The Book of Acts: Chapter 21 (pt 4 of 15)

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Over the last couple of days, I have given you examples of how our Lord will guide and direct our steps. Granted they were only a few examples of hearing and following the voice of the Spirit of my Father, but I wanted the examples to be as down-to-earth as possible. So many times, we hear stories like those examples and figure they are way beyond us. We might marvel at them and try to elevate the person who experienced them, which is a shame. Paul told the church in Colossae to follow after the Lord in, “the simplicity of faith.” We are the people who complicate our relationship with our Father. We either feel we are too unworthy or unable to experience the fullness of His Spirit.

I gave you these stories simply as examples of how the Lord can work in our every-day lives. Those experiences and the others where I curse bees and have them die or snow storms and have them cease, have nothing to do with me! I did not share them to brag about my exploits or to give you the impression that I am some spiritual giant—that is the farthest thing from the truth. I am a believer, no different from you, and there have been times that I have been wrong or even ignored (which I confess with great sadness) the voice of my conscience—my inner-man—my spirit. Remember how I told you that your conscience is the voice of your inner spirit? Well, your conscience is the “ear” of our Father’s Spirit.

When I was “born-again,” I didn’t get more of the Holy Spirit than you did, or an extra-dose of the Holy Spirit, either. The first time I cursed a bee and it dropped dead, my wife’s jaw dropped, and she asked if I walked on water, too. But I assured her that she could do the exact same thing! She responded, “No, I’m afraid of bees . . .” I said, “Well, there is your problem.” Fear will stop the Spirit of God, just as much as your doubt.

Do you want to see the power and Glory of the Holy Spirit in your life? Then fall in love with your Father and His Son, Jesus—then exercise His life, in your life.

There is one thing I want to be very clear on: This inner witness, this voice of the Spirit, is always (underline that) it is always accompanied by an amazing—undeniable—confidence and conviction—call it faith. In each example I gave you, to this day, I cannot explain how I knew what the Spirit of God had promised me, but I was as confident of it, as I was of my name. For instance, regarding our first apartment, I did not see the house and then “decide” that was the one I wanted, and then insist the Lord get it for us. It was not an example of “naming-and-claiming.” Yes, my confession was positive, but I was confessing what I heard the Lord tell me.

I simply “heard” deep on the inside that the house was ours and with that came a deep faith and confidence that it would be ours! I did not ask for that gift of faith. I did not confess several scriptures to make it happen—it simply came to me.

Just like Father Abraham, with undaunted faith I looked at the facts—Warren (the landlord) wasn’t willing to come down on the rent—he told me several times the place was already rented. Yet I refused to allow any distrust of what I believed to be a definite pronouncement of God to make me waiver. In fact, I drew strength from my faith and remained absolutely convinced that God was able to implement his own promise. I simply did not let it go. My wife-to-be was becoming anxious, but I was so convinced that the house was ours, I never saw a need to look for another place. This has been true every time I have “heard” this voice. The fulfillment to these promises has not always been immediate—some have taken months or years before I have seen the fulfillment. For Abraham it took over 40 years. (Adapted from Romans 4:18-24 J.B. Phillips Translation)

Note: Romans 10:17: “faith comes by hearing what is told, and what is heard comes by the word that came from the lips of Christ the Messiah Himself.”

Word: Logos & Rhema: the significance of Rhema in this verse (as distinct from logos) is that it is referring to an individual message or word, which the Spirit speaks to our spirit. You could read this verse as saying, “So faith comes by hearing the rhema that the Spirit speaks to our hearts.” That is what happened to Paul. He heard the rhema from the Lord and nothing would dissuade him from following that word!

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts


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