The Power of the Holy Spirit
Dying to Yourself!
One thing to take note of, these Spiritual articles of are usually condensed versions of one or more hour sermons or lectures and are on subjects in which I have hands on experience with. They are not pre-prepared, they are not what I think; they are in God's word, they are what I have experienced in my own life and these things I know to be true.
"Dying to yourself" What does this really mean? I got on the subject a few years ago while discussing God and the Bible with an elderly Jewish man. This is not a widely taught subject, at least from the perspective that I am writing about. This may be a little controversial at first but take the ride and you just might learn something new that could change your world.
It all really started when I became filled with the Holy Spirit. Most believe that what is called "getting saved" (repenting and getting baptized) is also being filled with the Holy Spirit, or being born again in the Spirit like Jesus explained, but not always. John the Baptist taught repentance and water baptizing. He also taught that the one coming, Jesus, would be baptizing with the Holy Spirit and fire. Jesus said that believing, repenting, paying your tithes and all of those things are great, but not enough. The one thing lacking is to be reborn in the Spirit of God. You have read, "Lord I have done all of these things, what more must I do to be saved?" Jesus said, "That's great, you have been baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, but there is something that you lack, you must be born again by Spirit!
The Holy Spirit is the source of true wisdom, the healing of your body, your mind, your daily life, and the understanding of your place and duty in life. In short it is God's power working miracles in your life to make you whole, so that you in turn can focus your thoughts, your energy, and your time on doing the work of Christ in this world with Spiritual authority. Wisdom is the ability to understand deep truths of God and act upon them. The insight to foresee coming events by being able to recognize and discern the spiritual content of a given situation and having an ability to understand the functioning of the Spirit in the natural world around us, all to save the lost children of God, yet all are not, nor ever will be God's children. The Spirit of God provides the ability to discern between those who will be saved and those who will not. Please study the gifts of the Spirit.
I have found that being born again, or reborn in the Spirit of God gives one an uncanny way of functioning in many different facets of life. In short you get a quick understanding of many ways of life and are able to minister to people in their language on their turf. I go into the grease pits with mechanics, in the gutters with the homeless, in the homes and offices of the middle class and I have sat in conference with the extremely wealthy and powerful. I am fully able to function at each level, not because of my experience and education in the natural world, though they are vast and diverse, but because of the wisdom of God readily available at any given moment from the Spirit of God living in me. This is where God commands; study and show your self approved by God and ready to answer in wisdom on the moment and in any given situation.
I do all of those things and go all of those places without ever taking one thought for my own self, where will I get money and all of the other daily worries. This is also written in the Bible. Therefore I find little need to pray to God for any problem, need or whatever for my self. I only pray for Spiritual wisdom and guidance for myself. All of this is nothing special; it is the way that Jesus tells us to live. He said not to take one thought for any thing for your own self. He said do the work that you were sent here to do and the Father would take care of you, your needs and yours.
I look around and see tens of thousands of people who have repented, been baptized, go to church on a regular bases and yet years later they still battle to get their own lives straightened out and are out there banging away at trying to help others get their lives straightened out. "Big problem!" Paul said; "How is it that you are still in need of milk to nurse on; you should be on strong meat, healing people and even raising the dead!"
I am telling you that if you are a Christian and you are still battling to be an over-comer in your own life and you do all different kinds of things for other people and your life and their lives never gets better, something is missing, something is wrong! This is not to say that you will have no problems in your life, "O Contraire" you may have more than you fair share but they will not burden you down like they do others. They will be more in the order of Spiritual battles against evil.
