HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY USE THE POWER OF GOD

The  call of God is the most important event and experience  that can  ever  happen to anyone; all other priorities,  concerns,  and endeavors are insignificant and unimportant when they are compared to  the opportunity to be an immortal member of the Family of God. Moreover, it  is vitally important for each child of God to understand  the need  to use and increase the power of the spirit in order to succeed  in their calling to salvation.

If the power of the holy spirit remains at the same level as when it was first given, the chances of success will be greatly diminished. However, if a person faithfully increases the power of the  holy spirit in their life, they are assured spiritual success.

Both Jesus and Paul warned of the consequences of failing to grow spiritually.  Jesus  spoke  of spiritual growth in  a  number  of  parables about servants who were deemed unprofitable and unworthy of reward because they did not seek to increase what their master had given them. Paul exhorted  the Thessalonians to do the  things  that  would promote spiritual growth and he warned them not to restrain or suppress the power of the holy spirit. See Matt.25:14-30; Lk.19:12-26; Lk.17:7-10:

"Pray without ceasing. In every thing give  thanks:  for this  is the  will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench  not  the spirit.  Despise  not prophesyings. Prove all things;  hold fast that which  is  good.  Abstain  from  all  appearance  of  evil" (1.Thes.5:17-22 KJV).

Spiritual Growth

A child of God cannot remain static in their spiritual growth for very long; a person either goes forward toward spiritual  maturity  or regresses toward their old behavior.  See  Jesus' admonition to the Ephesians and Laodiceans in Revelation 2:5 and 3:15-19.

If  a person becomes lazy and refuses to put forth the effort  to pray,  study, meditate, and yield their life to the  Father,  the power of the spirit becomes weak and useless. When this happens a person will become incapable of recognizing and serving truth and is  in danger of losing the power of the spirit in  their  life, which results in eternal death. However, when a person  exercises the  spirit in a positive manner, they will be- come more  powerful and obtain immortal life in the Family of God.

God the Father has made a special effort to call some in this age to salvation, and Jesus Christ came and gave his life so that  those called can be saved. The Father  and Jesus have committed themselves and  their tremendous  resources to helping us succeed and obtain the  goal  of salvation. And in order to succeed, all one has to  do  is  put forth  an honest effort. See Matt.6:25-34; Heb.13:5-6; Jn.14:12-14.

Baptism  by  water and the  holy  spirit are only the  first  steps toward  becoming  an immortal being in the Family  of  God.  From these first steps, a child of God must begin to grow in  the attributes, qualities, functions, and powers of the   holy  spirit  in  order to succeed in their great calling  and obtain immortality in the Family of God.

The writers of the New Testament encourage the elect of  God to use the power of the  holy  spirit for spiritual  growth and the performance of the work of the church:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons  of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which  were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the  will of man, but of God" (Jn.1:12-13 KJV).

"But  grow  in favor, and the knowledge of our  Lord  and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever.  Amen" (2.Pet.3:18 Para.).

"For  this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our  Lord  Jesus Christ,  of whom every family in heaven and earth is named,  that he may give you according to the riches of his glory by his power to  become  mighty  in the inward man through  his    spirit,  that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts, having been rooted and  founded in love . . .. Now to him being able to  do  exceedingly above  all that we ask or think, according to the  power working within us" (Eph.3:14-18;20 Para.).

Editors Note:

The  following three facts are very important to keep in  mind  during this study:

1. All those who have been chosen for salvation, have truly repented, and have been properly baptized, have been given the Father's  holy spirit. See Acts 2:38; 5:32.

2. Each person who has the holy spirit has been given enough spiritual attributes, qualities, and power to allow them to obtain spiritual maturity and perfection.

3. The Father expects his children to use and increase in all  of the attributes,  authorizations, qualities, and  power  of  the  spirit that  he has given them. See Matt.25:14-30; Lk.19:12-26.

Questions to be Answered

There are many questions that could be asked about how to use and increase the power of the  holy spirit in a person's life.  However,  for the purpose of this study, only four  foundational  questions will  be investigated and answered. The answers  to  these four  questions  will form a foundation upon which a  person can gain  further knowledge of how to use and increase the  power  of the holy spirit in their life.

The four questions:

1. Why does the Father give the holy spirit?

2. How does a person access the power of the holy spirit?

3. How does a person use the holy spirit?

4. How does a person increase spiritual power in their life?

WHY IS THE SPIRIT GIVEN?

There  are many reasons that the Father gives his power to  those he  calls to salvation. The following are the more  important  of these reasons:

When  God the  Father places the power of his   spirit  within  a person,   he does so with the intent that this power will be  used for  spiritual growth and to perform the task a person  has  been called to accomplish. In order for a person to accomplish  these two things, they must learn to yield to the Father's will and learn how to  use  and increase the power of the  holy  spirit  within one's life.

