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Reigning in Christ: Healing, Signs, Wonders Part 2

Posted by Lorraine Serra on October 10, 2011 at 2:20 PM

UPDATE ON MIKE: A conference and exam with two of the doctors on the surgical team is scheduled for October 25.  Halleluia!  God has begun to answer prayer. Is this a sign, a wonder?  I believe God is protecting Mike from a premature surgery by making time for further investigation.  I am also praising God that during this time of further waiting, we can wait on Him who loves Mike with an everlasting love.  Please pray that the Father will draw Mike to Himself and that Mike will receive salvation and citizenship in the kingdom, and full access to the power of God at work in his life! Amen.

Last time I left off with some questions, and, what some may say are some bold statements.  We established that there are foundational truths which do not cause disagreement among believers, such as John 3:16, and John 3 where Jesus teaches Nicodemus about the need to be born again.

I asked you to consider verse 21, where Jesus concludes his talk with Nicodemus.   Jesus had explained salvation, and closed with this statement:   

..Whoever lives by the truth (obeys God’s word) comes into the light so that everyone can see God has caused them to do what is right and good.   What does He mean?

 If we have been born again, then we have been truly filled with God’s Holy Spirit, we have a new nature, and it is God working in us directing our path and causing us to live in love, with the power to overcome, as Jesus commanded and modeled for us.   

But, we are not robots.  We are not marionettes being pushed and pulled here or there.  We still make choices.   We still have free will.

Born again believers are truly changed, and they acquire a desire to pursue a life pleasing to God, a life lived out in the light, love and power of God, no matter the circumstances. And God gets all the glory for it. 

That is true humility. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God". Matt 5:3    That is the obedient follower we must become so that we can say, with Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  The life I live in the flesh is lived by faith in Jesus Christ who loved me and gave himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 

Being filled with the Holy Spirit of God makes us rich in spirit, and alive to God and all His power!

This is foundational to living in the power of Christ:

  It is by faith in what Jesus has accomplished and by His inexplicable grace that we can be fully equipped for the abundant, reigning in the kingdom life He promised now and for eternity.

Power, victory, healing, prosperity, overcoming the world.  These themes are great on paper, but are they evident in our lives?   How do we stir up the Spirit within us to operate more fully in His power?   Is anyone interested?  Are you scared?  We must go deeper to unleash the power of miracles, signs and wonders.  Living on the surface is so limiting!

Here is something I’ve been meditating upon: 

2 Timothy 1:6  NOTICE: this is the verse right before our focus verse in this entire Reigning in Christ, Kingdom Living Study, now in its 9th month!

“That is why I remind you to fan the flame, stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands.”

Paul loved Timothy as a son.  Timothy was raised up to be a leader, a pastor and was ordained by the laying on of hands.  2 Timothy 4

But, what was the gift of God he received?  Is it not the same as our own?  He received the gift of the Holy Spirit to share the gospel and live it out boldly, teaching, healing, equipping.

Paul told Timothy, and he tells us, “Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee” - The gift which Timothy had received was the Holy Spirit, and through Him, a particular power to preach and defend the truth.  

We, too, have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have all received the Great Commission to go and share the good news, haven't we?  We are made for His pleasure, His glorious praise in all things and everywhere.  Have we truly believed this and activated the gifts of the Spirit in us by exercising them?  Stepping up and stepping out in faith, in boldness?

The comparison to a flame of fire is obvious and genius.  We must fan the flame or it will go out.  That’s why we go to special conferences, retreats, Bible studies, concerts, prayer meetings!  That's why we tune into radio teaching and Christian television.  Inspiration.  Renewal, recharging, equipping, empowering.

No matter how rich are all the gifts God has given you and me, they don’t grow on their own.  We cultivate the awareness of the Spirit in us, we worship Him, listen to Him as we study the Word and pray. We spend time with our Teacher, Comforter, Counselor.

 Our strength and faith grow and we come to believe and live out BOLDLY, no matter the circumstance, the next verse:

  “We have NOT been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, of power and a sound mind.”  2 Tim 1:7

The scripture says that the same power (Spirit of God) which raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us bringing us to fullness of  life, body , soul, mind and spirit.  Rom 8:11    What rich gifts indeed!

SO, are we in the flesh or in the Spirit? That is the question.

What motivates us?  Who are we serving?  Upon what things do we set our hearts and minds?   How much time do we spend praising, worshiping and meditating on the Word which is Life?

At the root of our power or powerlessness is whether or not we have taken our place at the banqueting table of the Lord. 

Our names are on the list (Salvation), we have received the invitation (the gift of the Holy Spirit), but what remains is for us to get on over to the feast and take our portion.

Dear Lord Jesus,

I praise You and thank You that You are more than enough for me.  Jesus, You  have accomplished everthing I need through your cross and resurrection.  I will set my mind to please You and You alone.  I will stir up the gift of Your Holy Spirit and not fear the adventure You want to release in my life of service to You.

All glory and praise to You, King Jesus!

Assignment:

We should always beware citing only one verse of scripture.  It is always wise to take it in the total context in which it was written.  However, we do it all the time!  We might have been memorizing verses since we were children!

So, with that in mind, think about Ephesians 3:20.  It is a verse often quoted.

How do you understand the meaning of it in context of the whole of chapter 3?   Do you think it is often used out of context with a different meaning?


 

 

Categories: Reigning in Christ: Kingdom Living

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2 Comments

Reply Lorraine Serra
1:07 PM on October 25, 2011 
Hi Linda, Thanks for your insights! Indeed, Paul loved the Ephesians and all the Gentiles so much. They were his divine assignment, bringing them into unity with the Jews and all believers as one body in Christ, so they could reveal Jesus to the world. Just like you and me!

Paul was in prison when he wrote this awesome epistle to encourage the Ephesians to never despair. We humans put too much focus on our leaders sometimes, rather than, as you said, upon the newness of life we have been given to have victory in our daily circumstances. This verse is a doxology, a solemn and jubilant celebration of the awesome power of God to heal hearts and souls, to redeem and root us more deeply in love and unity than we can ever even imagine possible! I often hear it quoted in terms of "getting" from God.
But, when we read the entire chapter 3 we see that the only thing Paul wanted the Ephesians to "get from God" was a life changing revelation of His amazing grace and boundless love!

As you noted, Eph. 5:14 sums it up. We need to wake up from the deadness of our sin and carnal desires and arise in the light, life and Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. It is so much bigger than ourselves. It's the opportunity to make the Kingdom of Heaven a reality now.

It is so hard to focus on God's glory when we are stuck in this human flesh with all our daily needs and struggles. Praise God for His Word that re-energizes our confidence and trust in the One who has loved us forever.

Thanks for your prayers. I am praying for your needs as well! God bless.
Reply Linda
12:00 PM on October 17, 2011 
Hi there, Lorraine, Thanks for the challenge of looking at Eph 3:20 in it's context. It seems the Ephesians were in danger of losing heart and of forgetting where they came from and where they are going (kind of like us, right?). They needed to be reminded that their lives were not futile, hopeless, and self centered any more...that they now had a purpose: walking in the newness of life as imitators of God. Like us, they didn't realize the battle they were in. They needed to be reminded that they could grow and mature in their understanding of God through Christ and experience the unity of the church. Like them, we forget and are deceived. I like Eph 5:14 "Awake, sleeper and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you". that kind of sums it up! I'm praying for Mike. God's timing is perfect. Bless you, Linda