By Donna Rude
A king once lay ill in his bedchambers. He called for the royal physician to bring medicine for his ailing stomach. But before the physician could arrive, a messenger delivered a secret letter, accusing the physician of plotting to murder the king. “Receive no medicine from the doctor’s hand,” read the letter, “it will be poison.”
The king had the letter under his pillow just moments before the royal physician arrived with a goblet filled with a medical potion. “Trust me, sire,” said the doctor. “This medicine will cure your stomach.”
I trust you, said the king. Reaching beneath his pillow, he took the accusing letter and handed it to the doctor while at the same time reaching for the goblet. “what is this?” asked the dr. “read it,” said the king. Then the king lifted the goblet and drank the potion.
The dr read the letter, then looked up in shock. “Your Highness, this letter is nothing but lies! I would never harm you!”
“I believe you,” said the king, “and I trust you completely-see?” the king held out the goblet. He had drunk every drop. By the next morning , he was recovered. He had demonstrated his complete trust in his physician.
And this is where we are in our new studies…trusting in Gods promises.
The scripture I had chosen is in Ezekiel 36:26-27 NLT…Here the Lord is speaking…”and I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you, I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
There are actually 2 promises within this verse…new heart and a new spirit but they actually work together. We cannot have a new heart without a new spirit. It cannot happen.
We know we are born with only 1 heart but the Lord isn’t talking here about our physical hearts is he. He is concerned about our spiritual hearts. The heart is a symbol of the deep things within is. Because of the fall of man through Adam and Eve, we are born with a sinful heart. It is stony, hard, stubborn, self centered. We think for ourselves and live for ourselves. It is no longer responsive to the ways of the Lord as it was when Adam once walked with God in garden. Jeremiah tells us in verse 17:9 the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Before Gods Spirit was given there was an intricate system of sacrifices and rituals designed to focus the faith of Gods people and to cleanse their lives. Only by a renewed cleansing could the people be brought into His presence.
In the OT, the tabernacle is a picture of Gods dwelling place with His people. But Gods plan was for His Spirit not to remain there. He promises in Ezekiel 37:27 “My dwelling place will be with THEM, referring to His people. Paul instructs the Corinthians this in 1 Cor 3:16 ,”don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in You? In 2 Cor, Paul once again needs to remind the Corinthians the words of the Lord… “ I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God , and they will be my people.
Such a wonderful promise isn’t it. And we can lay hold of that promise through our faith in Jesus Christ. I like to read some scriptures in the 1 st person, Makes it more personal, which it is what our relationship with Christ should be..personal. Eph 1:14 can read…As I believed in Christ, He identified me as His own by giving me the Holy Spirit whom he promised long ago. The spirit is Gods guarantee that He will give me the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased me to be his own child.
Our Father knows how to give good gifts, doesn’t he…thank you Lord for the gift of your son and your spirit.
Ray Stedman says this about the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God in us is the same spirit that hovered over the waters before creation. As God was @ work in the universe, He is at work with as He dwells with in us. He brings light out of darkness, brings shape out our shapelessness, form out our formlessness and life out of our lifelessness.
A new heart and a new spirit he promised us… Here are 10 attributes that the Lord showed me to share with you of what His Spirit does within us and for us:
• The Spirit of God within us, allows us to see things into the spiritual realm where the natural man or non regenerated man cannot see. A promise of Gods…
2 Cor 4:6For God who said, “let there be light in darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Christ Jesus.
Everyone can use a microscope or a telescope to see the tiny organisms that exist in this world, but God only allows those He dwells in to have a spiritual scope to see the whole picture, the spiritual realm the realm in which he is working in to fulfill His purposes. Otherwise, like others we are left to see what is only right in front of us. But there is more, isn’t their ladies!!
• The Spirit gives us understanding. Psalm 119:104 n 105 ,” your word gives me understanding…your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. His view of the world and the world around us, we cannot understand apart from His Spirit through His Word. Our own lives, our neighbors, relatives, friends, or even life itself is too much to understand. But with the understanding of the Lord it is possible.
• Gods Spirit shows us our purpose. Ephesians 2:10 “for we are Gods masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will fulfill His purpose in me.” Everything has a purpose in life whether we realize it or not. Everything God created has a purpose. From the oceans and the lands, to plants and animals, to the sun, moon and stars. Jesus Christ had a purpose. To be born for us, to be our example, to die for us, and to be our Savior. Why wouldn’t man have a purpose?
Isaiah 43:7 tells us we do. The Lord says I have made them, referring to His people, for my glory…..an awesome thought..we were created for His glory”. My husband and I are watching all of the Little house on the prairie series together every night, and a few nights ago an old man was talking to Charles about a old tree. He said, “its strength is shared with the earth and its beauty is shared with all. The Lord immediately gave me a thought of His Spirit. ..
His Spirit is shared with all who believe, but His beauty IS all who receive. We are His glory.