The Key to Spiritual Success

Each child of God has been given the  holy  spirit, which is the limitless energy and power of God. Therefore, the key to  spiritual  success is knowing how to use  and  increase  the power of the Father's spirit within one's life.

Because the Father expects his children to use spiritual power  to accomplish  the goals  he has set for them,  he has also  given  instructions on how to use and increase this power. These instructions are not mysterious or nebulous philosophical  ideas; they are very clear and easy to understand.

King David

King David knew that having the power of the holy spirit was  the key  to his eternal success and he pleaded with God not to take it from him:

"Hide  your  face from my sins, and blot out all  my  iniquities. Create  in me a clean heart, O God; renew a right spirit  in  me. Cast  me  not  away from your presence; and take  not  your holy  spirit from  me. Restore to me the joy of  your  salvation;  and uphold me with your free spirit" (Psa.51:9-12 KJV).

Regardless  of the particular temptation, trial,  test,  frustration, discouragement, or challenge associated with daily life, all sons of God have access to the Father's  spirit-power. Through the use of this  power,  all  of God's  children can succeed in obtaining personal salvation  and performing their particular calling.

Stir up the Gift of God

"For  which  cause I remind you to fan the flame of the  gift  of God,  which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For  God did  not  give a spirit of fearfulness to us, but of  power, and love, and of self control" (2.Tim.1:6-7 Para.).

Paul  reminds Timothy of the power he had been given through  the  holy   spirit  and encourages him to increase this  power  in  his life.

RENEWAL OF THE MIND

In speaking to the elect in Rome, Paul uses the sacrifices of the first covenant with national Israel to illustrate the kind of life a child of God should live:

"I  beseech you, therefore brethren, by the mercies of God,  that you  present your bodies a living sacrifice,  holy, acceptable  to God,  which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed  to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your  mind, that you may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom.12:1-2 KJV).

Under  the first covenant with national Israel, all sacrifices had to be  as  physically perfect  as possible; only those that conformed to God's  standards  of  perfection were acceptable to  God. See Lev.22:20-24; Deut.15:19-21.

In order to live the kind of sacrificial life about which Paul speaks  and accomplish a transformation and  renewal  of  the mind,  a person cannot continue to be conformed to  this  world's standards. They must continually seek to conform to God's  standards  of righteousness by overcoming the temptations of the  flesh  and the daily challenges that can defile one's spiritual character.

Be Transformed and Renewed

The  English  word 'transformed' used above in Romans 12:2  is translated from the Greek word 'metamorphoo',  which  means 'to undergo  change' (i.e., a metamorphosis). The word 'renewing' is translated from the Greek word 'anakainosis', which refers to a 'renewal of thought and will.'

If  a person is to accomplish a true transformation from the  old self, it must be brought into subjection. The only  way to  accomplish  this is to be renewed in one's mind  through  the power of the  holy spirit:

"If truly you heard him, and were taught in him, as the truth  is in  Jesus; for you to put off the old man, as regards the  former behavior, having been corrupted according to the deceitful lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and to have put  on the  new man which according to God was created in  righteousness and true holiness" (Eph.4:21-24 Para.). See also verses 25-32.

Humans were created in such a way that they could be  transformed from a lower life-form (Heb.2:5-8) to a higher life-form  through a  process of metamorphosis (i.e., change). There are four major stages to this process of change.

1. A human egg is fertilized and a human child is born. This  first human life-form is physical and contains only the  spirit of man, which is man and lives within  a body of flesh and blood. See Gen.2:7-8; Deut.32:18; Job 33:4-6; Ecc.12:5-7; Zech.12:1.

2. The  human lives a physical life  until  God the Father presents the opportunity for salvation. See Rom.2:4,  Acts 2:39; Jn.6:44,65.

3. If a person accepts the Father's call to salvation, that person becomes a  son of God and a new creation at the moment that the  holy spirit merges with the human spirit,. See Acts 2:38; 3:19. This second human life-form is physical and contains the spirit of man combined with the Sovereign Father's spirit.

4. The  son of God grows toward spiritual maturity  by  becoming more like the Father and Jesus Christ through the power of the holy spirit until changed into an immortal spirit-being. See 1.Cor.15:51-54.

Daily Renewal

"Knowing  that  he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall  raise  us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things  are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the  thanks- giving  of many abound to the glory of God. For which  cause  we faint not; but though our outward man parish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2.Cor.4:14-16 KJV). See also Isa.40:31.

