POT OF OIL

2Kings 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

I love the story of the widow and the pot of oil. The miracle of provision for this mom left in financial need on the death of her prophet husband is beautiful and displays the Lord’s supernatural provision for His own. But there is another side, and even deeper side to this story. This pot of oil is a picture of us, we are the vessels of oil that this story speaks about. As Paul said, “We have this treasure in jars of clay”. The oil, or the treasure, is the Holy Spirit. Just as the oil was the solution to this woman’s dilemma, the Spirit is the solution to all of life’s dilemmas. There is oil in the vessel, this supernatural oil effects every part of our lives. It effects our mind and intellect, it effects our physical well being, it also effects our emotions and makes us emotionally whole. If you have oil in your pot you have all the answer you need. Here is how A.B. Simpson describes this.

“Yes, our very bodies will feel the fullness. The Holy Ghost is a true tonic for physical energy and perfect health. The fullness of the Spirit is the elixir for body and brain and being. To be filled with His blessed life will make our feet spring, our nerves steady, our brain strong, our circulation regular, and our whole being at its best for God and holy service.

•  Then, also, our very circumstances keep time to the blessed fullness of the heart within.

•  Like the widow’s pot of oil that flowed out into every vessel, so the presence of God touches everything that comes into our life, and we find that all things work together for good to us if we love God and fulfill His purpose.

•  Our circumstances will become adjusted to us, or we become adjusted to our circumstances, and the whole of our life, “fitly framed together,” will become vigorous, and full of power and blessing.”

As this widow began to pour out the oil her problems were being solved. Her sons were no longer being taken into slavery and she was not going to lose her house. What saved her from her certain destruction? She had oil in the pot.

HE ANOINTS MY HEAD WITH OIL

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Psa. 23:5 ¶ You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.
David was a man of the Spirit. His whole life and ministry where an outflow of the anointing that was on his life. From the lion and the bear, to the Philistine giant, the jealous king, the rebellious son, and the Philistine armies; David was able to rise above and conquer every foe. He understood exactly what he meant when he penned the words, “You anoint my head with oil”. Today’s church has majored on programs, ministries, and principles with little or no mention of the anointing. The anointing is the weapon of our warfare to do damage to the kingdoms of the world and to establish the kingdom of God. Martin Luther spoke of the intoxicating effect of the anointing of the Spirit and the powerful effect it has on our world. Check out Luther’s thoughts on the anointing of the Spirit.
“The Holy Spirit makes them not only courageous and bold, but also so secure and happy that they get drunk with a great and boundless joy. David is thus speaking here of spiritual power, joy, and intoxication-the power of God; and a joy in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul calls it; and a blessed intoxication, in which the people are filled not with wine, for that is debauchery, but with the Holy Spirit. And this is the armor and the weapons with which our Lord God equips His believers against the devil and the world; that is, He puts the Word into their mouths and puts courage, that is, the Holy Spirit, into their hearts. Unafraid and cheerful, they attack all their enemies with that equipment. They smite and conquer them despite all their power, wisdom, and holiness. Such warriors were the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. They stood up in Jerusalem against the command of the emperor and the high priest and acted as though they were veritable gods and all the others mere locusts, and they pressed forward with all strength and joy, as though they were intoxicated, as some actually mocked them and said they were filled with new wine. But St. Peter showed from the prophet Joel that they were not filled with wine but with the Holy Spirit. Afterward he flays about with his sword; that is, he opens his mouth and preaches, and with one stroke he rescues three thousand souls from the devil.”
The one thing that can change the world is the one thing that has been ignored and even despised in church. We must have the anointing if we expect to change our world. The Lord has given Victory Fellowship a sharp sword to use in our battle in New Orleans. That sword is a production called Beyond the Grave. What is the source of the impact it has enjoyed? It is the outflow of Holy Spirit intoxication from the years of saturation at our church. Oh Lord, anoint our heads with fresh oil!!!

FILLED #2

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Eph. 5:18 ,19 – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

Continued from yesterday,
“Be filled” is plural and thus applies to the body of Christ collectively. God’s people collectively are to “be so ‘full of God’ by his Spirit that our worship and our homes give full evidence of the Spirit’s presence: by song, praise, and thanksgiving that simultaneously praise and adore God and teach the community”.

