Leadership Blog

25 Mar It’s Really Easy Peasy!

I will readily admit that I am not the smartest person in the world. But then again, that might be open for debate. I do remember that I was so bright as a child that my mother called me son (sun). Brilliant or not so brilliant, I must confess that when I was in school, I loved taking tests that were open-book tests with the answers being easy to find in the book. In these type of tests, no thinking was required. All that I needed was a little bit of time and the ability to read. To use a Vickie colloquialism, open-book tests were “easy peasy”. 

When it comes to the subject of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, I am thankful that God’s Word takes away all of the guesswork and plainly shows our Father’s heart. In other words, the answers to any and all questions about the Holy Spirit are easy peasy. It’s all open-Book.

Take for example this question. Who does God want to baptize in His Spirit? You might think that this is a trick question because it actually has three answers. Open up your Bible and you will quickly find that the answers are …

  1. Individuals! The Book of Acts has so many examples. But, let’s look in Acts 9. Three days after Saul of Tarsus had his encounter with Jesus Christ while on his way to Damascus, God sent a believer named Ananias to connect with Saul for a two-fold purpose (Acts 9:17) … first that Saul might regain his sight and then second that this newly converted Saul could be baptized in the Holy Spirit. We later read in 1 Corinthians 14:18 Paul stating, “I thank my God that I speak with tongues more than you all.”
  2. Family and Friends! We find this answer in Acts 10. Peter was sent from Joppa by the Father to minister in Caesarea at the home of centurion named Cornelius. Upon arriving at his home, Peter discovered that the house was filled with family and friends. In verse 44, we read that the Holy Spirit “fell on all of them which heard the word”. The results were “… on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.” (Acts 10:45-46)
  3. The Church Congregation! We’ve gone from one individual to a houseful and now the third and final answer, the whole (ready for another colloquialism?) kit and caboodle. In Acts 8:15 we see that Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem to Philip’s church in Samaria for the sole reason of the congregation being baptized in the Holy Spirit. God poured out His Spirit “Then laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:17)

Let me summarize this teaching by making it even more easy peasy. Who does God want to baptize in His Spirit? Every born again person. The number and location are not determining factors. It can be just one person or one family or one congregation. It can be with you being away from home (as with Saul) or at your home (as with Cornelius) or at a church service (as with Philip’s congregation). It just can’t get any easier peasier. (How’s that for a new colloquialism?)

The open-Book test is now over. You know the answers. You can close your Book. Oh, and by-the-way, with these three correct answers, you’ve scored a 100 on this open-Book test!

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19 Mar Thank God For the Word “ALL”!

Warning …. only read the following few sentences if you are seated. I am about to amaze you. Ready? In the King James Version of the Bible, the word “all” appears 4,664 times. Of those 4,664 appearances, 982 are in the New Testament and 3,682 are in the Old Testament. Are you impressed? Wait … there’s even more. Stay seated. No matter the original Hebrew or Greek word that was translated into our English word “all”, in each and every usage, “all” means “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of”. Simply put, all means all! Okay, I’m through with trying to impress you. You can begin to move about again.

Here is the significance of the word “all”. In the days of the Old Covenant, God only connected with a few select people on a few select occasions. I challenge you to read through the Old Testament and list the number of times that God visited or communicated with individuals or groups of people. The reality is, unless you were of the likes of an Abraham or Moses or Jeremiah or David or Isaiah, there was no one-on-one interaction with God. But, on the Day of Pentecost, the “all” as in “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh” kicked in. This “all” changed everything. The days of the select person for a select situation restriction were history.  And, here is what excites me. This “all”, “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of”, includes Y-O-U! 

I’ve shared this post for this one single reason. God wants you to know that you are a humongous part of His “all”. You don’t have to be on the outside looking in. God wants to have a personal, one-on-one relationship with each and every Christian that can only come through having a relationship with His precious Holy Spirit. This relationship can begin here and now. The newfound relationship begins with a simple request on your part. (Luke 11:13). Upon asking, God WILL respond with a heaven-size “YES” and will make sure that you know that He has responded to your request by giving you an evidence. He will give you a new prayer language (Mark 16:17) that arrives when you are filled with His Spirit. (Acts 2:4) The evidence is realized as you simply open up your mouth, begin to use your voice and allow this new prayer language from heaven to flow from within. I will share more with you in upcoming blog posts about how to enjoy the fullness of this relationship and the importance of this new prayer language.

Thank God for the “all”. Thank God for “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of”. Thank God that through this “all” we are qualified to have a supernatural connection with God through being filled with the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

 

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11 Mar Praying in the Spirit – Freedom to the Max!


