Sunday 20th May, 2018 [Pentecost/Evangelism Sunday]
Hymn of meditation: PH 263
Thou gracious Holy Spirit,
Come Lord and dwell in me.
My first birth is flesh and blood,
Grant me new birth, I pray.
God Holy Spirit Lord,
From God the Father and Son,
The Holy Trinity share,
We praise Thy Holy Name.
I thank God for the privilege He has given me to share with you on this blessed Pentecost day. Today marks the birth of the Church. It is a symbolic day for the body of Christ and my prayer is that, as we spend time in His presence, something new will be birthed in our spirit, we will be quickened and the fire of the Holy Ghost will descend upon us and cause us to go out there and work exploits for our King. When the day of Pentecost fully came, men who were weak and could not do anything, men who had denied Jesus and could not preserve the Gospel even after the death and resurrection of Christ, men who had gone back into fishing, suddenly stood and declared the word of God in all boldness and did not care about what happened to them. This is the same time in which we find ourselves, and I believe everything that is dead in our lives will come back to life after we prophesy unto them just as the Prophet did and bones came together, flesh covered them and the Spirit of God entered.
We are here in this important season of our lives to enjoy the goodness of the Lord because He has equipped us by His Spirit in the name of Jesus to go out there and change lives: that is our assignment. We are ambassadors of Christ, reconciling the world back to God. We are not just church members, we are representatives of Jesus Christ, chosen to shine as light and bring flavour as salt.
Today, we are going to talk about something quite unique. Isaiah 11:1-5 tells us of the sovereign Spirit of God:
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”
The Bible is revealing to us a character or nature of God even before Jesus was born. From the chapter 6, the Prophet begun to prophecy about the Messiah who was to come. Then in chapter 11, he presented to us the character of the God who was going to dwell among His people; that is why my message today is sub-titled: “The Jesus Generation”. God being among His people; a generation that has the attributes of God in them, especially our men who are the leaders and heads of our homes and communities.
- THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD
Many times, we hear about the Spirit of the Lord leading people, but what is the Spirit of the Lord?
The very first introduction of the Spirit of the Lord is in Genesis 1 when God created the heavens and the earth. Bible tells us that the earth was without form and void then the Spirit of the Lord moved upon the surface of the deep and God spoke to bring creation into fruition. The Spirit of the Lord represents the weight, the power and sovereignty of God, the glory and everything He is. The Spirit has characteristics which is what 1 Corinthians 12 talks about; the supernatural gifts: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, prophesy, diverse kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, faith and the gift of healing. These constitute the 9 “powerlines” of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:19-23 also explains the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
The nature of a thing determines how its character is expressed, so, when we talk of the Spirit of the Lord, we are describing the totality and very essence of the great King you and I serve whom Bible says, shall be upon the Son, Jesus. We pray that all men will have the Spirit of the Lord God at work in them.
- THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM
Wisdom is the ability to appropriate knowledge to your life and that of others. It is the ability to know what to do with the information that you have. The Bible also attributes the Spirit of wisdom to Jesus. May all our men walk in the same Spirit.
- THE SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING
This is the superior power of discernment and enlightened intelligence; the ability to comprehend. Many times, you talk to people and wonder how and what they think about. The enemy is very crafty in making people lack understanding into what they wish to do and understanding into the Word of God. In explaining the parable of the sower, Jesus told the followers concerning those who lost the Word after receiving it that “they lacked understanding”. In other words, it is easy to hear even this Word and just take it as a nice thing to the ear, simply admiring the preacher and the style without knowing what the message was all about. I pray that, that Spirit that was on Jesus which gave Him superior understanding in discernment will make you discern that which is right.
God is passionate about seeing all men conform to the image of His Son. There is a lot of pain in the heart and soul of God when He sees any of His sons not fulfilling this mandate. I am not referring to the world’s understanding that one has which can be obtained through books and understand how things work but understanding the ways of God. May all men here walk in this Spirit of understanding; superior power of discernment and enlightened intelligence which only comes from the Holy Spirit.
