God Growing in Us

Blog #58, May 19, 2023
As believers in God we come to realize that the more we grow in God the more we become His heart, His hands, and His voice on display for the world to see. Am I saying we are we possessed by spirits? No, God seeks to our enhance life and our covenant labor with His Holy Spirit. Each labor we perform begins as a choice we are offered by God. We must choose to accept this offer of oneness. 

God even allows us to choose whether or not we recognize His presence in our life. For example, my good friend came to prayer meeting one Wednesday asking for prayers because He had been diagnosed with cancer. He was administered to, and his condition was made a matter of prayer for the whole congregation. The following week he reported that at his last visit to the doctor he was examined again that they might begin treatment for his condition. The doctor looked at the results of the second examination and immediately apologized to him. Apparently the doctor had misdiagnosed him for there was no sign of any cancer. Was it a medical mistake or did God heal him? The choice is yours. I choose to believe God healed him, and even today that is my testimony.

Acts 2:17-19
2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy;
2:19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;

This is how it begins. This is the Spirit of God manifesting itself through His people. It happened in a time before Christ (recorded in Joel 2), happened again on the Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, and will occur whenever God reaches out to His children. During Christ's ministry God reached out through Christ with many healings and other miracles. The churches of the world have attributed these phenomena to the divinity of Christ, but Christ told His disciples that it was instead God manifesting His power through Christ by the Holy Spirit. Christ was teaching them that when He was gone, God by this same Spirit would manifest His true power through them and all who were humble to His Spirit and the teachings it brought.

John 14:12 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

Christ was born fully human and subject to all the trials and temptations that each of us face each day. Christ's connection to God through the Holy Spirit was so absolute that it allowed Him to live life to the fullness of God's created design for humanity. Because of this, God's Spirit was able to express the presence of God in many ways. We are still learning and growing in this ability so it takes a community of believers for God to be able to bring the fullness of His presence to the labor. We must depend on each other and the oneness we share if the full testimony of "God at work in the world of man" is to be complete. 

1 Corinthians 12:8-10
12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues;
12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.

From time to time, God's people are given talents and abilities that appear to the world as man-made magic. Understand that these events are no more magical than salmon travel unerringly to the same spawning grounds each year. Remember, lighting and thunder were thought to be the god's at play by the ancient man, and an eclipse of the sun was an omen. As our understandings grow, so does our acceptance of the unexplainable. Such are the works of the Holy Spirit in the life of man. They are no more than a loving Father reaching out to His children through His children in ways that only He can. We must learn to see them as such and cherish them for what they truly are. I believe that if we are to gain a fullness of all we seek we are dependent on a fellowship that allows us to develop and share common understandings. In the ways of God, one shares with me then I share with another. This is the true strength of oneness and the power of God at work in the world.

Wisdom and Knowledge: 
DC 46:7a-7b
46:7a And again, verily I say unto you, To some it is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom;
46:7b to another it is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.

By the baptisms we accept, we are cleansed and made a proper vessel for God's Holy Spirit. Consider if you will the raw amount of knowledge we are each offered by God's covenant gift to us.

Genesis 6:63-64
6:63 For, by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified; and by the blood ye are sanctified.
6:64 Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment.

In the presence of this gift from God, we come face to face with the need to grow. We need to find within ourselves the ability to apply this vast amount of knowledge to the life we live. That ability comes to us in the form of wisdom.

Proverbs 24:13-14
24:13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste;
24:14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul; when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

Psalms 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Knowledge tells us how. Wisdom tells us why. We must secure the answer to both of these questions if either gift is to be effective in helping us grow. Consider the current problem the world has with social media and the Internet. Everyday we see evidence of a world drowning in an ocean of knowledge. I think we can agree that without knowledge wisdom is useless, but without wisdom, knowledge is not only pointless it is dangerous. Sharing both knowledge and wisdom with one another is both God's design and our greatest hope.

Healing and faith: 
DC 46:7c And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed, and to others it is given to have faith to heal.

1Peter 2:24-25
2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Speaking of the sacrifice of Christ, Peter points out that by His sacrifice we can choose to be healed of the sickness of sin. That healing we accept is all-important because without the healing nature of covenant bringing to our lives the presence of the Holy Spirit, God cannot heal others through us. Though we believe, without covenant and the acceptance of baptisms by water and the laying on of hands our testimony of God working in our lives is incomplete. It lacks the foundation of faith only we can provide.

Matthew 9:26-28
9:26 And, behold, a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.
9:27 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
9:28 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Healings are a dynamic testimony that if misrepresented can destroy faith as well as create it. In the presence of healings, Christ cautions us to remember and to testify that God is the only true source of all that is good. We are not the light. We are only candles that hold the light before the world. As was Christ in the world, so are we.

John 12:44-45 
12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
12:45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

Prophecy, miracles, and discerning of spirits:
DC 46:7d And again, to some it is given the workings of miracles; and to others it is given to prophesy, and to others the discerning of spirits.

1 Corinthians 14:3 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

Exodus 7:17-18
7:17 Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord; behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
7:18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

These three passages create a reoccurring theme: I am God and you are man. I teach that you might grow. I share that you might share with others. I manifest my power through the Spirit that we might be one in faith, purpose, and truth. 

DC 98:4f Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion, for all flesh is in mine hands: be still, and know that I am God.

Tongues and interpretation of tongues:
DC 46:7e And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues, and to another it is given the interpretation of tongues:

Every miracle of God has its faulty imitations in the world of man that achieve nothing other than to mock the true power of God. I have been to church services where gibberish is used as an imitation of speaking in tongues. No message could be discerned because there was none offered. It was just a show that in all reality has nothing to do with God or His Kingdom.

A minister gave testimony of a particular Sunday sermon that reveals the truth of God and speaking in tongues. He told of giving the sermon and he was aware of the Spirit working through him offering particular help to one of the membership. This had happened before and usually the words he was given would denote a special message, but oddly he was never directed away from his original script. He closed the sermon thinking maybe he had been mistaken.

After the service one of the membership introduced him to his mother visiting from Germany. In fluent English she thanked him for giving the sermon in her native German the she might grasp the complete intent of the message in every meaning and every nuance. He then told her that he knew nothing of the German language. Then he faced the quiet powerful faith of a true believer when she said, "You don't but God does and he gave us both a wonderful gift today". I believe that this is the truth of tongues and interpreting tongues. In Acts we are told of this same blessing occurring on the day of Pentecost.
 
Acts 2:4-6
2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
22:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

There is one other aspect of the gift of tongues.

2 Nephi 14:1-4
14:1 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts, concerning that which we should do, after ye have entered in by the way.
14:2 But behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts? Do ye not remember that I said unto you, that after ye had received the Holy Ghost, ye could speak with the tongue of angels?
14:3 And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels, save it were by the Holy Ghost? Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.
14:4 Wherefore, I said unto you, Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

How many times have you pondered a scripture and its meaning only to have the truth come to you either in a quiet moment of contemplation or in a discussion with another. I had understanding brought to me through the words of a sermon. I am convinced that is the Holy Spirit allowing us to speak with the tongues of angels.

2 Nephi 2:9 That the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light; yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.

The manifestations of God's Spirit through His children are an essential part of our labor. They are not magic nor do they express any power we gain to use as we see fit. They are God reaching out through His children to offer the unbeliever evidence of His presence in the world of man and to assure the believer of His continuing support of their labor with Him. They are nothing more, but they are assuredly nothing less.

Allow God to be in your life. He's good company.

FRED
  






 


	




 
 


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