A  truly  converted  person should be in a  stage  of  positive change throughout their entire life. This change is  accomplished on a daily basis as a person yields to the influence of the  holy spirit and uses its power in their life. In order for a child of God to be successful, the process of positive change must continue until their change to immortality. See Eph.4:11-13; Heb.6:1-8; 12:23; Rev.3:5.

The  scriptures  show that the power of the holy spirit can  be renewed on a continuous basis. This continual flow of this spirit energy  and power gives a person enough mental and physical  strength to continue their progress toward spiritual maturity. But, how  does a person renew and increase this power in order to grow  spiritually and to perform the work the Father has called them to do?

PREREQUISITES

Although  each  child of God receives the holy spirit  when  they become  a new creation, none are automatically given the  ability to  fully  use  the great power that is  available  through  the spirit of God, because none are automatically perfect in  faith, knowledge, and understanding at conversion.

In  order for one to begin to use and increase  the  awesome power of the holy spirit, one must exercise the following positive attitudes and behaviors:

All  of the above require a certain amount of personal  time  and effort in order to show  the Father that increased spirit-power or  additional authorizations of spirit-power in one's life  will be correctly used.

COMMITMENT TO CHANGE

A  person  must fully realize that the old self  died  under  the baptismal waters and at the laying on of hands, the former life is gone forever. Therefore, the new creation should live a  totally new  kind of  life. Moreover,  the  first  step toward  gaining  access to spiritual power is  making  a  serious commitment to positive changes in one's life with the help of the holy spirit:

"If  you were raised with Christ, seek  the  things  above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God; mind the things above,  not the things on the earth, for you died, and your  life has  been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life  is revealed, then you also will be revealed in glory with him.  Then put  to death your members which are on the  earth; fornication, uncleanness,  passion,  evil  lust, and  covetousness,  which  is idolatry;  on account of which things the wrath of God is  coming on  the sons of disobedience; among whom you also walked  at  one time, when you were living in these. But now, also put off these things:  wrath, anger, malice, evil speaking, shameful words  out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, having put off the  old man with his practices, and having put on the new, having  been renewed  in  full  knowledge according to the image  of  the  one creating him" (Col.3:1-10 Para.). See also Rom.8:12-13.

In order to obtain the spiritual power and glory that the  Father and Jesus Christ want to give us, we must make a serious  commitment  and effort to put away former evil behavior and replace  it with righteous behavior. The only way to accomplish this type of behavioral  change is to use and increase the power of  the holy spirit that already resides within a child of God.

FAITH

The  second step toward gaining access to spiritual power  is  to exercise faith that is belief. This must be done in order to show God the Father that we are serious in our desire  to  accomplish the goals he has set for us.

"But  without  faith it is impossible to please God.  For  it  is right that the one drawing near to God should believe that he is, and  that he  becomes a rewarder to the ones  seeking him out" (Heb.11:6 Para.).

Because  we  need  faith that is belief in order  to  please  the Father  and faith that is power to accomplish the goals he  has for us, he gives some of each type of faith when we receive the holy spirit. However, everyone is not given the same amount of  faith as  noted  by  Paul  in his letter to the  church  at  Rome.  See Rom.12:3-6; 1.Cor.12:9; 2.Cor.4:13; 2.Pet.1:1-5.

"For  I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that  is among  you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought  to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to  every man the measure of faith" (Rom.12:3 KJV). See also  1.Cor.12:9; 13:1-3.

Faith and Works

In order to successfully exercise faith that is belief, there are two actions that must be taken:

1. A person must truly believe in the promises of God the  Father and Jesus Christ.

2. A person must exercise this belief by doing what  they know to be the will of God in their life.

Although  the Father and Jesus are extremely concerned about  our well-being and have great pleasure in fulfilling their  promise to  help us in our efforts toward spiritual maturity  and  perfection, they expect us to exercise faith and works as a part  of our daily life.

Notice  what the apostle James was inspired to record  about  the subject of faith and works:

James 2:14-24 LBP

"Dear brothers, what's the use of saying that you have faith  and are Christians if you aren't proving it by helping others?   Will that  kind of faith  save anyone? If you have a friend who is  in need  of food and clothing,  and you say to him, "Well,  good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat hearty," and then don't give him  clothes  or food, what good does that do?  So  you  see,  it isn't enough just to have faith. You must also do good to  prove that you have it. Faith that doesn't show itself by good works is no  faith  at all—it is dead and useless"   (vs.14-17).  Please read the entire second chapter of James.

Notice that a person is judged by what they do  as well as  what they  believe. It is very important to understand what  James  is saying about works. James says it takes physical effort  as well  as the correct attitude to fulfill God's laws,  precepts,  and principals in our lives.

