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[thoughts] Detecting God's Spirit (December 3-9, 2001)

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  • Mark Roth
    ... This edition goes out today to 1874 subscribers. Thank you! ... CHRIST S RIGHTEOUS RULE OF JUSTICE AND PEACE (Isaiah 11:1-9) DETECTING THE SPIRIT OF GOD I
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2 7:18 AM
      This edition goes out today to 1874 subscribers. Thank you!

      (Isaiah 11:1-9)


      I wonder how many people have been informed that, since they have
      not spoken in tongues, they have not received the Holy Spirit.
      Such assertions, while sincere, are quite tragic because they
      lack a solid Biblical foundation. Of course, such a test for
      God's Spirit would be quite handy . . . if it were true.

      Thankfully, this Isaiah passage reveals to us some
      characteristics of God's Spirit. Detecting these characteristics
      in people guides in detecting the Spirit of God in them.

      The Spirit of the Lord is "the spirit of wisdom and
      understanding." Godly wisdom perceives life as God does. Then
      Godly understanding enables and moves us to respond to life as
      God does. Naturally, such perception and resulting action comes
      from God Himself, through communion with Him and meditation on
      His Word. When we see in others this kind of wisdom and
      understanding, this kind of workable connection between the
      spiritual and the natural, we detect an evidence of the
      indwelling Spirit.

      The Spirit of the Lord is also "the spirit of counsel and might."
      Godly counsel is possible only for those who see life as God sees
      it and who know how to respond to life as He would. Furthermore,
      Godly counsel comes only from those who can communicate to
      another's heart the very heart of God. Godly might, on the other
      hand, enables the counselor to overcome man's natural resistance
      to God's ways. This overcoming spirit works first in the life of
      the counselor, then in the life of his counsel's recipient. When
      we see those who are mighty in God's Spirit and who are clear
      sources of God's counsel, we know we are seeing those in whom
      dwells the Spirit of God.

      Isaiah 11:2 tells us that the Spirit of the Lord is "the spirit
      of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD." In a way, it seems
      this verse saves the best and most significant till last, for who
      can have the Spirit of God without knowing and fearing God? How I
      wish my knowledge *of* God would catch up to and surpass my
      knowledge *about* God! I want to know Him with my heart and
      spirit, not just with my mind and intellect. I crave a deepening,
      expanding *personal* relationship with Him, not merely a
      *factual* acquaintance with Him. I know that one step toward such
      a relationship is to grow in the fear of the Lord. No, not being
      more afraid of Him. Rather, being more conscious of Him, awed by
      Him, and surrendered to Him. That's the beginning of the fear of
      the Lord. And when you observe in another such a personal,
      reverential relationship with God, you know you are in the
      presence of one in whom abides the Spirit of God.

      Oh. Wait. We cannot overlook another practical revelation of
      God's Spirit: "with righteousness shall he judge . . . and
      reprove with equity." The Holy Spirit lives His life through His
      people in righteousness and justice. In addition to that, this
      passage pointedly brings out that knowing God causes us to know
      peace. When you see these in others, you can't miss Him.


      If reading all the above gives you a rather hopeless, pointless
      feeling, imagine what it did for me as I wrote it! The truth is,
      none of us can attain to such divine displays of Godliness and
      spirituality. That is, we cannot do it on our own.

      But we are not on our own!

      That's what Philippians 2:13 and 1 Peter 1:3 say to me. What do
      you think?



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