Tag : spirit

Test for Truth by Mayada Naami

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

(Romans 8:9-11, ESV)

They say the eyes are the window of the soul. Look in someone’s eyes and you will see the Spirit of Truth (if it dwells in them). In Matthew 6:22-23 Jesus says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” When you see the world through God’s eyes, your whole body will be full of light, and darkness will flee. 

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

(1 John 4:1, NIV)

I have been testing the spirits since I was a child. I remember wondering why certain people wouldn’t look into my eyes or turned away from me when I smiled at them. The more I read Scripture and spend time in the Word I realize “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). “Heavenly places” is used several times in the book of Ephesians and is translated from the Greek word epouranios, meaning “the sphere of spiritual activities.”

I believe we are spiritual beings at war; those walking with Christ are shining His Light, and those who are not are full of darkness. In Corinthians 6:14, the Bible says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” Jesus is the Light of the world, what fellowship has Jesus with Satan? Absolutely none. Even when Jesus was tested in the wilderness for forty days by the devil, He answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Jesus was tested by Satan and passed the test, the good news is that by His Grace, we can take the test over and over again until we pass.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” 

(2 Corinthians 13:5, NIV)

Categories: Blog

What is Freedom? by Mayada Naami

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh]; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

(Galatians 5:13, NIV)

In Galatians 5:13, we are told to use our freedom to love and humbly serve one another, rather than indulge in the flesh. In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit of God called Satan. Eve indulged in the flesh thinking she would get more than what God already provided for her. That is how the enemy deceives us still today. He tells us we are missing out on something that God is withholding from us. That’s a lie Satan wants us to believe and if we believe it, we will never have peace. We will always pursue things to satisfy our flesh, and those who are living in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

(Romans 8:5-8, NIV)

We were bound by sin and now we are called to freedom. We are freed by Christ. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will not leave you nor forsake you, but He will let us go if we choose to sin (separate ourselves from God) like Adam and Eve chose to do. God allows us to choose. He does not control us. He gave Adam and Eve His own authority over all things when He created the world. I believe that if we are in a deep relationship with Him and go to Him for every conflict and every lie the enemy tries to tell us, we can walk in confidence knowing that the father of lies has no power or authority over our lives. That was God’s will from the beginning, and He never changes. We were created in His image, and He is consistent and does not participate in evil.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were in perfect relationship with God. They had no fear, no depression, and no anxiety. There were no murders, no sickness, no jealousy, and no envy until Eve doubted God’s Word and she chose to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She also gave the apple to someone else, in this case, Adam. Adam was influenced by Eve, who was deceived by Satan. Still today, we see this pattern in many of our modern-day relationships. We were created by God for relationship—first to be in relationship with Him—and then to one another. Satan wants to come between us and our Creator. He wants us to turn away from God and turn toward him. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God delegated back to man his God-given authority that Adam and Eve had yielded to Satan in the Garden of Eden. Jesus authorized His disciples and all believers to go out in the world in His name and use His power—His love—to defeat the enemy. Our authority and dominion have been restored in Jesus. We are free from bondage when we do not indulge the “flesh” and serve one another humbly in love.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

(Galatians 5: 16-21, NIV)

Categories: Blog

Look Who’s Talking! by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I hurried to finish a paper for one of my classes before a lunch meeting. It was completed—or so I thought—but something prevented me from turning it in. I heard in my spirit, Wait. Look over the paper again when you get back from lunch. So as much as I wanted to check this paper of my school to-do list, I listened and reviewed my paper more thoroughly when I returned home. That’s when I found several mistakes—some of which were glaring. I thought, I am so glad I listened to that voice. I am sure the mistakes would have hurt my grade.

The question is: “Who was that voice?” Was that just me being wise? I don’t think so. I was ready to submit the paper and something stopped me. I believe it was the voice of the Holy Spirit because I regularly pray for God to give me what is needed to be successful in school, and He knew that the paper still needed tweaking.

I think the LORD is constantly speaking through His Holy Spirit but we need to tune into that frequency. It’s an impression or the small still voice that says, “Don’t say what you’re thinking” or “You need to pick up the phone and call your friend.” It’s the voice that provides a word of encouragement for someone else, using you as a conduit. You ask, “Where did those words come from?” but you obediently deliver the message.

