See also Part 1
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13
My dance with GOD began when I heard Him say, “Do you believe in miracles?”
I said, “Yes, Father, yes I do”.
He said, “Seek Me in Joppa.”
There are several stories we can look at regarding miracles, but I hadn’t really taken a notice to Joppa.
So with my research notebook and pen in hand, I began my discovery of Joppa. But before I began I prayed just like we are shown in Proverbs 2.
“Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear The LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:3-8 NLT
So as we learn how to search things out, our knowledge of God builds, one block at a time.
The biblical town of Joppa is known today as Jaffa. At the time, it was the main port of the coast. There are 46.34 miles from Damascus to Joppa in northeast direction and 59 miles or about 35 miles to the west of Jerusalem.
We recognize the road to Damascus as Saul’s soon to be Paul conversion where he spent three days in shock, without sight, without food or water, but to be delivered by a man named Ananias.
We read this in the Book of Acts, God appears to Ananias and tells him to show up at Saul’s lodging to lift his blindness and he is baptized by The Holy Spirit (Acts 9)
Spiritually, as you and I walk along the road through Damascus, we too must make the decision to fully follow Jesus to receive a pouring or indwelling The Holy Spirit.
But what does this really mean. . . to sincerely follow Jesus?
It means we receive our pouring, but we must first be willing like Ananias to move when God says go… get up and step out in faith! Can you imagine how afraid Ananias was to approach Saul who was a known to killer of the followers of Jesus!
We are told about this in Acts 6–7. I also share this in a previous podcast of Stephen’s death for his faith.
Stephen testified of the truth so boldly that wicked men stoned him to death. Saul held the garments of these wicked men as they threw stone after stone at him.
It’s no wonder Ananias was so afraid to approach Saul, but when God speaks we must be willing and have the faith to move in God’s power.
AND if we are filled with The Holy Spirit like Ananias, we will have the faith to move when God says GO!
So Who is The Holy Spirit or spirit of God with such power?
This question has plagued man for centuries, right?
This question has even split churches creating new denominations all because they could not agree on who The Holy Spirit is!
But here on Springs of Zion we welcome The Holy Spirit and he is very much alive and working through as I speak and share through His Leading.
As you listen, little packets are dropped into your hearts and minds though His Spirit. I am just His willing vessel!
I like to picture The Holy Spiritual when I close my eyes, as a rather holy man holding a very large sword, think about that for a second, “it’s powerful!”
And then I hear God whispering into my mind that, “The Sword of the Spirit is My Holy Spirit, and it is the powerful part of Me.”
I’ve read this in His Word, so this would be considered an encounter with God. I am hearing God speak to me.
If we are familiar with scripture, the verses in God‘s Word will come to our mind. If you unfamiliar then take some time and work to get familiar — it’s that easy. Use all the wonderful tools we have today!
However, I am guessing most of you know this verse as it can be found in chapter 6 in the Book of Ephesians verse 17 regarding the whole Armor of God.
The Holy Spirit is the avenue or means that releases and demonstrates the power of God in us.
So, in our minds we can define The Holy Spirit as “the presence of God” all around you.
And, if the presence of God is the Spirit of God … and the Spirit of God is the power of God … then that means the power of God is right here now!
Now, what do we do with it?
Well, to be honest this is where things get a little exciting!
Are you beginning to believe that there’s more to your walk with God than what you are currently experiencing, because that’s what being baptized or indwelt by The Holy Spirit is all about?
So, when we pick up “the Sword of the Spirit,” it means we are accessing the Word of God.
“God is the Word,” which can be read in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him.”
And, again in John 6:63 it says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life”.
So, if the Words or Word of God is Spirit, and the Word or Spirit was with God in the beginning, and all things were made by the Word … then God is the Word, which is the Spirit, which is The Holy Spirit.
Wow, it’s a mind full, let’s read it again slower….
Word of God is Spirit, and the Word or Spirit was with God in the beginning, so, The Holy Spirit was there in the beginning of creation. Genesis 1:2 — “the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters!”
We can agree it was The Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus and it is the same Holy Spirit that empowers you and me!
Wow, so simple yet amazing!
Remember, the “Word” is the “Sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17); “The Word is God” (John 1:1), and Jesus is “The Word” (John 1:14).
