KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Christ in Us (Part 3)

 “He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;”  (Deu. 32:13)

Not only does the Bible teach that God will provide us with water (the Holy Spirit) from the Spiritual Rock of Christ within us, but the Scriptures teach that He will give us honey and oil out of the Rock also.

“He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;” (Deut. 32:13)

As we study the Word of God we find that honey is a symbol for knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and strength.

“My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.” (Pro. 24:13-14)

Having the knowledge of God revealed to us, understanding what that knowledge means, and then having the wisdom to know how that knowledge is to be applied is as sweet to our soul as honey is to our taste.

The Bible teaches that it is also how our spiritual house is built and furnished.

“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Pro 24:3-4)

If knowledge is knowing the deeper things of God, then understanding is realizing what they mean, and wisdom is discerning how they apply to us and others.

There is only one source for all three:

“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Prov. 2:6)

No amount of Scripture memorization, expository studies of high-thinking theologians, or modern translations of the Bible can take the place of the Holy Spirit.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Cor. 2:14)

Only the Lord Jesus Christ can take the written (Greek word Logos) Word of God, breathe upon it with the breath of the Holy Spirit, and change it into the revealed (Greek word Rhema) Word of God for our moment in time.

“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)

He does this through Christ (the Rock) in us, and honey out of the Rock, which is the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding revealed by the Holy Spirit.

“And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” (Rev. 10:10)

Having the knowledge that is contained in the Scriptures, understanding what that knowledge means, and having the wisdom to know how that knowledge applies to our lives or situations only becomes effectual when we have the strength to act upon it.

This is what being a Christian is all about. It is not just missing hell and going to Heaven. It is not just learning about God and keeping it all to ourselves. It is about effecting change; change in our lives and in others. Jesus told Peter, “When thou art converted (changed), strengthen the brethren.”

God has called, chosen, and saved each of us for a reason. He has a purpose for each of our lives.

It takes strength to change and bring about change.

It takes God’s strength.

We will find that strength in the honey out of the Rock.

The honey out of the Rock is symbolic of that strength.

There was a time in the Old Testament when King Saul foolishly commanded his armies to not eat any food until they had captured and defeated the fleeing Philistine army.

“And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.” (1Sam. 14:24)

Saul’s son Jonathan had not heard his father’s commandment, and when they came upon a field that had honey in it, Jonathan ate a little of the honey, his eyes were lightened, and his strength returned.

“Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.” (1Sam. 14:29)

No one else ate the honey, and the lack of food and strength caused disastrous results that day for God’s people.

When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, takes the Word of God, reveals it supernaturally to us as His will, and empowers or strengthens us to perform it, it is like honey out of the Rock.

When we have both the honey and the oil together, it is called the anointing.

“He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;” (Deut. 32:13)

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1John 2:27)

The Bible tells us that it is the anointing that destroys the yoke.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isa. 10:27)

The word anointing in the New Testament comes from the Greek word chrisma which means “ an unguent or smearing as of oil, or figuratively a special endowment of the Holy Spirit.”

David refers to this soaking or smearing of the “oil of anointing” in the Old Testament,

“It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;” (Psalm 133:2)

The Rock of “Christ in us” is the hope of God receiving glory in the earth today.

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:26-27)

It is not about us receiving glory, but it is about God receiving glory.

It is not about us but it is all about God.

When God fills us with the Holy Ghost it is similar to filling a glass so full of water that the water rises up and overflows, spilling down the sides and soaking everything it touches.

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” (Psalm 23:5)

It is as if God takes everything that comes from the Rock of Christ in us, the water, the honey, and the oil, and He overflows us, saturates us, and soaks us in the wisdom and power of the Holy Ghost.

This is the anointing of the Holy Ghost that destroys the yoke.

When this is done, miracles can happen, bodies can be healed, devils will flee, prophecies can be given, the Word of God is manifested with power, and God is glorified.

Everything that is worldly, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life falls by the wayside, and the Kingdom of God is manifested in the earth for a moment of time.

When the anointing is manifested, it destroys the yokes of sin, addiction, greed, ignorance, and any other thing that will keep us and others from doing the will of God.

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Christ in Us (Part 4)  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Christ in Us (Part 2)

 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  (Rom. 8:9)

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor. 10:4)

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:27)

We have already seen how God brought water out of the rock in the Old Testament and that rock was symbolic of the Rock that is Jesus Christ.