The Holy Spirit speaks often and He guides us through life when we let Him. John 16:13 says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

In a Christianity.com article on “The Ten Roles of the Holy Spirit in the Lives of Christians,” it says the Holy Spirit is: 1) A Helper who teaches and reminds; 2) Convicts the world of sin; 3) Dwells in believers and fills them; 4) Is a source of revelation, wisdom and power; 5) Guides to all truth including knowledge of what is to come; 6) Gives spiritual gifts to believers; 7) Is a Seal in the lives of believers; 8) Helps a Christian with weakness and Intercedes for them; 9) Makes believers new and gives eternal life; 10) Sanctifies and enables believers to bear good fruit.[1]

Tomorrow is Pentecost, the day where in Acts 2 the Holy Spirit filled the early believers. He’s still with us today and I want all He can offer, don’t you? Come Holy Spirit!

If you feel you are missing out on what the Spirit has to give, pray to receive the Holy Spirit. He desires to make your life fuller, and will even guide you on the smallest of details like fixing typos on a school paper.

[1] Penny Noyes, “The Ten Roles of the Holy Spirit in the Life of Christians,” https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holy-spirit/10-roles-of-the-holy-spirit-in-christian-life.html

Categories: Blog

Free Will by Mayada Naami

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (I Corinthians 10:13, NIV).

It is interesting how the Bible tells us that temptation is common to mankind and that God provides us with a way out. Why is it then that we sometimes get stuck repeating certain patterns of behavior that may lead us down the “wrong” road. In the past, I have made some choices that led me down the path of pain and sometimes destruction. Looking back on those moments, I now clearly see that God did indeed provide me a way out, however, at the time, I had allowed my emotions or feelings to rule my mind. Our mind is a powerful thing, and the Bible makes many references about the innate power God has blessed us with. Whether we choose to connect to the Source, the Holy Spirit, is our choice.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want (Galatians 5: 16-17, NIV).

So, what does it mean to walk by the Spirit? For me, it means to surrender my will to His will. Before 2011 (when I was reborn in the Spirit), I never understood what that even meant. I was raised Catholic, and we never talked about rebirth. Only after I started reading the Bible, and the story of Nicodemus and Jesus’ conversation, did I finally understand that you are first born in the flesh, and then spiritually reborn when you surrender control, give up the ties to the world, and start walking with Christ. That is essentially what the first twelves disciples of Christ did. They made a choice to walk away from everything they knew and follow Him. That is what He is asking us to do today. Are you willing to surrender the ties to the world, the desires of the flesh and decide to walk by the Spirit? It is a choice that must be made daily, every time you are faced with a temptation. In Deuteronomy 30:19, it says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”

God created Adam and Eve and instructed them not to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and they chose to disobey God, which caused a separation from God, the first sin. When we choose to succumb to temptation, rather than turn to God in our moment of weakness, we cause our own pain and suffering. God created us in His image which means our natural inclination is one of optimism and healthy thinking—fear is not our norm. He has empowered us with free will and a sound mind to make the right decisions. He wants us to trust Him and His perfect will for our lives. Unfortunately, the world we live in today has many temptations, but the Bible clearly tells us not to conform to the world. We are to capture our thoughts and renew our minds, which will give us the power to test for Truth and know God’s perfect will for our lives.  

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

(Romans 12:2, NIV)

Categories: Blog

Love or Fear by Mayada Naami

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1John 4:18, NIV).

There are only two primary emotions, fear, and love. All the other feelings we express are nothing more than derivatives of these two basic emotions. Fear and love are opposites. It is impossible for love and fear to harmoniously co-exist. All things positive stem from love, and all negative things, such as anger, hate, anxiety, and guilt or shame, stem from fearful thoughts. Our thoughts determine whether we choose to love or fear. God gave us free will and the Bible tells us to take captive every thought to demolish arguments and every pretension or falsehood that sets itself up against the knowledge or truth of God. God is Love, so anything opposite of God is fear, also known as the enemy.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)

God’s Spirit is not “a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Love and self-control are two fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we live by the Spirit, we have the power to respond in love of our own free will. We can control our reactions and choose to love our neighbor, or we can respond in a negative way which manifests fear-based emotions.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).

Fear is something we face every day. If we let it overwhelm us, it can steal our joy, peace, and serenity. What can we do when faced with valid fears, like sickness or financial worries? We can turn to Scripture to be reminded of God’s love. Ask Him to calm your thoughts and open your heart to peace, comfort, and wisdom. Trust that He will protect you and keep His promise to strengthen you in your time of weakness.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10, NIV).

We live in a crazy, chaotic world that sometimes makes our anxieties soar. God wants each of us to have a power-filled faith that allows us to stand up against the enemy in a world filled with fear. The Word of God will always comfort you in times when you feel afraid or overwhelmed.

Choose love, not fear!

Categories: Blog