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I WILL TEACH TRANSGRESSORS YOUR WAYS

Psalm 51:13 – I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will be converted to You.

A result of our salvation should be to “teach transgressors God’s ways.” Once we deal with our own issue of iniquity (lawlessness) and our sin nature by receiving God’s work to save us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we should turn our attention to others. An evidence of true conversion is a concern for others that are as lost as we once were.

David had asked for a “willing spirit.” Peter tells us that “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). When David recognized his depravity and confessed his sin, he desired to be an instrument to help others that were in the same condition. A “willing spirit” is one that aligns itself with the will of God. The Holy Spirit has come to “reveal the Father’s will.” From that revelation, we are to align our self with God’s will and pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us to do the will of God. It is clear, God’s will was to heal David and re-establish Him in God’s Divine Purpose. David, in turn, began to focus on other broken lives around him.

Is our relationship with God all about our need being met or do we also have that component of “a willing spirit” to do God’s will? Another way of expressing this concept would be to ask God to “give us a willingness to do His bidding.” God has called us to be His representative to others. First by wholeness in our own life, and then to declare God’s desire to save and restore others to God’s salvation.

My testimony is of my own “depravity” and God’s “love” toward me. He has answered my prayer which is after that of David’s: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

Lord, please help me to be willing to do Your will by sharing with others how You forgave my sins and clothed me with Your great salvation so rich and so free. Give me grace to lead others to Your wonderful love and presence.

I WILL BE SUSTAINED BY A WILLING SPIRIT 

Psalm 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.

As we consider the life of David and his revelation concerning his depravity and his desperate need for God’s Holy Spirit, we also observe that he confesses he had lost his joy and a willing spirit. Very few people live in joy. There is a difference between being happy and being joyful. Happiness depends on things going well in life. Joy is an inward feeling that is there whether all is well or not. Our salvation in Christ is the fountain of our joy. I had a fellow employee ask me this question one day as I entered the shop, “What gives you the right to be happy all the time?” He did not know the difference between “joy” and “happiness.” It gave me opportunity to tell him of the source of my joy that he saw as happiness.

I love how David ties together his request for restoration of the “joy of God’s salvation” and “a willing spirit.” David recognized that true salvation comes from the willingness of his inner man. A willing spirit is the foundation of true submission to the will of God. Many times people say they are willing to serve God, no matter what, in the emotion of the moment. To serve God takes “a willing spirit”! It is the health of the spirit of a person that will sustain. A willing spirit comes from God Himself.

Over many years of ministry, I have found that the root of people’s struggles can be located in “a broken spirit,” The hurts of life and the hurts caused by others can break an individual’s spirit to cause them to give up trying. God’s Holy Spirit wants to heal the broken spirit, but it begins in taking personal responsibility. First, acknowledging one’s own sin against God. Second, one must release others who have hurt them. The Holy Spirit will then begin the process of healing the “broken spirit” and creating a “willing spirit,” which will become the key to sustaining the individual. The Holy Spirit will restore the joy of God’s salvation and sinners will be converted as a result (Psalm 51:13).

Thank You, Lord, for what You did for David. For the joy of Your salvation, which is my portion as well. Heal my brokenness and sustain me with a willing spirit. Let me see sinners converted as a result of Your mighty work in me.

THAT YOU MIGHT NOT STUMBLE

John 16:1 – These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

It should be no surprise that the “world” hates true believers. The system of the world is against all that God has established. The three major systems of the world that resist God’s plan and purposes are Governments, which are driven by ego and pride to control people, Economics, which is driven by greed and separates classes of people, and Religion, which seeks to oppress the masses through fear and domination. God the Father has His plan, called “The Kingdom of God.” The Kingdom of God is ruled by a benevolent Father through His Son who is full of grace and truth and the Holy Spirit from whom flows righteousness, peace, and joy.

What a contrast between God’s kingdom and the world’s systems dominated by the kingdom of darkness under Satan’s control. Jesus defeated those systems through His overcoming life. He sent His Holy Spirit to overcome those systems through “Spirit-filled and Spirit-led believers.” The world will persecute us as they did the Lord and the early church. Jesus warned His disciples concerning the times in which they lived. His word of truth rings true in our day as well. Those disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, squared off against the powers of hell manifested through the systems of men and overcame even unto death.

Many of God’s people stumble when affliction and persecution comes, because they have not read or have not believed the words of Jesus. Our Lord wants to keep us from stumbling, but we must accept His word and be filled with His Holy Spirit in order to stand. Paul expressed it this way, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13-14).  We live in an evil day, but the enemy’s time is short. His complete defeat is near. Jesus judged him in His victory on the cross and overcame Satan in the power of His resurrection. His church is commissioned with the assignment of cleaning up the mess. As His servants, we are to declare to the world the freedom Christ has made possible from the kingdom of darkness. The Holy Spirit makes available to every believer overcoming power to live above the system of this world.

Believe the words of Jesus as given to His first disciples. Be prepared to be persecuted for His Name’s sake. Be filled with His Holy Spirit and stand firm, resisting in the evil day. Lord, grant me grace to stand and not stumble. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit every day. Use me to demonstrate Your overcoming life in the power of Your Holy Spirit and lead others to Your victory.