The Spirit filled life is closely connected to our Christian community. It is veritably impossible to stay full of the Spirit if you are not around Spirit filled believers. I am not talking about people who say they believe in being Spirit filled, I am talking about actually drinking of His Spirit corporately. Who you fellowship with will determine your ability to stay full of the Spirit.

Eph. 5:18-20 – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

“It ( the phrase. Be filled) is passive and thus could be translated, “Let the Spirit fill you” (NEB). There should be such an openness and obedience to the Holy Spirit that nothing hinders him from filling us.”

This is critical. Yielding, learning to be in a receiving mode, is key to receiving more of His presence. Many get stuck in a doing mode. Humility stays in a receiving state, I need Him in my life

DRINKING IS STEPPING INTO THE RECEIVING MODE

“It is a present tense and thus carries the idea of an ongoing action. As our physical bodies need the constant renewal that sleep brings, so the body of Christ needs the constant renewal that the Spirit makes possible.”

This passage could be translated ‘be being filled’. Be baptized or immersed into the Spirit is a continual thing. Paul is calling us to a lifestyle of drinking in the new wine on a continual basis.

Eph. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.
At the end of the day our life depends on being filled with the Spirit. Take time to draw near, you will benefit by His presence.

FILLED #1

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Eph. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Paul draws a comparison to being under the influence of alcoholic beverages and being continually filled with the Spirit. There is an incredible pressure to drink in our present society. Those who don’t drink are often perceived as odd. Our society in America, as well as world wide, is changing rapidly. I became a Christian in 1973. Just in those years since my conversion things have changed extensively. In 1973 it would have been scandalous for a Christian to drink alcohol. Today it is not only accepted and normal, it is actually encouraged in many Christian circles. There was a reason drinking has been unacceptable for Christians, drinking brings all sorts of problems. Paul said there was a better way.

Rom. 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Gal. 5:16 ¶ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

In the Life in the Spirit Commentary today’s passage is explained. It describes the alternative to drinking alcoholic beverages, being filled with the Spirit and the importance of being Spirit filled. Check this out.

“It is an imperative and is thus a command. Being filled with the Spirit is not an optional or tentative suggestion, as if we are at liberty to take it or leave it. It carries an urgent weight of importance.”
Paul tells us the urgency of being filled with the Spirit. Without the Spirit prevalent in our life we will easily succumb to the spirit that is in the world. Our purity and Christian testimony is at stake.

A. The Spirit within
John 4:10,13,14 – Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

B. The Spirit upon

John 7:37-39 ¶ On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

To be continued….

RENEWED POWER

RENEWED POWER

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).

I had something unusual happen to me several years ago when I was invited to speak at a large gathering of college students. Actually I misread the crowd because of the passionate worship that preceded my message. I spoke about the power of renewal in my life and how I had become complacent over the years of ministry and how I needed a fresh work of the Spirit in my life. Shortly after the message began, several students left the meeting literally shouting out slogans about nazis and Hitler. I guess what made matters worse, these were actually some of the organizers of the meeting. Needless to say, the meeting scheduled for the next night was canceled. What was the point of contention? These precious students believed that there was no second work of grace; to them,what I was describing had to be demonic. Actually, the book of Acts is very clear about this. There were multiple fillings of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the apostles. Here is how R. T. Kendall describes it in his book Holy Fire.

“This event was some time after Pentecost, possibly weeks later. It shows that the same people who were filled on the Day of Pentecost were filled again—and were thus enabled to speak with renewed power. What happened was this. A forty-year-old man who had never walked was suddenly and miraculously healed by Peter and John. Everybody in Jerusalem knew who this crippled man was. After thousands saw him “walking and praising God,” Peter (again) took advantage of this opportunity to preach the gospel. At least two thousand were converted as a result (Acts 3:1–4:4). Instead of the elders and teachers of the Law being thrilled, they were indignant. They warned Peter and the other disciples “to speak no longer to anyone in this name” (Acts 4:17). Peter and John reported this to the disciples who began to pray. It is an amazing prayer. (See Acts 4:24–30.) This is when the place was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
My point is this. What happened once can happen twice. Or three times. Many times. This is why Paul wrote, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). We need to be filled—again and again.”

I have come to the conclusion that all of us need to be filled with the Spirit on a daily basis. Our world is too dangerous, our faith is too precious, and temptations are a constant threat. Only the power of the Spirit in our lives can equip us for the challenges we all face on a daily basis. As a pastor I also need continual fillings. Actually real ministry comes from the overflow of the Spirit in our lives. We must drink if we want to have anything to pour out.

