James 5:17-18 tells us, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” It wasn’t Elijah’s asking that accomplished this but it was God answering his request because it was his will, He had a purpose in it. God can take away things by our praying and affect people and nations and He can add things and bless them. He can and does miracles for his namesake. Ps.145:18 “the Lord is near to all those who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.”
According to 1Corinthians 2 we have several spirits going on within us or just outside of us. They have a restricted influence over us, but we still must make a choice of whose influence we follow. These three spirits that Paul wrote about to the Corinthians are:
The spirit of man,
The spirit of the world,
The spirit of God
Let’s take a further look into each one of these that Paul writes about.
The spirit of man.
Who knows the nastiness of our thoughts except for our own spirit, the spirit of man. For the spirit of man is in tune with the things of the flesh. Our spirit senses hunger, thirst and pain and acts accordingly with a response.
Anyone who has fasted runs into this fact. We allow the spirit of God to take over, thus yielding our hunger to Him. By this we become an overcomer or overcoming the spirit of man. This is the reason it says in 2 Cor 10:5 that we are to be taking every thought captive and bring it into submission to God with our obedience to what Jesus taught us by word and deed.
The spirit of the world. This spirit relies upon what things a man teaches, not the things that God teaches. This would be what Jesus called the traditions of man, which were nailed to the cross (where we should leave them.)
WHEN OUR ACTIONS DON’T MATCH OUR WORDS.
Prophet Isaiah prophesied saying: ’These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ Matthew 15:7-9 (NKJV)
We often hear people say one thing but their actions don't match their words. In our spiritual lives such hypocrisy is particularly offensive to God.
I. IF YOU "TALK THE TALK" YOU NEED TO "WALK THE WALK"
We read in Luke 6:46 where our Lord asked a straightforward question: "Why do you call me ’Lord, Lord’ and do not the things which I say."
A person may hide their deception from their fellow man but every attempt to do so with God will inevitably fail.
II. WHY DO MEN ENGAGE IN SUCH DECEPTION?
It stems from a spiritual "heart problem". Our text makes this clear in the phrase: "but their heart is far from Me."
The Bible teaches that what is in the heart of a man determines what kind of a man he is. Consider Proverbs 23:7 "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he."
God commands us in Deuteronomy 6:5 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength."
And Paul reminds us: "For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10.
III. THE CONSEQUENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN’S DECEPTION.
If our actions do not support our words that it would be far better if we choose not to speak at all. Paul stressed this point when he wrote: "For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?" I Corinthians 14:8.
Luke 6:12 (KJV) And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luke reveals to us the prayer life of Jesus at least 6 times that are not in the other Gospels. He prayed here before he chose his twelve; he prayed at his baptism; he prayed after cleansing the leper; he prayed at his transfiguration; he prayed on the cross for those who crucified him; and finally he prayed in his dying breath. Luke just specialized in calling our attention to the prayer life of Jesus. All the Gospels do, but Luke went out of his way to give details that the others missed.
By this prayer Jesus made it clear that he was dependent upon the Father for guidance. He did not make this choice based on his own understanding, for he chose to limit his omniscience in matters like this. He was human using human understanding, and he may have been able to judge the best men for the job without help, but he chose to depend on the Father to lead him to the right men. He revealed his full humanity by this prayer of dependence. Had he been using his full deity within his humanity he would not need to pray at all, for he would know everything the Father knew, but this was not the case. Jesus emptied himself of the full deity he had in equality with the Father. He chose to leave with the limitations of his humanity, and this made him dependent upon the Father for wisdom and guidance.
Many people who have faced rejection and abuse as a child, grow up with unresolved emotional wounds. Rejection causes emotional wounds, which if not cleansed and released, will grow and fester into spiritual wounds (such as unforgiveness, envy, blaming God, jealousy, etc.).
Those spiritual wounds open us up to evil spirits which love to take advantage of this opportunity to invade us. The goal of the enemy is to get us built up with emotional baggage inside and negative feelings in our hearts against one another, ourselves, and God.
Get your identity from God's Word!
It is vital that we base our identity on who we are, upon what God's Word says about us. When we do, we become virtually immune from the devastating and hurtful effects of rejection. God promises never to leave or forsake us, so when our identity is based upon what He says of us, we can be assured that we're not going to face rejection coming from Him.
Why Do Believers Partake Of The Holy Communion?
Besides being born again in Christ, a healthy body and mind are the greatest blessings anyone can have. And the Holy Communion is God’s ordained channel of healing and wholeness.
On the night that He was betrayed, Jesus ate His last supper with His disciples. And knowing what He would accomplish through His sacrifice, He instituted the Holy Communion (Luke 22:19–20, 1 Corinthians 11:24–25).