Now, let’s stop right here for a second, because this is where most people stop, they have enough knowledge to get to heaven and go no further, but because our world is so dark and absolutely nuts, I believe God is sending a clarion call through His Spirit to draw us to go deeper.
As weird as our world is, this is such an amazing time to live with GOD!
Now with these amazing facts coupled with choosing to believe that Jesus died for our sins, rose again and saved us from Hell, we can believe here in Springs of Zion, God is making big moves and looking for new dance partners.
Are you ready to dance?
I think this is for you today, His dance partners open His Scriptures to willingly find their way to God!
This has always been the case, but as we discovered in Part 1, we have been deceived by our enemy to think we were not enough, that we had to be spiritual special, or that we had to stop sinning or we needed to know more, the list goes on, before we could get started with God.
Well, I am here to tell you that isn’t the case.
If you are willing . . . set aside time to seek God. He will set His Spirit upon you and you will not be ashamed and boldly step out — onto that dance floor with God.
It’s a slow dance at first, but eventually you are doing the tango and pretty soon there’s a Congo line meaning what you have others will want!
Don’t be surprised when other believers begin to seek you specifically for prayer and guidance.
This is the dance with God!
He will lead you by His Spirit one dance step at a time and it’s so beautiful and thrilling!
At this juncture, you experience freedom from your predestined enslaved sinner mindset hallelujah!
You are able to discern with new ears to hear and eyes to see just like Paul on the road to Damascus. The is the pouring of The Holy Spirit and He begins to reveal truth within the Word of God that penetrated each layer within your heart, mind and soul!
If we look to Luke 24:49 Jesus told His disciples,
“And now I will send The Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until The Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from Heaven”.
And, in Acts 1:8, Jesus told the disciples,
“But you will receive power when The Holy Spirit comes on you!”
So, Jesus was saying that when He left, He was going to send The Holy Spirit and when they received The Holy Spirit, they would be filled with POWER from on high! And this was not just for the first Church as some believers claim. It was for everyone who would receive Jesus!!
Peter said to them:
“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of The Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as The LORD our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:38-39
So now we fully understand that The Holy Spirit is the Sword of the Spirit, and The Holy Spirit is the powerful part of God; He uses the Sword of the Spirit to demonstrate the power of God.
When we are filled with The Holy Spirit, we would be filled with God’s power!
Jesus’ disciples were already Christians obviously, but they did not have the Power of God in them until they were filled up and topped off with The Holy Spirit.
The Bible calls this being “baptized in The Holy Spirit”.
“Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, which, you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with The Holy Spirit not many days from now .” Acts 1:4-5
And the word baptize simply means to immerse; which is to be completely covered up with The Holy Spirit; and it’s a different picture than just having a little bitty bit of the spirit.
Jesus also told them in John 14:12, that,
“Whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to The Father.”
That’s pretty strong! Why don’t you try putting your name into that verse as you read it again.
The Bible is written to you, so that it is about you! And, that power is available to us when we get filled up with The Holy Spirit.
So good, right!
Think about this, in Ephesians 6, the Bible tells us to “Put on the whole armor of God”.
It also tells us that “we fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of darkness.”
If you have on the whole armor of God, then you can stand against these principalities and powers. And, it’s not you standing; it is The Holy Spirit fighting the fight for you.
So really, the armor of God is our “Holy Spirit superhero cape”; to fight these powers and principalities and to be able to be victorious in all that we encounter.
With all that said, it’s still a choice; and “the choice to believe”.
This is the starting point. You may not know everything to begin with, so just start with an open mind and a choice to believe what you learn about God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit.
Once you make that choice in your mind, then you open the door for things to start happening in the Spiritual realm around you. Actually, these things are already happening, but now you will become aware of them.
That’s how it happened with me. Once I made the choice to believe, then unexplainable things just started happening in my life daily. It’s so fun!
Each scripture was being read in a new way… opening with power and truth that I could be apply to my life. It was so encouraging and fruitful that I wanted more…. and more! You will too!
As I read the Bible, I began inserting myself each time I read the word, Israel, Israelites, or even in this case — Paul, you get the picture right?
The Scriptures were being applied to my life and read as if God was speaking because we are told by John the word is God.
Holy Spirit begins revealing God through His Word to leave you hungry and wanting for more.