It  is  not  enough just to have faith that  is  belief,  because belief  without  works is no belief at all; it is dead and  useless.  However, a person should not try to  prove their faith  by doing works; true faith produces good works itself, because it is the fruit of God's spirit being manifested in one's life.

True faith that is belief and righteous works come from an internal  desire  to do what is right and good, not  from  a desire to prove something to another person. True faith and  good works are the natural result of yielding to the influence of  the holy spirit:

"But  someone may well argue, You say the way to God is by  faith alone,  plus nothing; well, I say that good works  are  important too,  for  without good works you can't prove  whether you  have faith  or not; but anyone can see that I have faith by the way  I act.  Are there  still some among you who hold that only  believing  is  enough? Believing in one God? Well, remember  that  the devils believe this too so strongly that they tremble in  terror!    Dear foolish  man! When will you ever learn  that  believing  is useless without doing what God wants you to? Faith that does  not result in good deeds is not real faith"  (vs.18-20).

The King James Version renders the last half of verse 20: "Faith  without works is dead."

Abraham's Faith and Works

"Don't  you  remember that even our father Abraham  was  declared righteous  because  of what he did, when he was willing  to  obey God,  even  if  it meant offering his son Isaac  to die  on  the altar?"  (v21).

James says that Abraham was declared righteous because of what he did. He  was willing to obey God even if it meant  offering  his only son as a sacrifice.

Trust in God

"You  see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to  do whatever God told him to; his faith was made complete by what  he did, by his  actions,  his  good   deeds" (v22).

This  statement shows that, without the  manifestation  of works, faith is not complete.  

Paul says  that Abraham was willing to trust (have faith) in God no matter what God asked him to do. Therefore, because of his works (it took physical effort to perform God's request), his faith was complete:

"And  so  it happened just as the Scriptures  say,  that  Abraham trusted God, and the Lord declared him righteous in God's  sight, and he was even called `the friend of God'. So you see, a man  is declared  righteous  by what he does, as well as by what  he  believes"  (vs.23-24).

True  worship  of God requires faith and physical effort.  If  we have  faith  and works, we are truly obeying  God's  way  of life.  Through  faith combined with good works, we show  God the Father and Jesus Christ that we truly love them and their way  of life:

Doing and Believing

"For  not  the hearers of the law are just before  God,  but  the doers of the law shall be justified" (Rom.2:13).

James says that a person is justified (made righteous)  by what one does  as well as what one believes. It  is evident that Abraham proved he had true faith in  God  and his promises by his physical effort to please him.

Add to Faith

Faith  that  is belief is the foundation upon  which  all  other gifts  of  the  spirit must be built in order to  be  used  or increased in strength.

2.Peter 1:2-10 KJV

"Grace  and peace be multiplied to you through the  knowledge  of God,  and  of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine  power  has given to us all things that pertain to life and goodness, through the  knowledge  of him that has called us to  glory  and  virtue" (vs.2-3).

It  is through the Father's divine power (i.e., the  holy   spirit) that we have been given everything that pertains to eternal life  and goodness, and these things come through the knowledge of God:

"Whereby are given to exceeding great and precious promises: that by  these  you might be partakers of the  divine  nature,  having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (v4).

The Father promises to share his divine nature with all those who accept his call to salvation. He does this through  placing his spirit-power and  many of his and Christ's  personal  attributes and qualities within them. If the elect properly use the spiritual attributes and qualities that the Father gives them, they will be successful in their calling:

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and  to  virtue knowledge; and to knowledge  temperance;  and  to temperance  patience; and to patience goodness; and  to goodness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity" (vs.5-7).

The attributes and qualities that need to be added to faith  can only  be added if we exercise faith that is belief, and  then  do the  things that we have been instructed to do in order  to  increase the power of the spirit. When we have exercised faith that is  belief and faith that is works, we are able to be confident that  the Father  will  seriously  consider our petition  to  increase  our spiritual power and add other gifts of the spirit:

"For  if these things be in you, and abound, they make  you  that you  shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the  knowledge  of our  Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacks these things  is blind [nearsighted], and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he has  been purged from his sins. Wherefore rather  brethren,  give diligence to make your calling sure: for if you do these  things, you shall never fail" (vs.8-10).

Although  faith that is belief is given to everyone who has the holy spirit, the scriptures show that this kind  of  faith alone is not enough. In order to become more like the Father  and Christ and more perfectly perform the Father's will in our life,  we must exercise the faith we already have and add other spiritual  attributes  and  qualities to our  spiritual  character  and personalities.

Faith Comes by Hearing

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of  God" (Rom.10:17 KJV).

