3 Fears we cannot take into 2022 (part 3)


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I have shared with you a message from the Holy Spirit regarding fears that we must get rid of because they will work against God’s plan for you in 2022.

The first was a fear of death. A fear of death will interfere with you finishing your ministry. The second was the fear of the enemy. The enemy is going to challenge God’s purpose for your life, but you need not fear because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Today, we finish with our third fear. Before we begin, let’s look again at God’s word regarding fear:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 TIMOTHY 1:7

Fear that tries to stop you from obeying your God is an enemy. Fear originates from a lack of trust in God’s word and a lack of security in His love. If you love the Lord more than anything else – fear will not stop you from obeying Him.

With that foundation, let’s move to the final fear we must get rid of – the fear of disappointment.

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As believers, we sometimes disagree with God over how and when He should perform His purposes. We read the gospels – the book of Acts and the desire for kingdom exploits fills us with anticipation for what is to come.

But, the pathway to the promise confuses – God’s timing and His ways are perfect but discontent builds when He doesn’t follow our order of fulfillment. The Holy Spirit has instructed me to tell you that you will not be disappointed if you trust Him. Trust equates to faith. Faith equates to fulfillment. Fulfillment equates to joy. So, you can live with constant joy because you will not be disappointed by God.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ROMANS 5:5

Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Don’t allow tribulations or the passing of time confuse you about God’s purposes. Even tribulation and waiting upon God are producing for you.

Your confident assurance/hope in God will not bring disappointment. You already have the death and resurrection of God. You already have the infilling of His Holy Spirit. You already abide in His love.

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How can you believe that disappointment will be the product of these realities?

2022 will be a year of warfare. It will be a year of confrontation. But it will not be a year of disappointment!

But I am still full of confidence, because I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:12 GNT

I have no reason to fear death but I have a lot of reason to celebrate it.

I have no reason to fear the enemy but he has a lot of reasons to fear me.

I have no reason to fear disappointment because God will not fail.

3 fears we cannot take into 2022 (part 2)


What does the Bible say about fear?

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 TIMOTHY 1:7 AMPLIFIED

The first fear I wrote about that we cannot take into 2022 is the fear of death. Today, we discover the second: a fear of the enemy.

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Over time, Christianity has fallen more out of favor in America due to the rise of humanism and godless intellectualism. People are not the enemy – we must remember this during these days – but the enemy is using people and institutions as tools to intimidate believers in Jesus.

Once we are born again, the enemy loses control over our lives. Even when we go through hard times, God is in control of how “hot” things get – not the enemy. Knowing this helps tremendously when encountering a challenge.

The enemies’ goal is to control. He can’t control the lives of believers so he seeks to take control over seats of authority to enact ungodly agendas and he does this through intimidating and confusing the church.

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Confusion occurs when people in the church believe one way and act another. Intimidation occurs when Satan backs down fearful and insecure believers.

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The enemy will not change his tactics. He will continue his current strategy.

He will use your friends, your colleagues, your family, your neighbors, the media, the politicians, the professors, those who hate God – to see if there abides any fear of death, fear of unpopularity, fear of lack, fear of confrontation; etc. in you.

He will threaten to fire you, kill your children, make you an outcast, make you poor, put you in jail – even kill you if you do not bow to his agenda.

Jesus said this about the Christian life:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” MATTHEW 10:16

Here is Jesus’ summation regarding the believer’s response to opposition:

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” MATTHEW 10:32-33

Why do we fear the enemy?

Bottom line: We are not receiving Christ’s love for us and thus we are not believing His Word to us.

Here is the solid truth – the “verily” truth regarding believers and the enemy:

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” LUKE 10:19

Here is what Jesus said to Peter when he confessed Christ’s lordship:

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” MATTHEW 16:18

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Peter – petros, a small or detached stone. Rock – petra, bedrock or a huge rock. Jesus uses a simple play on the Greek words petros and petra in this verse. Throughout the N.T. Christ is clearly depicted as both the foundation petra and chief cornerstone of the church. Here He praises Peter for his accurate confession of faith in Him as Messiah.

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Every believer who knows what the Bible says about Jesus and acts upon that truth possess a revelation which the gates of hell cannot overcome! Peter knew that what Jesus said about the “Rock” of revelation applied not just to him but to all believers. Peter explains the role of believers as “living stones” in the church which is built on Christ as the foundation and cornerstone (1 Pet 2:5-6).

