11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Paul did not preach a message he had learned in seminary. He did not copy other preachers and was not subscribed to a service that provided weekly messages which is the practice of many pastors today.
The message Paul taught was a direct revelation of Jesus he received from the Holy Spirit. I believe that he received this while hidden away in Arabia (Galatians 1) for three years.
The time we spend hidden with the Holy Spirit will make the difference between our becoming a voice or powerless echo. We have an abundance of ministers lacking in power and need people who will be willing to pay the price required to become living sacrifices.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
Denominations have filled pulpits with ministers who are mere echoes of church elders. Some even have created services that provide weekly sermons to take the burden of preparation off of pastors! Paul did not preach sermons prepared by others. He spoke from a revelation received directly from the Holy Spirit.
Our churches lack the power seen flowing in the book of Acts through the early believers. I believe that these ministers’ hearts are in the right place. They have a desire to serve God but have been bound by the traditions of their denominations.
The first key to unlocking the plan of God is presenting ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). God will not be able to trust us with the fullness of His plan if we are not completely surrendered to Him.
It is possible to receive bits and pieces of God’s plan without being fully surrendered. This is a result of God’s mercy! He may show us parts of His plan but He will not reveal the whole plan unless we have shown ourselves to be trustworthy.
Jesus told His disciples to wait for the promised Holy Spirit before His ascension to heaven. He knew they would make a mess of things without the anointing. His instruction to wait is just as relevant for us today as it was when He gave it to His disciples.
The disciples followed Jesus’ direction and waited. The Holy Spirit “fell” on the day of Pentecost and thousands accepted Jesus as their Lord and joined the disciples as followers of Jesus.
Waiting is an art that seems lost today. I believe this is the reason Satan has successfully destroyed so many lives. We need the Holy Spirit’s anointing to stand against his attacks!
Jesus told His disciples that Satan’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). A person who unlocks the plan of God will have a target placed on their life. Satan will work to destroy them. He will not succeed in his efforts if we take the time to wait on the Holy Spirit before making any move.
God is not hiding His plan from us. It is often not clear though because He is not going to reveal it if we cannot be trusted. Many people struggle in this area simply because they have attempted to skip the preparation time. They have not prepared their hearts to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit and so He is only able to feed them bits and pieces of the plan.
There is no room for selfish desires in the plan of God. Jesus had to experience death at the cross because humanity could not save itself. Self-effort will not enable us to unlock the plan of God but it will block our ability to walk with Him!
Unlocking the plan of God will require us to become living sacrifices. It will require us to lay aside our self-nature to become completely dependent on the Holy Spirit. This will not happen if we are not completely surrendered to God.
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:1
Paul tells us to take our eyes off of the “seen”. These are the things perceived by our five physical senses.
Faith opens our spiritual eyes allowing us to see into the spiritual realm.
Faith is required to walk in the plan of God. It grows from the Word of God and is not something we can “earn”. To become strong in faith we will have to first hide the Word in our hearts!
I have found that spiritual strength is the result of strong faith. Strong faith is built on a foundation steeped in the Word of God.
God loves us more than any of us can imagine. He desires only good things for our lives but is blocked by our weak faith.
There are no shortcuts to be found in developing strong faith. It will require us to spend hours alone meditating in Scripture and fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit.
God is love (1 John 4:8). His plan is full of good things. The tragedies and trials in our lives are not sent by him! He sent Jesus to serve as our substitute in death and judgment so that we can walk in His blessings.
I have heard people say God is the source of their sickness or financial issues. There is a religious undertone that places the blame for Satan’s work on Him.
We need to realize that Satan is a hard taskmaster who works in our lives to “steal, kill, and to destroy”. He will use us up and then discard us!
A fulfilled life is lived by walking in God’s plan. Some have achieved a level of success through self-effort or by riding on someone else’s proverbial coattails. Many “successful” people live unfulfilled lives as a result.
Faith will require us to learn the art of waiting. Our society is becoming more and more focused on instant gratification. This is not the way of faith. Waiting requires patience. It will require us to walk a path that leads in an opposite direction than what society around us is traveling.
The Holy Spirit will help us if we will just surrender to Him!
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