DEALING WITH THE ENEMY

DEALING WITH THE ENEMY

Eph. 6:10 Amp. In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

Whether we like it or even realize it, we live in hostile territory. Christ has defeated His enemies at the cross but there are still hostile forces entrenched in this world trying to hold on to what they consider as their property. The church has been commissioned to enforce the victory of Christ at the cross. We have been given authority in this world through the name of Jesus. That authority is enforced by the power of the Holy Spirit whom He gives to whosoever will drink of the water of life. The key to staying free from the influence of darkness and actually being used to drive out the enemy’s forces is to be filled continually with the Holy Spirit. This phrase is critical, “be strong in The Lord”. This is more than just pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, it is ever being filled with the Spirit of God. Here is how A.B. Simpson says it.

“The very first thing in this battle scene is the command “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10). The original is much more emphatic. Translated by Rotherham it reads, “Be getting empowered in the Lord, and in the strength of his might.” That does not mean that you are to cultivate your own strength, but you are to discount it altogether, and take the power of God himself at the very outset of the conflict.”

This strength was described by Paul as “armor-like”. As we put on Christ by being baptized in the Spirit, we are putting on the armor of God. Here is A.B. Simpson on that armor.

“We have a part to do in putting on this armor. The greek word is, “take up” the complete armor of God, and all through the vivid figurative language the command is in the active and imperative form. “With the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith” (6:14-16a) We are to be active in this war, not in fighting, but in covering ourselves with Christ by his divine provision for strength and victory.”

How do we put on Christ? We do this by immersing ourself in Him. This means praying extended times in the Spirit, putting on the worship music to create that atmosphere of heaven, and saturate yourself in the Word of God. As you lose yourself in Christ, you become covered with Him, He becomes an impenetrable shield of protection around us. This is not only for defensive purposes, we are covered with His shield as we advance in battle. Be strong in The Lord and in the power of His might.

YOU DRINK TOO MUCH

YOU DRINK TOO MUCH

Ephesians 5:18. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be ye filled with the Spirit.”

Have you ever had too much to drink? That is really a loaded question because who sets the standard of drunkenness? Are you good as long as you can still stand up? Maybe your definition goes along with what the law says is legally too drunk to drive. Maybe you describe too much as being when you pass out or go to toilet hugging. For me, I choose not to drink alcoholic beverages. First of all alcohol is a slippery slope that leads to bad decisions and horrible consequences. Secondly, God has provided a much better drink, He has given us the new wine of the Spirit. You can’t have both so I think I’ll stick with the new wine.
Jonathan Edwards had some interesting observations about spiritual drinking. He said that there was no such thing as excessive spiritual drinking. Now that’s what I am talking about, you can get as intoxicated as you like on new wine and all the consequences are good. Here is Edwards’ comment on Eph.5:18.

” ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be ye filled with the Spirit.’
As much as to say, In this there is no excess. It is no matter how full ye are of the Spirit. A being full of wine, or being “drunk with wine,” were expressions of the same import in those days. Thus when the apostles were filled with the Spirit at Pentecost, some “mocking said, These men are full of new wine” [Acts 2:13]. There is excess in being full of wine, but no excess in being filled with the Spirit. There is no excess in spiritual enjoyments. We may be drunken with the Spirit, and there is no excess in that, as ’tis said, Song of Solomon 5:1, “Drink, and be drunken, O beloved.”

Now just think about the comparison of the consequences of spiritual drunkenness to being drunk on alcohol. If you drink too much booze you do stupid things such as getting into fights, car wrecks, profanity, and possible sexual compromise. Excessive drinking can lead to other problems such as losing your job, your marriage, or loss of friends. Ultimately excessive drinking will effect you physically; all sorts of disease is connected to alcohol consumption.
Now what about spiritual drinking, what are those consequences? The first is extreme joy that drives depression out of our lives. You keep drinking new wine and you begin to be overcome by God’s love, this tends to spill over into our other relationships. Our marriage improves, our friends are better friends, and our job performance improves. Finally, spiritual drink connects us to the power of God. We live a more moral life, we have power in our testimony, and we can actually be used by God to bring miracles into other’s lives. So what am I going to do, I think I’ll have another drink.