New Wine for New Wineskins August 2016

By , August 1, 2016 8:28 am

restoringtheroar02Restoring The Roar (Part 7)

1 Thessalonians 5: 23

23 Now may the God of peace sanctify you (make you holy) in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

Proverbs 18: 14

The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear

We have been speaking about restoring the righteous roar, the spirit roar that serves notice on any encroaching spiritual enemy and declares, “This is my territory, get out of here.”

Sometimes the roar manifests as laughter, in a supernatural expression of joy.  Psalm 2 tells us he that sits in the heavens, and that’s our spiritual address, shall laugh.

A roar of laughter. Jesus said that he spoke spirit words so that we might have fullness of joy.

 James wrote that when we encounter trouble, temptation, or trial we should consider it an opportunity for great joy. Are we being encouraged to be masochistic, or have we perhaps been missing something? God’s word, which promises our Father’s protection and provision sets us over all of these attacks, attacks that are designed to convince us that we are still under what we are in fact over. But if we believe the lie we will fall under the power of that lie.

The battle is always in the soul realm, centred around how we feel, playing on our physical senses, and focused on our mind where decisions are made.

That was how it was in the beginning in the garden and that is how it still is. But we have spirit words that are designed to release the force of joy as we are reminded that we are over and not under.  Jesus said that we should cheer up because he has overcome the world.

The joy of the Lord is our strength and our power to overcome in every situation and circumstance. Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

Because the role and function and experience of Holy Spirit fullness has been played down the people of God have been left to flounder in a soulish religion that will always be inadequate to ensure them the victory that is their inheritance.

Many times Catriona and I have concluded in the midst of all the crazy stuff that goes on that there is nothing left to do but laugh. That is a powerful revelation.

Israel came out of Egypt supernaturally, but their souls whimpered when they reached the Red Sea and saw what they perceived to be an insurmountable obstacle. Then they supernaturally overcame that obstacle and began their new freedom with a celebration and a song and a dance. However, they had a word not just for coming out of the land of bondage and slavery, but also for entering in to a land of abundant provision. Twelve of their leaders were selected to go and check out the land. They saw that the land was just as God had promised, a land of abundant provision, and they even brought back some physical evidence. But they also saw that there were fortified cities and giants in the land. The tragedy is that ten of the twelve leaders saw the opposition as being greater than the opportunity, and so they brought a negative report. They had heard what God had said but they brought God’s word down to the level of their soulish experience and rendered it ineffective in their lives. They saw the giants and saw themselves as grasshoppers in comparison. Only Joshua and Caleb heard what God said as spirit words to which they could attach their faith. Caleb said let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. But as too often happens the people went with the majority of the leaders, fell down under the weight of the bad report and spent the night crying.  They received the bad report of the majority with passive acceptance rather than responding in the active and aggressive expectancy of faith to the spirit words spoken by Joshua and Caleb.

Numbers 14: 1 – 10

1Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. 2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. 3 “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. 6 Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. 7 They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! 8 And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. 9 Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” 10 But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle.

If only…” is soul talk.  Our soul isn’t equipped to process bad news on its own.  There are a few people who are more naturally optimistic in their outlook but most people respond negatively and with passive acceptance to bad news.  Our spirit however can hear bad news and respond with active and aggressive expectancy that remains grounded in the good news of God’s word and keeps our thoughts aligned with his thoughts and our words with his words.  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and so it is important to take every thought captive that if released could find expression in death-producing words of fear and unbelief.

One day Jesus arrived at Bethany following the death and burial of his friend Lazarus.  He walked into an atmosphere of passive acceptance in regards to what had happened to his friend.  He was met by Martha who spoke out of the pain in her soul, “Lord, If you had been here, my brother would not have died….” but she also spoke words that indicated that there was a part of her that had not given up hope.  “But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you…”  That was her spirit talking. 

A little later Jesus encountered Mary who repeated the same words that Martha had said, “Lord, If you had been here, my brother would not have died….”  However, unlike her sister, Mary didn’t indicate that she had any hope for right now.  And so, as Jesus saw her and the Jews who were with her weeping he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. The Amplified Bible says that he was deeply moved in spirit to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death.

Jesus asked Mary where her brother’s body had been laid. They invited him to come and see and then it says that Jesus wept.  Much has been made of these two words and they were even isolated by those who organised the Scripture into chapter and verse and have become famously known as the Bible’s shortest verse.

The Jews saw Jesus’ tears as an indicator of how much he had loved Lazarus, and again Jesus had to listen to soulish words relating to what he could have done had he been there earlier.

Sometimes a key truth can be lost in translation and this is certainly the case here in this account. The words “weeping” and “wept” communicate pretty much the same thing in English, but the Greek words translated as “weeping” and “wept” here are saying quite different things that can have a significant impact on our understanding of what actually happened, and upon our response in similar circumstances.

