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April 21, 2014- 3:10am
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Release The Spirit

Have you ever heard someone pray for a church service, or at the beginning of a service, “Lord, come down and meet with us today!”? That sounds at first like a very reasonable and worthy request. But, believers beware!! Satan is very sneaky in his attempts to deceive. It may not seem like much to some, but I believe satan has succeeded to a great degree in separating believers from the great power and presence of God available to us today. He can use this simple trick of misdirection and half-truth to do just that. It is true that God the Father is on the throne of heaven, and it is true that His Son, Jesus, has ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high. But neither is going to abandon His position in response to prayer. The Word indicates that they will occupy that position until the Rapture. You may argue, "But isn't God present everywhere?" God can make His presence felt anywhere He desires and does so through His Spirit. We should never forget, that the Holy Spirit is God, and it is He that is at work in the world today. In fact, He is dwelling (living) in the heart of every believer.

In Old Testament times, evidently people did not enjoy the constant presence of God. Numerous times it is recorded that the “Spirit of God came upon” people to empower them or direct them in a path that would fulfill the purpose of God. The Spirit empowered them to speak as God would have them speak (Num. 24:2) or lead as God would have them lead (Judges 3:10, 6:34, 11:29). However, the Spirit of the Lord was only at work in certain individuals at these certain times. David knew the importance of the work of the Spirit of God in individual lives and perhaps even envisioned a time when God’s presence would constantly remain upon those who sought Him. He pleaded, “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” (Ps. 51:11)

That’s exactly what God has done in the New Covenant. Jesus set the example. John the Baptist was told that he would recognize the Son of God, because He would be “the man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain. . .” (John 1:33) Later John testified about Jesus, saying that God had given Him the Spirit “without limit.” (John 3:34) God deals with us as believers in New Testament times differently from the way He dealt with people in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit does not “come upon” us only at certain times. Paul says, the Spirit that testifies that you are a Child of God lives (abides) in you. (Rom. 8:9, 16) That’s how God fulfills His promise never to leave or forsake us.

So, we need to realize that we don’t need to pray, “Lord, come down and meet with us today.” We have the Spirit of God dwelling within us all the time. We don’t invite Him into our church services after we are gathered together, we bring Him with us. A better prayer would be, “Father, release your Spirit within me.” Jesus said that the Spirit would flow out from within believers like “streams of living water.” (John 7:38-39) Paul warns us, however, to “Quench not” the Spirit of God. (1 Thess. 5:19) If we walk in the flesh, we do just that — hold in the Spirit so that He cannot be released to do His work in us and through us. Release the Spirit within you and the mystery of the Gospel will be fearlessly revealed (Eph. 6:18-19), believers will receive specific direction (Acts 8:29, 10:19-20), wrong choices will be prevented (Acts 16:7), mortal bodies will be quickened with life (Rom. 8:11), the misdeeds of the flesh can be brought under control (Rom. 8:13), prayer lives will be enhanced (Rom. 8:26), freedom will abound (2 Cor. 3:17), all of God's children will have access to the Father (Eph. 2:18), and the lost will be invited to partake of life in Christ Jesus (Rev. 22:17).

Dean St. Cyr

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