His loving instruction is that we are to remember Him as we partake of the Holy Communion. Jesus wanted us conscious of how His body was broken for our wholeness, and His blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. And whenever we partake in this consciousness, we “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Whenever we partake of the bread, we are declaring that Jesus’ health and divine life flows in our mortal bodies. When we partake of the cup, we are declaring that we are forgiven and have been made righteous. Jesus’ blood gives us right standing before God, and we can go boldly into God’s presence (Hebrews 4:16). When we pray, we can be sure that God hears us!
Communion with Christ gives us boldness to do His works on the earth. We partner with Him. Worship and fellowship is part of our communion with Him also even though there is more. The Bible says that those who know their God intimately will do exploits. Those who know their God shall be strong and do exploits – Dan.11:32
True communion with God is not going to leave you to just sit down and stay comfortable. Communion with God will produce passion to be with Him and to serve Him. In our relationship with Him, He releases supernatural boldness. You come out of His presence with daring boldness. Boldness does not come from reading books or listening to tapes, it comes from communion with Him. When you come out of your closet, you dare pray for the sick and cast out demons! You come out like a lion, hungry to change history!
What constitutes the office of a prophet
An outstanding Greek scholar said, "A prophet speaks from the impulse of a sudden inspiration, from the light of a sudden revelation at the moment.
A prophet speaks by direct divine inspiration, an immediate revelation - not something he thought of, but something given at the spur of the moment by sudden inspiration.
The Distinctions between one who stands in the office of a prophet and a layman prophesying by inspiration of the moment
To stand in the office of a prophet, one is first of all a minister of the gospel, separated and called to the full time ministry.
Qualifications of the one who stands in the office of the prophet:
1. A prophet is first of all a preacher or a teacher of the Word.
2. A prophet is called to the full-time ministry.
3. To stand in the office of a prophet, one must have a more consistent manifestation of at least two of the revelation gifts (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, or discerning of spirits) plus prophecy.
The three revelation gifts that operates through the ones called in the office of a prophet
1. Word of wisdom: Supernatural revelation by the Spirit of God concerning the divine purpose in the mind and will of God. This always speaks of the future.
2. Word of knowledge: Supernatural revelation by the Spirit of God of facts in the mind of God concerning people, places, or things. This always speaks of the present or past tense.
3. Discerning of spirits: Supernatural insight into the realm of spirits. Seeing and hearing in the spirit realm.
Any Spirit-filled believer might have occasional manifestations of these gifts as the Spirit wills and as the need arises whilst the one who stands in the office of a prophet is also a preacher or a teacher of the Word.
Layman and prophesying
Any Holy Ghost filled believer or layman may prophesy, but are NOT prophet. Simply because someone may prophesy – does not mean that he or she stands in the office of the prophet.
Apostle Paul encouraged the entire church at Corinthians to covet the gift of prophecy. He also said; "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" . (1 Cor. 14:3)
The word for authority is the Greek word "exusia" which means delegated authority. God has given you and I authority to transact business on His behalf on the earth. We must take this authority and put it to work in our communities, cities and the nations at large by our prayer life. We must understand that we are partners with God to enforce His spoken Word on the earth. We are God’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20)
God is looking for individuals who are willing to stand in the gap to fulfill His purposes and enforce His covenant on the earth.
When believers respond to God’s call for this final hour, they will experience the Glory of God more than ever before in the history of the church. Why? Because God is drawing a distinction between His bride and others.
Can He count you on this very final hour?
From the very beginning of the church, Christians have gathered to pray (Acts 4:24; 12:5; 21:5). Miracles happen literally as believers gather in one accord to pray. Prayer meetings are valuable for the church as a whole and for the individuals who participate.
Christians know prayer works because they have encountered a God who declares, “Talk to me and I will listen.” The apostle John confirms this: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
Andrew Murray, the great Christian minister and prolific writer, said, “Prayer depends chiefly, almost entirely, on who we think we are praying to.” It is through the discipline of prayer with one another that we develop a growing intimacy with God, and create a spiritual bond with one another. This is one of the most valuable aspects of praying with one another.
We see from the scriptures in Luke chapter 4:18 that Jesus Christ mission was to reach out to the poor, to deliver the captives, to restore sight to the blind, and to lift up the broken hearted. This mission is as relevant today as it was then and we should commit ourselves to fulfilling His mission daily.
Jesus Christ Himself read from the scriptures in Isaiah 61 and this is what He said;
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,[a]
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”[b]
The fulfillment was His presence on the earth.