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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God

This is a beautiful verse that speaks about our relationship with God. It speaks more about our relationship with Him than about receiving guidance from God.

We like to quote this verse each time we speak of following the leading of God.

Sadly, it says in this verse (Romans 8:14) that "for as many as are led..." because the reality is that not many are led by the Spirit of God.

Admittedly, all born-again believers desire to be led by the Spirit of God. Who doesn't? However, it takes more than a casual interest from us to actually be included in the "for as many as are led..." category. As we ponder over this verse let us pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to us and draw us into a deeper reality and relationship with Christ Jesus.

Our natural minds think very differently from the ways of God. This is why our minds need to be renewed from the day we are born again into the kingdom of God. Even though our spirits are now made alive unto God, our old mindsets and thought patterns remain with us. Hence, oftentimes, in our pursuit of following God, we tend to align our thinking according to the old self. One example is in the area of being led by God. We would like to think that to be led by God would mean following a list of instructions. When we pray "Lord, lead me!" what we actually mean is "Lord, please show me Step 1, Step 2... on this... and that... " And we live in cycles of doubt and despair that God has not revealed His will to us or that He has not heard our prayers.

When we take a closer look at the life of Abraham, we do not see that God showed him all the steps he were to take after receiving the call of God to leave his hometown. More often than not, God's revelation comes to us in the form of pieces of puzzle. And how could we decipher His will when all we hold in our hands is but a piece of puzzle out of the total of 700 pieces which will ultimately be fitted together to form a beautiful picture? What is of utmost importance in our natural minds is to lay hold of the next piece of the puzzle but God's desire is for us to know Him that we may learn of His faithfulness. The One who holds the balance of 699 pieces of puzzle longs to reveal Himself to us more than just giving us a list of steps for us to fulfill His will.

In God's perspective, "these are sons of God" is His goal. One who is led by the Spirit of God knows God as His Abba Father. The converse is also true. If we begin to know God experientially, we will see that we are beginning to be led by His Spirit. Do we know Him as our Father? What kind of a Father God do we have? Do we seek to know His heart? In fact, we always tend to think that the ten commandments are but an arduous list of do's and don'ts. However if we were to look beyond the surface of these commandments, we would see the Father heart of God. We often fail to realize that we are given the Scriptures so that we may know Him, the Word of God made flesh, and not just to merely know the written word. Knowing God is a key to be led by the Spirit of God.

At the same time, we should also be aware that to be led by the Spirit of God is not an "answer-focused" pursuit. We are after the Person and not just the answers for our questions. Most of the time, we are desperate to hear a word from the Lord just for the sake of knowing the answer to our problem or to know a solution to our predicament. However, let us be reminded that the verse beautifully connects the leading of the Spirit of God with the sonship of God. As we begin to understand the ways of God and know His nature, we are in the process of maturity to be His sons and not just remain as little children. And naturally, we are led by His Spirit to be at the right place at the right time. However, when we are always focused to seek the answer or the solution, we will miss the Person and the relationship He offers and consequently may miss His leading altogether.

When we are being led by the Spirit of God, it speaks of us following a Person, the Spirit of God. We are not following a set of religious rules set by man for when we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we are free from the bondage of religious spirits. Yes, we need teachings and certainly doctrines are beneficial but we cannot be bound by a set of rules or laws at the expense of following the fresh leading of the Holy Spirit. It's easy for us to logically determine that if A+B=C then C-B=A. Unfortunately, most of the time, God's ways are not boud by such equations because God's ways are established in the supernatural laws of love, peace and joy which are always consistent with His character, not a set of man-made laws. The more we follow His character we begin to see His purposes unfold in our lives. One way of following Christ is to be found in His Presence. To be led by the Spirit of God speaks of being with God Himself. How can we hear, how can we see if we are not in His Presence?