Jesus teaches us that the water which came forth from the Rock in the wilderness and became a life-saving river able to quench the thirst of over a million Israelites is symbolic of the river of the Holy Ghost that is within us.

“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14)

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39)

David speaks of this river in the Psalms,

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.” (Psalm 46:4)

The Apostle John saw this river in his vision of the city of New Jerusalem, and in the same way that Jesus is the Light of that city, the Holy Ghost is the life-giving River in its midst.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:1)

The Prophet Ezekiel prophesied of this river in greater detail, and through his prophecy we gain a greater understanding of Christ in us as the Rock and the River of the Holy Ghost flowing out of Him.

And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.” (Eze. 47:3)

“Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.” (Eze. 47:4)

“Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.” (Eze. 47:5)

The prophet talked of the river to the ankles. This is the initial touch of the Holy Spirit upon our lives. This is where the current begins to tug at our ankles and pull us in the direction of the flow. Jesus said that that no man would come to Him unless the Father draw him (John 6:44). Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you.” (John 15:16)

The prophet talked of the water to the knees. After Jesus rose from the grave, He appeared to the disciples, breathed on them, and said, “Receive Ye the Holy Ghost.” (John 20:22) This is that born again experience that Jesus spoke of in the third chapter of the Gospel of John.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6)

We are in the water to our knees. The river has half of our legs, and we have the other half. The Holy Spirit is directing us one way, but we have the power to go the other. This is where many Christians find themselves today.

They have been born again and the Holy Spirit has come inside of them. They are like the disciples who Jesus breathed upon and said, “Receive Ye the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is directing them to go one way but their common sense and will are directing them another, and sadly the common sense will usually win. This is why Jesus told the disciples to “tarry in Jerusalem.”

They had already received the Holy Spirit in them, now they needed to be endued with power. They needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost. They needed to come out into the river to the loins.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:1-2)

“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4)

There are those theologians who will say that at the point of salvation we receive all of the Holy Spirit that there is. That may be true. But if we rightly divide the Word of God, we can see that there are two distinct encounters with the Holy Ghost.

There is the point that we receive Him, and there is the point when we are filled with Him.

Those same theologians will say that no second experience with the Holy Spirit is necessary. However, Jesus knew that it was necessary to the point that he commanded His disciples not to begin their Great Commission until they had received it.

The early Church knew that this power from on high was so necessary that whenever they encountered believers who had not received it, they made sure that they were filled with the Holy Ghost also.

“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:” (Acts 8:14-15)

“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:16-17)

We see this again in the Book of Acts when the Apostle Paul meets some believers who had not yet received the Holy Ghost,

“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” (Act 19:2)

“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6)

As we look at the prophecy of Ezekiel concerning the river, we see that each depth must be reached first before we can go further. We cannot just jump out into the middle and receive the fullness of the river, the fullness of the anointing and power of God.

We must first be drawn by the Spirit, the waters to the ankles. (John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”)

We must be born again, the waters to the knees. (Romans 10: 9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”)

We must be filled with the Holy Ghost, the waters to the loins or the waist. (Luke 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”)

Now we are out in the water to our waist. The current of the river has control of our legs and is pulling us in the right direction. We are being led by the Spirit of God, but we are still standing on our feet.

Before we can have the faith to take the next step and launch out into the waters to swim in, to leap out into the full force of the current and the depth of the power of God, we need to realize the purpose of the river.

Why do we need to go out into the deep?

We need to go out into the deep so that we might receive the fullness of the Holy Ghost and His power. This is the power to be a faithful and powerful witness. This is the power to change and be conformed to the image of Christ.

The purpose of the power is so that we may be witnesses. Sometimes this may involve miracles, signs, and wonders. But more often than not it involves the demonstration of the power of a changed and holy life.

Jesus told Peter,When thou art converted (changed), strengthen thy Brethren.” (Luke 22:32)

Peter, so fearful for his own life that he denied the Lord three times, was changed by the power of the Holy Ghost to the extent that when he was arrested and sentenced to die, he slept so soundly the night before his execution that the angel had to slap him on the side to wake him up before he could be delivered. (Acts 12:7)

The Apostle Peter wrote to the gentile women that had become Christians after already being married to unbelievers, that with their Godly lifestyle they could win their husbands to Christ without preaching to them. (1 Peter 3:2)

The purpose of the power is to change. The purpose for going out into the deepest part of the river of God is so that you will surrender your control completely to the Holy Spirit.

