The Jewish culture is quite an interesting subject. It is a culture that when observed carefully, it reveals the knowledge of who God is. Specifically, Jesus the Messiah is revealed and the character of who He is. In most Jewish customs and traditions you can find things that parallel Biblical Scripture. It’s actually quite fascinating and I encourage everyone to do a study on the Jewish way of life, not only does it increase revelation, but also puts a deeper yearning in Your heart for Jesus.
For example, look at the Ancient Jewish wedding rituals and you will see God’s whole plan for humanity or should I say the whole Bible completely summarized by an old wedding custom. However, my focus is to talk about the importance of the Holy Spirit of the Church through the context of one of the ritual processes, the Matan (gifts). Now that the groom and the bride have just agreed that would marry each other and the payment for the bride had been by the Father of the groom, they were now betrothed to one another (in Jewish culture once a betrothal has happened, the couple were technically married). The groom would now have to go out and prepare a place where he would live with his bride after the marriage ceremony was complete and also fulfill other obligations. During this time there would be a long separation between the groom and the bride, sometimes this separation would be extremely long. Before the groom left he would present to his bride a gift that pledged his love for her and it would also serve as a reminder to the bride of her future husband’s devotion and love for her. This gift would be something that she would highly value until the groom returned for her. As the bride waits patiently for her groom to return to her, the gift will help her remember her devotion to the groom and the marriage covenant that they had made together, she will remain faithful and wholehearted until he returns.
Now how does this relate to the importance of the Holy Spirit in the Church?
We who are believers have been betrothed (Hosea 2:19, 2 Corinthians 11:2) to Jesus Christ. He is our Bridegroom and we are His bride. Jesus, while He was on earth, spoke of a place that He was preparing for us (John 14:2-3), but to do that he would have to leave us and come again for us at another time (Second Coming). As you read through the gospels you will see that the disciples of Jesus lamented almost every single time when Jesus spoke of his future departure. The bride is about to be separated from the Bridegroom for an unknown amount of time, imagine the anguish of being separated by your one true love for who knows how long, that is what the disciples were feeling. However, Jesus assured his disciples that after He had left a Comforter or the Counselor would come.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” - John 14:26
…and this was the gift! The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God would become the very divine memorabilia of Jesus. It is the very thing that will keep our hearts in love with Jesus. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us will be the one who teaches us the things of Jesus and remind us daily of our betrothal to Him and our eternal destiny when He returns on that glorious day for us. Because of the Holy Spirit we will remember our Jesus while He is gone, for it is the only thing that can search out the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10) and reveal to us his goodness, kindness, compassion, mercy, love, and His faithfulness to us. As long as the Spirit resides in us, we will remember of the covenant we made with God and our hearts will be fueled with love by the revelation of Jesus as it replays in our hearts again and again.
The Holy Spirit is not just a simple tool that we use to invoke spiritual gifts. If that’s how we see it, we’re not using our gift correctly. It is much more than that, it is the spirit of God that constantly reveals to us who Jesus is and keeps our hearts in check. The Spirit brings us conviction to our hearts when we violate our covenant with God and brings us back into the place of devotion. The Spirit takes us into the realm of encounter in which we can tap into the reality of who Jesus is, not only through knowledge, but also experience. Today, in most churches, the Holy Spirit is rarely ever talked about and people have lost the significance and importance of it. It is not a surprise that churches who have lost the knowledge of the value of the Spirit are apathetic, complacent, and preach false doctrine. It’s because they threw away the only gift that brought remembrance to Jesus, now the character of Jesus becomes uncertain, everything becomes questionable. One compromise begins and leads to another. Truth becomes blurred and it allows the church to chase after other lovers without any feelings of guilt. They now chase after their own hearts desire and pay no attention to the heart of Jesus (since they completely forgotten who He was like). The bride is now completely defiled in sin.