The more I read, the more I realized that the entire Bible is about The Holy Spirit; and that the entire Bible is aimed at The Holy Spirit! Thank you Jesus!
What do I mean by that? I mean that God’s Holy Spirit was and is behind everything! With each thing I learned, what was actually happening was that my spiritual eyes were starting to be opened.
The Bible says in Matthew 13:13-17 that
“if you don’t have eyes to see and ears to hear, that you cannot understand the things of God.”
Your eyes have to be opened to see and understand the things of The Holy Spirit.
So, start asking God today:
“LORD, open my spiritual eyes to see and understand your Holy Spirit.
I believe that your Spirit is all around me and guiding me every day, I want to see you and know you better.”
Then pray that prayer every day!
You have to make the effort to look. Focus your spiritual eyes by looking at each situation and thinking “what are you saying to me in this situation?”
So let’s take a look how Joppa fits into all of this?
Well, one quick look at the Apostle Paul’s life reinforces that His behavior was dramatically transformed after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
He lived a powerfully holy life as an example for the church. Reading the entire first chapter of 1 Timothy with this in mind, you can see how this fits together.
To have faith like Paul, we must pray for an encounter.
Paul shares that the road to Damascus had many obstacles to battle to find God. He warns that “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy”.
Our hindrances must be dealt with here on this road.
In other words, we must answer to The LORD by addressing all the things in the dark that we carry within our hearts.
If we surrender, we are allowing His Spirit to reveal our hindrances, stumbling blocks and wall’s keeping us from accessing God the Father. Let His Spirit guide you in His Word to reveal your hindrances.
“You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress.” Obadiah 1:14
Today, before preparing this post, I asked The LORD what are the steps that I can share because I don’t remember exactly how The Spirit lead me on my road — it was very twisted!
I heard The spirit of The LORD say, “Mark 1”.
As I read Mark 1, I kept trying to apply the words I was reading to answer my question of what are the steps to be filled by The Holy Spirit.
When I finally reached Mark 1:verse 33 through 35 I was given my answer, but I had to read the entire chapter.
So you can see how sometimes our questions are going to take not only a little unraveling, but more reading, searching and seeking.
I heard a pastor advise once — if you hear a verse in your mind by the Spirit of The LORD, read the chapter before and after for a clear picture. God’s gonna speak to you in a way that works for you.
Let’s read Mark 1:33- 35, Jesus got up early while it was still dark found a solitary place to pray to seek the father alone to welcome the spirit.
If you get up and away early His River can begin to flow through you and you can begin your Dance with Him.
This is the Dance step 1. SOLITARY TIME
And then I said OK what is steps 2 so the spirit of The LORD said Zachariah 13 verse 7 — so let’s go there.
“Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, the man who is my associate and equal,” says The LORD Almighty.Strike down the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter, but I will come back and comfort and care for the lambs.”
So we can assume the shepherd is Jesus and we are to offer our souls to GOD.
In the OT in the book of Leviticus, Chapter 7 we are told of the sacrifices the Priest made to The LORD. Maybe read that chapter too!
Look to commentaries and other resources until you have peace about what you are reading and a knowing within your heart so you can apply it to your life.
In our situation we are to surrender our souls to GOD in order to be get a filling of the Spirit.
Step 3, I heard the Spirit whisper, “Psalm 22:20”.
Deliver me from the sword, my precious life on the power of the wild dogs, save me from the mouth of the lion and the horns of the wild oxen.”
For a better interpretation check out the The Message Bible,
“You God don’t put off my rescue! Don’t let them cut my throat; don’t let those mongrels devour me. If you don’t come soon, I’m done for, gored by the bulls and meat for the lions!”
The LORD is saying, repent, and be washed, but understand we must call out in the name of The LORD to deliver our soul. I was also given Psalm 116 and the Psalmist begs for mercy.
For if you sit in the river or the flow of The Holy Spirit, he will teach you. It’s amazing And exciting!
Okay so we know how to seek The LORD, but How do we stay in flow of The Holy Spirit ….
I heard, “Rituals and Relationship: it takes both.”
In the Old Testament, the clearest picture of how God was approached was the Priest as they prepared to enter the Holy of Holies, which was where the presence of God dwelt.
The Priest had to follow the steps exactly as they were laid out by God or they would die. We covered this story in a previous podcast called Strange Fire — the two son’s of Aaron.
