Holy Spirit & Skill
May grace take you from where you are to where God wants you to be in life, as you receive with faith, the word that comes from Him that says, the one who loves life to see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it. [1 Peter 3:10,11] It is God’s desire that you pursue and experience peace, or a wholeness in you, that is an absence of lack in every area of your life. And, it becomes possible because, the chastisement for your peace or well being was laid on His Son, Lord Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross, and by His stripes you are healed.
It is why you can declare that it is well with your soul, as you receive and meditate upon the word night and day, like a tree planted by the waters, to prosper in all that you do. [Psalms 1:3] And the Lord Himself has declared that streams of living water would flow out of your innermost being, when the Holy Spirit abides in you. [John 7:38] Therefore, there is always the need to be planted in the word, and planted in the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit then becomes your Helper, who guides you into all truth, to change your outlook and thoughts to be in line with God’s word, so that you may prosper in all that you do for the glory and honor of God.
The Holy Spirit’s work in you :
The Holy Spirit takes residence in you and fills you with His power, love and sound mind, that replaces all timidity and fear in you, when it comes to doing what the Lord wants you to do and prosper in your life. When the Spirit of God comes upon you, you shall receive power, are the words of the Lord, before He ascended to heaven, to be seated at His Father’s right hand. [Acts 1:8]The love of God is poured into your heart, through the Spirit of God. [Romans 5:5] And, it was with words of wisdom from the Spirit that Stephen spoke, as he stood unafraid before the Sanhedrin, wrongly accused and sentenced to death, for proclaiming the Name of Jesus. [Acts 6:10]
In your life today, it is how the Holy Spirit works in you, and enables you to do what you need to do, by giving you the necessary skill, wisdom and ability. Therefore, laying all reluctance aside, it requires a confident effort on your part, as you put your trust in the Lord, knowing that apart from Him, you can do nothing, but also that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. For, it has been said that there are two things that God will not do for you. He does not need to die on the Cross again for your sins, for by one sacrifice He has perfected forever, all those who draw near to Him in faith. And secondly, He will not do something that you need to do, for He wants to do it through you, and display who He is through you !
The nature of the Holy Spirit’s work :
It is seen in the appreciation of God, when in the beginning, He created the heavens and the earth, Then God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very good. [Genesis 1:31] All that He did was very good, in His work of creation, and the nature of God remains the same, yesterday, today and forever. Lord Jesus, as He walked on earth, went about doing good, healing the sick and ministering to people. The gospels record what He did in powerful terms, saying, And they were astonished beyond measure saying, ‘He has done all things well’. [Mark 7:37]
And this is the God who is at work in you now, the God whose work is always very good, the Lord who does all things well. Therefore, it is with joyful confidence that you can await the completion of His work in you, for the apostle Paul is certain of one thing. And, it is what he expresses in his letter to the Philippians. Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you, will carry it to completion, until the day of Jesus Christ. [Philippians 1:6] He is the God who does all things well, and all things good. And therefore, even if you cannot describe your present circumstance in such favorable terms, the outcome of it all will certainly be good. It is the confident faith that needs to be in you, that when the Lord is your shepherd, and you are following Him, goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.
And, it is the revelation truth of God’s word and His nature, His promises that are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ in Christ, which can change your reality that is anything but good at present. In fact, stating your order for a steak in a restaurant, could be the only ‘well done’ that you can connect with right now in your life ! For, nothing may be good at all when it comes to your work, your family, your finances, your health, all aspects of your life, or any one aspect of it. But, even in such a predicament, you can work towards a change. It happens as you shift your focus to start with the word and work towards your problem, instead of continually focusing on your problem. And there is a very valid reason for it.
‘In the beginning was the word … ’:
In the beginning was the word; the word was with God, and the word was God. [John 1:1] It was not your problem, but it was the word of God that was there in the very beginning, and hence there is the need to go through the word towards your problem. For then, ultimately you will find that with God, there is no problem. It is not about denying the reality of your problem. But, it is in the knowledge of having the treasure of the supernatural power of God in you, in earthen vessels, choosing to say like Paul, ‘we are cast down but not conquered’, and also having the confidence that in the end things will turn out well, for God is at work in you.
