…set apart in the Spirit of God

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:11,12 (NKJV)

Man has a spirit in him – a part of him – that he knows and is guided by. It is an experiential knowledge that manifests as our conscience, our intuition, and our emotion. It is a spirit that a man may discern as the leading and calling of things larger than himself. However, it is only of himself and may guide him through a feeling or an understanding of self-awareness, but it is still only himself. The vessel that is man envelops this spirit and regardless of how or what he perceives he is knowing, it is within himself.

There is a big mistake in the world that uses the spirit of man and confuses it with a universal spiritual energy. This new way of thinking in this age is deception. Man is not guided by the spirit of other man but is governed by his own spirit of experiential knowledge that  is separated unto each man. The mistake is believing this spirit is interchangeable and transferable between all man.

So this means? The spirit of man is for a man to know that which is within him: experience as a basis for his emotion and feeling. It is individual and I believe the verse means that the depth of knowledge is as deep a the individual man’s experience and wisdom.  Every man has this and it is a relative wisdom. We think therefore we are, we experience therefore we feel. This has an end for all man and he will reach his end and need to turn to an outside source. Man’s spirit and wisdom is finite.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,  But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

If we believe the Bible then, we know we have lived in a finite spirit of wisdom prior to our relationship with God. We have never begun to know. Wisdom is the wisdom of the things of the Spirit. The wisdom of the Spirit and the wisdom of man’s spirit are separate. That is why when we submit our lives to Jesus, we receive the Spirit, the reverence for the Father, and it is then when our wisdom begins. The wisdom God  imparts. We are sanctified – set apart:

And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. John 17:19

Set apart is separation. Therefore the things of man are not the things of God. Man will run a futile race without God but with God, will run to a glorified finish in a majestic race. We have received the Spirit, our key to the things of God. His knowledge, His gifts, His love. All are separated from man of the world. We are freely set apart in God and now freely receive the things given to us by God.

Man has spirit to know himself as deep as his experience allows. The Spirit of God brings wisdom that eternal knowledge will confound the worldly spirit of man. The more we understand this, the more we can begin to have compassion – not tolerance – for a lost world. We have known the spirit and we know the Spirit now. Therefore we can feel with those still in the world and find love for them. We are set apart but we love not in arrogance of achievement, but in the growth into the Spirit who brings us the love and gifts of our Father.

Rick Stassi

November 30. 2011

Each day, a New Day…

 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9,10

It is written in a verse from Isaiah 64:4

 4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

The wisdom of the world: the suppositions, the philosophies, in this world, have not revealed what God will do with our lives (see Chuck Smith commentary – Blue Letter Bible). For it is not all what is to come in our eternal salvation, but also what is to come today. We see glimpses of God working in our lives, but we do not yet see the full picture He has painted. Certainly no wisdom of this world has seen or heard God’s plan. The grievous ones who have yet to open up their hearts in agreement with God have yet to even see the blessings we believers can and will recognize.

God has prepared everything for us. The story is written from the moment of our Fall in Eden, to the fulfilled promise to Abraham of our return to His image. It is all prepared in His grace. It is our mistake we fell away from Him – it is His plan we return and He has prepared the way. The blind world will not see this nor will it hear our testimony. O angst! that we should listen to the pompous and futile debates of the absence of God. We must have grace – they know not what they do. We can give what has been given abundantly to us.

We are the ones that are on the path – the straight path as declared by John the Baptist from Isaiah:

3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3

We have the gift of the Holy Spirit and we have the Bible, God’s word. We have and know the love of Jesus and we see glimpses of what shall be and what has been. We look forward today for what He has prepared for us. It is on a straight line – it is for us to know Him better. 

So, reach out. Be the ears and be the eyes of God in this deaf and blind world. We must persevere in this task. Learn to evangelize with relevance to a new generation. Our actions speak so much louder that our words; but, God’s word will not return void. Never discount that fact, for it is written. Be in His kingdom in the vessels He has now filled. We will make a difference and He will say one day: ” Well done, good and faithful servant”   

See what He has prepared for you today. It is exciting to know and try to understand all He does. Each day, a new day!

Rick

November 29, 2011

Man’s foolish wisdom…

Artist: Derek McCrea4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:4,5

For man’s wisdom cannot approach the wisdom of God. Why then should we listen to man’s ramblings and philosophies?

