Posts Tagged promise

My Buddy

John 14: 16 – 17

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

I started to send you scriptures today which show the Holy Spirit as the promise of God, there are quite a few, but perhaps you have already come to that conclusion. This scripture from Haggai spells it out simply enough, “As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!” (Haggai 2: 5). This scripture is great assurance that God fulfilled the promise He made. The bigger question, therefore, may be, why is this so important? What does the fulfillment of this promise mean to me? That is the question I would like to attempt to answer today.

Jesus was the first to teach about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was referred to by many prophets and writers, but Jesus told us about the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. We find key language in today’s verse. Jesus called the Holy Spirit our “Helper.” If you check this word in your Strong’s Concordance or even in the footnotes, you find the word here which is translated into English as helper also means comforter, intercessor and most interesting of all, one who is called to go alongside. This is the idea I would like you take away from today’s Word of the Day. The Holy Spirit was sent to us by God as a fulfillment of His promise so that we would have a constant companion, someone who will go along beside us regardless of the circumstance.

It is remarkable that God, at the request of Jesus, would send His Own Spirit to be our companion. Even more remarkable, though, is that this cohort, this third person of the Trinity, is called to walk along beside us. This should give even greater insight to the idea of partnership with the Holy Spirit. God didn’t send us a boss. There is absolutely nothing tyrannical in our relationship with the Spirit. At the deepest level of truth, Father God sent us a friend, a buddy. That is the key revelation of the Holy Spirit. That is the revelation that could, and dare I say, should, change your life forever.

There is so much more that he does for us but it all flows from this relationship, or friendship. He is our teacher, an intercessor, he assists us in prayer. He is the Spirit of Truth and leads us in all truth. He is our guide and our confidante. The big revelation, though, is that he is your friend. He is with you every moment of your life. He is the breath in your lungs. There is a scripture which says, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (Proverb 18: 24). This is the Spirit, the living water which quenches our thirst. This is our friend.

The Promise of the Spirit

Joel 2: 28 – 29

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

This is the leading Old Testament verse which told about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Here God promises to, not only send the Spirit, but to pour out the Spirit on all humanity, even those of no rank or position. Even the servants and those of the lowliest station are entitled to this special gift from God.

There is so much rich text and meaning in this verse that we could mine from it for a week. However, there is one word in it that I want to bring to your attention. It is the word “pour.” God has promised not a trickle, not a drip but rather a continuous pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is represented in Scripture as a river or flowing waters. John 7: 37 – 39 is a good example of this, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit.’” The flowing river of living water is the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is apropos that God should pour out this living water upon us.”

The anointing in the Holy Spirit is reflective of the Old Testament anointing which was accompanied by oil being poured over the anointed. Again, this spiritual gifting is represented by a pouring out.
The Old Testament saints did not know the Spirit as the poured out one as New Testament believers do. They knew him as a promise. In fact, few people knew anything about him other than him being a promise from God. Interestingly, of the 248 or so scriptures about the Holy Spirit, only about 44 are from the Old Testament. However, God was speaking to His prophets about this pouring out. It may interest you to discover that there are six more Old Testament scriptures which specifically address the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (See list below).

The significance of this pouring is distinguishable from a onetime gift or offering. God doesn’t just give us the Spirit one time. He continually pours out to those who continually seek Him. Don’t forget too, that we can seek more of the Spirit just as we seek the Father because they are both God.

Every person has a measure of the Spirit of God. When God breathed life into us, a piece of His Spirit was deposited within us. We are able to receive much more than that now, however. The Spirit is no longer a promise. He has been poured out. What the Old Testament prophets foretold, we now behold. The initial pouring out is described in Acts 2: 1 – 4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” This is the fulfillment of that which was promised in Joel 2: 28 -29. Everyone who wishes can now be filled by the never ending pouring out. It can be compared to a water fall. The water continually pours over and onto anyone who chooses to stand in the flow. You can stay in that flow just as long as you wish. It is God’s delight to give you more and more. He is pouring. Are you receiving?

See Also: Isaiah 32: 15, Isaiah 44: 3, Ezekiel 36: 27, Ezekiel 39: 29, Proverb 1: 23, Zechariah 12: 10).

