The Power of the Force
Jesus said in John 6:63,
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
The words of God are spirit and they are life. If we speak the words that Jesus spoke, we are speaking words that produce life to the spirits who hear us talk, even ourselves. We have to renew our minds to the reality of who we are in Christ. We are one spirit with Him and if His words are spirit and are life, then our words are spirit and life also.
Jesus said in Matt. 12:37,
“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
When was the last time you condemned yourself? You say, “Well, I just can’t do this or that!” But what you are saying is contrary to the word of God. Jesus said in Mark 9:23,
“All things are possible to him that believeth.”
This is why we must renew or retrain our minds to what God has to say about these things. Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:16,
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”
Jesus said in John 8:31,
“If ye continue in my word, then are truly a disciples of mine, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
We cannot take the word of God lightly because it is eternal life to those who apply it to their lives. The Lord told Joshua in Joshua 1:6,
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
The reason for this is that the Kingdom of God is governed by spiritual laws which make everything function according to the will of God. This really makes since when we realize that this is His Kingdom and it runs the way He designed it to run. When we get out of alignment with these spiritual laws it causes sin to rise up. Sin is nothing more than missing the mark that the Lord has set for us in order to live His kind of life of peace, love and joy in the Holy Ghost, or in the spirit realm. This is what Paul meant when he said in Gal. 5:16-26,
“This I say then, Walk by the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lusts, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, contentions, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its emotions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
I want to draw your attention to verse 18. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. There is no law that will ever be broken if we always walk by the Spirit. It is only when we loose step with the Spirit that we get into trouble.
Walking by the Spirit consists of obeying the word of God. It is just that simple. If we say that we can’t do something that the word says we can then we are not being led by the Spirit but by the flesh. An example of this is found in Matt. 16:21,
“From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: you are an offence unto me: for you consider not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
Peter began to prophesy according to his own wisdom and chose to ignore the wisdom that Jesus was giving to him. Most of the prophesying that is done today comes from the mind of man and not the Spirit of the Lord. This kind of prophesying sounds good to the natural ear but is nothing but idle words spoken that will never come to pass.
John said in 1 John 4:1,
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. By all means know the Spirit of God:”
How, then, can we know the Spirit of God? This is a good question. How can you get to know anyone? You can read everything written about them. You can talk to people who know them. All of these things are good but to really get to know the spirit of someone you must spend time with them. Once you become intimately acquainted with them you will be able to know what they would do in any given situation.
You can study the word of God everyday but until you spend time with Him you will never be able to discern His Spirit. As we begin to discern His Spirit we will also discover our spirits which are one with His. As He is so are we in this world. This intimate relationship with the Lord will also enable us to discern the spirits that we have to deal with in this world. This is why we must by all means know the Spirit of the Lord.
The Greek word for ‘know’ means figuratively to have intimate relations with another. It is used in Matt. 1:20 concerning Joseph and Mary.
“The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Here is it obvious what is meant. Joseph did consummate his marriage to Mary until after Jesus was born.
If we are to discern the spirits of men we must have an intimate knowledge of the Spirit of the Lord. The more we have intimacy with the Lord by spending much time in His thoughts, His word, and communicating with Him the more we will know His Spirit and be filled with and overflowing with His love
James 1:19 says,
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can deliver you.
22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
James gives us four more keys here to the Kingdom of God within us.
Be quick to hear! A lot of people really have problems in this area because they are quick to speak and slow to hear. Have you ever meet anyone like this? You may say, “How are you?” And they begin to rattle on about everything in their lives and it is hard for you to get away from them.
If you are to grow in the maturity of the Kingdom of God you must learn to be quick to listen. These keys are things that we must learn to accomplish and they are not something that just comes automatically to us.
You will never be a good counselor until you learn to listen to what others are saying. What you think is not important if you are trying to learn what another person is thinking. You have to determine your objective when you are communicating with people. Do you really want to know what their take on a subject is or are you just wanting to tell them what you think. If you want to know what they think you must learn to listen. By listen, I mean pay attention to what they are saying!
It is always wise to be slow to speak and quick to listen!
Be slow to speak! This takes self-discipline! If you learn the art of listening you will become slow to speak. If you rattle off all the time you never will know what the person you are talking to thinks. A lot of people attend church every time the doors are open and hear all that is being said but never listen because they are always thinking about what their viewpoint is. To be a good listener you must learn how to control your thoughts. We become so accustom to thinking about what our response is going to be to what someone else is talking about that we fail to hear what they are saying.
Again, this takes discipline and controlling our focus on what they are saying. If you wonder how good you are in this, just consider how many times you interrupt someone with your thoughts when they are talking.
Be slow to become angry! Many times anger arises in us because we misunderstand what another person is trying to communicate. We probably are not really listening to what they are saying. Before we allow ourselves to become angry we should ask the person to explain himself. Many times we assume people are saying something that they are not because of our mind- set.
This also requires a lot of discipline on our part! Anyone can become angry and say things they will regret later but the wise person will learn to control their anger.
When we listen to the word of the Lord, we must learn to do what He is telling us to do. We can listen carefully to what the Lord is saying to us but if we do not do what He is saying it will not benefit us. The words He speaks contain spirit and they contain life and they are powerful if applied to our lives.
If anyone considers himself knowledgeable of the word of God and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his knowledge is worthless.
James goes on to say in chapter 3,
“1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
Are you beginning to understand why Jesus said that we will be acquitted by what we say and condemned also by what we say.
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
The wise man Solomon said in Proverbs 18:21,
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Jesus said in Matt. 15:11,
“It’s not that what goes into your mouth that will defile you; but it is what which comes out of your mouth that will defile you.”
Also in Matt. 15:8,
“This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
And in Matt.15:17,
“Are you also still without understanding? Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”
Jesus said in Acts 1:8,
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
What did Jesus mean when He said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you?” The word ‘power’ is the Greek word ‘dunamis’, from which we get our word ‘dynamite’ and means, power, strength, violence. So, what did Jesus mean?
In Matt. 28:18 Jesus said,
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
The Greek word for ‘power’ in this verse is ‘exousia’ and means, authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength. As a matter of fact the New International version says,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Combining Matt. 28:18 with Mark 16:15 Jesus said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Therefore I want you to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, or by my authority, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Jesus told the disciples that he had been given all the authority of heaven and of earth and then He gave them a commandment to go into all the world and tell every man about this good news. Those who believe the word of His disciples would have signs and wonders following after them. Jesus did not perform one miracle until after the Spirit descended on Him at His baptism.
So, I ask you again, what did Jesus mean when He said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you?”
It is always best to allow the scriptures to answer our question when we can. Let’s look at what Jesus promised the disciples in John 15:25
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
And in John 16:14 He said,
“When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
Jesus said in Matt. 12:37,
“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Since it is the words we speak that will acquit us, then it is very important that we understand what the truth is and that we speak only what is true. Jesus said that we would receive power or authority when the Holy Ghost comes on us. The purpose of the Holy Spirit coming on us is to give us the understanding of what is truth and reminding us what Jesus said. With that understanding we have authority to speak the truth in love. The words of the Lord were so powerful in the beginning that it created all that is. His word today still has that same power and same authority and when spoken in faith and will do the same for us as it did for Jesus.
We are so bad about asking God to do things for us that He has given us the authority to do. We have been taught that we don’t have that kind of power and as a result when we speak the words of God there is no mixture of faith.
Paul said in Romans 10:17,
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”