Thursday, March 22, 2012

Living out God's Will

Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.    Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
So I’ve gone on about what God’s will for our lives is, now I want to talk a little bit about walking that out.  First we start off with the command, do not quench the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is our guide, councilor, and teacher.  He enlightens our mind to the truth of God.  To quote the Evangelist Charles Finney,

“the Spirit enlightens the mind into the meaning and self-application of the Bible. It takes the things of Christ and shows them to us.

Now there is such a thing as refusing to receive this light. You can shut your eyes against it. You have the power to turn your eye entirely away and scarcely see it at all. You can utterly refuse to follow it when seen;--and in this case God ceases to hold up the truth before your mind.

Almost every one knows by personal experience that the Spirit has the power of shedding a marvelous light upon revealed truth, so that this truth shall stand before the mind in a new and most impressive form, and shall operate upon it with astonishing energy. But this light of the Spirit may be quenched.
Again there is, so to speak, a sort of heat, a warmth and vitality attending the truth when enforced by the Spirit. Thus we say if one has the Spirit of God his soul is warm; if he has not the Spirit, his heart is cold.
This vital heat produced by the divine Spirit may be quenched. Let a man resist the Spirit, and he will certainly quench this vital energy which it exerts upon the heart.”

In other words, quenching the Spirit is when we resist the work that the Spirit is trying to do in our lives.

Prophecy, there’s a tricky one.  Today, a lot of people think of prophecy as dealing with the end of the world (i.e. Harold Camping).  End time prophecy like the book of Revelation is only a small part of what prophecy is.  There are three types of prophecy; forth-telling, foretelling, and testimony.

Forth-telling prophecy is speaking out what God has already spoken and has done.  It would be like reading the Bible and applying a certain passage to a specific situation that is happening right now.  It may be as simple as quoting a verse from the Bible to a friend who needs a little encouragement.

Foretelling prophecy is speaking out what God has revealed he will do.  The book of Revelation is the best known example of foretelling prophecy, but again, most foretelling prophecy does not deal with end times.  Sometimes, God gives people a message of specific warning.  Have you ever heard of someone getting a sense that they shouldn’t go somewhere, so they don’t and it turns out that if they had not listened to that sense, they would have died?

A lot of people don’t think of testimony as a prophecy, but the Bible says it is (Revelation 19:10).  Testimony is all about what Jesus is doing in your life.
No one person has a monopoly on the truth (only God does).  People can be wrong, even me.  Don’t just take my word, or anybody else’s for that matter.  Take the Word of God first, above all else.  God will not do anything against His Word.  It is so important to be very careful to test the spirits to see if the word of prophecy comes from God or not.

This is an evil and wicked world.  We must keep ourselves clean (James 1:27).  We must always hold to the truth of God’s word.  The world is fixated on movies, books, and video games that promote all kinds of evil.  What is better, to be entertained temporarily by these things so that we can fit in with friends or to be in the company of Jesus for all eternity and fit into His kingdom?

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