Lastly, most Christians would like to think that they are led by the Holy Spirit not knowing that it could be the "self" or the "flesh" that is driving them. We would rather follow our own natural impulses than being led by the Holy Spirit when it involves something that would cause inconvenience to our flesh. This is because when we want to be led by the Spirit of God, our convenience is not His priority. We read in the Matthew 4 that Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness. And we know the rest of the story where our Lord Jesus emerged victorious after encountering the adversary and its venomous temptations. This is the most tricky part. We are told in Jeremiah that our heart is deceitful and we cannot deny that. When we "see that the fruit is pleasant to the eyes and the tree is good for food" immediately we would con ourselves into thinking this must be His will for me! What then is a sure way to avoid such self deception?

The answer is illustrated in the account of a father and a son at Mount Moriah. Isaac was bound and placed on the altar. He yielded his life into his father's hands. When we surrender ourselves and all our preconceived ideas and our strong will and place ourselves on the altar, we are the sons of God. Christ Himself, the Son of God laid down His life on the cross for us and accomplished the Father's will in His life. Do we want to be led by the Spirit of God? Do we desire to fulfill His will and purposes in our lives? God is also calling us to surrender ourselves fully to Him. To be led by the Spirit of God is to live a surrenderred life (not my will but yours be done) and to be His bondservant.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Last Words of Wade Taylor

A friend of God, Wade Taylor had passed on into Glory on February 29th, 2012. I am one of the multitudes of lives who have been touched by the writings of this humble man of God. If you have never read any of his articles or books, I encourage you to check out wadetaylor.org (the photo on the left is taken from the site) and I am certain you will find spiritual treasures that will enhance your walk with God.

I strongly believe there is a prophetic message in the last email which was sent out by Wade on February 9th, 2012 which is reproduced below.

A Living Word for Your Spirit

God created all that was created in "six days" and on the "seventh day," He rested. Each of these days was an indeterminate period of time in which a particular aspect of creation was accomplished.

Peter limited these days to specific time periods by saying, "a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day."

Of this time, "six days" relates to man's time, and the "seventh day," to the Millennial Kingdom of God. The first four, "thousand year days" relate to the Old Testament, and the next two, "thousand year days," to the Church Age.

This time (six days) came to an end in the year 2000, and the time of transition into the Millennial Kingdom of God (seventh day) began.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me... He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Revelation 3:20, 22

This "door" is at the end of the Church Age and is at the point of transition from the Church Age into the Millennial Kingdom Age. This is a conditional promise to those who have a "hearing ear."

The Apostle John was transported from his time, to the end of the Church Age, and he heard the voice of the Lord, knocking.

"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 here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter." Revelation 4:1

It is very important to notice that this door opened only when John heard the voice of the Lord knocking, and responded (After this I looked). The result of a right response is being able to hear "things which must be hereafter." Jesus is yet knocking on the door of our temple, seeking those who will hear and respond. Thus, our ability to hear spiritually is very important.

When Jesus was twelve years old, He went into the temple of His day and time, and astounded all those who heard Him (Luke 2:42-47). When Jesus becomes twelve years old in His corporate body, He will again come into the temple. This time, He will come within the temple that we have become.

"Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" I Corinthians 3:16

During this year, 2012, when Jesus becomes twelve years old in His corporate body, He will begin to come within His present day temple (us).

"When He shall come to be glorified in His saints...." II Thessalonians 1:10

All that Jesus did in a single body, during His first coming, He will again do through a corporate body, in the progression of His second coming.

The end-time visitation of our Lord is about to begin, as the final judgments have been delayed.

"Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." Isaiah 60:1-2

In the Old Testament, the glory came "upon" In the New Testament, the glory comes "within"

May each of us who desire our Lord's best, separate ourselves from all that could hinder our hearing the Lord's knock upon our spirit.

If we respond, as John responded, Jesus will come within our "temple" to affect the world of our day and time, beyond anything that has ever been seen.

And the Gentiles (unsaved) shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

The greatest visitation ever is about to begin.