I was asked a question by a friend of mine that has inspired me to write this piece. I wish many would ask the question as it will change their walk with the Lord into one of power.
Years ago after I was saved I witnessed something and really started questioning the Lord over it. I had gone to a church and the word seemed correct yet the church was dead. People were asleep and there was no presence or power of the Holy Spirit. I then went to another church and found that the message was very similar but the presence and power of the Holy Spirit was intense. I thought why is this? The same message is coming forth. The Holy Spirit eventually talked to me about this. I was told that the first church was preaching the correct words but it was not led of the Holy Spirit. The second church was led by the Holy Spirit.
My second experience was when I was asked to sing three songs in a meeting. I had never done this before. I started praying and asking the Lord what I should sing. Two hours before I was to sing I was given the three songs. I was told in the third song to change the second verse and to have the congregation sing along. I did not know any better but since I felt I was led this direction I did it not knowing ahead of time what would take place. The first two songs were a real struggle. I could not even open my eyes as I was dealing with fear in me. The third song was a revelation. I started opening my eyes as soon as I sang the song. I thought this was weird as I felt such strength and no longer any fear. When I got to the second verse the Holy Spirit just took over. I do not even remember singing the verse. People in the church started crying as the power of God fell. The pastor told a friend of mine that he didn't know that Rick could sing like that. She told him Rick can't, that this was the Holy Spirit.
What I am sharing basically is this. Our works can be led by our flesh or by the Holy Spirit. I love the scripture in Zechariah 4:6 which says "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit , saith the Lord. I have learned that this should be a foundational truth that we must live by concerning God and his Word.
People often have told me that Jesus is in them therefore what they do is the Lord. That is a deception as far as I am concerned and I hopefully will show you why. Our walk with the Lord is a choice. We can choose to follow him or self. Many teachers have people walking by their flesh being doers of the Word. The problem is that they have a form of godliness but they are powerless. Many are taught to find a scripture and walk it out. My question is this? Where is the Holy Spirit in this belief? Where is seeking the Lord and drawing near to him?
This is the difference between religion and relationship. Religion looks good but is powerless. Religion is a form of godliness but denies the power thereof.
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
A relationship requires intimacy with the Holy Spirit that only comes through surrender and seeking His will alone.
Jesus tells us that he came to not do his will but the will of the Father that sent him. He said that he can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do He does, and what He hears His Father say, He says. Jesus was led by the Spirit. You may say well that was Jesus. He was the Son of God. Jesus was our example. The word tells us in
Galatians 5:16 : This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Notice that this does not say that we ought to instead it says do it like a command. We are told that they which are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8).
Ro 7:18 says, For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Now if we look at all these scriptures we must come up with a conclusion. We are to be dead to self (flesh) and allow the same Holy Spirit to work in and through us just like He did in Jesus who was our example. God is not impressed with our religious works. He is impressed with did we wait for His counsel and be obedient to His voice? I won't go into this right now but read Isaiah 30 and 31. It is quite interesting. Bottom line is that God tells us that if we trust in anything other than His Spirit that we are in rebellion. We are to not trust in horses (flesh) or the Egyptians (men) If we do God says that he will wait. He will do nothing until we come back to Him and trust His Holy Spirit.
Our works therefore become a choice. Anyone can act out the Word or speak it. Not everyone will get before the Lord and wait and cry out to know what the Holy Spirit desires and then be obedient to His voice. There is such a difference in the fruit. Just like the contrast I started this article with of the two churches. One was dead and one was walking in power. The songs I sang were the same. When I did what I was told God backed it up with power. The problem I see today is that we are not taught correctly. We are taught that it is all about us. That is a major lie of the devil that much of the church has agreed with and we are powerless. If instead we would teach people to get before the Lord in prayer, pour out our hearts, surrender our will, want His ways and power more than our own, we would see a church of power come forth. We teach do this or that and ask God's blessing upon it as if we know what is best or should be. God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours. If we want His blessing than we need to do things His way. That takes drawing near to Him and gaining an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit just as Jesus had.