You are the devil’s worse nightmare! Don’t live in fear of a devil whose worse fear is you walking in the power of Christ! Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:26: “Therefore do not fear them.”

The fulfillment of your calling depends upon your faith in Jesus which releases within you freedom from the fear of the enemy. Walk in your God given liberty today!

3 Fears we cannot take into 2022


The Lord has shared something with me that I must share with you before the end of this year. He highlighted 3 fears we cannot take with us into 2022. Let’s look at the first today.

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We live in a changing reality that I believe is revealing what was always present within us.

This changing reality includes attacks against Christ like living, the rise of COVID, and the intrusion of government coercion.

These are not “fake” news but real issues.

The rise of these issues is causing an increase of fear in people.

The second epistle to Timothy gives us the overall truth regarding fear:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 TIMOTHY 1:7 AMPLIFIED VERSION

The fear of death is one of the most common fears. 2021 statistics reveal this about people and COVID:

48% of Americans are afraid of dying with coronavirus.

62% of Americans are afraid a relative is going to die with coronavirus.

36% of Americans say the pandemic has significantly impacted their psychological health.

59% of Americans report the pandemic has had a significant impact on their daily routine.

Psychology.org

Today, let’s talk about the fear of death.

What are we to do with a fear of death? Many believe they have no choice but to deal with their fear of death related to COVID as they are being told to by leaders or doctors.

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We always have a choice.

If we give away our choice, we give away our freedom. If we give away our choice, we give away our calling.

Jesus said this to us:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. MATTHEW 10:28

If we are not to fear those who can kill the body – should we fear that which can?

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. HEBREWS 2:14-15

We are not to be held in slavery by a fear of death. Jesus overcame the one who holds the power of death to free us so we could live fearlessly for God.

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. LUKE 14:26

Hate his own life – what does that mean? Maybe the apostle Paul can answer that for us:

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. ACTS 20:22-24

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That I might finish my course and the ministry that the Lord has given to me.

I hear someone thinking: But, believers have died from COVID since this all began. Couldn’t those deaths have been prevented with more precautions?

We are acting as if our goal is to live here forever. Over these many years since Jesus ascended, believers have died from many things. Were those deaths occasions to cease the ministry of the Lord?

If the people of God stop their ministry out of a fear of anything, the world is left without recourse.

Let’s finish with words from Jesus:

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” JOHN 11:25

Jesus Method of Changing the Imperfect


Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. John 13:1

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In the amazing story of Jesus washing His disciples feet – we behold the Perfect Lord serving the imperfect disciples. The disciples were the beginning of the church of Jesus.

When I study this passage, I get a view inside Jesus’ method of change.

Did the disciples need to be changed? You bet. So, how did Jesus go about changing them?

If we answer this, I believe that we can learn how to deal with a church that is not perfect.

First, we see the phrase we read above:

Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

Jesus loved them to the end. Here’s His word regarding His disciples:

Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” John 6:70 English Standard Version

When you read this story, you see two things:

First, God chose the disciples in all their imperfections. Two, God chose one of them knowing he was motivated by the devil.

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Think on this: God chose an imperfect church. Even the devil has his role to play in the journey.

And, His method of change for this imperfect church was to love them to the end.

The Greek word used here to describe “to the end” is the word:

Telos: a) He loved them through each stage until all is fulfilled. b) He was willing to pay whatever cost to reveal His love

This is the word from which we get our word “telescope”. Being able to see the end while knowing where you are.

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A popular method of change today when dealing with the imperfect church is to “abandon ship”. Leaving for another opportunity or experience was not Jesus’ method of changing the disciples/His church.

Can you imagine how much “stuff” Jesus has put up with in His relationship with you?

Jesus’ method of change involved:

Love rather than judgment

Presence rather than abandonment

After washing His disciple’s feet, Jesus said:

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Here, Jesus introduced one more method of change:

Sharing rather than withholding

How many of our methods of bringing change to an imperfect church are simply not in line with Jesus’?

I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

We are not to exalt our methods above His.

Jesus told His disciples that they would have a hard time understanding His methods.

What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.

Why would we understand later?

