Charisma ~ The Spiritual Gifts (Part 7)

Miracles ~ God’s Miraculous Power

Have you ever yearned for a miracle? Pleading with God to be the beneficiary (or someone you know) of His powerful outstretched hand, producing results only He is capable of? Lord, we need Your miraculous intervention in our lives!

There is not always a clear line between the gift of healing and the gift of miracles. The gift of healing is usually associated with a curing of the human condition while other experiences could be classified as a gift of miracles.

Do you recall when Elisha asked for a “double portion” of the Spirit that had rested on Elijah? As Elijah was taken up into heaven his mantle (symbolic of his anointing) fell off. Elisha ‘picked it up’ and performed a miracle by parting the waters. (2 Kings 2:9-14) The Scripture records that Elisha’s request was honored because through him, twice as many miracles were seen! Praise God and Hallelujah! Now look at this. Jesus said we would do the works He does and will do even greater works. (John 14:12) We SHALL do greater works than Jesus! Do you ever think about that? He did not say we would receive a double portion because no limit was set! Shall you ‘pick up’ where Jesus left off?

Let’s expect to see great miracles in this day! We have been given full power of the Spirit. Remember Moses had difficulty leading God’s people and he asked for assistance? God took ‘some of the Spirit that was on Moses and placed the Spirit on the 70 elders.’ (Numbers 11:25) He took only ‘some of the Spirit’. The portion He took from Moses was enough to spread around to 70 others while Moses still retained some! The 70 others could then operate with the power of the Spirit. What is interesting to keep in mind is the measure taken from Moses was enough to supply 70! Moses had plenty of the anointing of the Spirit that some could be taken and he was obviously still left with plenty. He had the ability to operate in tremendous power! As believers yielded to the Spirit, that same divinely powerful Spirit is available to us. Would you agree we operate shamefully below our potential? How often do you feel you operate full throttle in the Spirit?

A couple of years ago I was doing bible study with a beloved friend and her precious mom. I frequently prayed for both of them but on this day I had been praying exclusively for the mom. I prayed as I was driving that day and I experienced a strong feeling of love (agape) for her. I began praying as the Spirit led and as I was praying, my arms and legs began shaking so dramatically I could no longer drive the car. I pulled into a parking lot and my body continued to shake as I prayed. I was filled with joy for her and knew without a doubt something miraculous was about to take place in her life. I phoned her daughter and asked her to relay the information to her mom because I knew she was about to receive “the joy of her salvation.” Speaking became difficult because it seemed that as my body was shaking uncontrollably so were my vocal cords. When our flesh is overcome by the influence of the Spirit it does not maintain the status quo! My friend contacted her mom and as best she could, she tried to relay the message I had given. A few days later I got word that my friend’s mom had been praying and attempting to explain to her husband what I had said. As she asked the Lord to help her, she began shaking uncontrollably just as I had a couple of days earlier. As she spoke on the phone her vocal cords were also shaking so her speech was difficult for her; just as it had been for me. The power of the Holy Spirit had fallen on her. Because this was a new experience she had many questions. God is so good! He allowed me to experience exactly what she would experience just a few days later so that I could assure her this was an experience from the Spirit of God and nothing more! By her own account, she has never been the same since. A miraculous intercession indeed. Praise God!

Here are some recorded examples of Jesus’ miracles (there were even more that were not recorded John 21:25). When Jesus performed the miracles they were either to a believing crowd or to those needing encouragement to believe. Some of His miracles include asking Peter to retrieve tax money from the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:27), feeding the multitude (Mark 6:38-44, 8:1-9), walking on water (Matthew 14:25-33), rebuking a storm (Mark 6:45-52), turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), and suggesting a perfect fishing spot (John 21:5-12).

Recently I heard someone make a comment regarding God not performing any more miracles based on Matthew 12:39-40. However, Mark 16:17 (please read) says something different. As always, it is a matter of the heart because if you require a sign to believe then where is your faith? The recorded miracles of the Old and New Testament show God intervening to meet the needs of His people and to demonstrate His sovereignty. Always having the same character, (Hebrews 13:8) we can still expect to see the miraculous in His sovereignty.

Following Pentecost, there are times when believers received miracles. Some examples are when the believers were set free from prison (Acts 5:17-25, 12:1-17, 16:25-40), and when Phillip was bodily transported in Acts 8:39-40.

Enjoy the song for praise and worship!

♥Prayer:  You are the God who performs miracles; displaying your power among the people. You perform wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. We learn from Your word that in some places you visited you were unable to do many miracles because of the lack of faith. Let it not be so in my life! Bring your gift of miracles into the church! I yield completely to the Spirit and I am ready to represent your hands and voice for a work of miracles whenever you see fit. Display your power in me so that your name is proclaimed in all the earth! You ARE the God of miracles! I thank you in advance for all that you will do through me for your believers all in the name of Jesus. Amen!

The word ‘power’ in the following verses are forms of the Greek word dynamis. Strong’s defines dynamis as a force, miraculous power (usually implied as a miracle), ability, abundance, worker of miracles, power, strength, mighty wonderful work.

♥Matthew 13:54 He went to His hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “How did this wisdom and these miracles come to Him? The word ‘miracles’ here is the Greek word dynamis. You have heard of the principle of cause and effect, which God created. God, in the miraculous, works outside of cause and effect – things outside explanation. The wondrous. The things beyond our imagination.

♥Luke 21:27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with ________ and ________ _____________. Don’t you know when you see Jesus returning to the earth it will be a miraculous sight! I do not expect anything less.

♥Romans 1:20. For His invisible ____________________, that is, His eternal ______________ and divine _____________, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. This verse regards how creation clearly bears witness to God the Creator. Through that revelation, understanding brings a conclusion to your intellect about who God is. Lets also consider that miraculous power is one of His attributes (a characteristic of Himself, like the color or shape of your eye is one of your characteristics). It is attribute of who He is. When God is invited into your circumstances, He brings all the workings of His attributes with him! Hallelujah! Matthew 26:62 speaks of Jesus being seated at the right hand of the Power. Here, God is called the Power (dynamis). Mark 9:1 describes the Kingdom of God as power (dynamis). That is why in Luke 21:27 (above) He will be coming in power and glory! The Kingdom is coming!

♥Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope _______ ___________ with ____ joy and peace as you _______________ in Him so that you may ________________ with hope __________ the ________________ of the Holy Spirit. Believe in God – be filled with all joy and peace. This is not just an exhortation to believe God exists but to believe what He says He can do. Believe God! The Spirit miraculously overflows you with hope with this kind of believing!

♥1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the __________ is foolishness to those who are __________________, but it is God’s ________________ to us who are ____________ ________________. (See also Romans 1:16). God rejects human wisdom’s attempts to acquire salvation apart from God as well as man-made precepts and the empty mouthed words of salvation (please read Isaiah 29:13-14). However, to those with humble hearts turned towards the Lord, the cross of Christ is miraculous power made available to us on a continual basis.

♥1 Corinthians 6:14 God raised up the Lord and will _________ raise us up by His _______________. By the same miraculous power God used to raise His son from the tomb, He will also raise His people from the grave. The grave could not hold Jesus and it will not hold the believer either. Hallelujah!

♥2 Corinthians 4:7 Now we have this ________________ in _________ jars, so that this extraordinary ______________ may be from _____________ and _________ from us. The treasure we have is the Holy Spirit. The clay jar is our body. We were formed from the dust (clay) of the ground. The miraculous power will be evidence to others of God at work in our lives by manifestations of the Spirit as well as a transformed life.

