Do We Pray to God's Spirit?
Jesus was born like other people and when He was baptized He received "God's Spirit". To the Jews who were there this was not totally unusual as God's Spirit was recorded as being with Moses, Gideon, David, Elijah and many others. Jesus refers to God's Spirit as "the Spirit of your Father", "the Spirit of truth", "the Counselor and the Holy Spirit", etc. How do we treat God's Spirit? Some people follow manmade teachings where they talk to God's Spirit, others pray or make request of God's Spirit. Jesus is very clear that we are to ask God "in My name" and there is no mention of praying to God's Spirit.. Jesus, our example, talked to God on many occasions but there is no record of Him talking to God's Spirit or telling us to communicate with God's Spirit. 1
God's Spirit is used by God in many wonderful ways such as to "teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" and to "convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment" and many other ways, some of which are recorded in letters written in the early church which are included in the bible. Unlike Jesus who chose to not speak on His own but only say "what the Father said to tell you" apparently according to Jesus, God's Spirit "will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears". We need to pray to God who apparently will communicate to His Spirit His response. A unique difference is in the past God's spirit was in certain people, whereas after Jesus, His spirit was available to everyone. Shortly before Jesus was taken up to heaven, He told His followers "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about" and also shared, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you". A few days later as they were celebrating the Jewish feast of Shavuot or Pentecost in the Greek, the followers received God's spirit and Peter pointed out that it was a fulfillment of prophecy given to Joel where God said, "I will pour out My Spirit on all people". From that point on God's spirit has been available to all of us. Jesus says all we have to do is "ask". 2
An illustration: If you fall down and a friend uses his right hand to help you up do you thank the right hand or the friend? When God uses His spirit to bless you, thank God!
1. Mt 3:16 (IC); Nu 11:25; Jdg 6:34; 1 Sa 16:13; 2 Ki 2:9; Mt 10:20; Jn 14:15, 26
2. Jn 14:26; 16:8 (NI); Jn 12:49 (IC); Jn 16:13; Ac 1:4,8; Joel 2:28 (NI); Lk 11:13
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
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A Psalm for reflection "Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me" Ps 51:11 (IC)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
Why work on your marriage?
1. Most people want enjoyable, lasting marriages.
2. Jesus quoted (Mt 19:5 TE) God (Ge 2:24) when He said " two will become one ". Being one doesn't happen automatically, you have to work at being one and learning how to work together as a team.
3. God said in Mal 2:16 (NI) "I hate divorce " Being obedient to God is important to your eternal life. Take no pleasure in getting divorced and then telling your ex they are going to hell.
One time, a high profile Christian, who once shared with a group of pastors including me about what a strong Christian his wife was, made the news that they filed for divorce after over 30 years of marriage. My wife and I had been married over 30 years when we went through the marriage workshop together. In our first workshop we agreed that if we saw any one we knew we would just say we were learning how to help others. The truth is our marriage needed help and we benefited from the workshop. Subsequently I was trained to conduct workshops and I did learn how to help others. Today, I can tell you that our marriage is better than it has been in years and it continues to get better every week. Some people seem to have so much pride they would rather get divorced than work on their marriage. Our workshop at Jesus Center is better than counseling because we help you learn how to work together as a team and resolve your own problems.
Also it is good to know that from a study in 2009 of over 3 million households, 76 % have married only once. Over 19% have been married twice; and only 5% have been married three or more times.(7.25% in Oklahoma). Often to try to encourage people to work on their marriages people manipulate statistics to make people feel like everyone is divorced. Actually the exact opposite is true. Join the majority and stay married. Our workshop can help every marriage be better. We don't want you to say we have been married for 25 years and haven't talked to each other in 5 years. We want you to say that your marriage is better and more enjoyable every week.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). Also you can treat your spouse like you want to be treated as Jesus teaches us to Lk 6:31 (TE) "Do for others just what you want them to do for you."
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