The  English word 'hearing' is translated from the  Greek word 'akoe', which  means  'the sense or organ of hearing', 'rumor',  or  'report',  'proclamation',  and 'preaching'. In this  context,  Paul means something more than just hearing with the ear; he speaks  of  the concept of learning. Paul tells us that  to  obtain faith,  a  person  must learn something, which  is taught through the word of God.

Although  not every child of God is given the same amount of  faith  initially, each person is expected to grow in faith that is belief and faith  that is power (2.Cor.10:15; 2.Thes.1:3), because both kinds of   faith are required to serve the Father and grow into spiritual  maturity.

If a person is to grow in faith or any other spiritual attribute or quality, they must know why it is needed, what it is, what  it does,  how  it works, and  how to use it. Growing  in  faith  and other attributes,  qualities, and gifts of the  spirit  requires sincere desire, knowledge, and effort. In  order to  grow toward  spiritual maturity, a person must  exercise faith that is belief by following the instructions given in the  Bible concerning  spiritual growth.

KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE WILL OF GOD

After a person has made a serious commitment to grow  spiritually and  to  perform  the responsibilities to which  they  have  been called, and if that person is making an effort to exercise faith in their life, the third step is to gain the knowledge and understanding of what the will of God is.

If  a person does not know what is expected of them, they cannot perform  it. Therefore, in order to serve and please the  Father, we must know what  he expects of us and how to accomplish  what is expected. In order to become what the  Father expects us to be in this life and the life to come, we must seek to know and understand his will in all things:

"Teach  me  to do your will; for you are my God: Your  spirit  is good; lead me into the land of righteousness" (Psa.143:10 KJV).

"Not  everyone that says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter  into  the kingdom  of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father  which is in heaven" (Matt.7:21 KJV). See also Rom.12:2.

"See  that  you walk circumspectly, not as fools,  but  as  wise, redeeming  the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be  you not  unwise,  but  understanding what the will of  the Lord  is" (Eph.5:15-17 KJV). See Col.1:7-10.

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our  Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting  covenant. Make you perfect in every good work to do his  will,  working  in you that which is  well-pleasing  in  his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and  ever. Amen" (Heb.13:20-21 KJV).

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we  ask anything  according to his will,  he hears us" (Jn.5:14 KJV).  See also Jn.9:31.

Divine Nature

Although the Father wants to give us more of his divine nature,  he  will  not give us anything that will not benefit us, his  other children,  or his work on earth. Therefore, it is  important  to know  and understand what his will is for humanity and for  each of us personally.

The following are three basic  steps one must take in order to begin to  know  and understand the will of God:

1. Ask  the Father for this knowledge and  understanding.

2. Study and meditate on what God has inspired to be written in the Bible.

3. Be attentive to what is taught by God's true servants.

The Bible

One  of the primary ways to know the will of God  and  understand his  ways is to study what he has caused to be written  for  our learning, encouragement, and edification:

"Every scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof,  for  correction, for instruction in  righteousness;  so that the man of God may be perfect, fully finished for every good work" (2.Tim.3:16-17 Para.). See also Eph.6:10-17; Heb.4:12.

The Bible was primarily written  for those whom God has called to salvation during this age:

"Now  all these things happened unto them for examples,  and  are written  for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world  are come" (1.Cor.10:11 KJV). See also Psa.19:7; Pro.1:1-7; Dan.12:9-12.

Through  diligent Bible study, we can learn  from  the experience  and teaching of others, and thereby gain valuable  knowledge, understanding, and inspiration to help us in our daily walk  with God.

Study God's Word

No person is given perfect knowledge and understanding of all the mysteries  of  God the instant they receive the holy spirit. A review  of the apostle's letters to the  churches shows  that acquiring spiritual knowledge and understanding  requires much time, effort, study, and prayer:

"All  those  who listen to my instructions and  follow  them  are wise, like a man who builds his house on a solid rock. Though the rain  comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm  winds beat against his house, it won't collapse, for it is built upon a rock.  But  those who hear my instructions and  ignore  them  are foolish, like a man who builds his house upon the sand. For  when the  rains and the floods come, and the storm winds beat  against his house, it will fall with a mighty crash" (Matt.7:24-27  LPB). See also 1.Tim.6:17-19.

Because  one  of the ways God speaks to us is through  his  written word,  we should study and meditate upon it in order to build  a strong  foundation of knowledge to help us grow toward spiritual maturity  and perform whatever task or function to  which  we have been called:

"The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the  mouth of the wicked pours out evil things" (Psa.15:28 KJV).

"Study  to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that  needs not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God.  But  shun profane babbling: for they will increase unto more ungodliness" (2.Tim.2:15-16 KJV). See also 1.Thes.4:10-12; 2.Pet.3:13-18.

