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Archive for May 6th, 2009

“… I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Eph.3:13-19)

My fellow pilgrims,

Let us release the Spirit that is in us!

Let us release the Spirit that is in us!

One of the problems most of us have as Christians is that we don’t realize the immeasurable treasure we carry in our inner being, namely, The Glory and Spirit of The Christ, The Son of the Living God, in whom the fullness of the Trinity dwells!

I believe the main reason for this is that we are afraid of our own spirituality because it might change our lives and the way we live our lives. It is because of this fear that we block out the awareness of our inner man, the seat of our spiritual awareness and the place where the Spirit of the Christ dwells in us. It is also the reason that keeps the river of living waters (Jn. 7:38) that is in us from flowing out from us to our outer man and thus to those to whom we minister. It is this inhibition that keeps us from entering into a fully empowered discipleship.

We are so conditioned and blinded by our earthly existence that all that we can relate to is what we can understand with our outer being, that is of course limited by what we sense and what our intellect presumes. Similarly, when we consider entering fully into discipleship with Christ we tend to do it in the only way we know – through the self-directed efforts of our outer being, assuming that discipleship is merely our sincere determination to do something for God using our natural gifts and talents operating under our self-directed zeal.

That, my dear friends, is not what true discipleship entails! True discipleship requires surrendering all of our selves: body soul and spirit, to the direction of our Lord and master, Jesus and to the power of the Holy Spirit so that He, and He alone, can truly reign in our lives. That requires the surrender of our TOTAL being to the direction of the Holy Spirit!

Consider my friends what Scripture tells us about surrendering not only our inner man but our body and soul as well:

“ I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:1-2)

We should all consider the preceding as the mission statement of our walk in discipleship and daily ask the Holy Sprit to help us carry it out in your lives. And we cannot be selective about what we relinquish to the Holy Spirit. If He wishes to use us to speak the oracles of God, then we speak and prophesy. If He wishes for us to preach, then we proclaim the Kingdom of God boldly. If He wishes for us to heal the sick in Jesus name, then we lay your hands on the sick in His Name and they shall recover. If He tells us to wash our brother’s feet, then we should wash not only our brother’s feet but those of our neighbor as well.

Remember,

… the Kingdom of God can only be manifested through us to the degree we surrender to His Holy Spirit and to the degree we release Him in our lives!

Now it must also be made clear that when you commit yourself to the Father as a Holy and Living sacrifice, in order for Him to work through you as he worked through Jesus, He will anoint you with the Holy Spirit so that He is present in all that you say and do and think. For you see, you will serve at His disposal and when you serve others, in His Name it will be He working through you, just as he worked through Jesus.

Sometimes, because we have not been taught the Way of Discipleship properly, we undertake the walk of discipleship on our own strength, abilities, and vision. Unless the Lord enlightens us on the way, any such endeavor will certainly not bear spiritual fruit because what we are doing, we are doing in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Yes, you may be responding to an inner calling, with the natural abilities you have been given, but your response must be empowered by the Spirit through the inner man so that it will be God working through you, not you doing something for God. You cannot do it through the outer man without letting the Spirit of God that dwells in you be the driving and empowering force behind everything you do in His Name!.

Another thing we fail to understand is that, while our inner man is renewed in Christ through conversion and baptism, our outer man needs to be renewed and brought into submission to the Lord who dwells in our inner man. Discipleship is the process the Father uses to conform our TOTAL being (body, soul, and spirit) to the image of His Son so that His Spirit can work through us as he worked through Jesus.

Now, if our motives are sincere, the Lord does sometimes let us begin our walk in the flesh and then, through circumstances and people, He will bring us to surrender our “self” to Him. It is then that He begins the process of transforming our outer man and empowering us so that we may truly walk in discipleship with Him.

It is my intent, in the remainder of this posting to clearly summarize The Father’s Way (process) of Discipleship to you so that you may avoid some of the pitfalls that you may encounter if you neglect to understand the Father’s Purpose and Process for us as disciples of His Son. Those of us who wish to enter into a true and meaningful discipleship, must, thus, clearly and willingly come to terms with the exhortations of the Apostle Paul to “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4) and to “ … be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new man…” (Eph. 4:24, Col.3:10).

