Led by the Spirit

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"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the  Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,." Luke 4:"God, who at sundry [many] times and in divers [different] manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things..." (Hebrews 1-2)

Let us be clear about this and not make a mistake in our understanding. We love God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is our primary source for the truth, our owner’s manual if you will. In this owners manual, we are instructed that we who confess Jesus as our Lord may speak with our Creator now—by way of the spirit of Christ within us. And he may speak with us. Our realm of existence is the supernatural, in his presence. Consequently, we are constantly encouraged to fellowship with God and to walk by the spirit—letting God direct our way.

Hereby we know that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit (1 Jn. 4:13)

So is the Bible any less important or of lesser value now that we may speak directly with our heavenly Father? No! A thousand times no! What God, the Creator speaks to us now is of equal value as what he has had written.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

Our connection to God is the spirit of Christ within us; it is direct. You and I may receive the word(s) of God directly by way of the Spirit from God. There is no veil or separation. Therefore, if God speaks to us, and asks us, by way of his spoken word, to do something (to take an assignment) if you will, then we do so. Many times the revelation comes directly by way of the knowledge of the scriptures. A particular scripture (embedded within our memory) may be the exact answer needed, as God inspires us with his living word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

We Are To Walk By The Spirit

We are to walk by faith, and not by sight; to walk by the spirit and not by our five senses. Because we are a new creation, never before having existed until Christ was formed in us (the day that we were born again), this “new man” is designed to walk and talk with God by the spirit. The Word of God to you, by way of the spirit, is no less valid, important, or timely than the Holy Bible. Simply think back. Was the New Testament available to Jesus during his ministry? No, it was not. Indisputably, he had mastered the Old Testament, walked with God, talked with God—and always did the Father's will.

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:49-50)

Jesus spoke the words that God his Father gave him to speak. The words given to Jesus to speak to the world were later written in the gospels. All is the Word of God, and as you and I speak on behalf of our Heavenly Father, we too are speaking the Word of God. God is able to deliver to the utmost, and he does that by providing very specific information (revelation) to us at exactly the right moment, so that we may operate on his behalf and accomplish his desires. The Words of God in the Bible go hand-in hand, with the words of God from his spirit: Christ in you—the hope of glory.
God's Word -The Foundation For Truth!

Yet, unmistakably, the scriptures will never be at cross-purposes with God’s revelation to us by the spirit. The one complements and confirms the other. Some might say: "Well, they were letters to the churches first. There was no New Testament when the apostles began to move with the things of God after Jesus had died." This is true, however, it didn't take God long to have the New Testament compiled by his writers: holy men of God who were moved by the holy spirit. As we hide the Word in our hearts, God is able to bring to mind those very scriptures which we need for a given situation.

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (Eph 3:5)

                           Whose words did Jesus say he spoke in John 12:49-50?

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:49-50)

Jesus spoke the words that God his Father gave him to speak. The words were given to Jesus, and he spoke to the world. These words were soon recorded in the gospels by four of his closest disciples, first-hand eye-witnesses. Without question, authored by God as he inspired his holy men to speak and write. The good news of Jesus was given to the world, that we may know him, and that he came from God the Father. You might say: "Well, that was Jesus—not us!" We would respond: "We have been commissioned to walk in the steps of the risen Christ here on earth. We can do those things through Christ which strengthens us."

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)

Teaching, Preaching, and Inspiration

Teaching or preaching are not the same. They share qualities. They both deliver a message but do so in unique ways. For that matter, people share God’s Word in distinct ways. Some love to simply preach the Word, others love to teach. (Plan it. Meditate upon the subject or topic). Some may be adept at both. Neither is better, or more spiritually advanced than the other. (Obviously, both situations require that the person be inspired by God). Either manner may serve a different function depending on the situation, or the needs and spiritual hunger or maturity (or lack thereof) of the listeners!