If only you knew … If only you were convinced … If only you could experience … the freedom that comes from praying in the Spirit, you, like the apostle Paul, would say…

“I thank God that I speak in [unknown]
tongues more than all of you.”

1 Corinthians 14:18 (Amplified Bible)

Consider these four areas of freedom gained while praying in other (unknown) tongues:

  • We bypass the restraints imposed by our mind/understanding. (Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 14:2,14)  The opinions, biases, and limited understanding of the natural mind play absolutely no role in the Spirit-enabled spirit communing with the Father. We are free to pray the PERFECT will of God.
  • We bypass the restraints imposed by our earthly road map. (1 Corinthians 13:1; Revelation 1:10) This new-found communion with the Father opens the door to supernatural journey into the previously uncharted realms of the Spirit. We are free to explore places in the heavenlies NEVER VISITED before.
  • We bypass the restraints imposed by those around us. (1 Corinthians 14:15,28) Whether aloud while in the assembly of a multitude of people or silently to yourself while working on an assembly line at your job, praying in the Spirit knows no location or situational restraints. We are free to SUPERNATURALLY pray at any place at any time in any circumstance.
  • We bypass the restraints imposed by religious tradition. (Mark 16:17) Jesus was purposeful in saying that it is a “new” tongue. The “we’ve never done it this way before” or “we’ve never witnessed people of your age/gender/background/(you fill in the tradition imposed by religiosity) connect with God this way before” traditions fall to the wayside. We are free to experience God in NEW, FRESH ways.

Can you see how that praying in the Spirit provides us a freedom to the max? Let’s all (this includes you) follow the apostle Paul’s admonition, and in doing so, enjoy this freedom. 

“Now I wish that all of you spoke in unknown tongues …”
1 Corinthians 14:5 (Amplified Bible)

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04 Mar Holy Spirit 101, The Basics

Welcome to Holy Spirit 101, the Basics, the ultimate foundational study of the Holy Spirit. As with any 101 class in high school or college, what would be an in-depth, immense teaching has been reduced to a simple, bare-bone, easy-to-comprehend overview of the subject. The subject matter in this basic teaching is taken from the introduction given by Jesus of the soon-to-arrive Holy Spirit. (John 14-16). This easy-to-remember five-word alliteration will definitely be something to share with other believers.

Person – When talking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus over and over again (19 times to be exact) used personal pronouns like He, Him, Himself. Jesus was telling us that the Holy Spirit is NOT a mysterious force or mist or vapor. It is through His Personhood that we can have a relationship with Him. (John 14:16,17,26; 15:26; 16:7,8,13,14)
Promise – The sending of the Holy Spirit wasn’t an afterthought in the Father’s mind. (John 14:16) 
Presence At one time, the Holy Spirit would come upon select individuals for a given amount of  time for a specific purpose. Now, the Holy Spirit has been sent to live and abide within each and every believer forever. (John 14:16-17)
Purpose – The Holy Spirit was sent to be our Helper. Many modern translations use the word “Helper” in place of the word “Comforter” found in the King James Version. Throughout His teaching, Jesus listed several of the many ways that the Holy Spirit would help His followers. (John 14:12,16,17,18,26; 15:26; 16:7-14)
Priority – Jesus told His followers that the sending of the Holy Spirit was not on heaven’s eventually-get-around-to-it list. No. A million times no. Jesus knew that without the abiding presence of another Comforter (John 14:16) His followers would be helpless (John 14:18). Upon arriving in heaven, Jesus said that He would pray the Father to send the One who would give us the needed advantage (John 16:7) to enable us to do His work (John 14:12). The sending of the Holy Spirit was heaven’s priority and the receiving of the promised Helper must be our priority.

Your assignment for this Holy Spirit 101, the Basics class … use this alliteration to strengthen your relationship with the Holy Spirit. Class dismissed.

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25 Feb Does God Want to Baptize You in His Spirit?

From time to time, I will hear people question for any number of reasons if God will baptize them in His precious Holy Spirit. I honestly could write pages of information and cite many scriptures to answer their question. But really, there’s no need to go through all of that writing. Charles G. Finney in his Revival Lectures answered the question in just 110 words. I know that you will want to copy, paste, and send Finney’s quote to many of your friends.

“God says he is more ready to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than parents are to give bread unto their children. Here we are bound to believe that we shall receive it when we pray for it. You have no right to put an if, and say, “Lord, if it be your will, give us thy Holy Spirit.” This is an insult to God. To put an if into God’s promise, where God has put none, is tantamount to charging God with being insincere. It is like saying, “O God, if thou art in earnest in making these promises, grant us the blessing we pray for.” 

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