The Purpose of Discipleship

First, let me begin by re-iterating the Father’s clearly stated, primary purpose in calling us to discipleship is that He has predestined us “ to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom.8:29) so that through our “new man” (Col. 3:10) in Christ Jesus we become an extension of His Kingdom here on Earth so that the Father’s will be accomplished and His Love for humanity fully expressed through our self-denying obedience to His Word and the leading of His Spirit. Praised Be His Holy Name!

We need to understand that Jesus was sent not only to atone for our sins and save us so that we could be eternally with the Father in Heaven but also to remake and conform each of us in His image (Rom. 8:29) so that His ministry of the Kingdom would continue in and for this world through us until He comes again in Glory. We, His people, His bride, the church, then are ALL called to be partakers in His Ministry here on Earth. It may be just ministering to your family but it will be HIS ministry to them through you! This can only happen through the re-creation of our inner man, the transformation of the outer man and the empowerment of His Holy Spirit so that we can truly be His disciples in all that we are called to be in this life.

Our Response to His Purpose

He prepares us for this type of discipleship first by first creating in us a “new inner man”, in Christ, through our conversion and baptism and then by working through the” inner man” begins to transform our “outer man” by “the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom.12:2). We open the door to let Him work in us and through us when we willingly release the Holy Spirit to perform the works of God through our normal, everyday actions.

When we are selective about what we release to the Spirit, we lessen the effectiveness of our service and expose ourselves to “burn out” because our human nature, by itself, is not capable of responding all of the human needs that will be brought before us for ministry (service).

As an example, take the incident recorded in the scriptures regarding the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Jn. 6:5-11). Jesus had just completed and extensive period of ministering to the crowds that followed Him. In His compassion for the people Jesus asked the disciples, testing them, “where are we going to buy bread that these may eat? “ Phillip responded by saying (as the outer man would, not realizing the power of the Spirit that was in Jesus), that you would need two hundred days of wages to buy enough bread for the multitude. Then Andrew volunteered that there was a lad here who had brought his lunch consisting of five loaves and two fishes. Jesus, then said, “bring them to me” and He blessed them and told them to distribute them to the crowd. And all were fed and there were several baskets left over with the crumbs.

Similarly, when we try to minister to the needs of a community, our outer man, without the Spirit’s anointing, will many times be stymied because we are limited in how we can respond to the needs presented to us. It is only The Christ in our inner man, who can take the loaves and fishes of the abilities of our outer nature and, through our presenting them to Him for His Anointing, perform the ministry that The Father calls us to, and thus render our service to Him as an act of Spiritual worship.

Now, If we truly understand this, His purpose and plan for us, then it is incumbent on us to turn to Him in prayer and surrender our TOTAL selves to the Holy Spirit, releasing him to operate in any area of our lives, with nothing held back. At the same time, asking for the anointing, counsel, understanding, and empowerment that each one of us needs to fulfill the specific roles to which He has called us. This, of course, includes establishing and nurturing the personal relationship with Him that is needed, so we can clearly hear His Voice and thus be obedient to that which he calls us to be and do in His Name here in this world. Praised Be His Holy Name!

One of my spiritual director’s statements to me regarding the our need for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was :

“The question is not how much of the Holy Spirit do we have, but how much of us does the Holy Spirit have?”

I leave you with that thought.

May the Holy Spirit enliven His Word in your heart and give you the inspiration to respond to His calling to release The Holy Spirit that is in you through baptism and confirmation!

Bartimaeus

PS: I highly recommend your accessing the following links to receive further encouragement:

What Makes A Christian Charismatic?

http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/features/charismaticrenewal/cr_john.asp

The Catholic Experience of Renewal

https://quietplace4prayer.wordpress.com/conversion-and-empowerment/charismatic-renewal/

Video: A History of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QDOcDGDWA

Related Scripture for Medidation :   The Gospel of  John Chapter 15

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009].

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