♥2 Corinthians 12:9 But He has said to me, “My _______________ is ___________________ for you, for _____________ is _________________ in _________________.” Therefore, I will most gladly ______________ all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s ______________ may reside in me. Paul asked God to remove the ‘thorn’ he was suffering and God’s response is recorded above. Even though the ‘thorn’ would remain, God promised Paul would never lack ample grace to conquer it. According to verse 8, Paul asked for the ‘thorn’ to be removed three times. Have you ever prayed hoping for a particular response but the answer you received was not what you hoped for? Paul did. The answer to his prayer did not come as he expected but he received an answer nonetheless. His affliction would be leaving any time soon but he found reason to rejoice in the provision God provided! The grace Paul received was sufficient for him because miraculous power is perfected in human weakness. The greater the believer confesses human weakness, the more conspicuous Christ’s empowering strength will be. How will you choose to respond today?

♥Ephesians 1:19… what is the immeasurable greatness of His ________________ to us who __________________, according to the working of His vast strength. Do you see how this can also tie in with 2 Corinthians 12:9 above?

♥Ephesians 1:20-21 He demonstrated this _________________ in the Messiah by raising Him from the ________________ and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens – ________ ____________ every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this _________ but in the one to ____________. ‘Far above’ in this verse is not speaking of dimension but superiority. We may be tempted by the powers of rulers and authorities to think of ourselves as unworthy or unable but that is a lie straight from the pit of hell authored by non other than the enemy of your soul. Let’s not be deceived to think the enemy does not possess power, but Christ’s power trumps all power the enemy can pull together. Don’t be tempted to think anything else.

♥Ephesians 3:16 I pray that He may _____________ you, according to the ____________ of His ______________, to be _____________________ with ____________ in the ____________ man through His Spirit. We have divine resources through the Spirit because of Christ’s redemptive work of the cross. We shall rebuke discouragement and be strengthened by the miraculous power that God made available to us through the Spirit. Even though our outer man is being wasted away our inner man should be getting stronger and healthier by the working of the Spirit through our faith. Are you insuring your ‘inner man’ is getting stronger and healthier as a top priority?

♥Ephesians 3:20 Now to _________ who is __________ to do __________ and _________ all that we ask or think ____________________ to the _____________ that ____________ in us. The word ‘able’ is also a form of the Greek word we are looking at for power. This verse is considered to be a doxology – an outpouring of praise and worship to God. The word ‘above’ (exceedingly abundantly) and ‘beyond’ is the same word for the abundant grace of God in Romans 5:20. According to the power that works in us, Wuests translates: in the measure of the power which is operative in us. Strongs indicates it can be used with the connotation of “distribution”. He is going to do this superabundantly more than we can ask or think in the measure of the power that is distributed from us. How much are you yielded to the Spirit and how much of the Spirit is distributed from you? Do you ever think He will do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the miraculous power of the Spirit that is distributed from us?

♥Philippines 3:10 My ___________ is to ___________ Him and the __________ of His ________________. Shall we not only know the miraculous power that raised Christ from the dead but also that same miraculous power that resides in us? Do you know Christ so well as to identify with Him and put to death your previous way of life and walk continually in the miraculous power made available to you by Christ’s resurrected life?

♥Philippines 3:21 He ______ ________________ the body of our ________________ condition into the ______________ of His _________________ body, by the _______________ that enables Him to _____________ ___________________ to Himself. The humble condition is referring to lowness. As you know, your body is weak and vulnerable to oppression, disease, sinful desires, and death. At the return of Christ your body will be transformed into a glorious representation of who you are in Christ Jesus and the weaknesses of the flesh will pass away. Thank you Lord. How does this happen? By the miraculous power that enables Him to bring all things under the subjection of His authority. Hallelujah!

♥Colossians 1:11 May you be___________________ with all ____________, according to His glorious _______________, for _______ _____________________ and ____________________, with _________ giving _____________ to the Father, who has _______________ you to share in the saints inheritance in the light. Amen! May we be strengthened with all God’s power! I read this recently, “Christians are engaged in moral conflict with the cosmic powers of a darkened world and nothing short of divine empowerment can enable them to stand.” Praise God! How can you not resist giving thanks to the Father with joy at that realization! May God forbid it not be so! You are strengthened WITH ALL POWER, according to His glorious MIGHT (vigor, strength, dominion). Do you think you have been able to stand any other way? Look to the Father to enable you EVEN MORE with His miraculous strength. Stare down your moral conflict with the eyes of faith and stand strong in HIS strength!

♥2 Thessalonians 1:11 And in view of this, we always pray for you that our God will ______________ you worthy of His ________________, and will, by His ______________, fulfill ____________ ________________ for ___________ and the ____________ of ___________. Shall we edify each other and build up the fainthearted? Even in the certainty of God’s plan we shall continue to pray for its fulfillment! (Please read Phil. 2:13) The prayer given by Paul is for the fulfillment of every good purpose of yours and every act of yours that is prompted by your faith. (Please read James 2:26) The realization of which will only be known by God’s power.

♥2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of ____________________, but one of ______________, love, and sound judgment. In order to be effective in your service to Christ you must have power that is provided by the Spirit (see Acts 1:8). The Spirit enables you to operate in love, power and self-discipline. Fear does not originate with the Spirt of God. Fear is deadly and one of its symptoms is paralysis. We are given God’s love (Romans 5:5). We are given a sound mind (1 Co 2:16). We are given power.

♥2 Timothy 1:8 So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in the _______________ for the gospel, ____________ on the ______________ of God. Paul is speaking to Timothy from prison and desired to strengthen his courage. It is easy enough to boldly proclaim the gospel of Christ when there are no threats to your life or even your faith. How bold is your proclamation when your loved one is dying, when the dam burst that has been holding back all your sorrows, when you receive a diagnosis, when there seems to be no end in sight for your suffering, or when a fellow believer suffers for the sake of the Gospel? This verse is exhorting (1) don’t be ashamed,(2) share in the suffering and (3) rely on the power. (Don’t be tempted to shrink back in fear or hesitation)

♥2 Timothy 3:5 …holding to the __________ of godliness but ____________ its ____________. ______________ these people! What ‘form’ of godliness or religious standards do people follow? Church goers? Prayer reciters? Followers of habits or traditions? If you deny the power of the cross you have an empty religion. Let it not be so! Why do you think the command is given to ‘avoid these people’? ______________________________________________________________

♥Hebrews 11:11 ______ ___________ even Sarah herself, when she was __________ to have children, __________ _____________ to conceive offspring, ________ ______________ she was past the age, ____________ she _________________ that the One who had _______________ was faithful. She was past the age to have a child under natural human conditions but she was not beyond the miraculous reach of God! What was her part? Her faith considered the miraculous One that had promised. Does your faith consider the same in the face of your situation?

♥1 Peter 1:5 You ______ being ________________ by God’s _____________ through _____________ for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You are protected by God’s miraculous power! Hallelujah! Our part in the arrangement is that it is done ‘through faith’. God is continually protecting you. Do you have the kind of faith that continually operates?

♥2 Peter 1:3 His divine ______________ has given us ________________ required for _________ and _______________ through the ___________________ of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. The Word of God contains everything we need for salvation, and for trusting and obeying Him perfectly. His Holy Spirit and the cross of Christ is the divine power at work in us. Are you allowing the miraculous power of the cross to transform your life? Make the exchange today. Lay your burdens and stubborn places of sin at the cross. Since the cross is the place of exchange, you release your burdens and sins and ‘exchange’ them with the Lord’s forgiveness and peace. Whatever you lay down at the cross you then make the exchange for the Lord’s provision in that area. Don’t leave that place of exchange until you have received. (If you have not received then you have not let go of what you are trying to lay down.)

Remember: (1) Pray the prayer throughout the week (or your own specific prayer relating to miracles) asking the Lord to reveal insight to you regarding His divine power. *Try not to take your prayer time lightly as you seek the Lord regarding insight into these gifts of the Spirit. (2) Fast as you are able on Tuesday. (3) Complete the Scripture blanks for further study. And (4) if you have not already done so, add your name in the comment section indicating your intent to participate – it is never too late!

