Walking by the Spirit Regardless of the World Around Us

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“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1John 1:3-4, ESV)

As we watch the effect that this current corona virus epidemic is having on the world, we also see it affecting the visible church systems. There is a controversy over pastors who are holding services regardless of the orders by governments that ban all public meetings where the virus could be transmitted person to person. A well-known mega-church pastor in Florida was even jailed and fined for breaking this ban and holding public meetings. Why is it so important for Christian institutions to hold their church meetings? It is because this is the way that the modern church “does church.”

Zachariah chapter four describes the vision that this prophet and priest saw. There was a lampstand with seven golden oil lamps with a central golden bowl and seven golden pipes feeding each of the lamps with their supply of oil. This bowl was filled from heaven with the oil of the Spirit from the “two witnesses” that stand beside the God of heaven. The poor prophet didn’t understand this vision because there was no such thing to be found in their temple system where it was up to the priests to keep the individual lamps full and their wicks trimmed. When he asked the angel that spoke with him what this all meant the angel replied,

“This is the word of the LORD… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’  says the LORD of hosts.” (Zech 4:6, NKJV)

We see such a vast difference between the temple system of the Old Testament and what Zachariah saw in this vision. This difference is vast between the Old Covenant and the new as well. I have found that few Christians today realize just how different these two covenants are. A prayerful reading of the Book of Hebrews should be a wake-up call to anyone who has eyes to see. The difference is demonstrated by this current debate about how we should meet during this epidemic.

Zachariah’s vision says it all, dear saints! The true ecclesia (Church) of God is not dependent on buildings, or on the close proximity gatherings that are so important today to keep the business of “church” functioning. We are a spiritual temple made of living stones and supplied by the Spirit of God, not by the might and power of tithes and offerings, intellectually appealing sermons, or even music and mood lighting that moves our souls. The mammon of men and the power and might that goes into “Christian” organizations, the building of church buildings and all that goes on in them are not what the prophet was shown in this vision. Neither did he see the power and might of Solomon, who built the first temple. That temple was a type of what was to come and it was fulfilled by the very Son of God, Jesus Christ and His spiritual Church. When Jesus died on the cross the veil of the temple that separated the Holy of Holies from men was torn from top to bottom, thus signifying the way into the very presence of God through Christ’s torn flesh. We who believe in Him are God’s holy priesthood and Jesus is our High Priest.

When we are walking in His Spirit, our supply is from heaven alone. When we are spirit to spirit, we share that supply with one another. This is what the early Church demonstrated so well in the Book of Acts where none of the said what they had was their own and as a result none of them were lacking. They did not set out to build church buildings in every town where the gospel was preached so they could meet as is the common practice today. Neither did they collect tithes and special offerings for physical church buildings, organizations its salaries. This is the way the world and its corporations operate.

Those who walk according to the Spirit are His lamps that shine forth in this dark world, not by our might or power, but by His Spirit. This whole system built up by men since the Roman Emperor Constantine took control of the early church in 312 AD is a confusing delusion. It takes the eyes and ears of those who believe in Christ away from Him and His Spirit and places them on men and their institutions. This is why this downtime of not meeting in churches is such a controversy and crisis for many. But those of us who walk be the Spirit haven’t been effected by it at all for our supply of the Spirit is in Christ.

If we are truly the temple of God as the New Testament makes so clear, all that goes on in the physical world around us can never touch what we share as we abide IN Christ. When we rest IN Him, our spirits are together in His Spirit and our communications and fellowship are in and by Him. We might be thousands of miles apart from one another, yet our hearts are still one and our fellowship is still very uplifting and our prayers for one another are no less powerful as we abide in the Spirit together. We are still living stones that are one in His spiritual temple, being supplied by the oil of His Spirit that comes down from the throne of God. This is what makes our fellowship so alive and real no matter what happens around us in the physical world.

Paul and Silas, experiencing this sweet heavenly fellowship in that dank and dark Philippian prison after being flogged and put in chains, literally “brought the house down” by an earthquake and gained not only their freedom, but the salvation of their jailer and his household by the Spirit (see Acts 16:22-36)! Paul was able to be with the Church in Corinth and Colossi in spirit in a very real way, yet not be physically with them (See 1 Cor. 5:3 and Col. 2:5). John knew what was happening in the seven churches mentioned in Revelation by the power of the Spirit and ministered to them even though he was exiled on a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea. True witnessing of God’s kingdom and ministry always happens by the power of the Spirit and not by human might and power. This is why Paul wrote,

But he [Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Cor 12:9-10, ESV)

Christ’s Church is made up of those God has set apart for Himself and we are safe in Him even in the worst calamities. Our fellowship in the Spirit continues and cannot be shaken no matter what happens here on earth because it is heavenly in nature. Paul was making this very clear in his letter to the Ephesian Church when he wrote:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Eph 1:3, AKJV)

And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:6-7, AKJV)

Oh, dear saints, I encourage you to look beyond all the distractions that are being pushed in upon us by this world and fellowship with one another in HIS Spirit just as Paul and Silas did. We are all one in HIS lampstand as we experience the supply of His Spirit together. Set your minds on those things that are above, not these fleeting things that are happening beneath. It is as we abide in the joy of the Father and the Son that we will be witnesses to the world around us.

