by JoAnn McFatter
Knowing the Spirit of the Lord will first and foremost determine our ability to walk by the Spirit. Becoming familiar thru meditation and communion will enable us to become more and more one with Him as we become familiar with His ways, His voice and His way of moving upon, in and through us.
As we gain understanding in just how to go about building up our own spirit man in Him, we end up interfacing with His Spirit as often as possible thru meditation, speaking in tongues, worship, and studying the Word. Becoming more like Him in our thoughts will only be realized as we familiarize ourselves with Who He is and how He has presented Himself to us through all of scripture and His interaction with mankind throughout history.
In doing a study on the Spirit of the Lord, we find that when the Spirit comes upon an individual, they do what they cannot do in their own strength. The angel speaking to Zechariah summed it up beautifully.
‘So he answered and said to me; ” This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘ Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.’ Zech 4:6
AND it doesn’t matter what their gifting is, it is increased beyond what they could do on their own. Just by looking at the variety of people the Spirit of the Lord came upon in scripture and seeing the result we see He is not a respecter of persons from Gideon to Ezekiel to David to Jesus. The list is long but I want to mention a few in particular.
It is said of Bezalel the son of Uri, an artisan in the temple of the Lord:
‘And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.’ Ex 31:3-5
The verses following these go on to speak of all the rest of the artisans who were bestowed with wisdom, a particular aspect of the Spirit of the Lord referenced in Isaiah 11 that enabled them to do more in the area of creativity and skill than they could do on their own.
‘The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears.’ Isaiah 11:2-3
It’s interesting that not discerning with our natural eyes and ears go hand in hand with having the Spirit of the Lord resting upon us. Of course, we hear that all the time but we seem to be having a hard time actually navigating that way. I hate to say it again because I know I sound like a broken record, but it really gets down to that greek, western, linear mindset we are steeped in.
Scripture also speaks of the Spirit of the Lord that rested on Moses being imparted to his 70 leaders. This time it had to do with the ability to lead, which evidently the 70 did not have prior to the Spirit being placed upon them.
‘Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp.’ Num. 11: 25-26
Amazing circumstance in that the Spirit is not subject to time and space. Two who were listed didn’t come to the same location, for whatever reason, and yet the Spirit was released upon them in the very same fashion. I believe it is indicative not only of the Spirit bypassing the limits we would put on physical placement, but also showing us that what is released ‘in the cloud’, or in the temple of which the cloud was representative, is meant also for the marketplace. It was the same release with the same result. It was offensive to their mindset but, nevertheless, the mind of the Spirit was true to the purpose of God.
Evidently, the Spirit coming upon them was for a particular impartation – that of leadership. It did not, however, make them perfect in their motives as their indignation with the way of the Spirit was made obvious by their reaction to the two who received the same portion even though they were ‘ not at the meeting’ . That is why it is so very important to allow God to take us through the process of dying to our own selves to be able to embrace fully His ways. Being anointed with the Spirit is no guarantee of possessing the character needed to carry it. We must do our part to submit to becoming like Christ.
Walking by the Spirit is so much more than just moving in signs, wonders, miracles, leadership, gifting, prophecy, etc. It is not about what we do, but rather it is about who we are. We seem to be finally coming into the understanding that walking by the Spirit has as much to do with our heart as it does our abilities. Walking by the Spirit has been a rare thing in the church – a lost art for sure. What I am excited about is that I believe we have turned a corner in our understanding of just how we need to posture ourselves before the Lord to carry what He wants to pour out.
I urge you to do a study on the ones who scripture refers to as having the Spirit of the Lord placed upon, or in them. I can’t take the time to go through them all in this article but it certainly gives us something to ponder in our hearts as we position ourselves in Him for the outpouring that is coming. I would like in particular to highlight Daniel.
First of all, the king was looking for
‘young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.’ Daniel 1:4
We know as the story progresses the king wanted them fed and taught by the ways of man prevalent in that day, being given the best that the natural realm could provide. Daniel and his 3 companions heard something different from the Lord and dared to step into it, walking by the Spirit in their dispensation of time. Scripture says that he was given favor to even be able to test what he was hearing as it was drastically different from the instruction given. I believe favor accompanies us as we obey the voice of the Spirit.
Long story short,
‘As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.’ Daniel 1:17
What I want to draw our attention to is the phrase ‘ God gave them ‘ what they possessed. It was not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord that they were endowed. While the others followed the mind of man, they followed the wisdom of the Spirit and, as scripture states, they were ten times better than the others. Not only that, they defied the laws of physics when thrown into the fire. They possessed excellence of mind, body and spirit AND they moved in what we would call the supernatural. I believe it was simply a natural result of walking by the Spirit.
As a result, Daniel possessed all of the following. He was a supreme example of one who walks by the Spirit in that he possessed it all; body, mind, soul and spirit.
‘There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father – your father the king – made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.’ Daniel 5:11-12
The exciting thing is that no matter what you were created to do during this lifetime, choosing to walk by the Spirit will bring increase in the natural while you are jointly partaking of the delight of moving by the Spirit. God always meant for the two realms to uphold each other and I believe He created us in such a way that we can operate fully in both. That is the invitation as well as the challenge set before us. It is for us all, whether we be raising children at home, making discoveries in a science lab, preaching on the street or creating the next work of art that the world scrambles to see.
In the end, the masses will not be captured by might, nor by power, BUT by the Spirit of the Lord!