In His grace,

Amanda

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Charisma ~ The Spiritual Gifts (Part 6)

The Brilliance of God’s Discernment

Christians and non-Christians alike possess natural discernment. This is the discernment that allows us to judge and understand people and situations. This judgment is learned and can be a product of our environment and the culture we live in. As is evident in these times, human morality varies from culture to culture and from generation to generation which makes this discernment unstable. What we perceive or encounter gets weighed in our scales that we call balanced and the result is what we discern to be acceptable or unacceptable. What was favorable two generations ago might not be discerned as favorable in this generation. As time progresses the current generation seems to discern more and more leniency towards their own thinking and behavior as it best fits their ideals and lifestyles. There must be something better; something more consistent.

One example of this natural discernment can be witnessed in how one culture views the appropriate treatment of women and children versus another culture viewing it  as inappropriate. It is only by the pure grace of God Himself that we were born in a culture that favors honorable treatment. Unfortunately, the privileges we claim we also shamelessly take for granted. The discernment in some hard line religiously dominated areas see the treatment of some people as a means to their own gain (without even a remote regard for their well-being) while imagining it is cloaked in worship. Lord, help us see that natural discernment alone is poverty and we desperately need Your true discernment to guide us in this difficult age. Your word says people without Your discernment are doomed. (Hosea 4:14) Help us to thrive Lord and be blessed!

The source of true discernment does not come from our world leaders, cultural acceptance, norms, habits, or even the majority. The source is God alone. As we pray and study the Word, this true discernment grows. As our ‘mind of Christ’ (1 Cor. 2:16) matures, it comes in agreement with the Scripture and with the Spirit. We must renew our minds so we are able to recognize when we hear strange teaching or see shifts in morality that does not line up with what we know about Christ and His word.

When we have true discernment we know not to fear events in the world. We discern the enemy’s influence on people and situations but we know Jesus has conquered the world so we choose thanksgiving and prayer in the face of uncertainty. We will discern that in our trials, God desires to sanctify us and we will choose to look up during the trial and discern God’s love for us. The peace He gives will transcends every thought. God is perfect order. When we try to discern in the natural mixed with the supernatural there can be chaos in our thinking. We establish order by yielding to the Spirit of God then seeking His perfect discernment. We then discern where our strife is – and it is not with flesh and blood. Discern the battle you are fighting as significant for your growth as well as having kingdom significance as opposed to seeing it merely as another struggle to endure. That is empowerment for turning what the enemy would have has your stumbling block into what God would have for your advantage!

Discerning of spirits is one of the gifts spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12. This gift enables a believer to know the underlying motivation of a person or situation. A believer operating in this gift will be able to discern whether the person is operating under the inspiration of the Spirt or if they are merely expressing their own thoughts, feelings, or desires or even if they are speaking from the influence of an oppressive spirt. One way a believer can discern spiritual influence is by the ‘feeling’ the spirit brings. The Spirit of God brings love, joy, and peace. A wrong spirit brings feelings of heaviness and agitation. A person influenced by a wrong spirt can bring heaviness with them into a meeting and draw all attention to themselves in an attempt to manipulate the gathering. A discerning person will recognize the problem and pray for wisdom to know how to proceed. There could be a hesitation on the part of the person due to concern of coming across as insensitive or uncaring – but be strong in the Lord! The source of this gift is God and is given under the Spirit’s control. It originates from a place of power not fear! People search for a power that is beyond them. There are demons of witchcraft among people around us – even in the church. If they do not seek the power that resides with God for righteousness, they WILL seek it elsewhere and find it with wrong spirits.  Lord, give us true discernment when we come together in Your name.  If there is a spirit with a desire to hijack whaat You would have for us, guide us in Your orderly ways.  (Note: Discerning of spirits has nothing to do with spiritualism (belief that the dead communicate with the living). Wrong spirits are the ‘rulers of the darkness of the world’ – fallen angels or demons. Matthew 10:8, Ephesians 6:12)

We should always make an effort to discern the Spirit when we meet with other believers because our aim is to follow His guidance. We never want to miss what the Spirit would like to do on our behalf. Lord, teach us to lay aside our human plans as needed when we sense Your movement in our gatherings. We welcome Your presence and desire your direction!

An example of true discernment is found in Acts 16:17. Paul and Silas were on their way to a prayer meeting when a slave girl (who made a large profit for her owners by fortune telling) continued to cry out for days, “These men, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation, are the slaves of the Most High God.” Paul was aggravated and turned to the spirit (is it interesting it says the spirit and not the girl?) saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out right away. Even though the girl was proclaiming truth regarding Paul and Silas, Paul discerned she was speaking under the influence of the enemy and the proclamation was meant to bring disruption instead of glory.  Oh the brilliance of God’s discernment!

Another example is found in 2 Kings 5. Naaman, a captain in the Syrian army was a leper. He went to the prophet Elisha and he instructed him to wash seven times in the Jordan to receive his healing. When he did this, his skin was restored to health and he went back to Elisha to offer him a gift. Elisha, however, would not accept the gift. When Naaman left, Gehazi, (Elisha’s attendant) sought Naaman to deceitfully persuade him that Elisha now wanted the gift and he would bring it to him.  Gehazi then stored the gift in his home. When Elisha asked Gehazi what he had been up to Gehazi did not tell him. Elisha not only discerned Gehazi’s dishonest spirit but also what he had done.   Elisha operated in power and with a sound mind to discern the things of God and to speak out. Therefore, he was not held back by fear of what might happen because of the confrontation. Elisha had the fear of the Lord and was not moved by the fear man.

♥Father, You have all discernment.  I desperately need Your impartation to serve You better.  Thank you Father that You have given me everything I need for holiness in my life. I turn away from relying on my inferior natural discernment and I ask to be filled with Your brilliance. I desire to discern good from evil, Your Spirit from the world’s spirit, and Your truth from a lie. I ask to discern the work of the enemy in my life and by Your glorious power I am sprung from his trap! Thank you for allowing me to see the greatness of Your power available to all believers that are yielded to Your Spirit.  Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts and Your ways are superior to the world’s ways.  Teach me what You desire me to know.  Your servant is listening!  I pray and believe in the name of the darling of heaven, Jesus Christ.  Amen!

Here is a song to bless you in prayer and worship.

♥1 Kings 3:9 So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to ________________ between __________ and ______________. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” Solomon asked for a heart obedient to the word of God so that he could serve His people with discernment. How about you? Let’s have an obedient heart to God at all times. A heart that does not waiver but is steadfast! In this way, we will be able to discern what is pleasing to God and serve His people in truth. Amen!

♥Psalm 119:66 Teach me good judgment and ________________________, for I rely on Your commands. Loving the word of God leads to good judgment and discernment. Do you love the Word? Do you find your life in the Word?

♥Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be _____________________ by the ____________________ of your mind, so that you may __________________ what is the ____________, ______________, and _________________ will of God. Do you discern that you must be vigilant in order to maintain your commitment to serve the Lord? Do you also discern that the world tries to charm your heart away from the things of the Lord? Being transformed leads to discernment and discernment leads to knowing the perfect will of God.

♥Philippines 1:9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in _________________ and every kind of ____________________, so that you can _____________ the things that are _________________ and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the _________ of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the ____________ and ___________ of God. Bishop Wordsworth says, “that delicate tact and instinct, which almost intuitively perceives what is right, and almost unconsciously shrinks from what is wrong.” It cannot exist without love. With God’s love (agape) comes the spiritual insight we need to live and serve.

♥Matthew 24:4-5 “Watch out that no one ____________________ you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will __________________________ many.” In the last days more deceiving spirits will be unleashed so we must be prepared to discern the counterfeit.