We would have His example empowered by His Spirit.

I hear someone asking, “what do we do about the devils among us? Boy, we’ve got some in the church!

Jesus knows who the devils are and will root out betrayal.

This requires trust in the Head of the Church. How does the Perfect effect change in the Imperfect? He serves it. How are we supposed to respond to the imperfect church? The same as Jesus.

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If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Doctrine is not Legalism


John 7:16 in the New King James Version quotes Jesus:

“My doctrine is not My own, but His Who Sent Me.”

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It is very easy to confuse doctrine with legalism. Doctrine can be defined as: “function of God”. Doctrine reveals God’s ways to us. You can’t know someone without knowing their ways – not in the sense of true knowing – in the context of relationship.

Legalism can be defined as: “function of man”. Legalism is anything added to the Word of God as a necessity for salvation or holy living. Salvation also means “deliverance”. Knowing that is important at the end of this blog.

Chapter 20: The Golden Calf

Mark 7:7 reflects Jesus’ condemnation of legalism by rebuking those who teach the commandments of men as equal to the commands of God.

Knowing and following the doctrine or teachings of Christ is essential to knowing Him and walking in holiness. Jesus said in John 8:32, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Doctrine frees you and reveals Jesus while legalism binds you and disappoints.

Don’t fall under any teaching that does not originate in the Bible.

One final balance to this:

Don’t be one who wants Jesus’ assistance but who rejects His lordship.

In these crazy times, I see many who want Jesus’ assistance or deliverance in their lives but when the subject of submission to Jesus is brought up, they stumble.

andy at faith: Encounters with Jesus ~ Rejected

You cannot get the full release of Jesus’ assistance without submission to His Word.

Doctrine frees and releases Jesus’ power. Wanting Jesus’ blessing without accepting submission to Him is another form of legalism. It’s simply man’s way of trying to manipulate God. Adding or taking away from His word brings a curse instead of a blessing.

Jesus has great things for you but you must close the door to the devil. There is an old saying: “You can’t ride two horses with one rear end”.

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Establish Jesus as your Lord. Break free from man’s ways. Accept the goodness of God.

Attending an Imperfect Church


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John chapter 13 tells the story of Jesus washing His disciple’s feet.

In this amazing account, we see the Perfect serving the Imperfect. The disciples were the first members of the church. When I study this passage, I get a view inside Jesus’ method of change.

Did the disciples need to be changed? You bet. So, how did Jesus go about changing them?

If we look at this, I believe that we can learn how to deal with a church that is not perfect.

First, we see this phrase:

Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

When Jesus found His own, He loved them to the end.

Jesus stated that He had chosen His own.

I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. ISAIAH 41:9

This was God’s word to an imperfect Israel. Here’s His word regarding His disciples:

Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” John 6:70 English Standard Version

If you read this words as they are spoken, then you see two things: first, God chose the disciples in all their imperfections. Two, God chose one of them knowing he was motivated by the devil.

Repeat this to yourself: God chose an imperfect environment. Even the devil had his role to play in the journey.

And, His method of change for this imperfect environment was to love them to the end.

The Greek word used here to describe “to the end” is the word:

Telos: a) He loved them through each stage until all is fulfilled. b) He was willing to pay whatever cost to reveal His love

Person Looking Through Telescope Stock Photos, Pictures ...

This is the word from which we get our word “telescope”. Being able to see the end while knowing where you are.

Another insight is that Jesus’ method of change did not include abandoning ship. Can you imagine how much “stuff” Jesus has put up with in His relationship with Israel and the church?

Jesus’ method of change involved:

Love rather than judgment

Presence rather than abandonment

After washing His disciple’s feet, Jesus said:

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Here, Jesus introduced one more method of change:

Sharing rather than withholding

How many of our methods of bringing change are simply not in line with Jesus’?

I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

We are not to exalt our methods above His.

Jesus told His disciples that they would have a hard time understanding His methods.

What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.

Why would we understand later?

We would have His example coupled with His Spirit.

Pastor, what do we do about the devils among us?

Jesus knows who the devils are and will root out betrayal.

This requires trust in the Head of the Church. How does the Perfect effect change in the Imperfect? He serves it.

