Knowing Is the Key to Possessing (Pt 4)

Daily Devotion | Day 316

“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, NKJV).

The mysteries of God are the inheritance of His children. In former times, these mysteries were hidden. But now they are revealed. And it is by the Holy Spirit that they are revealed to us (Ephesians 3:1-6). As Paul notes in our opening Scripture, these mysteries are about “things God has prepared for those who love Him.” They are things which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man.” The Father kept these wonderful plans close to His chest. But at the appointed time, He unveiled the plans to His apostles and prophets through the Holy Spirit. This is the point Paul is making.

The Spirit is able to search the depths of the Father’s heart. It is with this ability that He drew out the mysteries of our inheritance in Christ and declared them to the apostles (and prophets). The Spirit’s work in the Church is to oversee the faithful transmission of this revealed knowledge from one generation of Christians to another until the return of Christ. He does so by leading every believer to the truth, especially through the ministry of those appointed to shepherd the flock of Christ (Acts 20:27-28). This last point will be the focus of our concluding message on “Knowing Is the Key to Possessing.”

The Father never does (or says) something except by His Spirit. This ensures that all His deeds are mighty and effective. His prophets of old were effective communicators of His will because they ministered by the Holy Spirit at work in them (1 Peter 1:10-11). As Son of God and Messiah, Jesus did the same thing. He effectively and accurately communicated the Father’s will because He taught by the Spirit that was in Him (Acts 1:2).

The apostles were no different. Paul writes, for example, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13). Peter confirms what Paul said. Concerning our inheritance in Christ, he spoke of “the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:12).

Notice the Holy Spirit’s role in ensuring that those who preach do so according to His leading. This is crucial because what we are in Christ is a profound supernatural reality. And our inheritance in Him is so vast and marvelous that even angels desire to look into what we have. Therefore, to bring this knowledge home to Christians, one must be in tune with the Spirit. 

To teach others by the Spirit, you must first be taught by the Spirit. In other words, to effectively communicate God’s will to His children, you must first be a student of the Spirit. Otherwise, you risk delivering a superficial message. Superficial messages will keep the flock of God ignorant, anemic and frail. And if they remain ignorant, they risk despising their inheritance or losing it altogether.

To sum up:

Knowing is the key to possessing. As God’s people, we have a right to understand our inheritance in Christ and be able to appropriate what is rightfully ours. For this to happen, the Holy Spirit’s revelatory role is indispensable. As we welcome the Spirit, we welcome His insights. And as we welcome His insights, we welcome the ability to take possession of (and enjoy) the unsearchable riches of Christ. Therefore, let us stay enlightened by the Spirit. Amen.

For further studyLuke 15:11-32

Searching, Interceding, Revealing, Empowering

Daily Devotion | Day 250

“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27, NKJV).

Words do not suffice to describe the Father’s love for us. God in several ways has demonstrated His love for us (think of John 3:16 and Romans 5:8, for example). He gave His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Many of us are familiar with that. But there is another – equally important – thing God did to prove His love for us. It doesn’t get enough attention. And that is, the giving of the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 tells us, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Compare Romans 5:5 with John 3:16. You will notice that the Father has blessed us with two great Gifts: the Gift of His Son, and the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Essentially, the Father has nothing left to give. Everything the Father wanted to (and could) give, are all contained in the Son (the Word) and the Spirit. Therefore, if you have the Son and the Spirit, you have everything – literally.

Paul describes the Father as being the searcher of hearts. God says that about Himself in Jeremiah 17:10. Because He searches hearts (and by implication nothing is hidden from Him), He knows the mind of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints (meaning Christians) according to the will of God. If you think that human intercession is helpful, think about how potent the Holy Spirit’s intercession is. When the Spirit begins to intercede for you, the Father understands what the Spirit is asking/saying on your behalf (This is awesome!). The Father ‘searches’ the mind of the Spirit and knows what His pleading is.

But, wait. The Holy Spirit also ‘searches’ the Father. Here is how Paul puts it, “For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Why does the Spirit search the deep things of God? So that “we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). The Spirit’s work is to reveal to us everything the Father wants us to know. And He does this by searching the deep things of God. Isn’t that amazing?

By searching, interceding and revealing, the Holy Spirit empowers us to function as God’s children. From today, deepen your awareness of God’s love for you in giving you His Holy Spirit. And be always cheerful, joyful and secure – knowing Who is interceding for you.

Blessing: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you today. Amen.

For further studyJohn 16:5-15 and 1 Peter 1:10-12

When God’s Love Says “No”

Daily Devotional: Day 90

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NKJV).

“No” can be God’s answer to your request. With God, there is no “Maybe.” It is always “Yes” or “No.” God promised to answer our prayer, but He did not promise to say “Yes” to all our requests all the time. Some might quote John 14:13-14 to suggest that the Lord will do anything we ask, regardless of the consequences. But this is far from what the Word of God teaches.

God answers our prayer based on the relationship He has with us and His love for us. Sometimes, His love for us means He would say “No” to what we are asking; other times, His love for us means He will say “Yes” to our request. The most important thing for us Christians is that the Father loves us and He will never leave us or abandon us. The most important thing is not about getting God to say “Yes” to all our requests, but being persuaded that no matter what we’re going through, the grace of Christ is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

During a time in Paul’s life, he was afflicted by a problem which he identifies as “a messenger of satan.” The Bible doesn’t specify the nature of the problem, so I won’t speculate. This “messenger” was sent to afflict Paul to keep him from swelling with pride.  Previously, the Lord had given Paul access to wonderful revelations of heaven. The Lord knew that this kind of knowledge could lead Paul to pride.