All  those  who have accepted the call of God are  admonished  to "Prove  all  things;  and  hold  fast that  which  is   good" (1.Thes.5:21; Rom.12:2).

"Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor  stands  in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat  of  the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in  his law  does he meditate day and night" (Psa.1:1-2 KJV).  See also Psa.119:15-148; 1.Tim.4:12-16.

"But  whoever keeps his word, in him truly is the word  of  God perfected:  hereby we know that we are in him. he that says  that he  abides  in him ought himself also so to  walk,  even as   he walked" (1.Jn.2:5-6 KJV).

The  scriptures tell us that the holy spirit will guide  us  into all truth and teach and remind us of truth. The Father has promised  that, if we put forth the time and effort to  study his word,  he will reveal his will to us.

It  is through the exercising of belief in the Father's  promises that we can activate the teaching function of the holy spirit. If we  base our spiritual studies on these promises and  expect  to learn when we study, we have the assurance that we have engaged the power of the  holy  spirit to perform its teaching function  within us.

SPIRITUAL POWER AND GROWTH

When a person has made a firm commitment to change their life by yielding to the transforming power of the holy spirit, and begins to exercise faith that is belief by  spending  time  and effort to understand the Father's will through Bible study and prayer, they will be able to increase  in spiritual power.

All four  ingredients;  commitment, faith,  study,  and  prayer are necessary in order  to  increase  in spiritual  power.  Without  prayer,  little  or  no progress  can be made toward spiritual growth; however, with  the addition  of prayer, the process is complete and a person can  be assured of success in spiritual growth:

"Ask,  and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find;  knock and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks  receives; and  he  that  seeks finds; and to him that knocks  it  shall be opened" (Matt.7:7-8 KJV).

The following are three things that one should know about prayer to have effective communication with the Father:

OUR HIGH PRIEST

Under  the  Old Covenant, the priesthood  was  inadequate  because the priests themselves were sinful by nature and had to be cleansed  of  sin each  time  they appeared before God. However, Jesus  who was sinless  qualified  to come before the Father, without physical cleansing, because of his perfect obedience and submission to the Father and his law. His eternal qualification enables him to qualify those he represents in order that they can also come before the Father:

"Though  he  were a Son, yet learned he obedience by  the  things which  he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the  author of  eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedec" (Heb.5:8-10 KJV).

Here,  the English word 'perfect' is translated from the Greek word 'teleioo', which  has the  sense of the 'perfection' that enables one to  stand  before God.

Jesus' experiences of temptations, test, trials, and  suffering, perfectly qualified him to become our Savior and high priest. In his redemptive ministry, Jesus  Christ overcame  the  temptations,  trials, and  tests that are common to man  in  order  to remove  the  curse of death, which is the result of yielding  to sin.

The mental and physical temptations, trials, tests, and suffering that  Jesus  experienced are not unique to him alone;   they  are things that many will encounter on their road to spiritual  maturity and immortality.  See 1.Pet.3;4.

Jesus our Intercessor

Through the office of Jesus Christ, who is  our  high priest and the administrator of the holy spirit, we are able to communicate with the Father:

"For  through him, we both have access by one  spirit to  the  Father. Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens  with  the saints, and of the  household of  God" (Eph.2:18-19 KJV). See also Heb.4:14-16.

Our Lord and Savior understands our human weaknesses, because   he was  a human being as well. He experienced life as a  human; therefore,   he fully understands the nature of man and why we need the power of the  holy spirit in our lives. He can intercede on  our  behalf, because he has first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be human. Moreover, he knows how weak the flesh is and can tell the Father who  has never  been  human how difficult it is to dwell in  this  flesh. This enables the Father to understand us and have mercy on  us  by increasing  his spirit-power within us to help us accomplish  the goals  he has for us:

"Who  dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? will  God? No!  he is the one who has forgiven us and given us  right-standing with  himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ? No! For   he is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to  God,  pleading for us there in heaven" (Rom.8:33-34 LBP).

"Wherefore he  is able also to save them to the  uttermost  that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them"  (Heb.7:25 KJV). See also 1.Tim.2:5; Eph.2:18.

"My  little children, these things write I to you, that  you  sin not.  And if any sin, we have an advocate with the Father,  Jesus Christ the righteous: And  he is a propitiation for our sins: and not  for  ours only, but also for the sins of the  whole  world" (1.Jn.2:1-2 KJV). See also 1.Jn.1:7-9.

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man,  the man Christ Jesus" (1.Tim.2:5 KJV). See Eph.2:18.

Go Boldly Before the Father

"Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens,  Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our  profession. For  we  have not an high priest which cannot be touched  by  our infirmities;  but was in all points tempted like as we  are,  yet without  sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto  the  throne  of grace,  that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in  time of need" (Heb.4:14-16 KJV). See also Heb.2:14-18; 9:7-25.