Your feet no longer touch the bottom. You are swept along whithersoever the current of the Spirit of God desires to take you.

John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

When we cast ourselves out into the deep, we are completely surrendering every part of ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit. We are holding nothing back. No sin, no habit, no personal desire, no preconceived notion or idea, nothing.

Only when we empty ourselves of ourselves do we become an empty vessel that He can fill for His glory.

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Tim. 2:21)

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2Cor. 4:7)

When we surrender every recess of our being to the power of the Holy Spirit for change, then every act we do in His name will come from a pure heart with pure intentions. Miracles, signs, and wonders will occur when needed and God, not ourselves, will receive the glory; and others, not ourselves will be helped.

When we make this decision for total surrender, then we are ready to leap out into the deep and the River in us will truly be “Christ in you, the hope of glory”.

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Christ in Us (Part 3)  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Christ in Us (Part 1)

 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”  (Col. 1:27)

Throughout the Word of God, the Bible refers to Jesus Christ with several different comparative names or descriptive titles to help us know and understand Him better.

The Bible tells us that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer, and the Savior.

Jesus is the Messiah because He is the anointed and consecrated prince whom God promised through Daniel’s prophecy that He would send.

He is the Christ because He is the anointed fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in the New Testament.

Jesus is the Redeemer because He is the kinsman who purchases back the lost possessions in the Old Testament and He is the fulfillment of the kinsman in the New Testament.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:19-20)

He is the Savior because He is the One who sets free in the Old Testament and the Deliverer in the New Testament.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat. 1:21)

Jesus is also referred to as the Word of God, the Lamb of God, and the spiritual Rock.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

“And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36)

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev. 5:12)

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor. 10:4)

Although each of these names and references for Jesus gives us a description and a better understanding of His nature, abilities, and purpose, it is the description of Him as the spiritual Rock that helps us to better understand Him as “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:27)

What does it mean when the Bible says in First Corinthians that Jesus is that “spiritual Rock”?

Throughout the Word of God, the rock is symbolic of and references a place of safety and security.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.” (Psalm 27:5-6)

In the Old Testament, the Rock was a symbol of God because the Lord God Jehovah was the place of safety and security for the children of Israel.

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deut. 32:4)

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the Rock (1 Peter 2:8) and the revelation of Him is our place of safety and security.

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:16-18)

Jesus had asked His Disciples, “Who do you think that I am?”

Simon (Peter) was the only one to answer Him and say, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus looked back at Peter, and using his given name Simon Barjona, said that he was blessed because God had revealed this unto him.

Then Jesus changed his name because of this revelation.

He said, “Thou art Peter (the Greek word pet’-ros meaning a piece of a rock or a little stone), and upon this rock (the Greek word pet’-ra meaning a mass of rock) I will build my church…”

If we rightly divide the Word of God, we see that Jesus did not tell Peter (the little stone) that He would build His church upon him, but Jesus told Peter that He would build His church upon the rock (the large mass of stone) which was the revelation that God had given him.

The revelation that,

Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And as Jesus said, “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

When the Bible in First Corinthians chapter ten refers to Jesus as that “spiritual Rock that followed them”, it is referring to the two times in the Old Testament that Moses provided water out of the rock for the children of Israel in the wilderness.

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor. 10:4)

“Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exo. 17:6)

“Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.” (Num. 20:8)

The first time that God gave them water out of the rock to drink, He told Moses to smite the rock with his staff. Moses did as God told him and water sprang out of the rock, enough water to satisfy the thirst of over a million people.

The second time God gave them water out of the rock, He told Moses to speak to the rock. Moses was angry with the people and being lifted up with pride, he struck the rock instead of obeying God and speaking to it.

He said, “Hear now ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock?” and Moses struck the rock a second time. Although Moses had disobeyed Him, God in His mercy provided water out of the rock for His people.

God told Moses that because he disobeyed and did not sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people, he could not go into the Promised Land.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” (Num. 20:12)

How did striking the rock the second time not sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people? How could one seemingly insignificant act of disobedience erase a lifetime of obedience and keep Moses out of the Promised Land?