♥Matthew 24:11 Many false prophets will ______________ _________ and _______________ many. This verse is speaking to those who have turned away from the faith and are then deceived.  Maintain the love of God in your heart.  Do you discern that to maintain something it requires effort?   We must have true discernment to recognize a false prophet. How would you discern a false prophet or teacher in your midst?

♥Revelation 13:11-14 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; he had two horns like a lamb, but he sounded like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. He ____________________ those who live on the earth because of the _______________ that he is ________________________ to perform on behalf of the beast telling those who live on the earth to make an ______________________ of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived. If you do not want to be deceived you must be able to discern. In this scenario, having natural discernment will not enable you to discern the truth of what is happening. Because of the powerful signs he is allowed to manifest, people will be deceived. Father, give us discernment to see through the enemy’s endeavors both now and in his “great fury”. Give us wisdom to know he is the ultimate false prophet, with an unholy gospel, and counterfeit signs.

The next five scriptures are examples when Jesus used discernment.

~John 1:47 Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said about him, “Here is a true Israelite; no deceit is in him.” Jesus discerns the inner motive and heart.

~John 2:23-25 While He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many trusted in His name when they saw the signs He was doing. Jesus, however, would not entrust Himself to them, since He knew them all and because He did not need anyone to testify about man; for He Himself knew what was in man. Jesus discerned the people’s superficial faith because they witnessed His miraculous works. He did not trust himself to those who made a profession based solely on a witnessed miracle. Our profession of faith must go deeper. It is always a matter of the heart. We must not marvel at the miraculous and follow Him because our eyes have had a feast. A true confession is based on a heart that is certain of the reality of who and what Jesus represents.

~Mark 9:17-27 Out of the crowd, one man said, “Teacher, I brought my son to You. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. Whenever it seized him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I asked Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.” Jesus replied, “Bring him to Me.” When the spirit saw Him, it immediately convulsed the boy. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. “How long has this been happening to him?” Jesus asked his father. “From childhood,” he said. “And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Then it came out, shrieking and convulsing him violently. Jesus, took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.  Jesus discerned it was a spirit by asking questions.

~Matthew 16:15-17 Jesus asked, “But you, who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!” And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Johan, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.” Jesus discerned the source of Simon Peter’s wisdom.

~Luke 9:54-55 When the disciples James and John saw this (while on the way to Jerusalem the Samaritans in a village did not welcome Jesus), they said, “Lord do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them. In our natural discernment would we have such harsh words for someone that would reject the Gospel of Christ? If Jesus would not have his disciples say such a thing, He would have the same word for you and I when we come across someone who rejects Jesus. Lord, help us to discern the reason for the rejection, and wisdom and knowledge to then know what You would have us do.

♥Acts 14:8-10 In Lystra a man without strength in his feet, lame from birth, and who had never walked, sat and heard Paul speaking. After observing him closely and seeing that he had faith to be healed, Paul said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet!” And he jumped up and started to walk around. Paul first observed the man and then discerned the spirit of faith in him.

♥John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John discerned Jesus. Later in verses 31-33 John says, “I didn’t know Him, but I came baptizing with water so He might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on – He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” John discerned Jesus (and His mission) by revelation of the Spirit. By introducing Him as the Lamb of God, John discerned the many aspects of Jesus’ mission and His sacrificial character.

♥Proverbs 10:13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the _________________. Lord, give me wisdom to discern the words that bring comfort and edification to your people.

♥Proverbs 15:24 For the _____________________ the path of life leads upward. The one that discerns Your ways find themselves on the path of life. Set your mind on what is above, not what is on earth (Col. 3:2).

♥Proverbs 16:21 Anyone with a ___________ heart is called ______________________. From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. It speaks with discernment and is able to edify and influence others.

♥Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool is considered __________ when he keeps silent, _______________ when he seals his lips. Wisdom indeed! Have you ever spoken words and then wished you could take it all back? True discernment from God comes when you step away from needing to defend yourself and choose instead to leave room for your Defender. Lord, help me to discern when to ‘seal my lips’. I am not a fool. I have discernment from the Giver of all good gifts! Praise God! Shall we have discernment and honor the Father with our good gifts?

♥Proverbs 18:15 The mind of the _________________ acquires knowledge. Let’s we be wise and search the Scripture, learning to discern the path of life and even assisting a fellow believer along the way!

♥1 Corinthians 14:29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should ____________. (tying in with 1 John 4:1 here)

♥Ephesians 5:8-10 For you were once darkness, but now ________ __________ light – for the _____________ of the light results in ______ goodness, righteousness, and truth – __________________ what is _________________ to the Lord. Shall we discern through our walk with Christ was is pleasing to Him, rejecting what is not and holding steadfast to what is? This requires faith in action. Discern what is good, right, and true and walk in it.  You can do it by the power of God when you yield to the Spirit.

♥Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature – for those whose senses have been trained to _____________________ between good and evil. This tells us discernment can be cultivated. If God has given us discernment shall we operate in the provision He has given? In order to discern between good and evil we must train ourselves by studying the Word. Practicing spiritual discernment helps to keep us from doing the wrong thing. This discernment will empower our Christian service. Praise God!

♥1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but _________ the spirits to ________________ if they are ___________ God, because __________ false prophets have gone out into the world. (tying in with 1 Corinthians 14:29 here) True discernment is needed when someone comes forth with a word, with a manifestation of the Spirit, or when we hear a teaching or preaching. We must first have discernment from God. We must work beyond our flesh to gain God’s understanding. There may be a time when someone approaches you with a ‘word’. You should discern whether or not if is from the pureness of the Spirit and the person did not add any of their thoughts or emotions to the ‘word’. Remembering the Spirit operates through imperfect people with varying degrees of sanctification.  This is also true if you have a ‘word’ for another believer.  You should always test the spirits to determine if the ‘word’ was indeed from God and was not from the influence of a different spirt or even your own thoughts.  Discernment can also say wait.  The Lord will reveal the time when a ‘word’ should be spoken.  Sometimes the ‘word’ given was meant only for prayer.  Discernment is a must!

Matt 16:1-3 The Pharisees and Sadducees approached (Jesus), and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them: “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times.” Jesus told them they can read the ‘signs’ to predict the weather yet they can’t look to the heavens for a ‘sign’ of the times. Discerning the weather was not as valuable as discerning that Jesus was indeed the darling of heaven (it was a disruption to their thinking). We must also put aside our natural discernment and look to the scriptures for discerning the ‘sign’ of the times we are in. (Please read for indications of signs of the times. Hosea 3:5, 2 Tim. 3:1-5, Acts 2:17-21, Matthew 24: 6-8, 2 Peter 3:3)

Remember: (1) Pray the prayer throughout the week (or your own specific prayer relating to discernment) asking the Lord to reveal insight to you regarding all aspects of discernment. *Try not to take your prayer time lightly as you seek the Lord regarding insight into these gifts of the Spirit. (2) Fast as you are able on Tuesday. (3) Complete the Scripture blanks for further study. And (4) if you have not already done so, add your name in the comment section indicating your intent to participate – it is never too late!

In His grace,
Amanda

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Charisma ~ The Spiritual Gifts (Part 5)

The Fear of the Lord is this:  Wisdom

Godly wisdom is a priceless instrument essential to a successful life. We all should consider the consequences of our actions before we act or speak as well as have understanding to recognize the right course of action needed. Help us Lord to discern the vast difference between the world’s wisdom and your wisdom. Your wisdom fixed the weight of the wind, gives the ocean its boundary, and brings forth the seasons in perfection. The world’s wisdom relies on humanities fallen nature which brings forth brokenness, bankrupt advice, confusion, and pain. So how do we find this kind of wisdom? (Job 28:12-27) God said to mankind, “The fear of the Lord is this: wisdom. And to turn away from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28) If we lack wisdom, we are instructed to ask God for He gives to all generously and without criticizing (James 1:5). Expect this type of wisdom to gradually illuminate your understanding so that you will know what to do.

