If God is for me . . . who can be against me?

Seek the Lord and His Kingdom first . . .
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The Refining Part 5
"Walking in the the Spirit"
Part C

By Ricci Johnson-Wilson
Jesus came, He lived, and He walked on this earth for 33 years, demonstrating a holy love for all mankind. He knew how to disarm people; he had tremendous wisdom. He know how to silence those who were trying to challenge Him with their education in the scriptures. He knew how to penetrate the heart of man with love for the person who felt the most ashamed in life because of the things they had done. He could pierce through the thickest of walls, the shame and humiliation, and impart love to them that would bring healing to those wounds. That is how Jesus was when He walked this earth. The same character in Christ holds true today; it must reside within us. We are His vessels, called to demonstrate that level of love to those that we encounter each day.
We learn scripture, but those scriptures are meant to pierce through the toughest armor and bring with it the love of God, the tenderness of God. Romans 12:11 says to be “fervent in spirit.” That word “fervent” means “boiling over from our core in our passion.” In this case, it’s passion for God. Whatever we are doing, whatever we are called to do, whatever God has assigned us to do in this hour, it is to be done fervently. We are called to boil over in our passion! Whether we are serving the needs of the poor, one by one, or teaching to 100,000 people, it all needs to be done with the same passion. Why? Because that is what we are called to do in that hour. 

How can we do this when we are in difficult situations? Romans 12:12 tells us how: “…continuing instant in prayer.” The words, “continuing instant” mean “to consistently show strength which prevails (in spite of difficulties).” This is a strength that is born from living in a fixed direction of prayer. In other words, when we continue moving forward in prayer and face our difficulties head on, we do so in a determined state of pressing through. 

When the greatest obstacles hit us, we cry out, “Lord, I need your strength. Lord, I do not know if I can take this next step. I do not know what to do in this next moment, in this next second.” Yet, our mind is fixed on the goal that He placed before us, and now we have connected with Him on a spiritual level and He brings the wisdom, the guidance, the direction and the strength necessary to move forward. When we prevail, we press through the tribulation, and the only way to truly press through in tribulation is through prayer. I think we have all experienced what it is like to try to do something in our own strength and fail miserably time and time again before we realize it is only through His strength that we can get through that tribulation, through those difficulties, and that we can prevail though prayer.

You see, if we start our day connecting with our Lord, finding out what His priority is for our lives, no matter what we do that day, we can stay in a constant stream of prayer. This process can become a beautiful exchange of devotion to His will, a determination to press through and absolute dependence on Him to accomplish that which He sets before us. 
The Bible is replete with scriptures on how we are to interact with those around us. Whether we are interacting with our brethren or those who consider themselves our enemies, it all needs to be bathed in prayer. Bathed in prayer. If we stay in prayer, we can move forward. If we get on our faces in the morning and cry out, “Lord God, help me stay connected with You. Let my spirit stay connected with You all day long. In everything that I do today, I reflect You; I need to tap into You for strength, for wisdom, for guidance.” We can actually accomplish this if we stay constant in prayer. Why? Because we never really leave our prayer closet. 

Just because we walk outside the physical location of our prayer closet, does not mean we lock up our spirits and say, “Well, I am done for the day. Check. Got that one done and off my list, now it’s time to go exercise, eat my breakfast, and I’m off to work.” It is not something that we “mark off” of our to-do list, it is something that we must consistently press into in spite of the difficulty, and then we carry it with us all day long. It enables the Spirit to flow unhindered in our lives. 

We are to be vessels with the Spirit flowing from God, to us, and out to others. The more we allow Him to work the kinks out of us, to grind up the roots of bitterness, anger, resentment, and more within us, the smoother the flow. He wants to flow through us in such a way that nothing hinders His Spirit from moving freely from us to those we encounter. We are not supposed to get in the way of the Spirit of God moving through us. He is calling us to a place of true refining. 
Refining, because the new breed of believers is arising and in order to be that believer, we have got to learn how to flow in the Spirit. We have got to learn how to get out of His way, because it really is not about us, it’s about His Spirit flowing through us. Once we have given our lives wholly to Him, it becomes about His Spirit touching the lives of those around us. With His priority set for our day, we are grabbing hold of that priority with a fierceness until we accomplish everything that He sets before us. 
In Romans 12:12: “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.” That word “patient” means “to bear up and remaining under the load of pressure.” How is this accomplished? By staying in prayer, distributing to the necessity of the saints and given to hospitality. This keeps us prayerful and looking outside ourselves to serve our brethren. 

Romans 12:14-21 is really a lot of the same principals demonstrated when we love our brethren. However, remember, the same principles that we engage in with our brethren, we need to engage in with our enemies. Loving our enemies can be one of the hardest things we do. This passage is not referring to our thoughts or feelings toward others. This is referring to those who consider themselves our enemies. 

There are different circumstances wherein a person sets themselves as our enemy. It can be for our faith. There will be those who hate, persecute, mock or slander us for our faith. Even here, there are different levels of anguish one might endure. When there are people who have set themselves against us or who persecute us for our faith, we count it all joy! For the most part, anyway. It can, however, get grueling and be especially painful if this comes from family. This wears on the saints, their hearts torn between the One they love and the ones they love. Going through persecution for the faith when it comes from strangers can be bearable. How many times do we read the disciples being beat and warned of greater persecution of they continue preaching of Christ? They came out of prison with bloody, bruised bodies, rejoicing that they were considered worthy of suffering for the sake of the Gospel! When it is a child who will not speak to you or a spouse who seems to only tolerate your presence, all because you serve the Lord, learning to love them becomes essential for your emotional survival, doesn’t it? 

What about the people that have set themselves against us, those self-proclaimed “enemies” who we encounter frequently? How do we treat those who just don’t seem to like us, but we work alongside them? It’s nothing to do with our faith? Do we simply ignore them? What about when they speak ill of us to others? Do we defend ourselves? 

If we are going to be refined, if we are going to be a new breed of believers, it means we are going to need to function in a whole new capacity, not just in the Body of Christ but in the world as well. This is a whole new level of functioning. When people are in your presence, they are actually going to be drawn into the Kingdom because of the presence of God you have been created to house in such a powerful way. When people come around you they will be drawn into that Presence—that is what you have been created to do. In your presence, they are drawn into the presence of the Kingdom of God. It is a force—the power of the living God flowing through you in such a way that people cannot help but be touched by the anointing. It takes a lot of dying to self to accomplish this place in Him. 

To be continued next week…

Blessings & Love,

Ricci Wilson

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13.05 | 08:03

Don't forget to go to the Widow's Blog which is designed to spend time with the Lord each day! You will find you're not so lonely! The Father will never leave

10.05 | 06:12

God is obviously not finished with us, so we must draw close to the Lord and ask. Give Him all your burdens beloved. Give Him your loneliness & draw close.

10.05 | 06:05

Yes, I will pray for you beloved. I know exactly how you feel. In fact most of us if not all of us fight loneliness. Jesus said, He will never leave us!

09.05 | 13:30

Hello, I,have been a widow for 15 year's and I still struggle with Loneliness . Please Pray 4 me.I am just waiting for my own death,I turned 69 yrs old in Feb.

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