The Bible teaches that people are drawn to God and drawn toward salvation by the Holy Spirit. Most people think that the Holy Spirit is God's Spirit floating out there somewhere and we have to somehow get in touch with it. "Another big problem!" The Holy Spirit is in side of God's real people. When a person of God, reborn in God's Spirit, walks into any given situation, without any prior knowledge or education concerning the situation, miracles happen. The right words and answers are instantly there. The right discernment and the right decisions are made right on the spot. People are instantly healed. People get saved and reborn. Devils flee and the enemy is exposed and diverted from their path. While all of this is going on, the Spirit filled person's personal life was not even a consideration and miraculously they are kept healed, filled, fed, clothed, fulfilled and in general, taken care of by God. That, my friend, is God's description of what should be a common, ordinary day in a Christian's life. That is a base of dying to yourself.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit requires dying to one's self. Crucifying your flesh. This does not mean things such as quitting smoking and drinking and washing your hands before you eat. It means changing the way you perceive things, the way you judge things, the way you act and react. This comes from intense study of the word of God. After all Jesus said that the power of life and death is in the words that you use. Every day many Christians are running around saying, "I am so blessed of the Lord, I crucify my flesh daily" and then they go off to their miserable personal lives because they are not living in the Spirit. Crucifying the flesh and dying to one's self requires strict discipline, fasting, control of thoughts and words and many other things. People who are Spirit filled are not busy making a career here on earth for themselves, accumulating worldly goods. The Bible says that we are sojourners in a strange land while we are here. We are here for one reason and one reason only. To save the lost children (people) of God. A soldier does not go to battle in a foreign land and set down roots, get a career in that land and settle in. Much the same you are here for a time as a soldier in Go's army.
To come upon Spiritual enlightenment Moses wondered, sought after God, starved and thirsted in the desert for forty years. Jesus had a much more intense, condensed session of forty days in the desert. Those forty days were much more dramatic and intense than you may know. Read it and pay attention to the small details. I can tell you that he did not just go out there and hang out. It was powerful and it was a matter of a battle of life and death. For me, it was a year of very little food, very little sleep, striping myself of fleshly satisfaction and comfort. In short I cleaned house, got rid of everything that did not directly relate to God or his work. This would include music, thoughts, excess possessions, everything. That was the beginning of walking in Spiritual Authority in my life. Every since then everything in my life, Spiritual and other wise has been added by, taken away by and sanctified by God. Like I said and the Bible teaches, it is the only reason you are here period.
Your mental, physical and emotional parts make up you, or your soul. Those elements have to come to the understanding that they are no longer the controlling factors in your life. They become weak and the Spirit grows strong. Paul was a very highly educated person in his time and had much life experience, a high position and wealth, but he said that he counted all of that as dung in comparison to the wisdom that he had gained in an instant from the Holy Spirit, which when he received he lost all the worldly things of his former pre-Christ life.
Jesus said many are called, few are chosen and very few will enter in to the Kingdom. He said that if we are lukewarm he WILL spew us out of his mouth like vomit. He also said that many will have use name, do things in his name, they will look like Christians and even worship like Christians, go to church, tithe, but they do not have the Power of the Holy Spirit and will perish in their end. These are the ones that he refers to when he said, in that day many will cry Lord, Lord we did this and that in your name and he will say depart from me evil doers for I knew you not. Your battle is not against flesh and blood it is against spiritual wickedness, and spiritual strongholds and authorities. You will never get anywhere in the Kingdom of God depending on your education, your knowledge, your experience, your words, your good works, your thoughts and your worries and emotions. The Bible says that the good works that you do for God and the word of God itself is fruitless and empty if not powered and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Many Christians read and speak God's word, full of the hope that it will work, but with no results, because it was not done in Spiritual authority. Faith is the key to all things. Faith is dead without works. Works are dead if they are not done in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So the next time that you say "I die daily to myself and I am so blessed of the Lord" ask your self, is it because the devil is beating on you and you are fighting for survival and struggling to keep it all together and you are blessed because you made it through another day? Are you living by your own knowledge, experience, education, by what you think or feel? Or are you saying it because you are more than a conqueror over your thoughts, flesh over demons, and that the Power of God is reigning victorious in and over your life and you know and see God making world and life changing moves in other people's lives around you, through you, being healed and their demons cast out? Are People around you being healed, are lives being put back together, are marriages and families being made whole because of the power of God in you? That is the question that we need to ask ourselves every day until our answer is a powerful, firm yes! Or is it that you are the one who really needs the help? I advise you to get yourself on a diet of strong meat! In other words give up whatever it takes and study to show yourself approved by God, ready to give answers at a moment, to all who seek answers for their lives from God; "that's what Jesus said!" Read what the Bible says about how you know when someone is a Christian.