When Jesus saw Mary and the Jews weeping (klaio) it means he saw them wailing aloud, overcome with grief. His response to this was that he groaned in his spirit, was moved to anger against the sorrow caused by death, and was troubled.

However, when it says that Jesus wept (dakruo) it means that he shed tears silently as he was moved by compassion in regards to their sense of loss, but he was not overcome by grief.

As Jesus approached the tomb of his friend he groaned again and was deeply moved in spirit to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death. Jesus resisted the temptation to be drawn into the atmosphere of passive acceptance by maintaining an attitude of active and aggressive expectancy, and so he released the spirit words that raised Lazarus from the dead.

All through the Gospel accounts we see Jesus moved with compassion as his spirit moved him to action to reverse and overturn the effects of the curse. There will be times when we are faced with difficult circumstances and are surrounded by the soulish responses of others, and we will experience that same groan. That is the time to speak spirit words of life that break through the negativity of passive acceptance, spirit words of life that are charged with active and aggressive expectancy.

Tragically, following their miraculous exodus from Egypt a whole generation of God’s people died in the wilderness because they saw the opposition as being greater than the opportunity. The truth is that the opportunity of a lifetime only lasts for the lifetime of the opportunity.

We have the opportunity to live a life of care-free superabundance right here right now, experiencing the goodness of God in the land of the living. Or we can die in a wilderness of unbelief under the oppression, fear, and intimidation of opposition that we are well able to overcome. We must learn to see all opposition as nothing more than another opportunity to reveal the glory of God.

The opposition represented by every natural giant is an opportunity to become a spiritual giant. Joshua and Caleb maintained an attitude of active and aggressive expectancy for forty years while all of their peers perished around them.  But it is their names that you remember from the list of twelve spies and it is the names of these spiritual giants, Joshua and Caleb, that you hear spoken of continually.

In Isaiah 28 we are told that there is a refreshing, a rest that we can enter into.  Paul explained this rest in 1 Corinthians 14 as a result  what happens when we yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit, praying in the Spirit. It goes on in Isaiah 28 to say that those who reject that rest make a covenant with death in a refuge of lies. And so, to maintain the life of the Spirit it is essential to pray in the Spirit.

Jude 20 – 21

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

There are still people, including many leaders, who hear what God’s word says and yet see the opposition as greater than the opportunity and so the best thing they can hope for is to view this world as a wilderness to die in and look to the sweet by and by for deliverance. Tragically, the bulk of the people follow the majority of the leaders and so they spend their lives crying under stuff they are well able to overcome.

But it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Jesus became a curse for us so that we could experience the fullness of the blessing. Why would we abandon the overcoming joy-filled life of the Spirit to go back into the bondage and slavery of passive acceptance in regard to our circumstances?

The people said that it would be better for them to return to Egypt. Jesus said that there would be those who would say that the old wine is better. That is why new wine must have a new wineskin. Spirit words and spirit life can only be contained in a new creation where the old is considered gone and the new is wholeheartedly embraced.

Deuteronomy 28: 47 – 48 (NLT)

47 If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, 48 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything.

That is not a threat. It simply describes a life lived from the inadequate and insufficient resources of the soul when all the time there was a Spirit-filled life of carefree superabundance freely available.

I was reading in Isaiah some time ago and came across this wonderful prophetic promise.

Isaiah 29: 23 – 24

23 For when they see their many children and all the blessings I have given them, they will recognise the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 Then the wayward (those who have erred in spirit) will gain understanding, and complainers (those who murmur discontentedly) will accept instruction (learn doctrine)

The Message

In holy worship they’ll honour the Holy One of Jacob and stand in holy awe of the God of Israel. Those who got off-track will get back on-track, and complainers and whiners will learn gratitude

Personally, I refuse to align myself with the doomsayers that would have us believe with an attitude of passive acceptance that the church is in irreversible decline. I choose to look forward with active and aggressive expectancy, believing that those who have erred in spirit, and gone into their soul from where they have responded with complaining, murmuring discontentedly, and whining will get back on track, back in order, and back to spirit life, and that the greatest and most glorious days of the church are ahead of us and not behind us.

John 15: 7 – 17

7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

If you retain the spirit words that maintain your spirit connection with your heavenly Father you will have unrestricted access to the superabundant resources of heaven. We simply receive his words with joy and gratitude, and expect an abundant harvest in every area of our lives.

The first three evidences of the fruit of the Holy Spirit are the fruit of the emotions – love, joy, and peace. They are powerful, not to help us live in passive acceptance but in active and aggressive expectancy. They are powerful because they are of the Holy Spirit. And so, we see every opposition as an opportunity to bear much fruit, and to see our Father glorified as we release the righteous roar of love that heals the sick, raises the dead, cleanses the lepers, and drives out demons. As we release the righteous roar of joy that reminds the enemy that greater is he that is in us, and that we know who we are, we know what we can do, and we know what belongs to us. And as we release the righteous roar of peace that keeps us in perfect shalom with nothing missing and nothing broken.

Release your roar…..

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