Just like the other gifts spoken about in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 which originate from God and are distributed by the Spirit, so does wisdom. All of the gifts reside fully with God. A small portion of what He has is imparted to you by the Spirit as He evaluates and sees fit. Once I was walking an amazingly difficult faith journey. On one portion of the journey there was much planting and no harvesting. I had begun to grow weary and wondered if I had even heard correctly from the Lord regarding the assignment. At that moment I received a word from someone to not grow weary because obedience was key. As I was thinking through what had been shared, it began to agree with my spirit and the power of the Lord fell on me. I dropped to the floor and for a short time I could not rise up again (nor did I care to!). When I did rise, I prayed and told the Lord over and over “I believe, I believe!” The best I could later describe was the Lord had something similar to a “dropper” above my head and a tiny portion of His power was released from that “dropper” on me. I feel to my knees under the weight of the power. What was imparted to me was all I could manage. As a created being having to put aside the influence of the flesh, there is only so much of God’s power our flesh can handle. Remember Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8? Surprisingly, we don’t even operate in what we think we can manage. Friend, God knows the quantity to impart to us because He is omniscient. Are you fully operating in what He has given you so far?

While anticipating the return of Jesus, believers have been given the Spirit as a down-payment of our Kingdom inheritance. Have you fully considered what that means? The Spirit is the power behind the Word of God. We are to be led by the Spirit and are to function in the power of the Spirit! It is a taste of what is to come. Have you tasted? Are you yielded to the Spirit so this can happen? What are you currently doing with the gift of the Spirit? You understand that Jesus died for all mankind. Do you have wisdom to also know the Spirit’s law of life in Christ has set you free from the law of sin and death? (Romans 8:2) Jesus loves us all the same and does not favor one over the other (Romans 2:11), yet some do not have this wisdom. As yielded believers, we all have grace to operate in the ‘charisma’ of the Spirit. Some have this wisdom and operate in this fashion whenever possible. While others do not investigate their gifting and therefore forfeit what God would have for them, therefore they do little. (Please read Matthew 25:14-23) According to this passage, the Master gave gifts for his servants to use while He was away. When He returned He asked what His servants did with the gifts. Those who were faithful in their stewardship were then put in charge of more and were invited to share in their Master’s joy. Are we living as spiritual people or letting the flesh get in the way therefore derailing the Master’s purpose in our life? Do you contemplate how you function now will have an impact on your eternity (when the Master returns)?

♥Father, I humbly ask to be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding so that I can walk worthy of you Lord. I rebuke the world’s wisdom I have so naively trusted in so many times. I turn away from wisdom that relies on my understanding and exalts myself. I desire the source of my understanding to be You. When times are especially difficult, Lord fill me with your wisdom and increase my faith to wait and look for Your guidance.  May you be the rudder of my words Father. If I am tempted to speak what does not bring comfort or edification, I ask that you would lead me in wisdom to change my thoughts. Open my eyes to behold the enormous value of Your wisdom compared to my own. Empower me with Your wisdom Lord because I lack! Give me wisdom to navigate my life, to advise those seeking salvation, to inspire other believers, and to know how and what to pray!  I will learn the sacred Scriptures because Your word says all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus! I choose to not walk in little but to walk in the riches of Your abundance. I choose Your ways Lord!

Be blessed by this song about wisdom.

Let’s think through some different kinds of wisdom. The first is natural human knowledge without wisdom or the fallen world’s wisdom, secondly is intellectual wisdom, and finally the divine word of wisdom. The verses below will assist in bringing more insight to wisdom. Which type of wisdom you would like to cultivate?

Compared to God’s wisdom, natural human wisdom is foolishness (1 Co1:25) It is like applied knowledge without wisdom’s guidance. It can also be a stumbling block to our personal relationship with Jesus as well as our witness to others. ♥1 Corinthians 1:19 says For it is written: _____ will ______________ the ________________ of the wise, and I will set aside the _____________________ of the experts. (Holman) Natural wisdom will one day pass away and we will no longer rely on our own understanding but will be behold the Truth!

Along with human wisdom is the fallen world’s wisdom. This type of wisdom God told Adam to stay away from (Genesis 2:17). The wisdom received by eating the fruit of the tree (Genesis 3:6) would now inspire attempts to move away from God and rely instead on this new kind of wisdom (fallen world’s wisdom). This wisdom attempts to rival God’s wisdom as supreme.  Let’s focus on some scripture relating to human wisdom or the fallen world’s wisdom.

♥Proverbs 11:2 When ______________ comes, ________________ follows, but with ______________ comes _________________. This is what Expositors’ has to say about this verse. Humility describes those who know their place. The humble, will avoid disgrace and therefore find wisdom. Pride is literally a boiling up. The prideful will overstep boundaries and insubordination occurs. The proud are inflated to the level of self-bestowed divinity and will eventually have their egos deflated. Wisdom tells us to not be prideful. Here is a question to consider. If you are driven by pride and were once successfully navigating life in this way, has your ego been deflated leaving you depressed which has now brought you disgrace?  Seek the Lord friend.  I am in love with the verse telling us the righteous man falls seven times but God picks him up eight (Proverbs 24:16).  Do you need to know that the righteous will make mistakes but God intends for you to not remain down!  Hallelujah!  Stand up friend, it is God’s will.

♥Proverbs 24:7 Wisdom is_____________________ to a _____________; he does not open his mouth at the gate (center for community discussions, political meetings, and trying of court cases). Wisdom is beyond the reach of a fool. As the above verse states, disgrace is the result of lack of wisdom and will keep you from God’s best. Christian’s need a voice at the ‘gate’. A fall as a result of pride is a hinderance to yourself and others who need you.

♥Proverbs 28:26 The one who trust in ___________________ is a __________________, but one who _________________ in wisdom will be _________________. Security comes from a life of wisdom.

♥Jeremiah 8:9 The wise (from worldly wisdom) _______ ______ put to shame; they _________ __________ dismayed and snared. They ____________ _______________ the word of the LORD, so _____________ wisdom do they __________ _____________?  Wow.  Let’s not rely on wordly wisdom and ultimatley be snared and put to shame.

♥1 Corinthians 1:20-21 Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the _______________ ___________________ foolishness? For since, in God’s wisdom, God was _______________ to save those who ____________________ through the foolishness of the message preached. God’s power for salvation is in the cross. Human wisdom as a means of salvation is dismissed by God. Is there any philosopher, scholar, or debater available who can do what the message of the cross is able to do?

♥1 Corinthians 3:18-19 No one should _______________ _________________. If anyone among you ______________ he is wise in this age, he must become _______________ (foolishness of Christ) so that he can ______________ _____________ (the wise of God). For the wisdom of this ____________ is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, The Lord _____________ that the ___________________ of the wise are __________________________. We should not be deceived into thinking that the wisdom of the human intellect works to obtain salvation or for building up the brethren. Do you think yourself to be wise? It is suggested we should renounce our dependence on this type of wisdom in order to receive God’s wisdom. Nothing that enters the mind of man is beyond God’s understanding.

♥2 Corinthians 1:12 For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by ____________________ wisdom but by God’s ___________________. Paul is answering a charge by speaking truth from the testimoney of his conscience and the Corinthians’ knowledge of his conduct. If a person is led from fleshy wisdom then accusations will also come from that same source.  A person led by the wisdom of the Spirit will also speak with that same wisdom.