Sometimes, you see on the road a sign that says, ‘men at work’, but you may not see any work going on, but still it denotes the work project that has been established and begun, and is on the road to completion. And, there is a sign on you too, one that is very powerful, that says, ‘God is at work’. And outwardly nothing may be visible, no change apparently seen, but the truth is that, God is working inside you and through you, to bring about a lasting change for His glory and honor. He is at work in you, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. [Philippians 2:13]
What is the principle that needs to be learnt from this ?
It is that your focus needs to be on God and not on yourself. For, what happens then is that, with the illumination that comes from God, in the face of Christ, through His word, you will know and see that even when bad things are done to you, and people intentionally harm you, He will turn it around so that in the end it may be good and well. The life of Joseph bears testimony to it, in the scriptures. You too, can look forward to the day, when He will bring it all to a flourishing finish in your life. For, those who put their trust in Him will never be disappointed. It is when a person misses his appointment that he will face disappointment. And, that will not happen when you are led and guided by the Holy Spirit.
God is at work, not just in you, but in your child, in your workplace, in your church, in your society, and in everything that is connected to you, through you. And, it is through His Holy Spirit. Therefore, the work of the Holy Spirit ought not to be limited only to what is externally supernatural. There is a lot that He does within you that can be termed ‘supernatural’.
Defining the ‘super natural’:
Salvation is the greatest supernatural work of God, internally within you. You were once dead in your transgressions, but God has done His supernatural work of grace in you and made you come alive ! And, seated in His presence, when you hear His word, He does His work in you continually in order to change you, to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Supernatural can be described in simple terms therefore, as God working in you through the Holy Spirit, to add His ‘super’ to your ‘natural’. And it finds your natural gifting and calling immeasurably enhanced to accomplish what is supernatural and extraordinary with beauty and ease.
When the ordinary becomes ‘extra ordinary’:
Everyone is born into this world, a sinner. The one common factor that you share with every other human being is the ‘original sin’. And, before you were saved, you could not help but sin. It was your sinful and ordinary nature. But after experiencing God’s work of salvation in you, and through it the power of the Holy Spirit, you can say ‘no’ to sin, if you choose to. You now you have the ‘extra’ power in you, one that differentiates you from the ordinary, to make you extraordinary ! For, no matter how hard you try to excel in your natural ability, there will be people who can do it better. You may not be able to be the best and the first in your line of work all the time. But, it is then that the words of Moses become the guiding light of truth in your life and mine, to know what makes us special and extraordinary.
The promise of God’s presence :
‘If your presence will not go with me, do not bring me up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and Your people ? Is it not in Your going with us, that we are distinct, I and Your people, from every other people on the face of the earth ?’ [Exodus 33:15,16] What makes you and I special and extraordinary, is the presence of God with us. And even as He promised Moses, He is there with you. But, are you walking in the awareness of His presence with you ? It is the question that you need to ask yourself.
The sky was his roof, and the land that he walked upon did not belong to him, and in fact it was the middle of nowhere, a barren wilderness. But, Moses knew that he was special, because the presence of God was with him. It does not matter where you live, how big or small your house is. What matters is who is there in the house with you ! It determines whether you are travelling towards your land of promise, to possess it and experience the blessings that come with it. God was with Joseph, and therefore he prospered. It is how the bible gives his status report, while in the eyes of the world his portfolio would have been referred to as ‘housekeeping’ ! Today, in the kingdom of God, one that is a very present reality in the new covenant, the only thing that matters is whether you are in Christ or not. It is the sole criteria, one that sets you apart from the people of the world, to make you special and extraordinary. For, what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul ? [Luke 9:25] They are the words of Christ Himself, and He has also said, ‘For a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions’. [Luke 12:15]
Thus, in God’s economy, having everything, but without Christ, is in essence having nothing. While, possessing nothing, but in having Christ in your life, you have it all, in this world and the next. For, you may have needs, but the one who provides, is in you. Therefore, you may have lacks now, but you do not lack anything. But, if you do not mind spiritual lack in your life, as long as you have lakhs of rupees in your bank, then your mind needs to be renewed, so that your outlook of life is changed and you can have the godly perspective, that makes whatever you do prosper. For, in the middle of nowhere, in a place of seeming lack, Moses was able to do a glorious work, in building the tabernacle, all because he heeded the voice of God, and willingly obeyed in the knowledge of God’s presence with them.
