Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, looking for prey to devour.  Lions are not creatures that we should confront without appropriate protection or weaponry.  It is easy to be frightened when confronting a force that can easily overwhelm and destroy you.  Have you noticed that just about every time an angel visits someone in the Bible, the very first words out of their mouth is “do not fear”?  There is a very good reason for that.  When confronted with the power of angelic beings, we are immediately aware of our fragile nature.

But God has provided us with the Spiritual Armor of God.  And we have an offensive weapon as well – the Sword of the Spirit, which IS the scriptures.  And God’s Word says that there is no fear in perfect love.  Since God is love, and we are in Christ, we no longer need to fear.  Fear is predicated on consequences, and ALL of our sins – past, present and future – have been forgiven.  God has chosen not to forsake us, and even in our incapacity to live life perfectly because of our sin nature, God still provides for our future sins, having known about them from before time began.

The Qualifying Question

So, let’s ask the question:  given this wonderful promise, are we allowing the Holy Spirit of God free rein to lead and empower our lives as we walk with God to the extent that we should?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have made us this wonderful promise.  Give me the strength today to let go of those things that interfere in Your guidance of my life.  Rid me of my own evil desires, and place within me the desires of Your heart.  Help me to yield myself to you completely as a living sacrifice.  Remove the dross from my heart, and help me to submit completely to the Holy Spirit.  Father, I recognize that in submission to You there is freedom.  Set me free from myself that I may be free in You.  Bless Your Holy Name, for You give Your children wonderful gifts and promises.  Knowing that I am never alone, and always in Your care comforts me through my trials.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Submission to God – Colossians 3:1-4

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

The world, the flesh, and the devil all vie for the attention of our thoughts.  If they can just persuade us to take our eyes off of Christ, we can be led astray.  Paul provides us with the framework for preventing this, in that our lives are hidden in Christ.  Our thoughts should be continually towards the things of God.  We are also told where our treasure is, there are our hearts also.

Time and time again, we are distracted with the troubles of life.  Even when we are focused on God, tragedy seems to occur to cause us to take our eyes off of the object of our affection, and be focused in the here and now of trials and tribulations.  It takes great self-control to refocus on the things that matter, as the threat of pain, suffering, and loss loom over us in those moments.  We are directed (both imperative commands!) to set our hearts and set our minds on things above.  It is an act of the will, contrary to our natural inclinations.

It is an act of submission of the will to God that enables us to make this unnatural change in our thought lives.  In everything, Christ submitted Himself to the Father through submission to the Holy Spirit.  In the same manner we need to submit ourselves the same way to the Holy Spirit.

So, let’s ask the question:  How well are we submitting to the Holy Spirit?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, we are so easily distracted by the difficulties of life.  Give me strength today to have a heart that is steadfastly focused upon Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Remove the veneer of importance from those things that try to grab my attention, and place everything in its proper place, so that You are honored in everything.  Guard my heart, and help me to submit to Your perfect will.  This I ask in the precious name of your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Walking with God – Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

This is a very famously quoted passage in scripture.  But there’s more here than meets the eye.  The NIV translates the first part of this as “But those who hope on the Lord…” from the Hebrew uqui, meaning “and ones being expectant of”.  However, the Septuagint indicates a different translation.  The words “wait upon” in the Greek is hupomenontes.  It means “to bear up under trial” and has the meaning of “being stretched (when enduring through a trial).”  When we are in the crucible of trials, God stretches us to our very limits, but doesn’t allow us to break.  When we are stretched, we can be extended, like a rubber band, but we spring back, and unlike the rubber band, we are stronger than when we started.  We renew our strength after the trial is over.  When we are enduring it, God gives us the strength to endure, for He will not allow us to be tempted without giving us the ability, or provide options, to overcome iteven if it means fleeing.

The other interest aspect of this is that when we walk, it is indicated that we might faint.  The Christian life is a very challenging one.  As we grow in Christ, we become more aware of His holiness, and the path seems straighter and narrower every day.  It takes great strength to continually walk in a manner pleasing to God.  But thanks be to God for sending Jesus, who in turn sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us and empower us!

Rejoice!  God gives you the ability to walk with Him, even when the day-to-day trials of life wear us down, sap our strength, and put us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in a place where we feel at any moment we will just pass out from exhaustion.  Cry out to the Lord, and receive new strength!

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are Almighty God; may all honor, glory, strength, power, and dominion be Yours forever, Amen and Amen!  You give me hope when there is no reason to hope, and strength when my strength fails.  Father, I humbly come to you in brokenness.  Help me in my circumstances.  Provide a way for your servant to overcome.  Grant me success this day.  Bless my enemies, and may Your kindness in this draw them to You.  Open doors that I cannot open, and fight these battles, Lord.  I need You Lord God, and greatly desire Your fellowship.  Help me to overcome, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?