♥James 3:15 Such wisdom does not come from ____________ but is ___________, ____________________, __________________. Such wisdom’ is referring to bitter envy and selfish ambition in the heart that is spoken about in verse 14. This type of wisdom evaluates everything by worldly standards and makes personal gain of supreme importance.This wisdom does not come down from heaven. It has its origin in the world and is of the devil.

Secondly, intellectual wisdom we are told to ask for. ♥James 1:5 says, Now if __________ of you ____________ _______________, he should ______________ God, who _______________ to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be _____________ to him.  Have you asked God for His wisdom?  When you asked did you ask in faith expecting to receive the moment you asked?

Listen closely to wisdom and direct your heart to understanding; furthermore, if you call out to wisdom and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:2-5) ♥Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD ______________ ________________; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. The one who seeks knowledge will find God because He is the source of wisdom and knowledge. What is your source?

♥Proverbs 2:10 For________________ will enter your ___________, and knowledge will _________________ your heart.  Has wisdom taken up residence in you?

♥Proverbs 3:13 _________________ is a man who _____________ wisdom and who _____________________ understanding. Wisdom brings happiness. Do you remember the discussion from Genesis 3:6? The woman saw that the tree was desirable for obtaining wisdom. Proverbs 3:18 speaks of a different kind of tree. The tree of wisdom is a tree of life to those who seize it. God planted them both. One tree gives the fruit of worldly wisdom and the other gives the fruit of Godly wisdom. Both fruit is desirable. Which will you choose? If you are walking in the orchard, and your hunger is intense enough to ‘eat anything’ will you eat the fruit from the Genesis 3:6 tree or WAIT for the Proverbs 3:18 tree? You will face this decision daily, prepare yourself in advance.

♥Proverbs 4:5-7 Get ______________, get __________________; don’t forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. Don’t abandon __________________, and she will _______________________ you; _____________ her, and she will __________________ you. Wisdom is __________________ – so ________ wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding. Wisdom is frequently spoken about as a ‘she’. The urging here is to get wisdom and understand and don’t forget!  During a moment when a decision must be made or in the heat of a trial do you abandon this type of wisdom? Love and don’t abandon this wisdom and it will guard you. Thank you Lord.

♥Proverbs 4:11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on ___________________ paths. Wisdom is more than an instrument effective in the moment. It is a way of life.

Proverbs 8:11 For ___________________ is better than _____________, and _____________ desirable _____________ ___________________ with it.  If a table with precious stones was placed before you on the left and a Proverbs 3:18 tree on the right which would you choose? Be honest.

♥Proverbs 9:10-11 The _______________ (reverence, awe) of the LORD is the __________________ of _____________, and the ___________________ of the Holy One is _____________________. For _______ _________________ your days will be ______________, and years will be ____________ to your life. The fear of the Lord is the foundation of all wisdom and righteousness. This foundation is expressed in reverential submission to the Lord’s will and is the mark of a true worshiper.

♥Proverbs 10:31 The ___________ of the _________________ produces _________________.  Righteous speech benefits all and pleases God. The wicked use perverse words without the wisdom to consider consequences.

♥Proverbs 16:16 ____________ wisdom – how much better is it than ____________! And ________ understanding – it is _______________ to silver.  Wisdom is supreme! Gold and silver are used several times in Scripture to describe the highest things of value you can obtain in the world. Gaining heavenly wisdom and understanding ranks higher than the gain of worldly riches.

♥Isaiah 28:29 This also comes from the LORD of Hosts. He _______________ wonderful advice; He ________________ great wisdom.

♥James 3:13 Who is ___________ and has ____________________ _____________ you? He should ______________ his works by good ____________ with wisdom’s ____________________. The gentleness spoken here is like a person strong in the Lord but the individual will is brought under self-control by the Spirit of God.

♥James 3:17 But the _________________ from _____________ is first _____________, then _______-_____________, _______________, _________________, full of _____________ and good ______________, without _______________ and ______________________.  The source of true wisdom is above the wisdom humanity is capable of obtaining outside of God. Thank you Lord that You are above our thinking but yet you allow Your Spirit to fill us with the wisdom You have! The absence of any sinful attitude or motive is ‘pure’. The absence of a bitter spirit of competitiveness and selfish ambition is ‘peace-loving’. The absence of insisting on your own rights but exercising love’s leniency is ‘gentle’. The absence of self-seeking and instead having a posture ready to yield is ‘compliant’, ‘full of mercy’ and with ‘good fruit’.

Finally, a divine word of wisdom comes from no human ability but rather is a gift of the Spirit originating from God Himself. This word comes in a moment to give insight to a particular situation or question. A divine word of wisdom speaks to your spirit and an acknowledgement is made in agreement with the word that speaks resolution and life into the needed situation. Sometimes the wisdom will say ‘wait’ for the right time to reveal. Do you recall Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream in Genesis 41? Joseph did not study or prepare before giving the dream’s interpretation, but was given a supernatural word of wisdom precisely in the moment needed.

♥Proverbs 3:19 The LORD founded the earth _______ ______________ and established the heavens _______ _______________. The wisdom from God that directs our paths is the same wisdom that created the universe.

♥Jeremiah 10:12 (and 51:15) He _________ the earth by His ____________, __________________ the world by His _____________, and _____________ __________ the heavens by His ____________________. Power and wisdom were manifested in the creation of the heavens and the earth.

♥Daniel 2:20-21 May the ___________ of God be __________________ forever and ever, for ____________ and _______________ _____________ to Him. He _____________ the times and seasons; He _______________ kings and ______________________ kings. He gives __________ to the wise and knowledge to those who __________________ understanding. You have read many times now that wisdom originates with God and belongs to God.

♥Luke 21:15 …for I will give you such ____________ and a ______________ that _____________ of your adversaries will be able to _____________ or _____________________.  During times of persecution (either at an individual level or from a group) if you are yielded to the Spirit you can expect to be directed in wisdom to speak. Have you ever been in a situation where you have thought for hours what words you would use to defend yourself as a result of a disagreement? Walk in the Spirit’s wisdom and expect guidance. Replace the time you would spend thinking of your defense and devote the time to prayer and thanksgiving. This will prepare your heart for witness and allow room for your Defender’s wisdom.

♥Acts 6:10 But they were unable to _______ _____ __________ his ___________ and the __________ by whom he (Stephen) was speaking.  This fulfills Jesus’ promise of the gift of “words and wisdom” in the time of persecution as in the preceding verse.

♥Romans 11:33 Oh, the _______________ of the riches both of the _________________ and the __________________ of God! How ______________________ his judgments and ________________________ His ways! God’s thoughts and ways are not worldly but are higher and come from better things. He is sovereign and His plans are beyond what the human mind can figure out and His ways are beyond the ability of a person to trace.

♥1 Corinthians 2:13-14 We also speak these things, not in words _______________ by ____________ wisdom, but in those _____________ by the ________________, explaining _____________ things to spiritual _________________. But the _______________ does not ___________ what comes from _____________ ________________, because it is _____________________ to him; he is _________ ___________ to understand it since it is ___________________ spiritually (this is because they use the world’s wisdom). Here again is the contrast between human wisdom and God’s wisdom. The unrighteous man relies on his own wisdom and he is unable to accept enlightenment and truth from the Spirit. Because of this, truth is considered by him to be foolish.

Have you limited God in your life because of your crooked thinking and habits of unbelief? Let’s believe God for these gifts. Come Lord with your divine wisdom and let it be made manifest in my life as you see fit. God’s hidden wisdom is a mystery, a wisdom He predestined from the ages for our glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7) Not everyone knows of this wisdom which is Christ Jesus. While in the flesh, Jesus grew up and became strong in this wisdom (Luke 2:40). Because Jesus had wisdom, he grew in stature and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52). Many have heard of the great wisdom of Solomon, yet in all his wisdom something greater (Jesus) has come that surpasses even the wisdom of Solomon! (Luke 11:31) God has placed all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in the darling of heaven Himself. (Colossians 2:3) Seek Him as your first priority and these things will be given to you.

Remember:  (1) Pray the prayer throughout the week (or your own prayer) asking the Lord to reveal insight to you regarding all aspects of wisdom. *Try not to take your prayer time lightly as you seek the Lord regarding insight into these gifts of the Spirit.  (2)  Fast as you are able on Tuesday.  (3)  Complete the Scripture blanks for further study.  And (4) if you have not already done so, add your name in the comment section indicating your intent to participate – it is never too late!

In His grace,

Amanda

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Charisma ~ The Spiritual Gifts (Part 4)

The Compassion of Healing

Have you ever thought of the gift of healing as Jesus’ compassionate ministry to a people in need? Almost all of Jesus’s recorded time was spent healing the sick. His first instruction to His disciples was, “Heal the sick!” (Matthew 10:8) Gifts of healing is probably the most widely accepted of the nine gifts of the Spirit today (1 Co 12:7-11). Why? Because most people see a need for supernatural healing which restores people to wholeness. Healing can be manifested when there is an atmosphere for healing in which many are made whole at the same time or at the individual level as the Spirit guides.

You might have wondered what the Father’s will is regarding your healing. “For I am Yahweh who heals you.” (Exodus 15:25) “I will remove illnesses from you.” (Exodus 23:24) “He heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:3) His will is for you to be made whole. This may require a process in getting there – but it is His will. Jesus is our deliverer and only does the will of the Father. There are three scenarios in which we will experience His deliverance. (1) He will deliver us from the illness and we will escape the trial. (2) He will deliver us through the illness. In this case, we walk through the trial but are healed in the process because of his sovereign plan to strengthen us (or someone around us that He plans to strengthen by observing us). The last scenario (3) is that he will deliver us into the Kingdom.

First, we recognize that healing comes through faith in the Lord. (Matthew 9:22, 29) Sometimes the illness is too great and the person is too weak to exercise their own faith for healing. When this happens a person can be healed through another’s faith. (Mark 2:3-5) Healing can also come from the combined faith of the sick person and the one offering a prayer by faith in the name of Jesus. (Mark 5:25-35) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) Whatever He taught yesterday, He teaches today and will continue to teach. The words He speaks are eternal.

Years ago when I first began attending bible study I listened to a leader speak of an experience they were a part of a short time earlier. They shared that towards the end of their bible study gathering there was a call for prayer request. A blind man was in attendance and he requested a prayer for healing. The group prayed for him and his sight was restored! Praise God! Can you hear the shouts of praise! As I listened to the story it was all I could do to stay in my chair. The story was amazing and I praised God quietly at the edge of my seat! What was stunning was the person telling the story spoke as if the healing was really no big deal. As they went on, however, the person then began to show real excitement. During weekend services at the church, he was allowed to present himself as healed and speak to the group. As a result of this, many confessed Jesus and received salvation. As I sat and listened I fully understood why the person had an abundance of enthusiasm for the people receiving salvation but I still did not understand why there was no expressed emotion for the man’s recovered sight. It was some time later I thought about the incident again and understood (of course they were excited for the man but the bigger picture was the multitude). When Jesus is involved there is always more than one who benefits! It indeed was a fabulous thing for the man to receive his sight – thank you Lord! But, what a grander thing indeed that through this manifestation of healing many received the gift of salvation – Hallelujah indeed!

How about another account of someone miraculously receiving their sight? As Jesus left the temple complex he past by a man who had been blind since birth. Jesus told the disciples that the man did not have his sight so that the works of God may be glorified. Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva and then spread the mud on the blind eye. ♥John 9:7 “________”, He told him, “___________ in the pool of __________________.” So he ____________, _______________, and came back _________________. The flower below is an actual flower that grows in this same pool of Siloam spoken of in this verse. The song included below is called Healer. Be blessed.

Some years ago I had a pointy bone begin to protrude under my ankle bone. I was evaluated by a specialist who informed me there was absolutely nothing that could be done about the bone aside from surgery. No medication was available and it would not heal on its own. Since surgery would not be immediately required, I decided I would lay my hand on the bone every morning and ask for healing from the Lord. As the days turned into weeks, my faith increased concerning the healing. As the days progressed I wondered if the protruding bone was getting smaller. One morning I put my hand on the bone, as I had done for weeks, and it was gone! In my confusion I thought, “was it the other ankle?” I searched the other and could not find any difference between both my ankles. Thank you Lord! About six months later however, the bone began to protrude from my ankle again. I looked at the bone and thought “I don’t think so. If you can be prayed away once you can be prayed away again.” I immediately began to pray for healing over my ankle and again the protrusion slowly began to disappear. Praise God and to this day it has not returned! Hallelujah!

♥Thank you Lord for Your great compassion towards me. Thank you for sacrificing yourself so that I may be saved. You settled all accounts when I was purchased out of the hand of the enemy by your own blood, therefore I am your treasured possession. Teach me everything you desire for me to know about your great compassion of healing. If you desire for me to pray for the healing of someone in need give me your faith and the courage to not pass them by. Show me if I need to address something in my own life to receive healing. I desire to do anything You have called me to do in this life. I am your child and choose to walk in no one else’s footsteps but yours. You alone are worthy of great praise and honor and I choose to serve your other treasured possessions through the power of your Holy Spirt! Amen!

♥Isaiah 57:18-21 “I have seen his ways, but I will ________________ him; I will ____________ him and ________________ _____________________ to him and his mourners, creating words of ______________________”. The LORD says, “Peace, peace to the one who is far or near, and I will ___________________ him. But the wicked are like the _____________________ sea, for it cannot be ___________________, and its waters _______________ up _____________ and ________________. There is no _____________ for the wicked.” says my God. (Holman) God, through His grace promises to heal. Do you find it interesting that the Lord says He will heal His people and give them peace but then right after He says the wicked are like the storm-tossed sea, cannot be still, churn up undesirable things, and have no peace? Do you ever feel storm-tossed on the inside? Do you long for peace and healing? Just as Jesus rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” and there was a great calm, follow the Master and rebuke what is churning your insides and expect a great calm! (See also Psalm 107:29-30, James 1:6, Mark 4:39) Healing and peace. We need them Lord in this storm-tossed world!

♥Jeremiah 17:14 ______________ me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be ____________________, for You are my _________________________. (Holman) Shall we all be driven to plead for the Lord’s help because we know He is faithful?  Only the Lord can heal and save.  Do you pray with the confidence of Jeremiah?  Heal me Lord and I WILL be healed!  We praise because we HAVE received.

♥Malachi 4:2 But for you who ______________ My _______________, the sun of righteousness will rise with ___________________________ in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. (Holman) What about the ‘Son” of righteousness? When the sun shines at the highest point in the sky does not all of creation receive the warmth and light? Unless you make efforts to hide yourself, the sun’s rays are available for everyone. The same is true of the Son. In His rays are healing and salvation indeed. Only those that choose to hide themselves from the Son are the ones who do not receive freely. Just as we need to sun’s rays for survival we also need the rays from Son’s light to bring us joy, light, and healing. Once you have received YOU WILL go out boldly, playfully jumping in freedom because you have been set free from the ‘stall’ Amen!

♥Matthew 4:23 Jesus was going all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and _____________________ _______________ disease and sickness among the people. (Holman) NO ailment is beyond Jesus’ power to heal! No matter how stubborn or impossible it seems! For His child, nothing is beyond His reach. “Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, ancient doors! Then the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of Glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle.” (Psalm 24:7-8) Thank you Lord.

♥Matthew 4:24 Then the news about Him spread throughout Syria. _________ they brought to Him ___________ those who were ___________________, those ____________________ from various _____________ and intense ________________, the ________________-___________________, the ______________________, and the _______________________. And He _____________ them. (Holman) What do you think of our God and King that can heal diseases by a word from His mouth? Diseases for which there are not cure! Diseases in which medicine does not seem to touch! That, my friend, is a God that can not be put into a box and labeled. A God that cannot be described with human words. A God that is bigger than what you can imagine. A God that is bigger than you have ever experienced. Look to the skies, look to creation all around you. How big does God have to be to even imagine the intricacies of this entire creation? And when it fails to operate how He intended shall we not be deceived, He is the only One who can reconcile it. We praise you Lord! You ALONE are worthy of glory and praise and honor!

♥Matthew 8:5-7 When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony!” “I will _______________ and _____________ him, ” He told him. Jesus is the Mighty Physician that makes house calls. Will you swing your gate wide and allow the Mighty Physician into your home?

♥Mark 6:13 And they were driving out many demons, ______________ many sick people with _________________________ , and __________________ them. (Holman) The disciples were commissioned by Jesus to go out with His authority and perform these miracles to those in need. As disciples of Christ we have the same authority in His name.   The anointing oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.  The instruction given was a combination of anointing with oil and the offering of prayer.  (The expectation of healing did not come from the oil itself.)  Matthew 10:1 Summoning His 12 disciples, He gave them _____________ over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to ______________ _______________ disease and sickness.

♥Luke 9:11 When the crowds found out, they followed Him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the ______________________ of ___________, and _________________ those who needed _________________________. (Holman) Even when Jesus needed time alone, He did not turn away those who searched and found Him. He continued to meet their need. Search for Jesus with all your heart, He can be found and will not turn you away.

♥Acts 3:16 By _____________ in His name, His _____________ has made this man _________________, whom you see and know. So the faith that coms through Him has given him this _____________ _________________ in front of all of you. (Holman) Here Peter and John were explaining they were God’s chosen means for bringing healing to the lame man. Do you have faith in the name of Jesus for healing?

♥Acts 14:9-10 After _________________ him closely and seeing that he had _______________ to be healed, Paul said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet!” And he jumped up and started to walk around. (Holman) (Are you seeing a pattern here with ‘jumping’? We do not receive and collapse or decline, we ‘jump’ with the power of the Majesty!) Paul, after first observing that the man indeed had faith to be healed, he then spoke a word of healing to him.  The man with no strength in his legs (because he had never walked) then ‘jumped’ up and started ‘walking’ around! The man had faith to believe for healing and heard the word and was immediately healed. There was no contemplation, no wondering if it was real, and no thought of ‘was it for him’. Do you think he cared what his neighbor thought as he responded to Jesus’ command to “Stand!” Jesus Himself spoke many words to us through the Scriptures. Do you take His words as a command just like this man did? I believe we would see more healing in our midst if we copied this lame man and stood strong.

♥Acts 28:27 For the __________________ of these people have grown callous, their ears are _____________________ of hearing, and they have ________________ their eyes; otherwise they might ____________ with their eyes and __________________ with their heart, and be _____________________, and I would __________________ them. (Holman) This verse was quoted by Paul from the book of Isaiah. Have you made sure your heart is soft, your hears can hear, and your eyes can see? Looks to me like this is a promise. “They might see with their eyes, heart with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted (repent and turn away from evil), and I would heal them.” Shall today be your day to respond and receive?

♥John 5:2-8 By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five colonnades. Within these lay a large number of the sick – blind, lame, and paralyzed (waiting for the moving of the water, because an angel would go down into the pool from time to time and stir up the water. Then the first one who got in after the water was stirred up recovered from whatever ailment he had.) One man was there who had been sick for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, “Do you _______________ _____ get _________________?” “Sir,” the sick man answered, “I don’t have a pan to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.” “________________________,” Jesus told him, “_______________________________________!” _____________________ the man got __________________, picked up his mat, and started to walk. (Holman) Being sick for 38 years is a long time. Would you agree? The man had probably become comfortable with his condition. It was his way of life, his ‘normal’. Can you relate? When Jesus sees us He sees through our facade and straight to the heart of the matter. When Jesus spoke I suppose He also got straight to the point. When he asked the man, “Do you want to get well?”, He already knew the true condition of the man. The answer was, “Sir……” can you hear the impatience? Can you sense the tone of “Why else do you think I am here?” Just like this man, after your long years of discouragement, comfort with your condition, the predictable habit of your days, “Do you really want to get well?” Does your will need to be challenged and encouraged to be different? The man here was waiting for someone else to do the work, to make the first move for him. How about you? Jesus can heal the heart and emotions just as easily as He can heal the physical ailments. If you were asked today, “Do you want to get well?” how would you respond?

♥Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in _____________, then He who raised Christ from the deal will _______________ bring your _____________ __________________ to ___________________ through His Spirit who lives in you. (Holman) The indwelling Spirit in the life of the believer is a mark of Christ’s ownership. Let that sink in deep. Past your brain….into your heart. As His possession, does it make sense that He would not want you sick? Every work or trial in our life is to bring about further sanctification. If you are currently sick prayerfully seek the Lord to determine what He desires to bring about in you through this sickness. The Spirit provides life and righteousness. God receives glory through the health of his people. (Psalm 30:9) Hallelujah!

♥James 5:14-15 Is anyone among you ____________? He should call for the elders of the church (leaders of the congregation), and they should ____________ ____________ him after ___________________ (typically by applying olive oil to the forehead) him with ______________________ (oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit) in the name of the _____________. The prayer of _________________ will save (heal) the sick person, and the Lord will ___________________ him to __________________; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (Holman) Some time ago when I came across this verse in James 5:13-16. I read it continually and I was fascinated by every word. I wondered if there was a specific “prayer of faith”? It was odd, but I asked every person I came across whom I thought could explain it to me but no one could. So, I took it to the Lord (which was probably His intent anyway) and asked, “What is the prayer of faith?” Several days later my small children were playing with a neighbor’s new puppy. After coming inside I noticed every one of them had itched their eyes and now they were read and puffy. I lined them up and washed each of their eyes with saline. My youngest was last and as I looked at her eyes I noticed a dark mark across the sclera that appeared to be a splinter. I panicked and thought “I can not handle any more illness and disease.” I plainly told the Lord “This is something you must handle.” As I held my daughter’s face in my hands I looked into her eyes and asked, “Heal her eye Lord”. I put her back in line and went back to the first child to apply another round of saline. When I got to the youngest again I took a deep breath, looked into her eyes and saw that the ‘splinter’ was gone! Immediately I knew the Lord had taught me what the prayer of faith was!Simply, it is any prayer offered in faith. Whatever had been in her eye was gone and I knew it would never return – in Jesus name it would not!

Another interesting point in verse 14 is that we are to call for leaders in the congregation to pray over us if we are sick. I think what James meant here is that elders, or church leaders (if in their correct walk with the Lord) should, without question have great faith. If a person is unable to pray with assurance and faith for the sick, they should wait until they can or seek someone else that can pray. Someone who prays without faith can either quench the Spirit or quench the faith in the sick person.

The person who feels led to pray for the sick should first ask the Lord how the prayer should proceed. It would not be surprising if other gifts of the Spirit such as a word of knowledge and a word of wisdom should manifest in this scenario. Knowledge and wisdom is beneficial here if there is something in the sick person’s life that needs to be addressed in order to swing the gates wide for healing.

Remember: (1) pray the prayer thoroughout the week asking the Lord to reveal insight to you regarding all aspects of healing as well as the gift of healing.  *Try not to take your prayer time lightly as you seek the Lord regarding insight into these gifts of the Spirit.  (2) Fast as you are able on Tuesday.  (3) Complete the Scripture blanks for further study.  And (4) if you have not already done so, add your name in the comment section if you plan to participate – it is never too late!

In His grace,

Amanda

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