If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Don’t Just Look the Part


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Matthew 21:18 tells the story of a hungry Jesus stopping at a fig tree to see if there were any figs He could eat for breakfast. Scripture tells us that the tree was in full leaf but had no figs upon it.

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You know, it is not enough just to “look the part” – looking healthy and good – we must be producing more than what makes us look good, prosperous, etc. Jesus stopped at that tree looking for one thing: fruit.

You and I must be producing fruit in our relationship with Jesus or we are falling short of why were are even alive.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16

Just as He did with the fig tree, Jesus will stop by our life to see if we have produced fruit through our relationship with Him. If fruit is present, His “hunger” for our lives is satisfied.

If He doesn’t find fruit, He may do what He did to the fig tree and speak over our lives in such a way that we lose what we do have.

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We are created to bear fruit in Him. It is not an option to function against our nature.

Get on the road to bearing fruit today! Jesus may stop by any minute to inspect your life! He is hungry for you to fulfill your purpose!

Victory in your Thought Life


Those who are saved possess the mind of Christ – which is a mind controlled by the Holy Spirit.

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How does that possession take place in reality? The Bible tells us:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. PHILIPPIANS 4:8 NKJV

Upon your salvation, the Spirit of God takes your mind with its current thinking patterns and begins the process of renewing it into the Mind of Christ.

The Spirit guides this process – providing the 7 attributes found in Isaiah 11:1-2 that make up the mind of Christ.

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As we begin the process of acquiring biblical knowledge and see that knowledge become wisdom within us, we begin to see the effects of the renewal process take place.

Beliefs based upon the truth of God develop – beliefs not based upon the Word are rejected. Power is released through biblical beliefs which create a life directed by the Spirit.

The issue that all of us face during this process is that our mind can receive input from many sources: the flesh can still speak to us, the devil can speak to us, others can speak to us, the world’s system can speak to us.

Many get discouraged because they believe that when they get saved, the only input they will receive from that time forward is that of the Holy Spirit.

But when you are alive, so is your brain. Like a radio, it can receive input from “broadcasts” that are in your sphere of life.

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The Bible tells us how to handle it when we receive input that is not of God:

We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ 2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 AMPLIFIED

Here we see the process:

  1. Destroy: kathairéō (from 2596 /katá, “down” and 138 /hairéomai, “to choose, make one’s own”) – properly, take down for oneself (“take for oneself“), i.e. forcibly yank down; destroy, leaving nothing “standing” or even in good working order; cast down.
  2. Lead away captive: to subjugate; bring under control.

When ungodly thoughts appear, you go and get them – put a rope around their neck and lead them away to destroy them!

You destroy and then replace. Philippians 4:8 tells us what to replace them with:

That which is:

True

Truth is where was must all begin if we are going to be free. Don’t allow fear to keep you from facing the truth. If you embrace anything other than truth about yourself, you will begin your thought journey from the wrong location. “I sinned” – “I am being tempted” – “I didn’t get something I wanted” – Start with truth.

Noble

Don’t waste time thinking upon things that are not important at the moment – things that get you “nowhere”, i.e., “This shouldn’t have happened” – “If only”.

Just

You must learn what God’s Word says about you and the situation and what God has done for you.

Pure

Holy; unadulterated. No double-mindedness. Don’t listen to competing arguments against the truth of God’s Word. If you do, you are stuck until you stop.

Lovely

Your thinking regarding yourself must be based in the love God has for you. Get rid of self pity because God is ready to work on your behalf. Get rid of self hatred because God doesn’t hate you. Get rid of regret because God has something new for you.

Good Report

That which promotes God’s heart toward you which is that He will turn around everything in your life to use it for His glory and your good. Don’t be like the Israelites of Moses’ day who brought back a bad report when confronted by enemies. When faced with obstacles, believe the report based upon God’s Word.

Virtue

That which enriches your life – makes it better – God is going to make you grow through what you are going through. The end result? I’ll be more like Him.

Praiseworthy

If you do think like what has been outlined by Philippians 4:8, your thinking will result in PRAISE to God. You can’t focus on unbiblical thoughts and praise God at the same time.

This thinking will work against lust, anger, or in instances in which you fail or face a disappointment. Lust simply says, “you need something you don’t have at this moment.” What you really need is God and if there is something else that will be within His will needed, He will get it to you at the right time in the right way.