Jesus is coming back one day to finish the wedding, it is in His heart that He would be reunited with His bride on the Day. He will marry us and find His bride in complete love and agreement with Him. The gift He left behind, the Holy Spirit who is God, He will teach us everything about Jesus. As long as we hold on to this blessed gift He has given us we will be made ready for His return and He will find that His bride was faithful to Him until the very end because she remembered Him as if He had never left her at all after all those years of absence. His heart will be moved.
Throughout the time Jesus was on the earth there were only two things he spoke publicly about Himself concerning His character.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.” - Matthew 11:29
The only thing Jesus said about Himself was that He was meek and lowly. Why of all things would Jesus highlight only His meekness and lowliness? Couldn’t he have said something that was more glorious about Himself, like all-powerful, all-knowing, or even zealous? As I meditated on these two particular traits of Jesus, I started to receive more and more revelation concerning these things. Jesus wants the world to discover who He is and everything that is of Him, but I believe if there was one important thing that Jesus wanted all of mankind to know, it was His humility, more specifically His humility in His leadership.
What I really want to talk about in this post is the most important thing that you want to look for in any spiritual leader. There are very many different things we look for in a spiritual leader, some may look for a leader who is outgoing and fun or people with very strong personalities. I know some of us out there are looking for those fiery, zealous, and sold-out for Jesus type of leaders that we can be around. I believe all these things are good things to look for in a leader and I encourage all to look for leaders like these, however I believe all these things fall short to the most important trait that defines what a leader is in the Kingdom of God: Humility. Jesus did so many great things while He was on the earth: signs and wonders followed wherever he went, He healed the sick, and He fed the poor, and taught with great authority. Even though there was all these glorious things that had happened in His ministry, He never wanted His disciples to follow Him because of the great works that He was doing. I believe the biggest thing Jesus wanted His disciples to know was that the way He lead was by being a servant of all. He was preparing them for a day where they would take the mantle of leadership, but this leadership style would be different, they would lead by serving in humility.
Again, I want to say that its good to find and come under leaders that have that fiery zeal in their hearts, full of the knowledge of God, and strong evangelistic personality. However at the end of the day these things do not come even close to compare to the one that is humble. I believe anyone in the faith that is looking for good leadership should put humility at the top of the list. Humility is the barometer in which every leader will be measured by. The leaders capacity to walk a meek and lowly lifestyle, and to live a lifestyle of a servant, because the truth is, that’s the only right way you can lead, it is by denying yourself and putting on the garments of a servant. When I open up the Scriptures and read the Gospel, I am impressed by the works Jesus does and the miracles He performs, but what touches me and causes my heart to fall in love and draw near to Him is the fact that He washes the feet of mankind. Though he is a leader and has the authority to command others to serve others, He simply does it Himself. Not only is He willing to serve us with all our needs, but He is so willing to take out our dirty trash when no one else wants to. He is willing to stand up for us when no one else wants to and will humble Himself to the point that He will sacrifice His own body to protect us. We see this man named Jesus who leads with a meek and lowly heart and it does move our hearts with affection which draws us closer to Him, but sadly, this isn’t what we look for first in our earthly leaders.
I have to admit humility isn’t always the most attractive thing at first sight, especially people my age would rather go after people with zealous and fiery personalities, that’s way more attractive. However, let’s not forget that Jesus wasn’t so attractive to begin with either (Isaiah 53), all He did was serve others and only offered others to be a servant like Him. Yet in the end His name is remembered forever in history because people saw His loving heart through His servanthood and the way He treated others over Himself. Because of the testimony of His humility, many have come to know the love of Christ and have given their lives to Him and now walk the path of salvation. This is still something I’m really learning to look for first in people and when I meditate on it and see it in other people, it is so much more glorious than being zealous and fiery.