The Bible says that the things that happened in the Old Testament were examples for us who believe under the New Testament. The Bible says that these things were types and shadows of better things to come.

They are mysteries hidden by God for the Holy Spirit to reveal unto us as we study His word. This gives us a deeper understanding of Christ and causes faith to grow so that we might be conformed into His image.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8:28-29)

God was using the rock in the wilderness to provide a picture of Christ, stricken once (the cross) and forever after spoken to, never to be struck again.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)

Jesus was the preincarnate Christ that stood upon the rock as Moses struck it the first time and then followed them in the wilderness to be spoken to the second time.

Jesus Christ is that Spiritual Rock. By studying the Word of God to understand what the Bible says about that Rock, our faith will grow to better understand and believe the mystery of “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

As we study the Word of God, we see that there are four miraculous things the Bible teaches are contained in the Rock throughout Scripture. If we have faith to believe, God will spiritually bring forth these four things from the Rock of Christ within us.

They are water, honey, oil, and fire.

These are all symbolic of four attributes of the Holy Spirit within us that God wants to manifest in our lives for His glory.

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:26-27)

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Christ in Us (Part 2)  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Mind of Christ (Part 3)

 “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”  (1Cor. 2:16)

How do we know when we have received the revelation knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that is from the Holy Spirit and of the mind of Christ?

First, our born again spirit will bear witness with His Spirit much as the babe leaped in the womb of Martha when she met Mary.

“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” (Luke 1:44)

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Rom. 8:16)

Secondly, the wisdom from above will always bear the characteristics of the Holy Spirit.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)

And thirdly, when we have the mind of Christ there is a boldness and an authority which we possess that is not our own. We know that we know that we know.

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28:1)

“The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.” (John 7:46)

“For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mat. 7:29)

There will be a clarity and understanding that was not possessed before.

It will seem as if the Word of God, its meaning, and its application will “open up” and can be declared with utmost and unwavering certainty.

“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)

We will know within our heart of hearts that we have heard from God and have the mind of Christ.

Having the mind of Christ begins with the attitude of humility and is completed when we have received the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that belong to the Lord.

“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Prov. 24:3-4)

“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Prov. 2:6)

The Bible teaches us that we as individuals, as well as the church body as a whole, are a building built by God, the temple of the Holy Ghost.

“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” (1Cor. 3:9-10)

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1Cor. 3:11-13)

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1Cor. 3:14-16)

When God allows us to have the mind of Christ and He reveals unto us the deeper things of God, He does it for a purpose.

First and foremost, He does it so that we might take these deeper revelations of God and apply them in our life. In other words, so that we can be:

“…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:20-22)

The things that we hear and accept, believe and stand upon, become building blocks that make up our life.

During our life as Christians, we will go through many things that will try and test us.

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1Peter 4:12-13)

Those revelations which we have received through the Holy Spirit and from the mind of Christ are compared to building blocks made from “gold, silver, and precious stones”.

Upon the house that is built with these the fiery trial has no effect, but only purifies and refines them to make them stronger.

However, the ideas and philosophies of man and the world are compared to “wood, hay, and stubble”. When these are mixed with the building blocks from God and used to build our temple, they will be consumed by the fiery trial and our building will “suffer loss”.

With the stakes so high, we cannot afford to settle for anything less than the revelations that come through the Holy Spirit and from the mind of Christ.

Although altruistic teachings and thoughts not based upon the Word of God may seem inspirational, moral, and idealistic, they are actually vain and idle words that will only lead to destruction.

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” (1Cor. 3:19-20)

“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” (2Tim. 2:16)

Only the written and revealed Word of God will endure and never fail.

Only that which is authored by God will last forever.

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever.” (Psalm 119:160)

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1Peter 1:24-25)

To build our life based upon the revealed Word of God and the mind of Christ is not all that God requires.

We are also called to be our “brother’s keeper”. (Gen. 4:9)

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” (Ezek. 3:18)

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2Tim. 2:24-26)

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2Tim. 4:2)

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2Tim. 2:2)

When we have decided to shun the vain babblings of the world and seek the wisdom from above,

When we have humbled ourselves before God and determined to settle for nothing less than the mind of Christ as revealed by the Holy Spirit,

When we have taken the revelations from God and applied them in our lives first and then humbly shared them with others second,

Then we have begun to walk in the mind of Christ and bring forth fruit that will remain.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” (Mat. 6:19)

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matt. 6:20)

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt. 6:21)

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: Christ in Us  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Mind of Christ (Part 2)

 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”  (Php. 2:5)

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1Cor. 2:11)

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:16)

What does it mean to “…have the mind of Christ”?