Out of love for Paul, the Lord allowed him to be tormented to keep him from sinning. Paul says that he pleaded with the Lord three times that this problem might be removed. But on all three occasions, the Lord’s answer was “No.” However, the Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you . . ..” The Lord was protecting Paul from a much bigger danger – the danger of pride. We all know that some people soon become proud and arrogant when they gain knowledge. 

Most of us Christians today need to correct our theology and adjust our expectations to conform them to God’s Word. Sometimes we think what we want is good for us, but God may think otherwise. We need to learn to discern God’s view of things and be happy to submit to His will even during a period of affliction. Not all things that seem good are necessarily good for us. Similarly, not all difficult situations are necessarily bad for us

As the Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But [but] its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).  Paul wanted to be set free from his affliction. This seemed good to him; there was nothing wrong with his prayer. But God loved Paul so much that He’d rather let Paul be afflicted than fall into the sin of pride.

The lesson for us is that love does not always have to say “Yes” to all requests. Sometimes saying “No” is the truest expression of love. Your heavenly Father loves you dearly, and He will do whatever you ask, but not if He knows that what you ask can harm you.  But know this, whether you get a “Yes” or a “No” doesn’t change God’s love for you. When He says “Yes,” it’s because He loves you; and when He says “No,” it’s also because He loves you. You’ll find great peace and joy if you learn to “see” and understand things from the Lord’s perspective. 

Prayer:

Father, teach me to know that your grace is sufficient for me, and that no matter what I’m going though or will go through, your power will rest over me. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 22:39-44

Be Still 

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, RSV). 

Fear of people is incompatible with fear of God. In other words, the two kinds of fear are mutually exclusive. A person who truly fears God isn’t afraid of people. Therefore, overcoming fear of people is essential to your relationship with God. The more you fear God, the less you will fear people. In this context, we’re referring to the fear of what people can do to you. God wants you to fear Him alone, for it’s in the fear of God that you overcome your fear of people. No one is God Almighty. Even the strongest of men are fragile and mortal. The truth is, when you fear people, you make them bigger than God. But as you grow in your relationship with God, you’ll realize how big God is and how tiny and fragile human beings are. This godly realization is your key to overcoming fear of people and fear of their threats. This is the realization David had that led him to declare the things we see in today’s Bible text.

You may call this realization a revelation. I’ve mentioned before in one of our devotionals the important distinction between having information and having revelation. You can know in your head all the right things about God and still live in fear. What you need is a revelation, a sort of spiritual awakening that opens your spiritual eyes once and for all that God is your salvation, and therefore, there’s nothing (absolutely nothing!) in people that can cause you to live in fear of them. Jesus told us in Matthew 10:28 that we should not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Herein lies the truth: no human being can touch your soul. Note the words of David carefully. He says that God is his light, his salvation and his stronghold. Three things. David had an unshakable conviction in his heart that God was his light, salvation and stronghold. Consequently, he saw no reason to be afraid of people. When you know – without doubt – that God is your light, your salvation and your stronghold, no matter what comes against you, you shall not be afraid. Today, I want you to ask God to reveal himself to you as your light, your salvation and your stronghold.

Pray with David:

Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. Amen. 

For further study: 2 Kings 6:8-23

Receive Revelation

Daily Devotional: Day 23

“That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven” (Mark 4:12, KJV).

Pay attention to Jesus’ words in today’s Bible verse. He says that there are those who see, but do not perceive. Notice the distinction between seeing and perceiving. He further says that there are others who hear, but do not understand. Again, notice the distinction Jesus draws between hearing and understanding. Then, he concludes that the inability to perceive or understand blocks people from being converted and having their sins forgiven. Jesus doesn’t deny that they have access to information about God. His point is that to perceive and understand is better than seeing and hearing. Fortunately, none of this is complicated. Just ask the Father to grant you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation (See Ephesians 1:17). Jesus came to into the world to give us revelation about the Father and to unveil his eternal plan for us. 

All revelation includes information, but not all information includes revelation. The Devil has access to the information in the Bible, but he has no revelation of the Word of God. If he did, perhaps we would be having a different conversation. He walks, because of his pride, in the darkness of ignorance. The Christian life is more than accumulation of information about God. Revelation is the key to salvation and subsequent spiritual growth. If you stay with just information, you’ll become spiritually stagnant and anemic. Information, of course, is an important first step. But you must go a step further – where you walk in the glorious light of God’s Word. The eyes of your understanding must be open, enabling you to perceive the splendor of your Father and your place in his eternal plan.  Enjoy this song by Hillsong, as you receive revelation today.

 

Pray:

Father, your Word is a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet. You sent your Son to reveal you to us. I want to know you more. Grant me a spirit of wisdom of revelation in the knowledge of you. I thank you that you always hear me. Glory to you forever, in Jesus Name. Amen.

For further study: Acts 8: 26-40

Enjoy blessings of revelation today!

Pastor Stephen “Steve” Alfred Bilson-Ogoe

Charis Temple (non-denominational church)

Manassas, Virginia, USA

Email: charristemple@gmail.com

Office Phone: (888)-541-5594