Because  Christ understands us and intercedes on our behalf,  it is not wrong to  ask him to explain our feelings,  needs, and desires to the Father. Occasionally we may also want to ask the Father to ask Christ why we behave the way we do and why he should have mercy on us and grant  us our petition.

Ask for Spiritual Power

The Father and Jesus Christ want very much for those who  have been called to salvation to obtain immortality in the  Family of God. Although  the Father and Christ want this, they  will not force anyone to live  a  righteous life  or fulfill their calling. All who have  been  called must  take the initiative and put forth the effort to succeed  in their calling:

Luke 11:9-13 KJV

"And  I say to you, ask and It shall be given you: seek  and  you shall  find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For  everyone that  asks  receives; and he that seeks finds; and  to  him that knocks is shall be opened" (vs.9-10).

Here, Jesus reveals major keys that will help unlock the power of the spirit  within  our lives. Not only must  a  person want spiritual  power  in  their life but also they must take  positive action  in order to acquire it. First, a person  must  diligently seek  to  have spiritual power, which requires time, effort,  and study. Second, a person must go to the Father and ask for spiritual power:

"If a son shall ask bread of you that is a father, will you  give him  a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him  a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?" (vs.11-12).

When  asked for food, will any father who truly loves  his  child give them harmful things instead of the food they need to sustain their  life? Of course not! A loving father will give  them  what they need and more, if it is within their power to do so:

"If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the  holy  spirit  to them  that  ask him" (v13). See also Matt.7:7-8; Jn.14:4;  15:7; Lk.12:6-7; 23-31.

The  Father is more than willing to give his  children  spiritual attributes, qualities, and power to help them succeed. He wants to give us the spiritual nourishment and the tools we need to grow toward spiritual maturity and perform his will in our life. The Father knows that we need spiritual knowledge, understanding, discernment, wisdom, faith,  and many other attributes,  qualities and powers of the spirit; however,  he requires that we be sincere in  our asking and that we make the effort to seek and ask  for these things.

The Father Does Hear Prayer

Jesus  Christ who was the Creator God  inspired  the following to be written about God's devotion to his children  and the access we have to him and his  Father  through prayer:

"Call  upon  me, and I will answer you, and  show you  great  and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jer.33:3 KJV).

"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are opened   unto  their  prayers . . ."  (1.Pet.3:12  KJV).  See also Psa.34:15, Isa.66:2; Dan.10:12;  Mk.11:24; Jn.16:24; Acts 10:1-4; Rom.12:12; Col.4:2; Rev.5:8; 8:3-4

A Powerful Tool

Prayer  is an extremely powerful and readily available  tool  for use in our daily life; it is our communication link with God the Father. Through this vital tool we can go directly to the  throne of the  sovereign of all that is and, as his  children,  we can bring  before him our praise, needs, desires, frustrations,  and thoughts for him to consider and take action on. In  order for prayer to be effective, a person must  be  sincere and  consistent in using this valuable tool that the Father  has given us to help ensure our success.

Prayer and the Holy Spirit

One  of  the ways the spirit of God helps a child of  God  toward spiritual  success  is  through its help in  communicating  our thoughts,  emotions,  desires, frustrations and needs  to  the Father and Christ:

"And  take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the   spirit, which  is  the word of God; Praying always with  all  prayer  and supplication  in  the   spirit, and watching  thereto  with all perseverance and supplication for the saints" (Eph.6:17-18 KJV).

Paul says that we must pray in the spirit. But, what  does it  mean  to pray in the spirit? Because the Father is  spirit  and lives in the spirit dimension of time and space, we must communicate  with him through spirit-power. In order for us to do  this, the Father has provided a function of the  holy  spirit that communicates  our  thoughts, emotions,  desires,  frustrations, or needs to him and Christ.

"And likewise the  spirit also joins in to help our weakness.  For we  do  not  know what we should pray for as we  ought,  but  the spirit pleads our case for our groaning that cannot be uttered. But the One searching the hearts knows what is the mind  of  the  spirit  because  it intercedes for the saints  according  to God"  (Rom.8:26-27 Para.).

One does not always know exactly what or how to express these needs, which is why  one of the functions of the  holy  spirit is to act as an information gathering and  communication  system between a child of God and the  God  family.  This function  allows the Father and Christ to be aware of the innermost emotions, thoughts, desires, or needs of those called to salvation. Because the  spirit communicates one's true physical and spiritual condition  to the Father and Christ, the child of God always  has the  assurance that, even before they ask anything of the  Father,  he already knows what they need:

"A  man's conscience [spirit] is the Lord's search light  exposing his  hidden motives" (Pro.20:27 LBP).