The word “have” in the Greek means to access, and the word “mind” in the Greek means the intellect or the understanding.

In other words, to say that we “have the mind of Christ” means that we are able to access the intellect or understanding that Christ has.

We have this access through the Holy Spirit.

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1Cor. 2:11)

Jesus Christ said that He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Col. 2:9)

The Bible says that He is the image of the invisible God. (Col. 1:15)

Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) and Jesus said, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” (John 3:34)

Even though Christ is the fullness of the Godhead, even though He and the Father are one, even though He is the image of the invisible God and has the full measure of the Spirit, there are still even some things that the Father has not revealed to Him.

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32)

In the same way that there are still some things that the Father has not revealed to the Son, there are some things that the Son will not yet reveal unto us.

But those things that He will reveal, those things of which the Bible says “…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man…” He will make us to know and understand completely “…by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

This is done by us having (accessing) the mind of Christ.

But what exactly is the mind of Christ?

First of all, the mind of Christ is an attitude.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phillip. 2:5)

The word for “mind” in this verse of Scripture is the Greek word meaning “to be mentally disposed” or “attitude”.

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phillip. 2:6-8)

Before we can ever access the intellect or knowing of Christ, we must first have the attitude of Christ.

The Bible says,

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” (1Cor. 8:1)

The Bible teaches that having knowledge has the potential to make one proud, and that “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

Before God will reveal the “deep things” unto us, we must make a decision to do whatever is necessary to be humble before God and man.

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1Peter 5:5)

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Being humble is not something that God will do for us. God will not make us humble, but He will help us to be humble when we “humble ourselves” and set our hearts to walk in humility.

It is not something that will happen automatically. Humility will only happen when we crucify the flesh daily and strive to walk in it, especially when the devil begins to tell us how “smart” we are as God begins to reveal His “deeper things” unto us.

Once we have set our heart to walk in humility and having knowledge does not “puff” us up or make us proud, then God will entrust to us the “deeper things”.

We will give God, and not ourselves, all the glory for the revelation of the knowledge of His Word.

The mind of Christ is not only knowing the “deeper things” of God but understanding what they mean and how they apply.

“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Pro 24:3-4)

If knowledge is knowing the deeper things of God, then understanding is realizing their meaning and wisdom is discerning how they apply to us and others.

There is only one source for all three:

“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Prov. 2:6)

No amount of Scripture memorization, writings of great theologians, or modern translations of the Bible can take the place of the Holy Spirit.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Cor. 2:14)

A very wise old Pastor once told me, “If the Holy Spirit can’t teach you the King James Version, then He can’t teach you any other version.”

The Apostle Paul was on the backside of a Syrian desert when the Lord supernaturally revealed unto Him the same truths that He had spent three years teaching the other disciples.

The Apostle John was imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos when the Holy Spirit revealed unto him The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul talks about a man who was “…caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2Cor. 12:4)

The only way to have the mind of Christ and receive the deeper revelations of the things of God is to first seek after the Holy Spirit. And the only way to receive the Holy Spirit is to ask.

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13)

The revelation of the mind of Christ is sometimes manifested in the Church as a gift of the Holy Spirit so that the whole Body can receive edification.

“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;” (1Cor. 12:8)

“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1Cor. 12:11)

However, every individual who has been born again and received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a candidate to have the manifestation of the Spirit and the mind of Christ; whether in the Church, during their personal time alone with God, or manifested in ministry to others.

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry…until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1Cor. 12:7)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim. 2:15)

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1John 2:27)

How do we know when we have received the revelation knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that is from the Holy Spirit and of the mind of Christ?

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Mind of Christ (Part 3)  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Mind of Christ (Part 1)

 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  (Rom. 12:2)

Most of the New Testament is not written about the future, but it is written about what God has already done through Jesus Christ and His atoning work at Calvary.

Purchased with His blood, and made available by His grace, we have access to every spiritual blessing contained in heavenly places, including the mind of Christ.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3)

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:16)

Since much of the Bible pertains to past events, many people believe that it is just an account of things that happened so long ago that it really doesn’t apply to their lives.

