Category: Insights From Bill Bright
There is no one who can even begin to compare with our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of the Universe, the One who holds everything together with the word of His command, and who died on the cross for our sins. Three days later He was raised from the dead and now lives in the hearts of all believers.
There is no doubt that prayer literally influences men and nations in accordance with God's promises and purposes. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a similar burden and leading for our country or another nation or group of people. Maybe it will be China, South Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, or whatever. When He does, obediently step out in faith with it, pray, fast, ask and keep on asking, and believe God's promises.
God desires our persistence, no doubt because it demonstrates our seriousness and sincerity. In Matthew's gospel where our Lord Jesus says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (KJV), scholars explain that the Greek words really mean to "keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking." It does not mean a one-time, half-hearted request.
As a Christian abides in Christ, living in the fullness of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is developed and the Christian becomes more mature spiritually. The maturing of the fruit of the Spirit is a lifetime process that goes on continually as Christ-like characteristics are being formed in the life of the Christian. Some Christians give greater evidence of the fruit of the Spirit than do others because of a greater degree of yielding to His working. The more we acknowledge ourselves to be dead to sin and surrender to our Lord Jesus Christ and His life within us, and the more we allow Him through the power of the Holy Spirit to live out His life through us, the more evident will be the fruit of the Spirit.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with Jesus Christ. We no longer think of Christ as One who helps us do some kind of Christian task but, rather, Jesus Christ does the work in and through us. Christ does not want us to work for Him. He wants us to let Him do His work in and through us. This is the glorious experience that the apostle Paul knew, as he described in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (NIV).