Inheritance

Ephesians 3: 14

Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

This is the follow up verse to yesterday’s Word of the Day. There was so much contained in the two verses that I had to split them apart. Yesterday we discovered that we are sealed in Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Today we find that this Spirit was given to us as a pledge. When you look up the word “pledge” you find that it means “a solemn promise.” We learned yesterday that the Holy Spirit himself is a promise. Now we discover that he is also the pledge, the symbol of another promise. God has given us a pledge that we are His heirs, that we have an inheritance in Him.

Normally I think of an inheritance only being effective when someone dies. In this case, the Father cannot die but He gave everything to Jesus then we became Jesus’ heirs at the cross. We are heirs to everything God has and the Holy Spirit was given as the solemn promise that we have an inheritance in Christ.

Paul also points to redemption. His writing tells us that we are the heirs of God in Christ Jesus but upon the view from our window also looks out upon redemption as God’s own possession, as His beloved. In this understanding of who we are in Christ, heirs of his bounty and the redeemed that we offer praise to the Father for the Glory He has shown us and for the radiance of His son shining upon us bathing us in the Father’s glory eternally. Did you notice, though, that redemption is not our inheritance? Paul in writing about a pledge given in evidence of our inheritance says, “with a view to the redemption.”

In the limited scope of our thinking redemption is enough. However, to God it is only the means to the other and greater things He has for us. It is a means by which we can enjoy the inheritance He has set aside for us. That is pretty big. Apparently, we are not beggars sitting at the castle gates waiting for crumbs to be cast in our direction. We are, in fact, God’s inheritance. We are what he gained through Jesus’ sacrifice. The trade has been made on our behalf and on God’s. Jesus traded everything God had for everything we are. Not much of a deal, I grant you but there you go. Parents are just that way. They will give you everything even though most of the time we are not worth it.

The inheritance is yours now. You can begin enjoying it today or tomorrow or next year. You can wait until you get to heaven to start enjoying it if you like, but why would you? You have been given a promise. Cash it in!

Wax Seals

Ephesians 1: 13

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the holy Spirit of promise.

I know that was a lot of text to take in so we will focus on parts of it. The first thing I want you to see is the companion word to the Holy Spirit. Paul calls him the Spirit of promise. If you look up all the references to the Holy Spirit in the Bible you will find that he is often linked with the word promise and this is not the only place he is called the Spirit of promise.

Way back in the Old testament times, God promised the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2: 28). He wasn’t the only one to promise us the gift of the Holy Spirit. In John 16: 7 Jesus said that it was to our advantage that he leave because in leaving he could and would send to us the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit has been promised you by both the Father and the Son. Now, some people say that receiving the Holy Spirit is automatic. Maybe, but I have noticed that the gifts of the Father are not usually automatic. We have to reach out and receive them. Receiving anything from the Father is an intentional act.

Regardless of your position on that argument the end is the same. If you have any doubt as to whether you have received the promise of the Holy Spirit, all you have to do is ask the Father and reach out, by faith, or in faith, and receive. God is not withholding the Spirit from you. In the same message to the disciples Jesus said, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it “(John 14: 14). So the promise is for you and receiving the promises of God are as easy and reaching out to Jesus, believing he will give what you ask.

I also want you to see from this passage that you are “sealed” in someone. Who is that someone? It is Jesus. You are sealed in Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the sealant. Often, when I hear about seals I think of the old timey wax seals people used for letters and documents. Imagine, if you will, an envelope. On the back of the envelope there is a seal of red wax and in the center is the insignia of the one who sealed the envelope. The envelope is Jesus. The seal bears the initials “HS” and the content of the envelope, well, that is you. You are sealed in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can break that seal. That is powerful imagery to me. We are completely enveloped in the loving, protective embrace of Jesus with the Holy Spirit making an impenetrable barrier from the world outside.

Paul’s writing can be convoluted and sometimes a bit difficult. Afterall, he was trained as a lawyer. However, I also believe he chose his words selectively, but not only that. He wrote under the unction of the Holy Spirit so when he wrote that we were sealed in Jesus by the Holy Spirit of promise, I think he used those specific words in order to reveal important elements of our life IN Christ. Sometimes you have to meditate on Paul’s writings for the meanings to become apparent but it is so worth it.

