The Scriptures will lay the foundation of our established relationship
with God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Obey the Scriptures
The next area of concentration is that of obedience to the Scriptures. As
we study the Scriptures we see that blessings accompany obedience and judgment accompanies
disobedience. A person must be absolutely submissive to the Scriptures. The modern
Christian fails to understand the authority of Scripture. The Scriptures were given to us
by God not as a book to be dissected and analyzed but to be obeyed. Mans intellect
is always getting in the way of our obedience to Scripture. We must submit ourselves to
the will of God as Christ submitted Himself on our behalf.
The believer must declare a serious war on the old nature and start
exchanging his natural principles for living for spiritual principles. Here again the Holy
Spirit can be our first line of defense against unholy and strong satanic suggestion which
is aimed at our thought life. If Satan can get the believer to obey him instead of the
Holy Spirit, then he will have a great victory, and may place another believer in the
bondage of disobedience, if the believer acts incorrectly. A believer is to be fully
surrendered to Christ, knowing that Satan will not cease his attacks.
Satan will use every opportunity to attack us, especially from the blind
side. He uses every tactic at his disposal to get the Christian to yield to temptation. We
must realize that Satan will go to all extremes to try and disarm the believer. He is so
bold that he even had the guts to tempt Christ who is God. Satan knew that Christ is God
because he was up in heaven before he was ejected for sin. The believer is at war and must
stay alert to Satans snares. Obedience is very possible but one must be led of the
Spirit so they may discern the difference between obeying God and obeying Satan. Many
times Satan will dress up his schemes.
One good example of this is the divorce and remarriage madness that is
plaguing the church. A Christian gets divorced and immediately starts dating, when they
meet someone, they believe God has led them to be together. They forget that God states in
many places that that is adultery (Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Romans 7:2-3) and God
never leads anyone into sin.
The problem is that the church has rewritten the divorce laws. So when a
divorced person marries again does it look like they are obeying Satan? Of course not but
they are because God recognizes the first marriage as proper, and all others with a spouse
still living as adultery. I have never heard a pro-remarriage preacher ever preach on the
above four sets of verses. If a believer chooses obedience to Christ, then he will easily
progress to the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is easily grieved by sin after all he is the HOLY Spirit
and the third person of the Godhead. We must always keep in mind that the Holy Spirit
dwells in us and whenever we sin, we take Him into that sin. This causes us to grieve Him,
which is sin itself. We must think of the Holy Spirit as a near and dear friend whom we
would never want to offend. We must also view Him as Holy, Eternal God who is in us to
purify us and turn us away from sin and turn us toward God.
Your Spiritual Gifts
The third area of concentration that the believer must be willing to
engage in is seeking to discover their spiritual gifts. In my hearing some years ago, Dr.
Charles Stanley stated, "There are two steps to developing a spiritual gift: The
first is, learn to walk in the spirit; secondly, develop the characteristics." At
salvation all believers receive a spiritual gift, some receive one, others more. The clue
to knowing what area God would have you in is keyed to knowing your spiritual gift. A
person should take an inventory of their spiritual and secular life, and then determine in
what areas are the strengths and weaknesses. For example, a person might read a book or do
a project, by means of using in-depth research. If a person likes to dig deep into
matters, that person may have the gift of teaching.
A good teacher must dig deeper and harder into any subject. A person who
analyzes and categorizes every situation in their mind may have the gift of teaching
waiting to manifest itself outwardly. If the person does nothing about developing this
hidden gift, they will be quenching the Holy Spirit. If this person is just contented to
be a listener and not a teacher, by means of his gift, then he is abusing his spiritual
gift. What I mean by abusing his spiritual gift is that he is neglecting to use it and is
quenching the Holy Spirit which is sin. A very subtle form of wife abuse is when the
husband always works late and the wife is home alone a majority of the time. This is
neglecting the wife and is comparable to neglecting the Holy Spirit.
If God gives a person the gift of giving, then this person should not be a
teacher because he is out of his sphere of spiritual gifts. God has a reason for giving
certain spiritual gifts in the body and the He wants the body of Christ to be edified
completely, and this will not be done if believers sequester their spiritual gifts or envy
anothers spiritual gift.
Seek Gods Will to use that Gift
The fourth area of concentration which a believer must focus on is that
once they discover their spiritual gift, they seek Gods will and direction on how to
utilize that gift. I believe the reason that many believers are very frustrated and
dissatisfied with their life is that they fear God will send them to live in a grass hut
and teach the Bible to Cannibals, so they hide in a day to day job which brings them no
satisfaction. Many times they give to missions believing that this is what God would have
them to do as their commitment. If God places a spiritual gift in us then He has the right
to expect us to use that gift in the place He assigns us, and trusting that He will
provide the place and the means to sustain us there.
He has an exact place where He wants us to be, and an exact ministry
whether it is in a missionary or a home office position. It doesnt matter because
all places that Gods children are assigned are missionary settings. God knows best
how to distribute His children effectively to make an impact for Christ. People are too
fearful of the will of God, really in essence they are saying they do not trust God. This
grieves Him because He knows that He can take better care of us than we can ourselves. God
waits for His children, but not forever, as He will raise up another to do the job that He
had planned for His original choice.
The first cousin to obedience is our fifth area of concentration which is
taking action once you have discovered Gods will for your life. If a person is
hungry and just looks at the food, it does no good until he eats it. If God has opened the
door on a ministry, then that believer is to walk through that door trusting God for the
results. The Holy Spirit will direct that ministry for the believer. The fullness of the
Holy Spirit is only experienced when a believer is working to further the kingdom of God.
The Holy Spirit filled believer will be radiant with fruit, will face the winds of
adversity with confidence, because he knows that the Holy Spirit has gone before him.
(Deu 31:8 KJV) And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be
with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
The fullness of the Holy Spirit is attained by a process of obedience and
is available to every believer. It is also known as progressive sanctification which is
not a process to attain salvation as salvation is by grace alone and a one time act. This
is not to say the Holy Spirit is given out proportionately to match every step in our
life, but rather that the Holy Spirit dwells in all His fullness in every true believer.
The whole concept of obtaining the fullness of the Holy Spirit is called
the "Exchanged life." You are exchanging the things of the world for the things
of God. The more you continue to love the world, the less you will experience the fullness
of the Spirit. Do you think God can give peace and joy to a believer who puts their faith
in the lottery? Do you think God will bless a believer who reads their horoscope, just for
fun? This is occultism and it is condemned by God. Be careful what you call innocent fun,
God may call it sin. As you begin to put off the old man and begin to put on the new man,
then you will experience the progressive fullness of the Holy Spirit but there must be a
conscious effort in the believers life to mortify sin.
(Rom 8:13 KJV) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye
through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.