Some years ago, I helped guide a mutual friend spiritually. One day in his frustration, he revealed how he’d gone to church his entire life. Matter of fact, I learned his parents had raised him in the church. He even memorized just about every event in the Bible. The problem? Although he could recite nearly each one, he had received no revelation from any of them. He knew “stories” but failed to receive spiritually.
This my friends, is the root meaning of today’s scriptures found in 2 Corinthians 3:6(b) which reads “…the letter kills but the Spirit gives life!”
This is the reason behind the blame against the Lord, “Why doesn’t God just…” and fill in the blank. It’s a sign of one who’s heard but has little or no understanding… a familiarity without knowledge or revelation. It’s one thing to hear, but it is entirely another to receive. Most times it’s not intentional. We may be new Christians on our way to maturity or may have never been taught. Other times it may just be stubbornness. Either way, this is the difference between the letter and the spirit. The “letter” receives sentences with the mind, but the “spirit” receives Revelation by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
In the man’s past, although he had spent his life in church, for him church was a place to go, not someone to be. It was a building, not an experience. The bible was a book, not Life. Jesus was a man, not the Way. He fought battles endlessly because he had no idea how to fight on his knees in prayer and worship. He thought his battles could be fought with his hands and his mind rather than in his prayer closet. It was the meaning of this verse that he failed to grasp:
Ephesians 6:12 NLT “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the (spiritual realm).”
Sometime after this meeting, I watched a prerecorded service and noticed the multitudes standing there. I began thinking about how many have found their way back to the Lord, versus those who have yet to know His power waiting for them. I considered how many still live in spiritual poverty, still struggling in life, fighting battles that were already won at the cross. How many stood there familiar with the Lord but didn’t really know Him. We have to strive to take prayer seriously and strive to receive revelation of the Word of God. Luke 11:9 ESV “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
I don’t mean that church life means a perfect life, but I tell you that by establishing and growing in your relationship with God a lot of problems do resolve themselves much differently from when you don’t, and you also begin to recognize the type of issues the enemy tries to trick you and your loved ones into stumbling over. Knowing is half the battle. Praying and worship is the victory. Philippians 4:6 ESV “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Throughout the service it was like I could hear God’s voice telling them that they already have the freedom and the victory and all they needed to do was to go get it! That’s it! Like some of us, they hadn’t yet realized that the Father had already given us the freedom and the victory. Maybe there’s a situation in your life where you haven’t either. And maybe there was an area in my life where I hadn’t and that’s why God sat me down to watch this. If not right now, then God saw it coming and I needed to pay attention to it. Afterall, prayer is a preventative as well. God prepares us before the storm… and the storm indeed was to come… the enemy isn’t as sneaky as it thinks it is… 1 Peter 5:8 ESV “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Going back to the man before the service, there are those who blame God and say “Well He could stop this if He wanted to.” There are only two teams. You must consciously pick one. You cannot play on both teams at the Super Bowl. God will clean you up even while you’re still a mess because He loves you even before you love Him. But you also need to know that if God cleaned up every mess behind you while you served the enemy, you would continue to live sinful lives with little regard to the Holy Spirit – you’d continue to do the enemy’s work. Sin is not living. Sin is death. The Lord desires for you to have life and to have the best that He has to offer you. You cannot serve two masters. Romans 6:23 ESV tells us “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The Lord does not want to make it easier for you to do the enemy’s work, to live and die in sin. The Lord wants you to have Life, here and eternally, and to know what TRUE FREEDOM is! The Lord wants you to know what HAVING THE VICTORY REALLY MEANS! AMEN! And that comes by way of defeating the enemy, defeating darkness and receiving Victory in your own life over all your situations and circumstances. Winning the race or being saved from the destruction that lays ahead by being given a detour far away from the broken bridge. John 10:10 ESV “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
This is why we need to arm ourselves with the Word of God. Don’t think for one moment that the enemy doesn’t know the Bible forwards and backwards because it does. This is what the enemy wants to use to deceive you. As long as you don’t know the word of God, the enemy can use every worldly device against you, things that will seem so silly once you have the Armor of God upon you. And when you know the Word, don’t just read it but seek REVELATION of it, meaning seek Spiritual Understanding through the Holy Spirit and this is only something you can receive through Worship and Prayer.
The full verse from 2 Corinthians 3:6 NIV reads:
“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
This means that if we only receive the Word of God, the words of the Bible with our minds, you won’t receive the fullness of life from it. You don’t religiosity. You need LIFE. You need REVELATION. Seek to receive Revelation.
We read in John 14:6 ESV “Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And in John 15:1-10 ESV “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. …
That’s the difference between those who are “familiar” with the name of the Lord and those who KNOW HIM AND KNOW THE POWER OF THE NAME OF THE Lord! Be one who knows Him! ♥ Amen ♥
Father God, we thank You for the power of prayer and worship. We thank you for every prophet, every disciple, every apostle, every saint who spoke in the Power of the Holy Spirit to bring Your Words to us Lord, that we would have the blessing of having the Bible in our hands each and every day. We thank You that we have the freedom to study Your word, to mediate with You, to seek revelation, to pray, praise and worship You, Father God. We pray that others around the world would also have protection as they worship You Father God, that they would be blessed even as they are persecuted for their love for You. You are amazing Lord, no one and nothing can compare. You have no rival Father God, You are the One and Only True Living God, and we thank You for the Power of prayer! Thank You that You bend down and lend You ears to us Father God, that You are faithful to listen and faithful to answer. Thank You Lord for protecting us from the devourer. Show us how to draw close to You Lord. Protect us, continue to lead and guide us in the way that we should go. Don’t allow us to take a step to the left or to the right if it has not been ordained by You Lord. Help us to help others that they would also learn how to receive life and revelation through your Holy Spirit from Your Word. Thank You Lord for everything You do and we love You for everything You are. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name we pray, Amen!
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