So, when you look for spiritual leaders, look for humility and treasure it more than any other trait, because if your goal is to look for a fiery zealous, full of the knowledge of God, and strong evangelistic personality type and that’s it, there’s no guarantee for humility. The unfortunate truth is that zeal, knowledge, strong personalities do not counter pride and in many cases we see leaders with these traits fall into it many times. However, if they have humility or set their hearts to live a meek and lowly lifestyle, then pride can be effectively fought off, since both are polar opposites. In humility, I believe zeal, knowledge, and passion truly becomes a pleasing fragrant offering to the Lord, because it’s not about us. A humble leader will always do everything in their power to empower you to chase after Jesus. They will watch over you and sacrifice their own time and money for you, pick up your trash when you can’t and when no one else will, build relationships with you, and go out their way to love you. Those are the marks of a true leader in Christ and there are still so many out there for you to discover. Amen and God Bless!
I heard this song yesterday while I was in prayer yesterday at Faith Hope Love and the Lord gave me a vision of Him as the Warrior King in His glorified body riding on a white horse and riding ahead of me onto victory to fight the wicked kings of the earth and the antichrist and put an end to evil forever, as I saw this I was in complete awe and my heart started to tremble and fall more deeply in love with Him. He is coming again for me and you. He will fight for us and put an end to all things that have hurt His bride and we will be together forever. He is terrible, but beautiful Warrior King.
It was a little over a week ago that I received this dream. I remember it very well and felt like the Lord was trying to communicate to me something that was on His heart concerning Faith Hope Love House of Prayer.
Dream: I was at a Sunday service at FHL, but soon I realized that it was a not regular service and it was sort of a special service because we had invited a speaker from out of town to come and minister to us. That speaker happened to be Kirk Bennett who is a senior leader from IHOP-KC and heads up the ministry 7Thunders which travels to houses of prayer throughout the country and ministers to them. It seemed like the sermon had just ended and it was time for ministry time. I noticed that it was a combined service for this event for both English and Chinese speaking groups. What caught my attention was that we at the same place where we regularly held our Sunday services, however the whole room was completely filled! Right now our Sunday service hasn’t been able to fill half of the room we were in. I also noticed that the majority of those who were in the room were mostly of Asian descent (most likely Chinese). They were mostly part of the older generation (35 and up) and I immediately knew that they were mostly new-believing Christians and or this was the first time they came to a Church service. Then while the whole room was being ministered to, the Holy Spirit started to break out, people started to speak in tongues and joy filled the whole room. I, myself felt the Spirit come upon me and touch me and I started to break out in laughter and I saw around me that people all around the room were being touched in the same way. Joy and laughter filled the whole room that some could no longer stand up but slouch in their chairs as the Spirit fell upon them (myself included). I noticed that the people that were being touched were the new-believing Christians/newcomers. The whole room was covered in the thickness of His presence.
I personally believe that the Lord is going to do a great and mighty work across the Asian population across the city of Columbus, especially to the older generation. He wants to particularly emphasize the Holy Spirit and the power that comes from Him and touch those who are broken and needy. He wants to release joy and peace into the hearts of many of those who have a hard time believing in a God who loves and cares for them and those who do not know Him to be able to enjoy His presence in which they were all called for. Feeling the joy of the Lord, gladness, and delight over them is a very difficult concept for most Asians to grasp and even for those who have been in the faith for many years. Years of traditions and culture have binded us into a spirit of fear and oppression, that has hindered us as a people from knowing His love at the purest form. I believe that God wants His people to come into full agreement with how He feel towards them. I could go into much more about this subject, but I plan to write about this at a future time, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, please pray for the Asian community in Columbus, they need your prayers, thanks!
Hello, I took a leave of absence from Tumblr for about six months while I was doing my internship in Kansas City and I am now finally back on! Stay tuned for my next post which has to do with the subject of the knowledge of God.
This is one of my favorite songs. It’s okay to receive His love, He wants you to be confident in His love. It’s okay if you have problems, He understands. He doesn’t tell us to to come fix ourselves first, He says, “Come to me now, because I love you! I died for you and paid for all your sins so you could be with me!”. You don’t have to earn His love, you never will, just run to Him now. It’s good and right, there is nothing wrong with running to Him in your most broken state, He delights in You, He wants you to open up and receive His love.