GOD’S WILL IS FOR US TO LIVE ABOVE REPROACH

1 Thessalonians 4:3 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.

Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica to strengthen and encourage the Thessalonians in their faith. Paul was concerned that they would be hindered from following Christ because of the afflictions they were suffering. The opposition was coming

through their own countrymen from the very beginning of their service for Christ. Paul was concerned that they would grow weary and give opportunity for Satan to hinder their growth. In their culture, as with ours, there was much immorality. Satan uses affliction and difficulties to discourage us and draw us back into fleshly desires. Fleshly gratifications only last a short time. Paul wanted them to understand the true purpose of affliction. God uses affliction to help complete what is lacking in our faith.

Each time a believer chooses to trust God in the times of affliction by going through the difficulties and their faith becomes stronger and stronger. Paul is contrasting two opposite sides of the struggle. First, God’s will is our “sanctification.” This addresses our separation to His kingdom and to His kingdom purpose. It begins in the spirit, but is always tested in the flesh. God is seeking to raise us up as a people of sanctification and honor. This is what living above reproach really means. If we are ridiculed for a righteous lifestyle, it brings honor and praise to God. If we choose to walk in the flesh, we become a reproach to God’s kingdom purpose.

The Father sent the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name to be our Helper. We must draw from His almighty power to be sustained when afflicted. He is the one who supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. This is not just material needs that so many are claiming, but our need for His holiness, His character, and His strength when we feel like giving up. Resist the broad road of just living for the flesh and the feel-good moment. The life separated to God is the life filled with fruitfulness and fulfillment.

Lord Jesus, I know that You gave Your all for me. You lived above reproach and totally honored Your Father. Help me, by the power of Your Holy Spirit whom You have sent, to live above reproach and honor the Father by faith in Your precious blood.

THE FRUIT OF REVELATION

John 14:26 – 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 that I said to you.

The fruit of revelation came with the teachings of Jesus. All those that heard Jesus’ teachings were amazed because He did not teach in the way they had become accustomed. He taught “with authority” to which Jesus was not just repeating what the writers of the Old Testament had written. He brought revelation to the Scriptures. He revealed their true meaning and fulfillment found in Him. This became revelation to many of those who heard Him. Not only did Jesus explain the Scriptures accurately, He demonstrated them through signs and wonders.

The Holy Spirit is the great teacher of truth. He does not concern Himself with theoretical views, but absolutes that will transform our lives. For the believer, He is the source of all reality. Jesus is teaching His disciples about the Father sending the Helper. The Helper would teach them “all things.” The Holy Spirit is our helper too. Truth comes from the Spirit of Truth who lives in us. We study and listen to messages by Bible teachers, but seeing clearly is rooted in the Spirit of God giving us revelation power. The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to transform our thinking. When we learn the teachings concerning past revelation, it helps to establish us. For example, the “just shall live by faith” or the “priesthood of every believer” are truths that were revealed to past generations. When we hear and receive from the Holy Spirit on a personal level, it can have a great impact and bring dramatic change into our lives. That change not only changes us, but will also affect others.

George Whitefield, one of the great revivalists during the first great awakening is an example of what I am saying. God gave him a simple revelation, “preaching could be done outdoors.” It seems simple to us, but in the liturgical church of the mid-1,700’s it was not only unusual, but thought by many to be heretical. He was mocked and persecuted.

This simple revelation produced dramatic fruit. By age 24, Whitefield had preached to over 40,000 people in outdoor settings. He persuaded Wesley to do the same. Whitefield made six trips to America and once preached to 23,000 people in Philadelphia. There were estimates that during his life, he preached to half the population of the colonies, from Georgia to New England.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask for the Helper to teach me all things that You would have me to know. Give me simple revelations that would have dramatic fruit in my life and in the lives of others I touch.

PUT TO DEATH THE FLESH WITH ALL OF ITS PASSIONS AND DESIRES

ishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ ” (Matthew 16:24-25). Part of entering into life with Christ is the putting off of the flesh which is rooted in the old nature, also called the old man. Oh, the absolute genius of our God! God becomes human in the Son. Christ lives the sinless life; He dies in our place as our substitute. God the Holy Spirit raises Him from the dead, enthrones Him as a resurrected man seated at the right hand of God the Father. The Spirit of God is poured out in the earth to bring forth a new creation. We choose to put the old nature to death and we choose to receive the new man. We live life through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. What power has been given to man! What eternal joy is ours to possess! What victory over death and hell!

Once again, the Scriptures put the onus on our choosing to “crucify the flesh”. The ability to crucify one’s flesh is utterly impossible! You can hammer the nail into one hand, but someone else must hammer a nail into the other. That is why the Lord has set us into a community of believers. It takes another to finish the job of crucifixion.  Sometimes it takes more than one, a few to hold us down while others drive in the nails.

Beloved, this is a serious matter and not to be taken lightly. In a marriage, often our partner has the hammer to help finish the job of crucifixion. Many run to another hoping to escape, but it does no good because our flesh still needs to be crucified.  This is a part of Christianity that none of us like, but it is so necessary if we are to attain what God has for us in this life.

As the Holy Spirit was with Christ in His time of death, so will He be with us. God promises, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you, so that we confidently say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me” (Hebrews 13:5-6)? “I will never” literally means, “I will never, no never, leave you.” David declares, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Let us be bold in the Lord and face our cross even as Christ faced His for us. Power will be released from His death on the cross and in His resurrection. Power will be released as we step into the new realms of His kingdom. By His power, we can guide others into the glorious freedom found in Christ Jesus our Lord!