EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT – ACTS 1:8
July 20, 2018
The Lord’s sheep know His voice. One of the ways the Lord has spoken to His people since the beginning has been prophetically. The scriptures are clear about visions, angelic visitations, prophecy, and dreams. Jesus sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower His people to hear His voice and move in the power of the Spirit as a testament of the resurrected Christ, the living Word of God (Acts 1:8).
With every outpouring of the Spirit, there is an accompanying increase of prophecy, visions, and dreams as well as signs that make people wonder. We cannot pray for a move of God without expecting an increase of the Spirit with fire (Luke 3:16) as well as the increase of the life, light, and love of the presence of God.
The quality of any relationship is determined by the quality of our communication. Prophecy (God speaking to our hearts) helps to keep our day-to-day relationship with the Lord fresh, which is why the Scripture encourages us to “especially” seek this gift and not to “quench the Spirit” (1 Cor. 14:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).
Hearing the Lord’s voice is the manna that renews our minds and sustains our daily walk with the Lord – the source of our life. Jesus called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. The apostle Paul revealed the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation who prayed, “For the Father of glory may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the KNOWLEDGE of HIM. So that the eyes of your heart are enlightened that you may know…”(Ephesians 1:17-18).
A ministry of the Spirit is to reveal Christ to us. As the apostle, Paul said, we have received “The light that shines in our hearts to reveal the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:6). We thus need to know the Holy Spirit better; whom the Lord said ”Shall dwell with you and shall be in you” (John 14: 17).
If we do not want to be deceived by the false, we need to be able to discern that which is true. Those who cannot discern true prophecy will be increasingly subject to the false. It is imperative that we distinguish His revelation from the enemy’s with the ability to interpret His message correctly and apply them with wisdom.
To deny equipping the people in their prophetic gifts, (Eph. 4:11) or to quench the prophetic gifting of the people in our midst, is to reject the testimony of Jesus, for “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). If the people are not able to discern the Lord’s voice correctly, they will become weak and easily deceived.
Prophecy was never intended to replace the Bible, and the Bible was never intended to replace prophecy. As Jesus taught, we must know both the Scriptures and the power of God (Mt. 22:29). We need a union of sound Biblical doctrine AND the power of God in order to do the works that Jesus called us to do.
The Scriptures are permanent and are given to build our lives upon, while prophecy is given for edification, exhortation, and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3). Prophecy also has the power to strategically keep us in the day–to- day will of the Lord.
As we see when God spoke in the beginning to a world in darkness, void and without form (Genesis 1:1), His voice brings life where there is death, light where there is darkness and order where there is chaos. Such is the power of His Word.
God has a heart and His heart has a voice. The Church is called to be the voice of the Lord, to speak words that bring restoration, healing and renewal – the evidence of His love. To call forth life where there is death, to bring forth light where there is darkness and minister a word that builds up the body of Christ in love (Eph. 4:16).
The prophet Isaiah saw a time when great darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. He also saw the Lord rising upon His people with a glory that will shine even brighter. So much so, that His glory will be visibly seen upon His people. The Gentiles will come to their light and Kings to the brightness of their rising to partake of His glory and take it to the Nations (Is. 60:1-3).
You have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to rise and shine with the light of His glory to be a voice for such a time as this.
In His heart with joy – Roy