Jun 14, 2017 3:54 AM
An Israeli priest named Ezekiel was thirty when one day in June he said, “The heavens were suddenly opened to me and I saw visions from God.” (Ezekiel 1:1-3 TLB)
Merriam Webster defines the word revelation as being “a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way, and the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world.” When God shows up, all our meanings of the word apply.
It was Ezekiel’s first vision in the land of Babylon, and it was an awesome sight. A whirlwind swept toward him from the north, the color of amber, filled with fire and supernatural light. In the middle of this swirling cloud were angelic beings that he described as best as he could.
In reading this account I had a revelation of my own. Ezekiel 1:12 as it describes the angelic beings states, “Wherever their spirit went they went, going straight forward without turning.” It is a picture of perfect union and focused intent.
This verse points out two truths (at least) revealed from the Kingdom of God.
First, the spirit of a man leads him. Whether this spirit is the Holy Spirit or the spirit influenced by the world, it draws him forward. Psychology has long tried to answer the question, who owns the mind? Modern psychology and scientific studies are discovering that the mind follows the heart. Dr. Caroline Leaf has written much on this topic, and I recommend her books.
Second, it is God’s will that we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and that we not deviate from this path. The angelic beings were moving as one with the Spirit, not procrastinating, not distracted and not changing their focus. The word spirit is rȗach which implies wind, breath or exhalation. It is the same word used in referring to the Holy Spirit. The word went is halak from a root word meaning to walk. Wherever the Spirit walked, they walked.
All of our life is one in this type of walking relationship. We do not turn aside from our path in God when we are with unbelievers or the uncommitted. We do not compartmentalize our life into work, home, school, leisure and church. In the Kingdom all of life, all our walk, is sacred and it is to be led by the Spirit.
Pluralism separates the sacred from the common. But this was not the theology of the Hebrew culture because it was not the theology of God. Many indigenous cultures share this theology, a common root to their Creator, the idea that all levels of life, all actions are sacred. God’s perfect will involves a life lived in the light of obedience to the exhaled truth and leading of the Holy Spirit.
What does this mean for you and me in our daily lives? It means waking to the prayer, “God fill me your Holy Spirit,” every morning. It means reading the exhaled word of God, aka the Bible, and asking God to make us sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. It also requires doing— moving in obedience. If you’d like to know more about walking in the Spirit, click here and scroll down for our free download, How to Walk in the Spirit.
Image by Sebastien Gabriel courtesy of StockSnap.i.o
Nov 26, 2016 10:35 AM
Alive in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer is perhaps the most personal collection of Tozer’s teachings. This material has never been published before. It is a book directed to the individual and the indwelling/baptism of the Holy Spirit. The book assumes that the reader is already a born again Christian, and understandably so as the material is derived from sermons that focus on the work of the Holy Spirit after conversion. If you are not familiar with the Christian faith, you may want to read Tozer’s Total Commitment to Christ or The Pursuit of God first.
That said, this is an important book for those seeking a deeper relationship with God. Tozer’s testimony and personal experiences with the Person of the Holy Spirit inspire reflection and application. You will learn the Holy Spirit’s part in the Trinity, recognize His work and value in your life.
One of my favorite chapters is “Chapter 6 The Penetrating Voice of the Holy Spirit”. But here a modern apologist may stand apart from Tozer who states on page 67 that faith is “Not a matter of reason at all.” I, an apologist wanna-be, would say faith, which is not blind at all, is the most reasonable thing in the world. But that apologist would agree that “Our faith does not rest upon nor depend upon historical evidence, but upon the invisible presence witnessing to the inner life and our response to that voice.” (pg 66)
“Chapter 11 The Holy Spirit: An Uncomfortable Presence” is also notable. I appreciate that Tozer never sugar coats a relationship with God. This chapter points out those things in our character that would be challenged by a life submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. James L. Snyder, the award winning author and pastor who compiled and edited the book, states in the introduction that this is not a book “to be read in one sitting.” I heartily agree. This is a book to digest slowly, meditating and making applications as the Lord leads. Application questions follow each chapter to guide you. This book is a keeper; repetitive readings would be beneficial.
If I have any criticisms it may be the few times that seem to make references to Tozer writing the book as in Chapter 1 on page 14 where it says, “Later on I will devote a chapter...” It was confusing to me as I thought these chapters were compiled from sermons, and it created a break in my concentration. Hardly reason to put down the book, however.
I highly recommend Alive in the Spirit to those wishing to take the next step after conversion. I also think it would make a great study for small groups.
I received my copy of the book free from Bethany House.
Dec 10, 2015 7:00 AM
I like having treats at my desk to snack on. There’s pretzel sticks, a pouch of dried cranberries and blueberries, another of dried diced plums, and a bag of raw almonds. (I do have some drawers with office supplies in them.)
But what delights me now is a bar of dark chocolate someone gave me because they know I L-O-V-E chocolate. (Do you know anyone who hates it?) This is no ordinary bar of chocolate. It is blended with sweet pineapple and caramelized hazelnuts.
The smell is wonderful. (Of course I wrote that with my mouthful because the taste is even more wonderful.) Who thinks up these recipes? Geniuses, I tell you.
All that to say a public, “Thank you! You know me so well!”
How To Walk In The Spirit does not smell like pineapple and chocolate, but it is my gift to you this Christmas. I hope you will take advantage of the #freedownload and begin a Spirit-filled walk with Jesus in 2016. A relationship with Jesus will make you a beautiful fragrance to God.