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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 161

The Gifts Part 66

Discerning of Spirits continued...

Another way for us to discern the spirit of an individual without expressly possessing the gift of discerning of spirits, is to pay close attention to whether they give praise and glory to God, or if they attempt to place these things upon themselves. A true man of God, a true servant will never attempt to take that which rightly belongs to God, and appropriate it for themselves. A true servant of God knows from whence his power comes, a true servant of God knows from whence his authority comes, and a true servant of God knows from whence the gifts of the Holy Spirit come. A true servant does not see himself as having done something for which he is now entitled to the gifts, he sees himself as one who was chosen, one who was called with a holy calling, and is now accountable to God for walking in that calling.

What most of us might readily consider an oversight kept Moses from entering the Promised Land. Whenever I want to bring to remembrance the standard to which God holds those which He calls to ministry, whenever I want to bring to remembrance the fact that though God might love an individual, so much so that He would even grant him the desire to see Him, He will still not compromise, I return to the life of Moses.

Just to contextualize the life of this great prophet Moses, we must go to the word of God and see what it has to say about him. As we all know by now, the scriptures do not praise those unworthy of praise, nor do they elevate those undeserving of honor.

Deuteronomy 34:10-12, “But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of Israel.”

Knowing that the word of God employs praise sparingly, when we read that there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, we must afford these words the gravitas and significance rightly due them.

The Bible goes one step further, and even reveals to us why it is that Moses was considered the greatest prophet to arise in Israel, knowing the Lord face to face, and doing sings and wonders in the land of Egypt and before Pharaoh, topping the list.

With all the accolades that Moses collected over the years however, with all the things that God did through him, even with being one of a handful of people to have seen God, God still did not allow him to enter the Promised Land. So what horrible thing did Moses do to deserve being forbidden by God to cross over into the Promised Land?

Numbers 20:7-12, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.’ So Moses took the rod from the Lord as He commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock; and he said to them, ‘Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?’ Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.’”

There are many worthwhile lessons in this scripture passage that we would do well to heed and learn from, because if God was uncompromising concerning one such as Moses, He will be no less uncompromising toward us.

In the beginning Moses did as the Lord commanded, he took the rod from the Lord, but as he gathered the people together, his frustration got the better of him, and Moses went off script. He started saying and doing things that God never commanded him to say or do, and what’s worse he did not believe God, or hallow Him in the eyes of the people.

To hallow, is to respect or honor greatly, and when Moses said, ‘must we bring water for you out of this rock?’ he did not hallow God, but rather honored himself by intimating that indeed he had within himself the ability to bring water from the rock. Moses did not ask ‘must God bring water for you out of this rock?’ he made it about himself and Aaron, he made it about something other than the God he served, and for this God was greatly angered.

Moses took that which was rightfully God’s, the honor and respect due Him and attempted to subvert it. Even if it may have been unintentional, even if the words were spoken in a moment of frustration, God still saw it as Moses not hallowing His name in the eyes of the children of Israel, and as punishment for this Moses would not bring the people into the land which God had given them.

Give God the honor, give God the glory, give God the praise, and be wary of any man who would presume to take these things upon himself, for the Spirit of God would never do such a thing. As subtle as our enemy might be, there are still inconsistencies in his character, such as pride, and the desire for unwarranted glory that he can’t help but attempt to subvert, and if we are wise in our understanding, and on guard against such things we can know truth from deception, and we can discern between one walking in the Spirit of God, and one walking in the spirit of this world and of the Antichrist.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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