Dear Heavenly Father, I ask that you would come and move your mighty hand over Japan. Lord, pour out your mercy on this nation. Lord I ask that you would come and rescue this nation, it is so in need of you at this time. Lord, let the waves of death subside and bring restoration to the land of Japan. Let every tear, mourning, and wailing be turned into peace, joy, and laughter again. Send relief to these people, come and bring the world’s attention to them, give them a desire to help them, Lord. Lord I say, send even more missionaries to Japan, Lord, I ask that there would be a huge revival in the country that many would turn multitudes to Jesus and that they would desire and love them with all of their hearts. Send your workers to the fields to prepare for the harvest, God! Lord, I ask that the nation of Japan would come to know you, that this nation would become a nation after the heart of God. Lord, genuine love for You. Lord, let them find hope in You in these moments of despair, let them be able to see you. Let them see Your love, let them feel Your love, God. Come close the ones who are broken, let them feel Your everlasting and great love! Lord, come and show this nation Your love. Raise up the Church in Japan, Lord Jesus! Let the Christians of this nation rise up with boldness and confidence to preach forth your good news to their people. Lord, grant them wisdom and revelation of Your Name. Let them do justly and righteously in all Your works. Let them be people who will set themselves apart and follow after You wholeheartedly, so they may be lights to their nation and they will draw multitudes after multitudes of people to You. God, release fire on to this nation, release passion for You and let the Holy Spirit fall on this nation. Come, Lord Jesus bring Holy passion for Your Name in Japan. You are the everlasting God who loves and longs for His people. Come Lord, pour out your mercy and give grace to Your Church in Japan. Send abundance to this nation, let revival hit this nation, starting now Jesus! In your Holy Son’s Name I pray. Amen.
Posted on Mar 6, 2011 at 10PM
Probably one of the best sermons I have ever heard in my life. It brought so much conviction to my heart to break off my own agreement with sin and come into 100% agreement with the Lord. Watch this message, it will change your life!!!
“Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
This past week I have learned a lot more about fasting than I have ever learned. Throughout 30 Hour Famine and towards the end of last week, the Lord has released revelation to me about the reason and necessity for fasting. In our current generation, I believe many of us tend to have a misconception of what fasting is. One thing I have noticed is that when we see others fast and live out that lifestyle regularly, we think that they’re amazing or awesome Christians. To those who have not fasted or have little experience in it will tend to believe this, because they do not have the paradigm that fasting is part of the normal Christian life. Jesus implied that fasting occurred regularly in a disciple’s life in Matthew 6:17-18 when he said, “When you fast,”. Now I am not saying that everyone needs to go force themselves to fast regularly immediately. What I am saying is that fasting is not some radical concept that only “strong” Christians can bear regularly nor is it an event that is exclusive only to special occasions or events.
Why is fasting and prayer a normal part of the Christian life? What is the reason? Why is it necessary? I used to think fasting gave me spiritual strength when I performed one and was just another means to carry out my Christian duty, but in a really “awesome and greater” way. However, that is neither the definition nor the point of fasting. The purpose of fasting is to position ourselves to freely receive more from the Lord. In order to do that, we must set ourselves apart from our fleshly desires and pursue an intimate relationship with the Lord through prayer, worship, and reading the Word. The point for fasting has always been to seek the Lord first and it always will be. It is an error to believe that when you fast, you automatically gain spiritual strength and have grown closer to God. This is not always the case, because a fast can be performed incorrectly because it had nothing to do with the Lord in the first place. This sounds harsh, but it’s true, many people will still succumb to the desires of the flesh and the world while performing a fast. Fasting is not about setting yourself apart from certain things (e.g. food, Facebook, video games, etc.) so you can build up personal discipline. When you fast, you set your gaze on this beautiful, majestic, fascinating, and loving God who is worthy to be praised, something inside you changes. All of the desires you’ve had suddenly become worthless and can no longer satisfy you. The one thing that you desire and seek at the end is to love this beautiful God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength!
There will always be seasons in our lives where we will go through struggles (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). There are also seasons that we might fall into complacency and lukewarmness; living out the lifestyle of the “comfortable Christian”. We might even just simply want more deeper wisdom and revelation of Him or to grow more intimately with Him in our walk. The gift of fasting that the Lord has bestowed on us gives us that opportunity to connect with Him in dynamic ways. The reason why we are able to receive more from the Lord during a fast is because we set our eyes away from the things that distract us, which is why fasting is a regular part of the Christian life. Most of the things we look at today hinders us from knowing and loving the Lord. It is not only a hindrance because it takes up too much of our time, but also because the things we look at do not reflect the character of God at all. This is why it is especially important to not get caught up with your lifestyle during a fast or else it will work against you. The things you meditate and perform in a fast are the things you will have an increase in desire in once the fast is over. For instance, if I started doing a fast and used the time to meditate on and talk about video games, all I will do is play video games after the fast is over. Even if I did somewhat meditate on Jesus, as humans, our desire is for the world and if we settle for looking at the world, then woe to us, because the world is what we will want more and it is what we will get more! It is because of the world we live in, which hinders us from receiving God that we need to constantly seek him in more effective ways on a regular basis in order to maintain our relationship with Him. Fasting is one of the most effective ways to do this, but it must always be coupled with praying. During the time of fasting, intimacy with the Lord through prayer increases our love and desire to know and be with Him. If you dedicate your entire time to prayer wholeheartedly in fasting, this is the dramatic change you will see in yourself.
Fasting is not about us. It has and will always be for the glory of God. It doesn’t matter if I fast for world hunger or justice, if it has nothing to do with pursuing after or meditating on the Lord, it’s not a fast, it’s called starvation. Many times we will think we can starve ourselves in order to make a difference in the world, but in reality only God can do that, so we must first seek the kingdom of God in order for these things to be given to us. To have any affect on any social issues that is ongoing in the world, we must bring our intercession before the throne room of God in prayer. Other than that we are relying on our own strength. When we see poverty and world hunger start to diminish, it is always the work of the Lord because of our intercession to Him. It’s not only about having the heart to give and be aware of social injustice (though these are good things and I believe the Lord really wants you to do these things, but that is not the point), but knowing and praying that one day Jesus will come back and completely wipe away all our tears, pain, and sorrow forever. That is the only way injustice will ever completely end, not by the hands of man, but by the hands of the Almighty. Fasting can not be simply reduced for the purpose of striving for personal discipline in certain areas. Do not fast for the sole reason of wanting to be on Facebook or video games less. What tends to happen is that since there is no revelation of God during the fast, all you will think about are the things your fasting on and after the fast is over, you will return to your addictions with greater intensity than before. Yes, I believe discipline can be one of the reasons, but remember that He always calls us on a fast as an invitation to get to know Him more and find greater pleasures in Him. When we do that, our desires are shifted to wanting to know this magnificent and fascinating God and all our other desires become irrelevant to us. We are made and called to know and love Him, so that we may give glory to Him. Only God and going deeply into the knowledge of God is the only way that our addictions can be broken. Again, seek the Lord first and He will give all these things to you.
It has been incredible this past week that the Lord has revealed to me about the heart of fasting. I really thank the Lord and I am more encouraged to fast even more because of Him. Experiencing the Glory of the Lord continues to blow my mind and causes more and more fascination in me to know and love this infinite, beautiful, Holy God even more. I encourage everyone to a live a lifestyle of fasting and not just let it be simply an annual ritual or event we do together with people. If you are in a season of struggles, I encourage you to take some time to set yourself apart for the Lord and just dwell and soak in His presence, you will experience change. Fasting has its rewards, to know and love Him more so we may continual hope in Him, our love and intercession for others which God hears and will deliver, and find greater pleasures in Him that do not compare to the world. May the Lord always be a continual blessing to you and your family, may you constantly feel His presence of joy, peace, and love all over you for all the days of your life.