Now let's digress for just a moment. Some of late, have suggested that it is far better to share God's Word without having thought out what was to be taught. That way, to some peoples’ way of thinking, the message becomes spiritually more vibrant, not tainted, and immediately relevant to the spiritual needs at that moment. Perhaps they would point to Peter's declaration on the day of Pentecost. He just stood up, preached the Word, and about 5,000 believed. Without trying to go into a formal definition of the differences between preaching and teaching, (there are many different Greek words we would wish to consider), common use and practice may suggest that preaching occurs in a less thought-out pre-conceived manner. It may involve any number of people being preached to. One or thousands. It is a now, inspired, walking with God event. But we have to say: only the person knows how much they may have been dwelling upon something and talking to God about it previously.

Whereas teaching is usually thought-out, planned and perhaps meditated upon event where you are delving into the Word of God in a structured manner. Where there is an unfolding of an idea, or qualities of a person's life, or any number of fantastic things. The relevant point is: teaching or preaching may occur in manifold different ways. You may preach to one person or you may teach one person. Then again, you might be inspired (meditating deeply) over the course of days, weeks or even months to write or teach; to bring to light great spiritual understanding.

The point that we would like to stress is this: One is not better than the other. Preaching is not greater than teaching or teaching than preaching—they are simply different. God works with each member of the body individually. Each means requires walking by the spirit to be genuinely purposeful. We should not judge the relevance of how God communicates through us—more importantly that he does.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. (Isa 55:11 KJV)

Preaching Is Not Greater Than Teaching—They Are Simply Different

God's Word was, is, and always shall be with God. God created all things in the beginning by way of his Word. His Word was spoken to the patriarchs. Moses said that the Word of God was in the hearts and mouths of the people of Israel; this same Word came to the prophets. God sent his Word to earth in the human form of his Son, Jesus Christ, who preached that Word, who lived and died a human being on the cross and was raised again to eternal life. The first born of many brethren.

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:49-50)

Remarkably, there are many different types of people within the Body of Christ (the Body of Christ is what God calls the church of the body today). Christ is the head! Wondrously, God gave the church five gift ministries; long-suits (special abilities to men and women who serve God’s people) specifically for the perfecting of the saints. (Yes, if in doubt, God refers to you as a saint). I know, it is hard to believe.

The Five Gift Ministries

Apostles: Those who bring new light to their generation.

Prophets: Those who speak for God, foretelling what will occur if God’s people listen, or don’t listen to him; or, forth-telling; Words of God, communicated to his people for a specific purpose at any given time.

Evangelists: Those who win people to Christ, heralding the good news by preaching and giving testimonies of the goodness of God and what is available to them.

Pastors: Those who continually nurture and care for God’s people.

Teachers: Those who aptly teach the accuracy and integrity of God’s Word to God’s people, to bring deeper understanding of his Word and Will in their lives.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edivying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4: 11-15)

Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet and a Light Unto My Path

God gave us his written Word, which when clearly and accurately taught and believed, is our standard for truth—so that we will not be deceived by false teachers. He gave us his spirit to walk with him on a moment by moment basis. It behooves us, as his children, to take the time in our lives to sew and hide his Word in our hearts, which will benefit us for our entire lives, as God’s spirit in us can bring to our remembrance just the right scripture, or Godly concept, at the right time. We are no longer to be tossed about or carried away.

We allow God to teach and guide us as we read and study his Word and are led by the spirit. Studying is not only reading the boor study materials but then meditating upon it, digesting it until it becomes a permanent part of the very fabric of our being. It’s God that enlightens the eyes of our understanding. God wants us to know and not question or doubt what he is showing us.

Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet and a Light Unto My Path (Psalm 119:105)

This comes with just beginning to walk with him in the steps of our brother Jesus Christ, moment by moment—day by day—being led by the spirit. We then develop confidence in God working within us: to will and to do of his good pleasure. It becomes our very nature without any stress or strain! The words of God’s Word begin to replace the old thoughts and ideas which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Being led by the spirit and allowing the Word of God, written and spoken, to guide us, will light our way, shining as bright lights in this dark world.

With pleasure, lovingly serving with you in the Body of Christ,

Anthony and Cindy Barbera