Monday, January 11, 2010

Character Traits

There are many character traits that the Holy Spirit cultivates in us. But I want to share seven of them with you during my next 7 posts unless I get sidetracked for any reason. These posts will be from a book I have been reading recently called "A Message From God", by Retha Mc Pherson, that has really spoken to me over the last several weeks. Here are the 7 traits that the Holy Spirit cultivates in us that I will be covering.
  1. The Spirit of Prayer
  2. The Spirit of Sonship
  3. The Spirit of Obedience
  4. The Spirit of Faith
  5. The Spirit of Worship
  6. The Spirit of Truth
  7. The Spirit of Covenant

I hope that you get something out of this as I have. My relationship with the Lord Jesus only seems to be growing stronger as I dive into some deep books, God's Word and prayer daily. I've come to a point of being able to shut up and listen as the Lord speaks to me. This is a practice I will be working on for, well, probably till the day I die, but is well worth it. Intimacy with God pleases Him in ways we cannot comprehend.

Day 1: The Spirit Of Prayer

All the great men and women from the Bible, the prophets and disciples all "prayed continually" (1 Thes. 5:17). Note in the gospels how Jesus always goes off to pray before we see Him work a miracle. We cannot doubt that prayer is of paramount importance in our relationship with God.

Most people feel they don't know how to pray, but if we remain in the Spirit, He will teach us how to pray and even who to pray for, because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of supplication. We just have to be sensitive to Him. How often had you thought of someone all day and in your spirit you knew you should pray for him, but you just didn't? Only to find out later that he really needed prayer at that time in his life.

In Matt. 7:7 God promises, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you," and in Matt. 21:22 He reiterates, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer". Two fantastic promises, each revealing the importance of prayer. The problem is that most of us think that to "ask", "seek" and "pray" is a five minute deal. You won't receive anything if you only spend the last five minutes of your day, with God in prayer just before you fall asleep, utterly exhausted. Prayer that moves mountains, brings healing and spiritual maturity demands commitment, and time to wait on God. You have to seek God like Jacob did: holding on to Him until He blesses you. In our fast-paced world we just don't have the time to wait on God and this is where the enemy steals from us. When we pray, we just rattle off a list of our needs and wants and then we get up and leave His presence without having received His peace or joy.

Instead God wants to build an intimate and loving relationship with you through prayer. It is your direct communications channel to God and you can access Him anywhere any time. Simply telling God your needs, saying 'Amen' and going to bed, surely cannot be pleasing to God(paraphrasing).

God wants us to live in a continuous state of prayer. If you persist in prayer, He will reveal Himself to you. Jer. 33:3 says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know". This taught me that prayer isn't a one-way street. Now, when I'm finished praying, I wait on God to hear His voice.

1 Peter 5:5-6: "...clothe yourselves with humility...because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time." And so I bend my stiff knees and bow my proud back, knowing just how dependent I am on Him.

"Remember Retha, the moment you leave my presence, you will be walking in your own self-sufficiency and pride again," God said. "There is humility in my presence."

"Yes Lord, and peace and joy and love," I added.

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