Called by God & filled with the Spirit of God :
Then Moses said to the people of Israel, See, the Lord has called by name, Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, To design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship …[Exodus 35:30,31]
Today, as a child of God, you have a specific call upon your life too, to do something singularly unique for the glory of God. And, the call of God upon your life, comes with the anointing and infilling of His Spirit in you. It is that which gives you all the necessary ability and skill that is needed that in order to accomplish it with a beauty and ease that reflects His glorious brilliance ! The Holy Spirit’s anointing therefore is never limited to external manifestations alone. Bezalel was anointed to do something intricate and unique, one that had never been done before. And, it involved seemingly improbable to accomplish things like needlework and embroidery, for they were on a wilderness journey ! But, inventive work became possible because the creative God was in operation. And the same Holy Spirit abides in you today, to do His glorious work in and through you, as you yield yourself to God’s call upon your life.
For, excellence can be found even in the people of the world, but with you, it is godliness that comes from the fullness of God in you, that will lead you to excellence. And, it will be the unmistakable stamp of the supernatural Spirit upon your work. Inventive work becomes possible, because the creative God, who created the heavens and the earth out of chaotic emptiness and darkness, is in you, through the indwelling of the Spirit. Therefore, it is not just in marketing, but even in the making of something, the manufacturing of something new and unique, that you will prosper and abound, as God works in you through His Spirit.
Moses, together with the people of Israel, built the tabernacle of God in the middle of a desert, for the Almighty God, the Great I AM was at work in them, and in the midst of them through His Spirit. And today, in the new covenant, you are the tabernacle, the temple of God. The One who created it all, is living inside of you. And in the knowledge of that truth, you no longer need to shrink back from doing what God has called you to do, thinking less of yourself, focusing on what you think you lack, a good background in life, or a connection with influential people, who can pull the right strings, and open the right doors for you.
It has been said that if you know three people, you can climb any mountain, or face any problem, to come out of it victoriously. They are God, the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. And being a child of God, you may certainly know them, but, are you living in the awareness of the truth ? That, as the idiom goes, would be the million dollar question ! And, even if your life, in your eyes, seems disastrous, and utterly beyond hope, it is never the end of the story, for the Spirit of God in you, can lead you to initiate a change, a change that overwhelmingly satisfies you. It is the lesson to be learnt and applied in your life, when an overwhelming need stares at you in the face, in the most unfavorable of conditions. The Lord of compassion, in the manner in which worked out a huge miracle, shows you the way, and the truth.
‘You give them something to eat’:
There were many reasons put forth by the disciples, why they could not give, and they were not mere lame excuses either. It was true that the place and the timing was not right, and it was also true that finding enough resources to feed such a big multitude would be humanly speaking impossible. [Matthew 14:13-21] But, the compassionate Lord knew what He was going to do, as He listened to the answers of the disciples, to then ask them, ‘What do you have in your hand ?’ And, He bid them to bring the little, that the little boy had given to them, to give thanks and bless it ,to be distributed by the disciples. And, it became the scene of a mighty miracle of miraculous increase, as the five thousand were fed, with twelve basketful left over !
And, the God who worked a miracle in the wilderness, that saw His tabernacle being built, the Lord of the Gospels who worked a miracle in a remote and deserted place, to satisfy the physical need of a huge multitude, is the same God who is at work in you today ! Never underestimate therefore, the call of God upon your life, the inventive work that in the world’s eyes may not count for much, because it does not pay much ! What you have in your hand, negligible it may be, when given into the Lord’s hand, with thanksgiving, with His blessing upon it will see fruitfulness in your life, and a miraculous increase that removes all lack in you. It is peace that is wholeness and not lack that God wants you to experience. It is vital therefore, that you are not conformed to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, by offering your body as a living sacrifice unto God, as a spiritual act of worship, and to know His good and perfect will for your life. [Romans 12:1,2]
Focusing on your call :
Ask of the Spirit to know and understand your call in life, to pursue it. Let not cash take priority over your call from God. For, when you chase after money, and all that comes through it, you may get it, but after getting it, you will not like what is in your hand ! This may be some people’s experience in life, but it need not be yours. For, true satisfaction will come only when you are doing what God has called you to do. It can never be replaced by money. It can only be experienced by the fulfillment of the call of God upon your life.
Even if you are thinking that it is too late to turn around, that you have already taken the wrong turn in chasing after money, God reassures you that, as you ask to be led and guided by the Spirit, you can end well, in your life. And, it certainly does not imply that you have to walk out of your present employment this very day, for the Spirit’s wisdom will not lead you into anything that is foolish or unwise. He knows the right time and the right manner in which to accomplish things in your life, and you will know that it is all by the work of God in and around you.
‘Not I, but God’:
Joseph’s call and gifting was the ability to interpret dreams. It may have seemed to the people around him that it was not something that could make him prosper in life richly. In fact for him to interpret, someone else had to sleep ! And, whom did the Lord God make to sleep and also have a dream that needed to be interpreted, one that no one else could ? It was the pharaoh himself. He was the ruler of the land of Egypt that was on that day considered to be the richest of all. And, the pharaoh himself was considered to be a kind of demi god, worthy to be worshipped. But for the lock in his hand, the dream that he could not decipher rightly, it was Joseph who had the key !
Therefore, Joseph’s call and gifting found him in the presence of the king, where he was able to make his declaration of faith saying, ‘Not I, but the Lord Himself will give you a favorable answer’. [Genesis 41:16] And, when Joseph was not only able to rightly interpret the dreams, but was also able to give wise advice concerning the implementation of it, pharaoh recognized in Joseph, the presence and working of the Spirit of God . It was a recognition of the call of God upon Joseph’s life by the ruler of the country, one that saw him being lifted up to be second only to the pharaoh, with all the ensuing privileges, and all in the span of a few short minutes ! [Genesis 41:37-43] Pursuing the call of God in your life, will make what the world is chasing after, come to you. And as you follow the Lord your Shepherd, goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.
The work completed :
Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it; as the Lord had commanded them, just so they had done it. And Moses blessed them. [Exodus 39:43] The ability to complete the work, that God had called them to do, was in itself, the blessing of God. The Old Testament Tabernacle was with the blessing of God fully completed. In the Israelites wilderness journey God anointed Bezalel and filled him with His skill, so that he may fulfill his call. And in the end, the glory of God, the visible presence of the Lord, His brilliance filled the tabernacle.
His brilliance in you :
And, in the new covenant, you are the tabernacle of God. Therefore, as you focus on Christ and what He has done for you, to pursue the call of God upon your life, let the brilliance of God fill every aspect of your life, your home, your family, your workplace, your church and everything connected to you. And, people will see it from afar, the work that is brilliant, supernatural and extraordinary, to know that it is the work of the Holy Spirit in you. And, even if you have pursued wrong paths until now, pray to the Lord that He would re – route you, by filling you with His anointing and skill to do what He wants you to do, and prosper in your life. There is nothing that He cannot do.
Turn away therefore, from leaning on your own understanding, and commit to the Lord all that you do, so that He may make your paths straight, bringing everything to a flourishing finish in the end. Give thanks unto the Lord, for all that He has done in you thus far, and ask and seek to be filled anew, filled more and more, with skill and ability from the Spirit, to become more and more supernatural and extraordinary, with the brilliance of God radiating in sparkling gleams in and through you. And may the blessing of God be upon you, and upon the word that you have received, to bring to completion the good work that He has begun in you.
In the Name of Christ Jesus Amen.
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