Flesh and Spirit – Passage #4 Lesson 3
MY WORDS ON THE WINGS OF A DOVE
SPIRIT IS WILLING
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:40-42 (in Context) Matthew 26 (Whole Chapter)
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Another gospel song says, “Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me; break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.” Now that is a willing spirit.
What does it mean when we ask God to break us? Think about a broken character in the Bible. Let’s use Job. We are told that he was blameless, upright, feared God, shunned evil.
Just what does it mean to be blameless? My New World Thesaurus lists faultless, not guilty, inculpable, innocent, and impeccable and above suspicion as a few instances of one who is blameless.
Another strong characteristic of Job was uprightness, my NIV bible says in the notes that Job was spiritually and morally upright, but not sinless, as he admits in Job 6:24. My thesaurus mentioned above says this means to be straightforward or honest. Job’s admission of sin is part of that character trait.
What do we mean when we say Fear God? When a person has a proper fear of God it implies that he or she has a proper reverence, respect and realization of God’s holiness an awe of God. The implication is not terror but honor and recognition of God’s sovereignty, in power and position.
Again I rely on my thesaurus to give meaning to the word “shun”. To dodge, evade, keep away from, avoid.
In this instance we are talking about Job’s character so he dodged, evaded, kept away from and avoided evil by his practice of fearing and living for God in an upright and blameless style of dependence upon God.
Job did not ask to be broken but God was aware of the character and spiritual resiliency and strength of Job, So great was his faith in Job that he agreed to let Satan loose on him with a restriction of death.
What was the extent of this breaking of Job? He was robbed of all his oxen and donkeys and all his servants were slain, except those bearing bad news.
The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up Job’s sheep and those who attended them, His camels were all taken and those in attendance to them were slain, his children were crushed to death when a mighty wind collapsed the house where they were feasting, later Satan was allowed to afflict Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.
Finally his three friends turned on him and accused him of being just the opposite of the blameless, upright and spiritual and moral and God fearing person he prided himself as being.
God gave Job and his friends a scolding concerning their pride and self righteousness and eventually, after Job prayed for his friends, God made Job prosperous again and blessed the latter part of Jobs life more than the first.
Back to our song we were discussing brokenness, the next phrase requests of the Spirit of the living God, “melt me”. It is one thing to ask to be broken, but… melt me!
I looked for references to melt in the concordance of my bible and found two scriptures.
Amos 9:5 says, The Lord the Lord Almighty, he who touches the earth and it melts and all who live in it mourn‾ the whole land rises like the Nile, then sinks like the river of Egypt─
Psalms 46:6 says Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall; he (God) lifts his voice and the earth melts.
Melting sounds a lot like judgment to me. In context though, our song writer has in mind being melted and remolded into a better vessel that God can use for a higher purpose.
I don’t think I will join in the melt me thing, will you?
The “fill me” part, yes! I think our song writer had in mind being remolded into a larger vessel so that he could hold all the Seven Spirits of God: the Spirit of wisdom; and the Spirit of understanding;
the Spirit ofcounsel; and the Spirit of power;
the Spirit of knowledge; and the Spirit of fear of the LORD—
Our concentration for this lesson as you may have gathered by now is going deal with what it means to be a “willing spirit”.
Since our emphasis is on a willing Spirit let’s explore the first spirit before the throne “Wisdom”
Proverbs is certainly the place to explore “wisdom”. Right away we find many of the spirits before the throne mentioned in the second verse.
For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight.
In verse 4 we find knowledge, in verse 6 understanding, verse 7 fear of the Lord.
Proverbs is a book of “sayings of the wise” both Solomon and many wise men.
Here are a few portions of scripture you can explore further to delve into the references to “wisdom”
Ge 3:6 and also desirable for gaining wisdom
2Ch 1:10 give me wisdom and knowledge
Ps 51:6 you teach me wisdom in the inmost place
Pr 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom
Isa 11:2 Spirit of wisdom and understanding
Jer 10:12 he founded the world by his wisdom
Mt 11:19 But wisdom was proved right by her actions
Ro 11:33 the depth of the riches of the wisdom
Col 2:3 are hidden all the treasures of wisdom
There is no better scripture to site than Isaiah chapter 11 when searching for the ultimate willing spirit. The Messiah is the subject of this chapter.
The Branch from Jesse
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; (The Messiah will grow as a shoot from that stump of David’s dynasty)
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD—
Revelations 1:4-5 refers to this shoot or branch from the stump of Jesse as “himwho is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”
The Seven Spirits before his throne are said to rest on the shoot from the stump of Jesse. To be filled with the spirit of God then is to be filled with the striking qualities and characteristics of the in-dwelling Seven Spirits of God representing and embodying and imparting the Spirit of the Lord, wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord.
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
We learned from our character search of Job that one of his spiritual strengths was a reverent fear of God which he acquired as his knowledge of God increased. One of the spirits before the throne was a spirit of knowledge.
Proverbs 1:7 says that fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Discipline when administered with justice breeds and imparts knowledge as to what is acceptable and worthy of reward and what brings undesirable consequences. A fool will ignore this lesson to his own detriment.
Poverbs 9:10 adds that…knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Understanding was another of the Seven Spirits before the throne. According to 1 Ki 4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand.
Job 12:12 asks the question:…does not long life bring understanding? And Job 28:12 asks… where does understanding dwell? Psalms 111:10 follow his precepts have good understanding. Psalms 147: 5 says… his understanding has no limits. Php 4:7 says… of God which transcends all understanding.
Count me in on a large dose of the Spirit of understanding.
What about the Spirit of Counsel?
It is always wise to seek counsel before jumping into a large or life changing endeavor. This may be one of the Spirits before the throne that gets left behind. I know I am guilty of ignorance of this Spirit.
What pearls of wisdom can we find about Counsel?
1 Kings 22:5 first seek the counsel of the Lord.
Psalms 73:24 You guide me with your counsel
Psalms 107:10-11 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.
Proverbs 8:14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine
Isa 28:29 wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom
Revelations 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white cloths to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Spare me the melting God grant me wisdom and understanding to seek wisely for your counsel out of fear of the Spirit of the Lord grant me knowledge and fill me with power from on high.
Finally lets’ consider the Spirit of Power.
Exodus 15:6 Your right hand, O Lord was majestic in Power
Dt 34:12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
1 Sa 10:6 Lord will come on you in power
1 Sa 11:6 Spirit of the God came upon him in power
1 Ch 29:11 Lord is the greatness and the power
Ps 147:5 great is our Lord and mighty in power
Isa 40:10 The Sovereign Lord comes with power
Zec 4:6 not by power but by my Spirit
Mt 22:29 Do not know the Scriptures or the Power
Lk 24:29 clothed with power from on high
Acts 10:38 with the Holy Spirit and power
Ro 15:13 overflow with hope by the power
2 Pe 1:3 His divine power has given us
Rev 19:1 and glory and power belong to our God
Now that we have reviewed and studied the Seven Spirits of God, we know that it is necessary for all Christians, to seek and to ask for the filling of this marvelous sevenfold spirit from God.
I counsel you do not wait say and mean these words… “Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me; break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.”
Now that is a willing spirit!!!
Fear of the Lord as we discussed above is a loving reverence for God that includes submission to his lordship and to the commands of his word.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 declares as follows:
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing,
Whether, good or evil.
God is King but even as we stand in awe of him we can still rejoice. As Psalms
2:11 says: Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.