- THE SPIRIT OF COUNSEL
One with the Spirit of counsel is a confidential advisor who has an opinion in giving and directing the judgement of conduct of another; to will others to live wisely. When you have the Spirit of counsel you are able to break down God’s judgement and make things easy for others to understand. Everything in scripture is God’s judgement.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
The only way you can keep God’s judgment and do them is when you have the Spirit of counsel, and that becomes your strength. Often, God gives us wisdom but the ability to express His counsel is sometimes found wanting. You know what is right, but to be able to present the right thing to your spouse to understand the mind of God is sometimes difficult.
Many years ago, I had a very good friend who got saved together with me before we both left for England, but I didn’t really know her in terms of her spirituality. After our second child she gave me some furniture when my family moved into our new flat. Along the line, the Lord spoke to me about who she really was and said to me that all the difficulties in the house was because of her and the furniture in the house so we needed to move them out.
I hesitated because the woman in question had been my friend for over 10 years, we are all tongue-talking believers, how could she possibly not be of God. So, for over three months I did not believe what the Holy Spirit was telling me. Eventually, He showed me many things until I came to understand that she was truly evil. I prayed about it for some time, looking for a way to tell my husband who did not believe me until after 6 months when God revealed to my husband personally. Many things were destroyed at home in the interim; lots of confusion and crisis.
Immediately we moved the furniture out of the house, things begun to turn around for good because God in His own wisdom showed my husband what was happening at home.
We have to know how to express the knowledge, the wisdom and grace that God has given to us. It is often difficult to convince our men, especially when they raised us.
- THE SPIRIT OF MIGHT
Superior strength and power; the ability given by God to accomplish an assignment or a given task. Hollywood has deceived us to think of Samson as a macho man, a big man with lots of muscles. Samson was an average person without strength but when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, then he was able to kill thousands with the jaw bone of an ass and pick up the heavy gate of the city.
Sometimes, people know what to do but ability to be able to do it is lacking which is why the Spirit of might is so important. If we must fulfil the mandate of God upon our lives, then we need it. Many people know what to do but some do not care, others do not have the strength to do it because the weight of doing it is so great.
- THE SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE
We come into knowledge through acquaintance with truth, facts or principles from study or from everyday life.
My mother is an example of one who did not have enough education. She was just a class 2 drop-out but through everyday life experience, gathered all the knowledge she required in her business and financial life. She did not lack nor owe anybody anything all her life. She knew how to make wealth and keep it.
This knowledge that God is expecting us to have is one that helps us to understand His ways and walk in them, just as Jesus knew how to walk the earth as human and yet, still live without sin.
- THE SPIRIT OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD
To walk in awe and reverence God. If you fear God, you will not look at another woman twice nor cheat on your husband. If you fear the Lord, you will not do things that are ungodly. Job declares that “I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look at another woman lustfully”. All of us can decide to be like Job because there is hell and there is heaven. We can have all the beautiful things on this earth, lust after everything and acquire them thinking that is the end of it but no, it is not the end. The end is death and judgment.
I need you all to come out today knowing that if you have to live a life pleasing to God, then you must walk in the fear of the Lord and all the seven spirits that are made available to us. Bible says that if you have these spirits at work in you, you will not judge by sight nor decide by the hearing of the ear but judge all things in righteousness. It is righteousness that will make you do the right things and cause you to understand the ways of God. It will cause you to fear God and run away from evil.
There is hope for our families as the Prophet said in Ezekiel 37, though the situation in your family may appear dead, as you prophesy and speak God’s mind over that situation, it will come back to life. We serve a faithful and loving Father who has called us to a very important journey that requires we live a holy and righteous life. If we should listen to Him and walk according to the seven Spirits in Isaiah 11:1-5, we will make good our lives here and definitely hit heaven in the name of Jesus.