Hold Fast

Hebrews 10: 23

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

The book of Hebrews is known for its sound teachings on faith and this is one of the resounding statements which reveals faith, what it looks like and how it behaves. It is easiest to build your faith paradigm by beginning at the end, “He who promised is faithful.” Our first step is to resolve, in our hearts, that God is faithful. Along this line you may remind your heart that God is unable to lie. If He said it, He will do it. What has He said though?

This is the second point of assurance. We can speak to God directly. He will speak with you personally. He also often speaks through another person. However, there is an anchor for these means of communication which will give you greater confidence. It is His Word. If God tells me something that contradicts His Word, then I know immediately it was not Him speaking. It was probably my flesh wanting Him to say what I wanted to hear. If, however, what I hear Him speaks is consistent with Biblical principles, then I may have confidence in what I heard.

You need to be convinced that the Bible is for you. It is a personal letter from Him to you. If you find a promise in the Bible, then it is yours for the taking. This is a point in our faith walk which can really make us strong. If you have convinced your heart that the Word is true and that God is speaking to you, then it becomes easier for you to hold fast to the confession of whatever it is that you are hoping for. So, as an example, say you are confessing healing when you find this verse from Deuteronomy, “And the Lord will remove from you all sickness,” (7: 15). If you accept that this verse pertains you and you have trust in the one in whom the promise resides, the Lord, then it becomes easier and easier for you to hold on to your confession.

It is easy, though, for us to skim right over these passages and not believe God meant them for us. In the back of our minds we think they were only meant for some person who lived thousands of years ago in the Middle East. If we are going to see God’s will fulfilled in our lives we have to first have a promise, and second, believe the one who promised is faithful. If you don’t have a direct word from God, then you have to rely on what He has said before.

So, there is a good tenet of the faith walk. Believe in the one who promised and hold on to the promise without wavering. Do not go back and forth between believing and not believing. Okay, easier said than done, but convince your heart that God promised it and that settles it. Then be like a bulldog and don’t let go of your positive confession.

Big Promise

Psalm 9: 10

For Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.

There are thousands of promises in the Bible. However, they aren’t numbered so that you can go look them up one by one. Here is one though, which perhaps you should mark with a tab and some highlighting so that you can always find your way back to it. What great assurance and grounding for our soul we find in these few simple words.
God has never and will never forsake those who seek Him. Even when people kept sinning, they would run back to God and He was always awaiting their return. He was always keeping a vigil watching for them. He will not forsake us, even when we deserve it.

In truth, all of the power over your relationship with God is in your hands. He has given you His Word. He has taken His position. He says, “I am here. I make Myself available to you and furthermore, I will never, ever forsake you.” We are the ones in control. We choose to seek Him or not. Do we let the world, work, our social lives and all of the other distractions supersede our seeking? Sure we do. I do. Sometimes I awaken myself to the truth and realize that I have not been seeking Him as I should, even as I once did. Then I start again because I have the power over my relationship with God, even as you do.

The question, then, becomes, “How does one seek Yahweh?” The two principle ways to seek Him are prayer and The Word. I wouldn’t suggest you omit either one. You will find Him if you believe you will and you honestly search for Him in the Word. Just talk with Him about scripture. Ask Him what He was thinking when He had those words you just read penned. Ask Him why it was important to Him that those words find their way into our Bible. Ask Him what further revelation He can show you from that scripture. You will be amazed how many messages He can speak to your heart from one short scripture. Talk to Him about today’s verse. Go read the verses before and after it. Find out the context in which it was written. And listen. Look out your window at the trees blowing in the wind and let His thoughts gently float across your mind. I will promise you this, if you seek Him, honestly seek Him, you absolutely will find Him.

The Spirit

John 7: 39

But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
But now the Son of God is glorified and seated at the right hand of God. Now the Spirit is a gift to all those who believe in the Son. The Old Testament people met God though they knew very little about the coming Messiah. They only knew that He was promised. In the New Testament, we meet Jesus, the Messiah; the once promised, now come Son of God. Jesus then told about the promise of the Holy Spirit. He even said that it was to our advantage that He go away so that He could send us the “Helper” (John 16: 7). There were many who did not recognize the promised Messiah once he came. Let us not miss the promise that has come in our age, the promised Holy Spirit. He is our helper and our teacher and we really need His help. Call upon Him just as you would our Father and our Lord Jesus to help you in a time of need. Let Him lead you and guide you into all knowledge. He is your constant help in a time of need. Call Him.
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