Monday, January 26, 2015

Praying in the Spirit - James Tharp

...Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplica-tions for all the saints... (Ephesians 6:18). But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20).

When an unbeliever repents of sin and trusts in Jesus Christ as Savior, he or she is born again and given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The new Christian is to rely upon the Holy Spirit for power to live the Christian life.

The new believer will soon learn the need for more grace, more strength to resist temptations, and greater inspiration for worship and prayer. The sense of need should cause him/her to ask for the fullness of the Spirit (Luke 11:13). Unless a believer is filled with the Spirit, they will never be able to pray with the power and wisdom available for prayer.

Praying in the Spirit is needed in every life, every church, and every community. How desperately we need Spirit-filled prayer warriors in our nation at this period in our history.

Allow me to describe what it means to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit:

Praying in the Spirit is when the Christian intercessor is clothed with the might of God in holy intense intercession.

Praying in the Spirit is the highest and holiest and most powerful effort a child of God is capable of.

Praying in the Spirit is when we have been entrusted with Jesus’ burden to pray and weep over lost souls and carnal saints.

Praying in the Spirit is God’s plan to bring heaven’s power and heaven’s resources and heaven’s angels into action on earth.

Praying in the Spirit is when the Holy Spirit’s intercession in us here on earth agrees with Jesus’ intercession in heaven to bring the will of the Father to pass.

Praying in the Spirit is effectual, fervent praying by sanctified hearts that gets YES answers.

Praying in the Spirit is a holy partnership of intercession with Christ and the Holy Spirit for the extension of the Kingdom of God.

Praying in the Spirit is immersing oneself in a Spirit-assigned burden that sacrificially continues until heaven’s power is released and God’s will is done on earth.

Praying in the Spirit is the conduit through which the power of heaven is brought to earth.

Praying in the Spirit is the glorious ministry that unites us with the heartbeat and passion of our Lord Jesus.

Praying in the Spirit is the privilege, the responsibility, and the glory of prevailing prayer.

Praying in the Spirit is the most demanding, challenging, and spiritually opposed kind of praying, yet still the most anointed and rewarded kind.

May God forgive churches and Christian leaders for not training more believers for Spirit-anointed prayer.

Our only hope for revival in the church and the salvation of the masses is Spirit-anointed intercessors.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Spirit of Jesus - James Tharp

                             Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the
                        Lord is there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled
                        faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed
                        into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes
                        from the Lord, who is the Spirit (II Corinthians 3:17-18).

            When the Son of God became the son of man, He gave up all the privileges of deity. In emptying Himself of His former exalted state, He became the God-man. Now as God in the flesh, He trusted the Father’s plan for the success of His redemptive mission to earth.

            John the Baptist was the prophet God called to introduce Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and the One who would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:12). John also testified of Jesus, For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit (John 3:34). Since the Father could trust Jesus, He gave Him an unlimited measure of the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that our Lord was fully dependent on the Spirit for all His worship of the Father, His many miracles, and even His endurance of the traumatic suffering He experienced in His crucifixionwho through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God (Hebrews  9:14).

            We need to realize that from the time of our Lord’s baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordon River when the Holy Spirit descended on Him, He relied completely on the Spirit for all that He said and did. He answered the questions in the minds of His hearers as to the power by which He ministered by saying, The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19).

            Jesus sought to prepare His disciples for receiving the same Holy Spirit to carry out His orders to them to take His gospel to the ends of earth. He wanted them to rely upon the same Holy Spirit who had worked faithfully in His own life and ministry. He spoke to them, saying of the Spirit: He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you (John  16:13-14).

            The promise of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2:1-4: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

            The same Spirit that had filled Jesus, empowering Him for His ministry, now filled His messengers for living the Christian life and for proclaiming His gospel to the world. Even the enemies of Christ who had crucified Jesus noticed that the apostles of Jesus reminded them of what they had seen and heard from Jesus. When they (members of the Sanhedrin who had condemned Jesus) saw the courage of Peter and John and realized they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say (Acts 4:13-14).

            The good news is that any Christian believer who hungers for the fullness of the Holy Spirit may ask, believe, and receive this same Spirit of Jesus. No Christian life is complete without His power to love, pray, worship, obey the Scriptures, and walk in holiness and power. Living in the power of the Spirit is a joyful life, something which too many Christians do not experience.

            Isn’t it time for us to trade in our weaknesses for the power of the Spirit of Jesus in our lives. When Christ called us to follow Him, He never intended that we live merely by our own strength. He intended that we trust His promise and live by His Spirit.