However, much like a gift forgotten under the tree on Christmas morning, if we don’t find it and open it, we can never enjoy it.

Many times, God has already provided the things that we think we need and they are waiting to be found, but we are unaware of them due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6)

Such was the case of the Israelites in the wilderness.

“Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:” (Psalm 78:21-22)

The Lord had just delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt with mighty signs and wonders. He had divided the Red Sea so they could go through on dry ground and had caused the waters to return and drown the Egyptian army that was following them.

The Lord provided water from the rock for them to drink and manna from heaven for them to eat, but then they complained and questioned whether God was able to give them meat. The Bible says they “…trusted not in his salvation.”

They had no confidence in the love of God and the position of salvation that the Lord had placed them in.

Many Christians today are like the Israelites of old. They need to realize that salvation is not a one-time occurrence. It is not a prayer you once prayed or a commitment you once made.

Salvation is a removal from one place or position and an establishment in another. It is a state or condition.

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)

The Apostle Paul had met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus. He had seen the Lord in His glory and brightness. He received by divine revelation the truths that the other disciples had spent years learning as they walked with Christ.

Many Bible scholars believe that Paul was speaking of himself when he describes a man in Second Corinthians Chapter 12 who was “caught up to the third heaven” and heard “unspeakable words” which are “not lawful for a man to utter.”

Yet after all of this, and after a lifetime of service witnessing the miracles and power of God, he realized that he had only scratched the surface of the knowledge of Christ and His salvation.

That is why as an old man and towards the end of his life, he writes:

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Philip. 3:10)

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” (Heb. 2:3)

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Cor. 2:14)

The Bible tells us that God knows every possible thing that there is to know about us. He knows our innermost thoughts, dreams, and desires. There is not a thought that can be hid from God.

“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:2-3)

“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (Psalm 139:4-6)

The Apostle Paul says in the New Testament that:

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17:28)

According to the Apostle Paul, we are enveloped by the Spirit of God. To the same extent that God knows us; the Bible teaches there will come a day when we shall know Him in the same way.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1Cor. 13:12)

Until that time comes, we now “know in part.”

The word “know” in the Greek literally means “to be sure, to understand completely”.

The word “part” in the Greek means “a share, a portion”.

So here the Bible is telling us that although God totally and utterly knows us completely, at this present time He has chosen only to reveal to us a portion about Himself.

However, God wants us to know and understand completely that portion about Himself which He has chosen to reveal.

In our present earthly mind and body, we are unable to contain the complete understanding of the enormity of God. As long as we are in this body and until the time of our resurrection, our finite minds cannot fathom the immensity and totality of who God is.

“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12)

The Bible tells us in Isaiah that all of the oceans and seas would fit in the palm of God’s hand. What we perceive to be the expanse of endless stars and galaxies in the universe is the distance between God’s thumb and little finger.

He knows how much the mountains weigh and how many particles of dust there are.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)

As the chorus declares,

“Our God is an awesome God.

He reigns from Heaven above

With wisdom, power, and love

Our God is an awesome God.”

Moses desired to see the immensity of God:

“And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” (Exodus 33:18)

Here the Hebrew word for “glory” literally means weight. Moses wanted to see how large or immense God is.

God would not allow Moses to see Him in all His glory, but placed Moses on a rock and covered him over with His hand. God removed His hand after He had passed, and Moses was only able to see a portion of God from behind as He passed by.

That rock was a symbol of Christ and God’s hand was a symbol of the Holy Ghost that covers and protects us.

God revealing a glimpse of His glory to Moses was a type and shadow of God revealing a portion of His glory to us through the Holy Spirit.

“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.” (1Cor. 2:9)

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1Cor. 2:10)

Although we are only able to behold a portion of God’s glory while we are in this earthly body of flesh, He has provided for us to be sure, to know absolutely, and to understand completely that portion which He has chosen to reveal.

This is done by having (or accessing) the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Mind of Christ (Part 2)  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Sons of God (Part 4)

 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”  (Eph. 4:14)

In the previous blog posts, we have seen what God considers to be spiritual immaturity, to be a babe in Christ. But what does God consider to be spiritual maturity, to “grow up in Him”? (Eph. 4:15)

The first step to spiritual maturity is what we have already learned from the story of the “prodigal son”, which is to make a decision that we are no longer going to entertain unrighteous thoughts toward others.