The King James  translation renders  this scripture: "The spirit of man is the candle  of  the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly."

Just  because the Father already knows our desires and needs,  it does  not  mean that we do not have to ask for them  to  be  fulfilled:

"If  any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask from God, who gives  to all  freely and with no reproach, and it will be given  him.  But let him ask in faith doubting nothing" (Jms.1:5-6 Para.).

Although the  spirit of God imparts knowledge, understanding, discernment, and  wisdom  a  person must still  ask  the Father  for these things and follow through with study  and meditation on his word. The  Father wants to help us with the power of his  spirit,  but he cannot help if we are unwilling to make an effort to ask  for help:

"Do  not be anxious about anything, but in everything  by  prayer and  petition, with thanksgivings, let your requests be known  to God" (Phil.4:6 Para.). Also see Rom.12:11-12.

Private Prayer

"But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut  the door  behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and  your  Father, who knows your secrets,  will reward you. Don't recite  the same prayer over and over as the heathen do, who think prayers are heard  by repeating them again and again. Remember,  your  Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him"  (Matt.6:6-8 LBP).  See also Psa.91:14-15; Isa.41:17; 58:9; 65:24, Matt.6:25-33;  7:28-31; 18:10; Heb.1:14.

Most  communication  with  the Father is by its  very  nature  an extremely personal and private thing, because  it is at a time when we are alone  that we can express our innermost concerns, desires,  and needs.

Fasting

In  both  the Old and New Testaments, there are  examples  of  prayer combined  with fasting surrounding  situations of extreme  importance  or  need. Prayer combined with fasting  shows  the Father that a person is very serious about what is being asked for  and that they have resolved to put forth an intense effort to  acquire God's intervention in the matter. See  Psa.35:11-14;  Joe.1:13-15; 2:11-14; Lk.2:36-38; Acts 14:21-25.

SUMMARY

God the Father and Jesus Christ want very much for all who are called  to salvation to obtain immortality in the Family  of  God; therefore,  they have committed themselves and  their tremendous resources  to  this effort. They have also  placed  the  enormous power of the  holy  spirit within those who are called in order  to help them succeed. We  should  always  remember that the power of  the holy spirit resides within a child of God and is a part of their nature. Moreover, this power must be used for spiritual growth  and  the fulfillment of our calling in this age.

The Number One Priority

For anyone who is called to salvation, the pursuit of  righteousness must be their number one priority. The conquering of the old self,  temptations, trials, tests, and overcoming frustration and discouragement is a life-long process that takes effort, which is based upon  the knowledge  and understanding of the will of God. Moreover, one  must  also take  positive action toward living a righteous life to the  best of one's ability.

In order to be spiritually successful, a child of God must accept and  use the help that the Father and Jesus have  made  available through  the  power  of  the holy spirit. See   Matt.6:25-34; Heb.13:5-6; Jn.14:12-14.

The  holy spirit is an extremely valuable and powerful tool,  which has many attributes, functions, and qualities. The more a  person understands this tool and what it can do, and the more  one uses it, the more skilled one will become in its use. It is the Father's spirit-power that will enable the children  of God  to do a great work at the end of the age (before  Christ's return) and overcome obstacles to spiritual growth.

Fruit of the Spirit

"But the fruit of the  spirit is, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness,  goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against  such there  is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified  the flesh  with the affections and lusts. If we live in  the   spirit, let  us also walk in the  spirit. Let us not be desirous of  vain glory,  provoking one another, envying one another" (Gal.5:22-25 KJV). See also Eph.5:9.

Continual spiritual growth through using and increasing the power of the holy spirit results in the righteous development of character and  personality. Righteous qualities and attributes of God are defined in  the scriptures  as  the fruits of the  spirit. These  fruits  will  be manifested in a person's life to the degree that a person  yields to  the  Father's will, is subject to the influence of  the holy spirit, and exercises the holy spirit in their life.

It  is  through the exercising of the holy spirit that  a  person comes  to know God and be known by him in a personal way.  A person who is truly serious about obtaining salvation and serving  the Father  will begin  to bear the fruit of  the spirit  after repentance and baptism.

How to Never Fail

If the power of the  holy  spirit is growing within a persons life, success is assured, because there is no frustration,  discouragement, temptation, trial, or test that cannot be conquered:

"Now  the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in  believing,  that you may abound in hope, through the power of the   holy  spirit" (Rom.15:13 KJV).

Any  child of God who does their part and allows the  Father  and Jesus  to help them  through the power of the holy  spirit will grow  into spiritual maturity and perfection and be among  those who will  hear the Father say, "well done, my good  and  faithful son".

By B.L Cocherell, file b6w7