Without his spirit, as a whole we live for ourselves. It’s a vicious cycle. Eat, drink and be merry till we die… Work m-f wait for the weekend to come around to do something fun. We then wait for retirement to relax and travel . This may be the way of the world , but it is not the way of one who has Gods spirit living in Him. He wants our focus to change, our perspectives to change. And it does when we receive His Spirit. His spirit leads us to look ahead, to the hope of Glory, we do things out of love because His love dwells within us. We do things to receive an eternal prize. We hold on to his promises that life doesn’t end when we take our last breath as a believer, it is just the beginning. It has been said For the unbeliever, they are born once and die twice, but for us, the believer with a new spirit, we are born twice and die once.
• With Gods Spirit, we find true meaning of righteousness peace and joy. Romans 14:17 tells us, “that the kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. All men and women hunger for these 3 things, but its only God who imparts these things to them.
Our righteousness is found positionally with our relationship in Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 1:30” But by His doing we are in Christ Jesus, We are made right with God, pure and holy.
The second one…Peace, the world seeks it amongst the nations and people. This is superficial peace. Only God can imparts peace that is lasting even in uncertain times. Phil 4:7 tells us Gods peace will exceed anything we can understand. It will guard our hearts minds as we live in Christ Jesus.
The 3rd thing men and women seek…Joy. Gods spirit gives us deep joy despite our circumstances, goes beyond happiness that depends on circumstances. David in Psalm 16:11 says “ you will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever!
• The 5th thing the Spirit of God gives us is power. Scripture tells us in Acts 1:8, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” This is a silent invisible power unlike any other power known to man. This power is unavailable to those who do not know Christ, who have not put their faith in Christ, this but is power IS available to ALL those who have called upon His name. It is the most dramatic and powerful source of power, it is His resurrected power.
• His spirit in us convicts us of our sin. Jesus tells us in John 16:8, : when he comes, referring to the Holy Spirit, he will convict the world of its sin.” There is a new spirit within us that will not let us compromise ourselves with evil forever. We may battle with our flesh periodically as Paul tells us in Galatians that there are 2 forces that are constantly at battle with one another, but we know we are overcomers of the flesh when we walk in the Spirit of the Lord !
• His spirit sets aside our guilt.. cleanses us. Paul tells us in 1Cor 6:11 “that were cleansed, we were made holy, we were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God! So thankful for this. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1…we can proceed in our daily lives with calmness, courage and confidence to take hold of life and deal with it instead of letting our past dictate our future because we are bogged down with guilt!
• His Spirit gives us absence of fear. 1john 4:19 tells us that God is love and all who live in love live in God. Such love has no fear, because perfect love cast out all fear.
Heard a pastor once say a Christian by faith, not by nature, should be completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble. As the apostle paul was a perfect example. We should be likewise!!
• Gods Spirit imparts wisdom/spiritual truths to us. When paul speaks to the Corinthians in 1cor2:13, he tells them, “when we tell you these things we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit. Using the Spirits words to explain spiritual truths.”
I once heard a story I’d like to share that goes along with this teaching… a seasoned teacher who applied for a teaching job was turned down for a younger teacher who had only 3 years of experience. The 1st teacher protested to the principal, “ive had 25 years experience, so why was I passed over in favor of this youger teacher of 3 years? The principal replied…”well I have to disagree with you. You haven’t had 25 years experience, you’ve had 1 years experience 25 times!”
It is not the accumulation of years that make people wise, it is what God has taught them through the years.
This is so true and so sad of many people..Without The Lord imparting to us his wisdom way can go through life, repeating the same way of thinking and never learn wisdom.
Theres a poem by Henry Van Dyke, an American author, educator, and clergyman of the late 1800s that I found on a post it in my bible the other day, and Im trying to read it it everyday before reading the scriptures: heres what it says…Lord grant me wisdom and knowledge that I need, to solve the questions of my mind, please light my candle while I read to keep my heart from going blind. Enlarge my vision to behold, the wonders You have done of old.
• His His Spirit brings life. Jesus tells his disciples in John 6:63 “that it is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life. Praise the Lord that God gave us His Spirit and that we may have life and more abundantly!!
Even the Scriptures and the Spirit you cannot separate the 2. The bible without the spirit leads to dullness, boredom. Doesn’t make sense. But with the spirit, the scriptures come to life. It’s a relationship with the one who breathed these words in this book to life.
We should be so thankful and grateful to God to cure our wicked hearts by giving us His Spirit…His son
If you have seen these attributes of God Spirit at work in you, you can have complete confidence that you have Gods promise of a new heart and a new spirit within you.
If you have asked the Lord to be your Savior, but do not see the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, that doesn’t mean you are not a Christian. It means you haven’t surrendered your heart to Him. There is a responsibility on our part. But that’s a whole nother Bible study. Just seek 1st the kingdom of God and all of His promises will be added unto you! TTodays study is that His promises are here for you. They are yours to lay hold of.