HOLY SPIRIT’S GUIDANCE

The “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23), when taught as merely a set of godly character traits (which they are) (and we need to pursue them), stops short of the ultimate purpose of those traits.

The Amplified Version translates the words “fruit of the Holy Spirit,” as “…the work which His presence within accomplishes.” The Holy Spirit’s presence guides us (as a coach) and guards us (comforts: “strong; fort”) throughout each day and in every decision. As we yield to that work of God’s Spirit (“be filled” Ephesians 5:18), God lives, not merely within us and for us, but through us.

Reimagine discipleship as the ongoing filling of the Spirit (“keep on being filled”) to reveal God’s will through God’s Word. Refocus evangelism as the work of the Holy Spirit to connect each disciple to the needs of the people (family, friends, strangers), the places (work, play), and opportunities (activities, events,) God has called them to serve … resulting in the showing and telling of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit’s internal presence is always purposing towards an external expression of the character of God, revealed to the lost and the least through our unexpected actions and uncommon reactions. Each “fruit” is a gift we bring as we walk a bridge into a conversation to pray for someone or a situation, care for them with acts of service or mercy, and share the Gospel of faith in Jesus.

The fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, goodness (a life full of virtue), faith that prevails,  gentleness of heart and self control (strength of spirit).

The purpose of the fruit of the Spirit is not to make us nicer neighbors; it grows within us to make us loving neighbors who enlighten people to the problem-solving, life-transforming character of God. “This is how God loved the world” (John 3:16): look to what Jesus did, look at how Jesus-followers live and give, serve and sacrifice.

Gifting the fruit of the Spirit is intended to be a daily reality for every authentic Christian, not only for those who have the gift of evangelism or the calling of an evangelist. Valuing the fruit of the Spirit as a witnessing tool can be a huge encouragement to believers who deeply desire to share their faith but often hesitate or have been ineffective. Making disciples who reproduce by sharing their faith must include equipping them to simply look for ways to express the love of God through the spiritual traits they most often or easily exhibit. Some display the love of Christ best through acts of kindness and mercy, others as peacemakers. Every Christ follower needs to seek the discernment of the Spirit into how the Spirit is most effective; which “fruit” (character trait) seems most prevalent and effective in which situations?  

Fruit-of-the-Spirit evangelism is walking God’s love over a bridge into a situation or experience with the gift of joy or peace or patience or kindness, goodness, faith, gentle humility, or restoring control. Love motivated gifts, suited to a person or relevant to a problem, bring practical blessings that point lost people to hope that breeds faith…sharing stories can easily ensue.

Instead of looking first at what we should “do” to evangelize (methods), what if we looked at the focus of our prayers for others? Which fruit of the Spirit predominates our intercession? What passion is stirred within us when we are led to care for people; their problems or possibilities? When does our presence result in conversations about spiritual issues or opportunities to share life stories?

Another great article from Phil Miglioratti • The #ReimagineFORUM
How To Equip UnWitnessing Christians to Share Their Faith

CHURCH AND SPONTANEOUS WORSHIP

What is spontaneous worship, and why do it?

The Bible tells us to do it so we must have what it takes to be led by the Spirit and step out during a worship set to lead a spontaneous moment.

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 5:18-20

There is a difference between singing a song already written and singing a spiritual song. While there is power in singing and declaring a song already written for our Sunday setlist, God also wants to meet us where we are in a specific moment in time.

He wants to speak straight to our hearts, and this can happen when we open up our worship set and allow Him to move!

A spiritual song, as referred to in Ephesians 5, is a song that comes from your spirit, and your spirit is connected to God’s Spirit.

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 

This is the connection God longs for, to be in communion with us—spirit to spirit.

A spiritual song is something that comes straight from your heart and your history with God—expressing to Him in your own words what He means to you.

These moments come from a heart that is in love, and it captivates God’s heart to hear your voice.

Home groups where you are well known is more conducive to spontaneous worship. Once again church as described in the Book of Acts.

St Matthew's Harwell with All Saints' Chilton : Homegroups

Besides connection, spontaneous songs can be a prophetic doorway into deeper breakthrough for you and others.

In the story of Jericho in the Bible, God commissioned Joshua to command the people of Israel to march around the walls of Jericho 7 times, and on the 7th day after they marched, Joshua told them to “shout, for the Lord has given you the city.” At the sound of their shout, the wall around Jericho fell down flat. This shout from the Israelites was prophetic because they hadn’t yet physically conquered the city, but God promised that He had given it to them. So in faith, they shouted aloud before they saw the victory—prophesying that He would give them the city.

In the same way, spontaneous moments can become prophetic in nature when God is breathing on them.

Breakthrough will always follow a spontaneous and prophetic act.

Sometimes the songs we have planned to sing on Sunday are prophetic in themselves, but sometimes God wants to interrupt our agendas and speak in a different way. In the end, it’s all about His desire to capture your heart and draw you closer to Him.

HOW EASY IT IS TO GET TRIPPED UP BY SIN

Image result for pictures of king solomon's throne

For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Ashtoreth:  Female goddess worship, over-exaltation of women power. 
Milcom:  National god.  Worship of political power.  
Chemosh:  The god of SELF focus.  False confidence, audacity, worship of the temple itself.  
Molech:  Required the sacrifice of your very own children.
What an abomination this must have been to God and of course we know that it was because of Solomon’s disobedience that the entire nation of Israel was rent in two after his death.

Thank goodness we have this stark example of the dangers of worldly treasures, the WISEST human in all of history turns away from God because of them. It should force us to our knees to ask God to protect us not only from the evil one but from our own selfish evil desires.

Sin is toxic.  Sin is the equivalent of cancer in the Body of Christ. The same applies to our nations. Like cancer, it metastasises. As it progresses, the Body is ravaged and wasted.  If we were giving a medical prognosis:  We only have a certain amount of time left to live.  Sin cancer will lay us flat out.

Three helpful Scriptures:

“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  Romans 7:24

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”Romans 8:1-2

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” Ephesians  5:17-21