“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25)
The Holy Spirit is God on earth, and the era we are in is the era of the Holy Spirit. He is the most important personality on earth, and He is present to complete the work of God before the rapture of the church. It is one thing to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, it is another thing to be constantly filled with the Spirit. Constant in-filling of the Spirit will lead to an overflow on the carrier; mighty works of miracles, signs, and wonders would be wrought through him/her. Maintaining a good measure of the Holy Spirit makes the believer a great witness of the gospel and Jesus Christ. Below are some ways on how to HOST the Spirit, viz:
Holiness: The characteristic feature of the Holy Spirit is holiness. That is the name He bears. To be in constant tune with Him calls for holiness in thought and in deed from the believer. To have the Holy Spirit express Himself in and through us regularly calls for ardent holiness from us. We are instructed to shun and jettison our old way of thinking and behaving and take on a new way of living which is powered by the Holy Spirit. Holiness is agreeing with the conduct of the Kingdom of God, imbibing the new conduct and acting out the behaviors of the Kingdom as listed in Galatians 5, verse 22 to 23. Two can only work together if they agree.
Overflowing Grace: To carry the presence of the Holy Spirit in a good measure is a work of grace (Zechariah 4:6). Grace is the working of the Holy Spirit in the believer changing his or her attitudes, affections and enabling the believer to please God (Philippians 2:13). For grace to flow in the believer like a river, joyfulness and thankfulness are critical and must be present. Grace in Latin language is the word “Gratia” which means thankfulness, gratitude, and favor. In Spanish, grace is gracias, and gracias is thank you. Grace and gratitude are like Siamese twins which cannot be separated. The Holy Spirit thrives where there is joy and thanksgiving. A believer who is full of thanksgiving and joy will be attractive to the Holy Spirit.
Sanctified Environment: Environment matters a lot. Some environment fosters the move of the Spirit, while others stifle it. In a worship environment where God is being exalted, the Holy Spirit finds such place very conducive to express Himself. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were instructed to keep the camp physically clean, they were given designated areas outside the camp to relieve themselves. They carried shovels to dig holes in the designated areas, and after relieving themselves they covered up the feces (Deuteronomy 23:12-14). Physical cleanliness matters to God. Cleanliness is next to godliness. As a new believer I was being oppressed in my sleep till the Holy Spirit pointed out to me some worldly reggae music in my possession as the point of contact for the demonic operations.
Trainability: Holiness is simply godly training and exercise in godliness and godly living. When we gave our lives to Christ, we were signed up automatically into the gym of the Holy Spirit. Many people have membership of physical gyms and never visit the place. Some go occasionally, and others go regularly. And others have trainers who assist them in the training. As believers we are required to allow the Holy Spirit to train us to godliness. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:8 Message translation, “Exercise daily in God – no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both for today and forever.”
CONCLUSION: It is a privilege for Christians to have the Holy Spirit resident in us. With every privilege, there are responsibilities. The points listed above are some of the responsibilities we are to bear to allow the Spirit expression in our lives. Our world is waiting for us to manifest the glory of God.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8, NKJV).
Doubt as defined by the dictionary is a feeling of uncertainty and lack of conviction. For the Christian, doubt is a lack of confidence in the word of God. We all doubt at different times, particularly in times of serious challenges. God expects us to overcome our doubts and not remain in the valley of despair. Below are some truths about doubt:
Doubt is subtle: A lot of Christians do not consider doubt as sin. And very few people confess their doubts as sin before God, and therein lies the subtlety of doubt. It is a little fox that spoil the vine (Songs of Solomon 2:15). Doubt looks harmless but it is not. In the encounter of Satan with Eve in Genesis 3, Satan made Eve doubt the word of God. He told her, “Has God indeed said, you shall not eat of every tree in the garden.” He further told Eve, “You will not surely die.” Satan punched holes in the word of God leaving Eve with the impression that God didn’t really mean what He said. The enemy makes us to doubt the seriousness of the word of God.
Doubt is hesitation: Some synonyms of hesitate are vacillate, waver, indecision and reluctance. Doubting in a challenging situation could be devastating. If David had hesitated in the valley of Elah when he confronted Goliath, the result would have been defeat for the Israelites. The Bible says, “as Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran to meet him” (1 Samuel 17:48, NLT). The King James Version of the Bible says David hasted towards Goliath. There were no doubts whatsoever in the mind of David when he confronted the Goliath challenge. Had he doubted, the result would have been different.
Doubt is costly: Doubt robs people of blessings. The Israelites at the brink of the Promised Land doubted and refused to enter the Land God gave them. A whole generation, except Joshua and Caleb, died as a result. Self-doubt produces inferiority complex; the Israelites said they were like grasshoppers compared to their opposition. Doubt in the future produces worry and anxiety. Doubt in other people produces suspicion. Doubt in everything produces pessimism and cynicism. Doubt in God produces unbelief. Doubt can rob one of a glorious destiny.
Doubt is double mindedness: The doubter in our opening text is likened to a raging sea which is troubled, unstable and restless. The doubter is unsettled, unstable and anxious. Whenever we are anxious and restless about a matter it shows and depicts doubt. On the other hand, confidence in God produces assurance, calmness and stability. The doubter vacillates; today is up and tomorrow he is down. One day he/she is believing, the next day he/she is disbelieving. The Bible says this fellow who doubts will not receive from the Lord.
Doubt is half hearted devotion: Not fully following the Lord nor cooperating with Him in our lives will automatically produce doubt. Elijah said to the Israelites in 1 Kings 18, verse 21 in a time of famine, “how much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?’ The people were serving Baal and trying to serve God at the same time. By so doing, they brought famine on themselves. Many are not wholehearted in their devotion to God. Many have seemingly viable options to God. This will result in doubt.
CONCLUSION: Jesus said anything is possible if a person believes (Mark 9:23). Being clear about the will of God, wholeheartedly following God, adjusting our lives to Him, and being determined will douse the voice of doubt all the time. May God forgive us all for the sin of doubt in Jesus’ name.
“… Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.” (Isaiah 66:8b)
Productivity has to do with the ability to create and bringing forth. God wired in human beings the desire to be productive and deliver results and achievements. The first blessing God pronounced on Man after creating him was that of fruitfulness, multiplication, replenishment and bringing everything under his subjection (Genesis 1:26-28). Below are some laws that govern productivity:
The Law of Conception: This is the beginning of the process of productivity. To conceive is to be pregnant with something, it is not limited to biology alone (or being pregnant with a baby). One can be pregnant with the promises of God, a dream or vision, a project, a desire for a better country, and the list go on. People can also be pregnant with negative and evil things (Matthew 12:35). Conception takes place in the womb. There is a spiritual womb as well as a physical one. Every human being is carrying something whether positive or negative within them. For conception to take place there must be intimacy. The Angel Gabriel told Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). Intimacy with the Holy Spirit results in all manners of conceptions that results in fruitfulness and productivity in our lives. The reverse is also true, if one lies down with dogs you will get up with fleas. The big question today is, what are you conceiving within? and what are you pregnant with?
The Law of Incubation: To incubate means to develop gradually under favorable conditions. The mother hen after laying her eggs will sit on them providing heat and pressure until the egg hatches. Incubation is that period between conception and delivery. It is a process that allows what is being carried in the womb to become mature and good for delivery. Many do not pay attention to incubation. It is a time of feeding, strengthening and developing what is being carried in the womb. It is also the gestation period. One dissimilarity between physical and spiritual conceptions is that the spiritual gestation period is not fixed like the physical. Gestation period for human beings is 9 months, for rats it is 21 days, for elephants it is about 22 months. The Israelites on their way to the Promised land from Egypt were in the wilderness for 40 years for a 11-day journey. It took them that long to be processed and fit for the Promised Land. They refused to cooperate with God and a whole generation died in the wilderness. With God we do not just receive what we pray for, we receive what we are ready and prepared for.
The Law of Delivery: Not every woman who conceives a baby carry the baby to full term or to delivery. Many miscarry along the way. As it is in the physical, so it is in the spiritual. Dreams, visions, a glorious destiny, prosperity, etc. can be aborted. Innovations and inventions that will benefit mankind can also be aborted. And no one celebrates conception or incubation. People celebrate performance and delivery. Travail is a sin qua non to birthing new things. The Bible says as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. (Isaiah 66:8b). Travailing or labor pain is productive pain. Prayer (bringing forth things from the spiritual realm to the material realm) is travail. Hard work is travail. Preparation is travail. Not everyone who travails prevails, but we have an assurance from the Word of God in Isaiah 66, verse 9, “Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it? Asks the Lord. No! I would never keep this nation from being born.” The God that allowed the birth of modern Israel in 1948 after hundred of years of no independent state can ensure our safe delivery.
CONCLUSION: May all the good things you carry within be perfected and brought forth in this seventh month in Jesus’ name.