It does matter to God when we talk about someone behind their back. It matters to God when we criticize someone’s appearance or actions whether verbally or in our heart. It matters to God when we harbor anger, or resentment, or unforgiveness no matter how justified we feel in doing so.

When we ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal these hidden sins so that we may repent, we have begun to mature in the spirit. We may stumble in our attitude toward others, but when we do if we repent and determine to do better with God’s help, then we will begin to pass from “glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord”.

We also grow spiritually when we make a commitment to understand the Word of God for ourselves, not just to believe what others may tell us:

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph. 4:14)

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things, but that we must ask in faith. We need to realize that our Bible reading is not just a daily exercise, but an opportunity to hear from the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. Whether reading or listening, it takes the Holy Spirit to show us what the true meaning of God’s Word is so that we do not fall prey to error.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:6)

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1John 2:27)

Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are signs of spiritual maturity and will build you into a mature (finished) house of God filled with every spiritual blessing:

“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:” (Prov. 24:3)

“And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Prov. 24:4)

Any type of deceit or untruth is a sign of spiritual immaturity, but he who is spiritually mature determines to be truthful within and without.

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Eph. 4:15)

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” (Eph. 6:14)

This does not only mean truth between you and others, but also truth between you and God. In other words, not coming to God and making excuses about what you have done or why you did it, not trying to convince God that you are something you are not, but coming to God and totally opening your heart to Him in honesty and truth so that He might search your innermost being and help you in your time of weakness.

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Psalm 62:8)

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6)

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2Cor. 12:9)

Finally, the Christian who has begun to mature in his spiritual walk has come to a place in his life where he is not ruled by circumstances.

The Bible tells us, and experience shows us, that babies are ruled by their circumstances and needs.

“Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:” (Gal. 4:3)

If a baby is hungry, needs changing, or wants something, he cries. If he is tickled, he laughs. If he is rocked or cuddled, he falls asleep.

As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual.

When we are babes in Christ, our prayer life is filled with constantly asking God for the things we need or want, much like a baby crying. The things happening around us and to us consume our thoughts and efforts.

We seem to jump from emergency to emergency, constantly asking God for His help or deliverance without much communication or communion with Him in between.

But just as most children begin to grow and trust that their parents love them and will take care of them, God wants his spiritual children to grow and trust in the love of their Heavenly Father.

“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matt. 6:8)

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” (Matt. 6:31)

“(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” (Matt. 6:32)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,” (Rom. 8:38)

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:39)

The Bible says:

“Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” (Psalm 32:9)

When we first become Christians, our Heavenly Father will allow circumstances to come into our lives that will drive us to prayer so we may learn that God hears and answers our prayers.

In the same way that the bit and bridle direct the horse, these circumstances direct us to put our trust in God. But as we grow and see God supply our need and answer our prayers, He does not want us to be driven by these things any longer.

He has a better way and a higher calling.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8)

God wants us to grow up in Christ to a point where the circumstances around us are not directing our decisions nor are they having to drive us to prayer crying for God to intervene.

God wants to direct us with his eye, but the only way that can happen is if we are looking at Him instead of looking at circumstances.

In the Gospel of Matthew we read of the time that Peter walked on the water:

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” (Matt. 14:28)

“And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” (Matt. 14:29)

“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” (Matt. 14:30)

As long as Peter was looking at Jesus, he walked on the water. It wasn’t until he turned his eyes to look at the wind and waves (his circumstances) that he began to sink.

Just as someone can direct us to the right or left by glancing in that direction if we are looking at their face, God wants to direct us if we are looking at Him.

Whether we are reading the Bible, in prayer, in worship, or even in our daily routine, the mature Christian is always looking to Jesus.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)

In conclusion, walking in the son-ship of Jesus Christ, walking in spiritual maturity, is setting your heart to walk as Jesus walked:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5)

To be like Christ is not in the amount or degree of religious activity, but in love for your fellow man.

To be like Christ is to not be moved by adversity or circumstance, but to know the love of the Father and trust in him.

To be like Christ is to deny self, to be humble, and say “Thy will not mine be done.”

To be like Christ is to be a mature son led by the Holy Spirit.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14)

Next- KEYS TO THE KINGDOM: The Mind  

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices