LIVING IN THE SPIRIT

Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to be somewhere else? It’s time to be there, you know you’re late, and there’s nothing you can do about it? That happened to me as I was on my way to the jail, but I had to work late. My flesh was throwing a fit, like a two-year-old. I was so mad. I knew there was nothing I could do about it so I started to focus on the fruit of the Spirit, knowing I already have the fruit of self control. Before I knew it, I was at the jail with a sigh of relief.

The Lord had prepared me to talk about Hebrews 4:12 and what it teaches us about soul and Spirit, joints and marrow, thoughts and intentions of the heart; it’s okay to have temptations and pulls. We talked about how our circumstances don’t have to rule how we behave, when Jesus lives on the inside, He exercises Spirit living inside us. I don’t understand it all, but I do know we can trust Him to do it.

Afterward I talked with a lady whom I have seen a bunch of times. Her note indicated that we haven’t talked in a while. She is leaving for rehab in a couple of weeks and wanted to let me know about it.

The next woman I chatted with had given her life to Jesus the week before. She had tears in her eyes as she poured out her heart about how it bothers her about the negativity from the other girls in her cell. I asked her if this was anything different than other times she was in jail. “It’s me that has changed this time,” she said. “That stuff never bothered me before, but now, I can’t wait to get out of here,” she continued. She proclaimed how she is never coming back to this place ever again. Her ex-husband, who is in prison has written to her and asked to be reconciled. I asked her if she was still in love with him and she said yes. He has also given his life to Jesus and wants to be the Christian husband he was intended to be.

It was getting late, so I looked for the other ministers to say good-bye. They invited me into the law box with them and an inmate who was struggling with anger and unforgiveness. Wait till you hear what happened next. She shared with us the hurts and anguish she has suffered throughout her life since she was 12 years old. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer, she began to let go of some horrific things. Each of the ministers were laying hands on her as she started to confess forgiveness for each person by naming them out loud. When it came time to forgive the man who sexually molested her as a child, she began to shake and her body temperature rose. I wanted to lay my hand on her head, but when she said this man’s name, God told me, “now”. When I put my hand on her head, the shaking immediately ceased and she became visibly calm. Everyone in the room knew a miracle had taken place. You should have seen the smile on her face once we left that room!

These are the very things that make my heart long to be where Jesus is, and this is one of the places He likes to manifest Himself for His glory.

Thank you, Jesus for who you are and what you are doing in the lives of people who seek your face. Thank you for you grace and mercy and love.

Tracey

 

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WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

All actions proceed from thought. The heart generally represents the spirit in scriptural terms. As Jesus said it is “out of the heart” that all manner of evil proceeds. He showed it as the first cause or generator of action.

1 Peter 1:13 (KJV) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

The loins of your mind speak of the reproductive part of the soul, which is feminine. It is able, like a womb, to receive the seeds of thought, which are spirit. We are instructed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:11 to “not be ignorant of Satan’s devices.” Devices is from the Greek word noema which means “thoughts.” So we are not to be ignorant of Satan’s thoughts. We are to have discernment and test the spirits to see if they be of God. For Satan, who is a spirit, would like to “impregnate” our mind with his thoughts. And the Bible tells us that when sin is conceived it brings forth death, just as it did in Adam and Eve.

This is an excerpt from “The Cross in the heart of God” by Don Godfroy

THE HELPER

Whenever I go to the jail to teach a large group the Chaplain points me in one of two directions. Most of the time there are other ministers conducting services there at the same time; so he tells us where he wants us to go. For the past 3 or 4 months I have been in the vending room but tonight he sent me around back.

There were about 30 guys there tonight which is about average I guess, and they all seemed to be attentive to what I was saying. Sometimes they are a little distracted but tonight everyone appeared focused.

I passed out the sign up sheet and just waited as the guard rounded up several more men from other cells. After they came in and sat down; the door shut, and I introduced myself. After we prayed I told them to look in the Gospel of John chapter 14 and told them we would be looking in 14, 15 and 16 tonight.

I started by sharing a quick version of my testimony. I told them about how I never really doubted that there was a God, but I just didn’t see how that meant anything to me down here. I mean God’s way up there somewhere and apparently it’s up to me to make this life thing work. I simply had no concept of God actually being present in the here and now. Somehow the message I had received was one day I will have to deal with God but for now I’m on my own.

Before I started to read scripture I just sort of shared how the disciples seemed to always be confused about Jesus. He would say things like “My flesh is real meat and my blood is real drink.” He told them “I’m going away but don’t worry, I’ll be back, but the world won’t see me but you will see me because I go to the Father.” The disciples seemed to always be confused and have to ask each other “What is he saying?” Then they would turn to Jesus and ask “Please explain this to me.” From time to time Jesus would respond “How long must I be with you?” Jesus would talk Spirit and the disciples couldn’t understand because they didn’t yet have the Spirit.

Not understanding God, Jesus, and the Bible etc. is exactly where I was for a long time so I could relate to the disciples in their confusion. I asked the guys if they knew where I was coming from. Several of them shook their heads and agreed; as I read to them several verses in John 14 about Jesus’ promise of a helper. He said the Spirit of God would not only be with the disciples, but he would be in them.

Although the disciples didn’t want Jesus to leave he reassured them it would be better for them if he went away. Jesus was telling them they would indeed be better because the helper he would send wouldn’t just be beside them but he would indwell them. They would never ever be left alone afterwards. This is the part I didn’t get in my childhood. I didn’t know about the Helper and that’s why I thought it was all up to me to make my life work. I thank God now I do know the Helper.

As we finished up and we were walking out into the hall a man came up to me and said, “The last time you were here you taught about the difference between the soul and spirit. I just wanted to let you know you set me free that night. Since then I’ve been reading the Bible and I understand it now. I just wanted to thank you.” I told him thanks so much for telling me that! These are the things that encourage me to keep going to the jail. There are some of these guys that are truly seeking answers. I just keep telling them to let God be God and he wants to be Lord in their lives. I finished with Jesus telling them he was the vine and they were the branches. I stuck out my arms like branches and acted as if I was straining. I said, “Have you ever seen branches on a tree straining to produce apples?” Of course not so I told them their job was to abide in the vine and let Christ in them produce the fruit through them.

Written by Louie