Seek and prove the words of man that they are securely on the foundation of God’s guidance alone. God will reveal Himself as we seek Him. However, we must prove words from the world that claim His wisdom. Seek truth in my words now for I am not beyond reproach.

Enticing words are motivating as they speak to us at a level of shallow understanding. Enticed by God’s word will send a confidence of knowing and believing God is with you. For He is here now. Through prayer and supplication I ask Him for a revelation that is deeper. Through trials or not, I will consider it all to joy and prosperity. God is demonstrated by the Spirit WHO abounds. Therefore, if we seek and receive the breathed words of the Spirit, can we not then be true conveyors of His word?

But, Paul is cautionary. Man will tell you what you wish to here. God will tell you what is right. Believe and follow what is right for it is His will.

Our faith shall never stand on the words of man but await the perfect word of God. We will know and understand. We shall not be confused.

God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

Annie Johnson Smith

Man’s word may try to offer sun without rain, joy without sorrow, or peace without pain. But in God’s will, all things are for good. Count each not as contrasting opposites, but as complimentary essentials. 

 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 25

How can God be foolish? How can God be weak? The Spirit demonstrates.

Man will never approach the wisdom or strength of God. It is an abstract that Paul uses to show the folly of man. In the world, we are enthralled with the things of the world. Seek that which is beyond reproach. Prove the word of man using the gift of spiritual discernment.

Pray in peace for God’s breathed words to come upon you. Absorb with joy in the spirit of His will that imparts wisdom. Embrace the moment of God in your life. He is truly omniscient and is with you, with me.

Stand firmly in your faith for the enemy will surely try to vex and agitate you peace in God. It is our motivation to try to be with Him always. Peace in God’s breathed word.

Rick

November 26, 2011

Phoebe’s birthday, my loving daughter.

…rejoice in testimony

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

2 Corinthians 1:12

Paul describes the ‘spirit’ in which he delivers the message of God to the Corinthians. Rejoice in the testimony of God in your life. Your conscience is your inner intuition that ‘impels’ us to right or wrong. By this statement, I believe Paul is stating that he is rejoicing in the testimony that is in agreement with God. When in agreement, we are confident of His good work. We are joyful in our choices. We are satisfied in our minds and hearts that our intuition is more than a simple thought of whimsical good. It is God’s direction that we have:

  • Recognized
  • Understood
  • Conveyed

 When we are communing with God, our heart speaks with the voice of Jesus within us. It is clear and concise. It is not complicated and it is only through the grace of God.

Sincerity:

“Sincerity in Greek implies the non-admixture of any foreign element. He [Paul] had no sinister or selfish aims…” A.R. Fausset (BlueLetterBible) 

The satisfaction of our testimony rises out of a sincere heart. We can rejoice because we are clear that the core of our testimony is from God. We are clear it is not self-centered. We are clear it is not mixed with ulterior motives. Our wisdom through God precedes all rejoicing. be secure in your words and know your heartfelt words are from a deeper wisdom of which the source is not of the world, but of God, Himself. The hierarchy of our testimony release:

  • God
  • His Wisdom
  • Our Understanding of Him
  • Our Conveyance of the Testimony of this Understanding

What is our rejoicing, actually? It is the joy we feel when we are praising God. We have edified Him and we know it. We have a right conscience and a sincere heart. These are two litmus tests that we can use on ourselves to test our motives.

The message is to convey a simple message to the world and to individuals, as well. Be self-aware which will happen when you are communing with God in a deeper, personal relationship. He searches our hearts and shines His light in our dark places. As we seek Him,  He will reveal who we are, what are motives are, and guide us so that we may rejoice because we have edified Him to the world. There is no better place to be than in God’s will. It is a selfless place and all of our heart is one with Jesus. That is not worldly – that is the grace of God.

So, edify Him today. Seek deep in your heart and read the Bible. His word. His wisdom permeates our stubborn nature and humbly we can be sincere. This can be through words, a hug, a conveyance of hope, or a demonstration of our faith. Above all, however, it is our love – actually His love that we have been given by grace. Seek to know this love. Seek to know and understand Him. I pray I have now. I rejoice and my conscience is clear. Praise God.

Rick

Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011

…sharpening our relationship with God

rock_tree_study

6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. 2 Cor 1:6,7

By example of suffering, or afflictions, there is a purpose. Through Paul’s suffering, he became an effective teacher of God’s word. This is because the agony that we endure, helps us to turn to God alone for a solution or resolution (see Blue Letter Bible).

Through the example set, endurance in trials became the path to travel to rely solely on God – to solidify our personal relationship with Him.

When in angst, depression, or discomfort, we seek desperately comforts that are within our worldly grasp.

Through Paul’s example we see now that seeking comfort though the unseen brings us the comfort, or consolation of Jesus Christ, and is a reminder of our salvation. It is the bigger picture.

As we learn to live with endurance in affliction, we learn and partake in the consolation and are reminded of our salvation. This is because God has our attention. Even as we may feel we have no way to turn, conversely, we now find our relationship deepening, sharpening, with a God who loves us. The outcome is:

  • We become effectual teachers by example
  • We grow deeper in our personal relationship with God
  • We are reminded that we have attained salvation

The example set forth is either endurance in affliction or elation in consolation. Do not be surprised that trials give way to elation and joy. It is promised that we have our salvation and we are partakers in eternal salvation. For this we praise God.

Rick

November 21, 2011

…here and now, Christ in us!

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 
2 Corinthians 1:2-5 (NKJV)

Grace and Peace from our Father. Blessed be our Father who is also the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are co-inheritors of the kingdom of God (see co-heirs with Christ Rom 8:17). For we are not of the ones in the old Law who are separated from God by a veil. We have access through and with Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God. We are the children who have a Father full of mercies and comfort to look toward. We have the Spirit of the Son with us to look with.

So as we have Christ in us and Christ suffered and died, we too share in this suffering and death from the world of darkness to the world of light. It is glorious light.  As we are loved, we also love. As we are comforted, we also comfort.

The suffering of Jesus is part of us as is His consolation. God’s mercy run through us to the lost and the suffering because we abound in consolation. It is in our co-inheritance with Christ that we may offer this consolation. As Jesus was unconditional in His love, we too are unconditional in our love. If He is in our hearts how shall we deny our hearts? It is our new being. We now act in accordance with the Living God. We seek His kingdom yet we already have achieved His kingdom. Do His work here and now. Walk in His footsteps and do your work here to comfort and love. It is who we are.

Paul praises the Lord our Father and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because we are all together with
God, with Jesus. His warmth and comfort is every part of who we are and if we seek to see Him in us, we will act in the ability and will with Him in us. This is truly a time to praise God that He sent the Savior of ALL mankind. Yet the very same is part of us and as we partake in the suffering with Him, we convey the comfort through Him to a suffering world.

Bring hope to the hopeless. We shall love. We shall comfort.

Rick

Nov 2011

….each and every step, God is here.

10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor 13 (NKJV)

We are promised by God that He will complete us, or perfect us, each and everyday until the return of Christ Jesus. (Phi 1:6)

All that we once knew, and all that we now know, will be completed in what we shall know. God’s imparting of wisdom upon us is for our season and what we learned one day may have a new application the next-in His plan. All of His wisdom is part of our perfecting process, it is in His perfect wisdom that what we learn is right for the season we are in.

We are not yet fully perfected therefore, we are partially completed. I suggest that when we are complete, the building blocks we encounter along our straight path will melt into one whole completion. For we were once children, both as Christians and as people. We grow from that which we are based upon. “He who started a good work…”, Paul writes to the Philippians. There was a beginning to our path and it is the foundation we grow from. The work started is the receiving of Jesus in our hearts. We mature in Christ and the wisdom of the season of our foundation becomes the wisdom of the season of our maturity. We look in the mirror and see the image of God clearer. He is successful in molding us as we remain pliable. And we will change.

Remember we learn to have faith and in our faith comes hope and trust. However, love is first and foremost and is above all things. Love is the greatest commandment.

So, we look in the mirror and see the dimly visible image of our progress and the understanding of who God is. He is telling us who He is and it is maturing us in our Christian pilgrimage. Breathe in the perfect process of God molding us. He reveals Himself to us each and every day I pray we flourish in His perfecting process.

Put away your childish things, seek His image in the mirror, and meditate on your understanding of who God is. He is telling us who He is every step along your journey.

Rick

November 2011