Since everything in The Bible is meant to be a spiritual picture to us, our not approaching God at all or wrongly will mean a spiritual death for us.
Spiritual death is being separated from the presence of God and His Holy Spirit.
However, because of Jesus death and atonement for our sins, we have become the temple of The Holy Spirit; He now lives through us and dwells in us as we abide in Him he abides in us (John 15).
The Old Testament High Priest’s were the only one allowed to enter the Presence of God in the Holy of Holies, and only once a year. The Holy of Holies was the temple of God and His Spirit in that time.
On that one day each year, the High Priest would be able to enter into the presence of God.
The rest of the year he was to follow hundreds of rituals in order to keep himself prepared to enter again. Then, for seven days prior to his entering the Holy of Holies, the priest would follow a set of ritual steps to prepare him and purify him to enter.
Finally, on that special day, he would follow a series of ritual steps to purify himself as he entered the Holy of Holies.
The difference for us is we have Jesus to thank! Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross gave each one of us access to The Holy Spirit at any time.
But, just like the priest, there are some things in our lives that can make us not acceptable to enter the presence of God, which is His Holy Spirit.
We, just like the priest, need to do some things I hate to say it ritual so regularly in order to stay prepared to be in and live in The Holy Spirit.
We sure don’t want to grieve The Holy Spirit, and find ourselves not be worthy of the fullness of His presence.
So let’s take a look at the preparation steps of the Priest to enter God’s Holy Presence, and we can apply those same steps to our lives.
The Priest were very ceremonially, but thank goodness we don’t have to be as long and drawn out as the Priest’s to prepare to enter God’s presence.
The Priestly Steps to Enter the Holy of Holies:
- Enter the Gates of the Outer Court of God’s Temple.
- Sacrifice at the Altar. Wash in the Basin to cleanse and purify.
- Light the Golden Lamp Stand for light.
- Offer food at The Table of Showbread as an intimate meal eaten with God.
- Burn incense at the altar.
- Enter the Holy of Holies … the Presence of Almighty God.
How do you get those steps into your devotion time each morning if it took the High Priest seven days?
Our daily devotion needs to cover those seven steps in order. I didn’t design it that way, God Himself did. And what does that look like in your morning?
We enter His gates or His Presence with thanksgiving. You just start thank God for everything you can think of.
This is how we enter His Courts, or come before Him, with a sacrifice of Praise. You praise Him and praise His name.
We are purify ourselves by repenting, which means “turning away from for good”; and asking His forgiveness for any sin, any thought, any action which might separate you from His presence.
Then just focus on The Holy Spirit and ask Him to fill you — welcome him to fill you right now; ask Him to become part of your day and into all of your circumstances. Ask Him to light your path today.
The Table of Showbread represents taking His Word into you, which is the “Bread of Life”.
We do this by reading the Bible. Read a chapter and understand it; understand what The Holy Spirit is saying through that chapter and those verses to you. This may take work but the more you work to understand, the more power we are given.
Then, just worship Him. Worship at the feet of Jesus. Play worship music, sing, hum, or pray in the Spirit. Just worship God for all that He is and all that He does, for sending His Holy Spirit to live in you and guide you through every situation and circumstance today.
Then, just stop and Be still. Know with all your heart that you are in the very presence of God. Because you are!!
Know that The Holy Spirit is in you and around you.
Listen! We are told, “Ask, and you shall receive.”
Begin to talk to The Holy Spirit. Ask Him questions — and then be still and wait by listening…
He will answer you in a quiet voice in your head, like a gentle breeze on the beach or a line in a song, or a thought, or a verse that you just read.
And finally, walk in His presence today.
We can take The Holy Spirit wherever we go. You are now a “dancer and this is exciting, So, get ready and Expect great things to happen!
Look for His miracles!
The City of Joppa is 45 miles away from Damascus so on foot this could take a some time! But by the pouring of The Holy Spirit, you could find your way to the City of Joppa in the Book of Acts, chapter 9, today!
“And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on The LORD.” Acts 9:42
Is God calling you though this word to enter Joppa for your own personal miracle?
See also Part 1
~ Angela Reese
Angela is the owner of “Fruits of His Vine” website, to encourage and equip those still in wandering, or in captivity, to find our Savior in His Holy Tabernacle.