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Victorious thinking can be summed up in believing what God says enough to live it. If you are saved, the Spirit of the Lord is within you. The Spirit’s nature is to live the Word. Allow the Spirit to live in you!!!

Don’t Miss Your Moment


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Doing life with Jesus is an amazing thing! He is so big and His kingdom so expansive that you always expect to be experiencing or learning something new from Him.

Life is a series of manifestations and a string of hope. As I said earlier, Jesus is always revealing something which creates new manifestations for us. But, we are also living in periods of hope or maybe they are best described as times when we are waiting on an answer to prayer. Moments of “waiting” are prominent while doing life with Jesus.

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Not too many days ago, I heard the Lord speak to me and say:

“You are living so much in what is still to be done that you are missing you moment right now!”

It is easy to focus on that which has yet to materialize and in doing so, lose the joy and peace that are yours in the now.

Listen: there will ALWAYS be something you are waiting on. God is too big not to have it so. But, we must learn not to focus on the undone but we should learn to pray and then leave those things in the hands of God. God loves us and the people we care about so much MORE than we can imagine. It is fruitless to focus on that over which we exercise no control. It is much better to pray and then to trust God with the timing and details of what we are waiting on.

Don’t miss the moment of blessing that God has for you right now! The devil is not in the details of your life – God is! There will always be something in process so, learn to trust God with what is yet to be by leaning on who He is right now!

The Mind of Christ


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If you have been born again, you have the mind of Christ operating within you.

The mind of Christ is characterized as a mind controlled by the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. ROMANS 8:5-6 NKJV

Your mindset is important because it determines your destiny.

The mind of Christ is a belief system that is empowered by the Spirit of God.

We are told that the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. So, let’s look closely at that Spirit which empowers our mind.

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. ISAIAH 11:1-2 NKJV

Parasha Behaalotecha: The Light of the Menorah and the Power of the Holy Spirit | Messianic Bible

The seven-fold Spirit of God, that creates the Mind of Christ in us, is like a Jewish Menorah. The Spirit of the Lord is the trunk (or the center core) and all the other six functions (capabilities, attributes) branch out from it – the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord.

The Spirit of the Lord (the center core) is literally the Spirit of Jehovah. The root word for Jehovah is havah:

Havah: to become

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Having the Spirit of the Lord upon us causes us to become like Him. The Spirit of the Lord is not a concept but a living being. It transforms us by making us new.

Six components of the Spirit of the Lord:

  • Spirit of wisdom

Wisdom is knowledge that is a divine attribute of God. It is a “knowing” that produces. Wisdom cannot be separated from reality. It is seen through behavior and attitude. It is knowledge that “lives”. A knowledge that produces life.

  • Spirit of understanding

Understanding is a product of discernment. Discernment in the biblical sense is a gift of the Spirit. It is recognizing what something is made of, what produced it, and what use it has.

  • Spirit of counsel

Wise people take counsel. You cannot separate the idea of counsel from the idea of “giving”. God gives us His Word on situations. Therefore, to have the mind of Christ requires us to receive what is given.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God , who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. JAMES 1:5 NKJV

  • Spirit of might

The mind of Christ is mighty. The Spirit has power that produces victory. The thoughts of God are empowered. What can stop them?

  • Spirit of knowledge

Here’s what we thought it was about all along: knowledge. Just knowing the right things. “Knowing” in the biblical sense is more than recitation. It is an intimate, relational thing.

It is the same concept of a relationship between husband and wife. Approaching the Word to have a relationship with it causes you and the Word to become “one”.

  • Spirit of the fear of the Lord

What is the fear of the Lord? To finish this out, let’s look at Proverbs 8:12-14:

I wisdom, dwell together with prudence (moral courage), and find out knowledge and discretion (purpose). The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. PROVERBS 8:12-14 NKJV

Here you see all six aspects of the Spirit of the Lord mentioned: wisdom, knowledge, counsel, understanding, strength, and the fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is defined as a hatred of evil. This is not an intellectually produced phenomenon but a heart produce one. Aren’t hatred and love heart issues? Love for God creates hatred of evil.

As a disciple of Christ, you have this mind within you with all its attributes and power at your disposal!

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Don’t allow any other mindset to rule you!!!!