Everything we have as New Testament believers is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 is a key verse about His gift of grace. It reads, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. The Greek word for grace is charis. In this verse, it has two connotations. One deals with the manifestation of the power of God; the other with God’s provisions to us. The word saved is sozo, and it implies being delivered, protected, healed, preserved, and made whole. Salvation makes us whole – not only spiritually but also physically and emotionally.
Do You Discern It?
You're probably aware that you are a three-part being. You are an eternal spirit with a soul (mind, will, and emotions), but you are clothed in an earth suit we call the body on this earth.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 says But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
Do you discern spiritual things, or are you more consumed with the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of life? Every day our bodies tell us what they want: food, sleep, and comfort. We are keenly aware of physical signals – but what about spiritual ones?
Work from the Inside Out
Old Testament saints related to God much differently than we do today. If they needed direction from God, they would ask for a sign. “Lord, show me this is your will by moving the sun.” Gideon asked God to put dew on one side of a fleece while keeping the other completely dry. They couldn’t be led by the Spirit, but God demands that we are.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:8-14).
The Spirit of God lives in the spirit of born-again men and women. He is continuously giving direction to God's children, but are we listening?
He’s Got All the Answers
The Holy Ghost knows the answers to any problem you may encounter. For example, when sickness attacks, He will tell you what to do in the natural. He might say to change your diet, lose weight, exercise, stop smoking, drinking, worrying, or arguing. The Spirit will lead you, but you still need to hear Him and do what He says.
Furthermore, the Holy Ghost will tell you which of God's methods of healing you should seek. Healing is not a "one size fits all" proposition. Should you call for the elders of the church to anoint you with oil and pray the prayer of faith, or should you use the name of Jesus, demanding that sickness flee? Should you pray for healing in Jesus' name, or should you speak the Word, knowing that healing belongs to you? The Holy Ghost knows which method will work for you, but you have to know how to listen to Him.
Use it or Lose it
The adage use it or lose it applies to spiritual things as well as natural. A professional athlete works out in the offseason because he knows that he will lose strength and agility if he doesn't use his muscles. Similarly, if we don’t walk in the Spirit daily, we will lose our sensitivity. Hebrews 2:1 puts it this way: Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. Another translation says that believers can let it leak out. It's possible to have been strong in faith at one time in your life but to become weak because you let the Word of God leak out of your heart and mind.
What You Do Matters
Ephesians 6:10 says that you can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Keep doing what it takes to remain spiritually strong. Read the Word. Speak the Word. Pray in the Spirit and listen to the Spirit.
Don't have a Sampson mentality; he was lulled into thinking that his strength would remain regardless of what he did. Sampson allowed his hair to be cut, and he lost all his power, went into captivity, and had his eyes gouged out.
Don’t be lulled into thinking what you do doesn’t matter. We are all either growing stronger in faith or slipping. Which one are you?