Posts Tagged 'The Holy Spirit'

Demonic Possession

JESUS SPEAKING

     When an evil spirit comes out of a man, he goes through dry places seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to the house from which I came.’ And when he arrives, he finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then he goes and takes seven other spirits, more wicked than himself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11: 24-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     Evil spirits, although often considered to be a myth, are very real. They dwell within the hearts of those who deny God. When an individual receives Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, all demonic apparitions are expelled; the child of God is set free; the chaos and devastation of evil living subsides and the believer ceases to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Their hearts are purified as well, and their minds are quieted. However, the dispossessed demons are not satisfied unless they are causing misery and pain. As a result, they will often return to their previous hosts, stronger and more determined than ever. They then attempt to tear the faithful away from God. Sadly, some may fall victim to their schemes and reject the Holy Spirit. Without the Lord’s protection, the blasphemer is again invaded by demons and their lives are plummeted back into destruction; a carnage far worse than they had previously known.
    I once met a man who had been a pastor for many years. After receiving the Holy Spirit, his life began to change in wonderful ways. He experienced an immense peace and began to preach the gospel with great enthusiasm. He served the Lord for many years until suddenly renouncing the faith. Soon after denying Christ, he began willfully engaging in sexually deviant behaviors with multiple partners; he also started smoking and boasted to me of his severe daily dependence upon alcohol. Additionally, as an atheist, he began actively attempting to turn others away from the faith. I would occasionally see him out in the community from time to time; and he appeared to be physically and mentally deteriorating (a condition I could only attribute to demonic possession.)
     Demons are very real; they roam the earth, attempting to possess those who are weak. Individuals who receive the Holy Spirit are no longer capable of being possessed. Unfortunately, some believers do eventually reject the Holy Spirit. In turn, they are repossessed by evil spirits and their lives plummet into even greater chaos. Maintaining our close relationship with God through prayer, bible reading, fellowship, and obedience, is the best way to defend against evil spirits. If you have never received the Spirit of God and you would like too, please contact me and I can lead you in a prayer of acceptance and faith.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, give us more of Your Holy Spirit. Deliver us from the evil one and protect us from demonic attacks. Remain in us and continue to work through us; give us the strength to endure, that we may never turn away from You. May we always continue in Your ways; and may we never return to the bondage of sin and death. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray, amen.” God bless all of you!

Christ’s Replacement

JESUS SPEAKING

    “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14: 25-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    The Lord informed his disciples that he would soon be taken away from them. In His absence, He promised to send them a replacement; a helper; someone to guide and direct them; a spiritual entity that would remind them of all of His teachings. After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven; having reached His eternal position, He sent the Holy Spirit into the hearts and minds of every believer (beginning on the day of Pentecost.) The disciples began to speak in foreign languages; they were given the power and authority to forgive sins; to cast out demons; to raise the dead; and to heal the sick. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was, and is, proof that Jesus Christ did reach His destination. Today the work of the Spirit confirms that He is still seated at the right hand of God; a place of honor from which He continues to guide and direct His church.
    In the early 20th century a bold and daring explorer named Roald Amundsen set out to reach the remote poles of the earth. He succeeded in reaching the South Pole in 1911, and the North Pole in 1926. As the story goes, during his northern journey, he took along a homing pigeon (homing pigeons mate for life; in turn, when separated from their mates they have a unique ability to return to their nests from anywhere in the world. Before leaving for the North Pole, Amundsen, not wanting his wife to worry, promised to release the pigeon when he reached his destination; when the bird arrived at its nest in Norway, his wife was elated. The pigeon was a symbol; a message proclaiming that although the explorer had arrived in a distant land, he was very much alive.
    The Holy Spirit is also a symbol; it is a message and a reminder that Jesus Christ still lives. Many have received the message; still others have not. Those who have opened their hearts to God’s messenger have acknowledged that Jesus is their Lord and master. That He is a living God; that He currently guides and directs His church through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you have never received His gift, go somewhere quiet, and ask God to provide you with the Spirit of Truth. The Lord will never withhold this wonderful thing from those who genuinely ask Him.
     “Lord Heavenly Father, we believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and that He is seated at Your right hand. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit; guide and direct us; teach us and remind us of Your ways. May we be faithful believers; may we never waiver; may we never grow weary, and may we never turn away from Your truth. May You continue to use us to fulfill Your will in this place, until the time when we will see You again, face to face. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Relying on God’s Power

JESUS SPEAKING

    Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me this very night, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”  Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you that this very night, before the rooster crows, you shall deny me three times.”  Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mathew 26: 31-35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

   After rejecting Christ’s prophecy, Peter vainly exalted himself above the other disciples, saying, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  Despite his best efforts, he would go on to deny the Lord three times before morning.  To strengthen His followers, Jesus promised to eventually send a replacement; and after his resurrection and ascension, he fulfilled His commitment. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples received the Holy Spirit.  Immediately after receiving God’s Spirit, Peter’s zeal was restored; prompting him to enter a crowded temple and boldly preach the gospel.  Leaning on his own strength, Peter had denied Christ three times; but relying on God’s power, he proclaimed Christ without fear.  Peter would go on to endure beatings, imprisonment, and even death for spreading Christ’s message.

   Peter shares his experience of divine empowerment with some other notable men of the bible.  While the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, a young Hebrew man named Moses believed it was his destiny to free his people.  One day he observed an Egyptian taskmaster beating one of his countrymen.  Filled with rage and a sense of duty, he killed the Egyptian.  In an effort to conceal his crime, he buried the body beneath the sand.  However, the body was quickly discovered, and a few days later, Moses’ life was in jeopardy.  Defeated and alone, he fled to the desert and became a shepherd; caring for livestock for decades.  At approximately 80 years old, God appeared to him and instructed him to return to Egypt to free his people.  He responded by proclaiming to God that he wasn’t ‘the right man for the job.’  He no longer believed he was capable of accomplishing the task.  A previously prideful and self-reliant young man had become an old man who realized his own weakness (apart from God); he was finally ready to be used by the Lord.  Relying on his own power, the young Moses hadn’t been able to bury even a single Egyptian.  But the mature Moses, utilizing God’s power, led his enslaved nation to freedom, and buried the entire Egyptian army beneath the waves of the red sea.

    Western culture often promotes self-reliance; but in divine culture reliance upon God is paramount.  Is there anything in your life that you are trying to accomplish on your own?  Are you struggling to endure a difficult trial unaided?  Our best efforts will never rival the works of God.  No matter how large the obstacle, or how great the need, if we humble ourselves, we can harness the power of the one true and living God. Only then will we be able to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 13.)

   “Lord Heavenly Father, You are an awesome and amazing God. Apart from You we are weak and insufficient.  Become our strength, that we might rely upon You instead of ourselves.  Give us victory over the things that cause us to stumble. Help us to stand firm, to endure, and to overcome.  May our hearts be humble and our lives filled with joy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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