[What would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. (Ps 27:13-14, AMP)

33 comments on “Walking by the Spirit Regardless of the World Around Us

  1. Wanda Collins says:

    Hi Michael,

    As always you remind us of what really matters! We should set our minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth. I get distracted easily sometimes, but this fellowship we have helps to keep my eyes and heart on Jesus.

    Your sister,

    Wanda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you Wanda for your uplifting comment. It is good to hear from you again. May the Lord keep you in perfect peace as your mind and heart are fixed on Him.

    Your brother IN Christ,

    Michael

    Like

  3. Michael says:

    Some of us saw the truth about that thing that has masqueraded as the church many years ago and walked away. Some such as myself and my wife, and we have children now who have learned the truth about the religious system. It is fascinating to see the thing fight to maintain its perceived right to Lord itself over God’s people even in this crisis – which in truth is not such a crisis for those, as you mentioned, who are anchored in God and not those empty grave clothes that Jesus took off and laid aside when he arose. Let us be reminded and comforted with the words of our Lord when he said, “Fear not, little flock.” He did not say, “Fear not, O great and mighty mega church.” True fellowship is in the Spirit, not in a location. It can even be in the loneliness of being alone as Brother David wrote that he “encouraged himself in the Lord.” Seems that no one else was up for the job, so David encouraged himself. At least as long as there are others who see what you see, Michael, we can still encourage one another. So, therefore, my brother – Be encouraged!

    Blessings from Michael et al in Georgia.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Michael says:

      Michael in Georgia,

      Your comment was truly an encouragement to me. Thank you for sharing your God given insights as to what is going on and the freedom that belongs to those who are IN Christ Jesus and not of this world and its many forms of bondage that seeks to rob the children of God. You wrote, “It is fascinating to see the thing fight to maintain its perceived right to Lord itself over God’s people even in this crisis – which in truth is not such a crisis for those, as you mentioned, who are anchored in God and not those empty grave clothes that Jesus took off and laid aside when he arose.” The thing that caught my eye was was how Jesus took off His grave clothes that bound Him in that death and put them aside. As I was coming out of the captivity of that religious bondage called “church” the Spirit brought to my mind how Lazarus was called forth from the grave and set free. Jesus gave him life when He called, “Come forth!” and that once dead man came walking out after being dead for four days. But then Christ said to those standing by, “Unbind him!” God has given the true Church who are not bond to unbind those who Jesus is calling forth from that old religious system. I remember how frustrated I was as I tried to find a fresh word of the freedom that my new Life He was giving me could explain. “Where are those who would unbind me?” Jesus said,

      “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, ‘If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32, AKJV)

      There was so much teaching that was nothing more than the traditions of men that I had to get free of and God was working at setting me free by His Spirit, but He also wanted the TRUE Church that was free to help with that work. Finally, I found other writers and brothers that knew the difference between the Christian religious systems of men who seek to bind us in those old grave clothes which Jesus shed and the freedom that is ours IN Christ. They supplied a “second witness” to what I was hearing in the Spirit. I think that is what REAL spiritual teachers do. They don’t take the attention off of Christ, but rather encourage His saints to keep listening to the One who is setting them free.

      That was a good point you made about David. God is not limited to have others unbind us when they are not available or we are too bound in religion to hear Him through others. Jesus spoke directly to Paul and Peter when He needed to break their chains of religious bondage that no man could break.

      But like you said the flock of Christ is little and as long as we are seeking a mega-flock to be with in our local, we will be deluded. Jesus is the good Shepherd who goes before His sheep and calls them by name. Mega-shepherds do not. Their sheep are a commodity to be used for their fame.

      Once again, thanks for writing and sharing your walk and freedom IN Christ with us,

      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Judi says:

    Hi Michael🙂
    This is such a wonderful, uplifting post! Thanking the Lord for you always. I have not commented much since I am trying to be more sensitive to the Spirit so I do not just post lifeless blah blah!
    I see such great potential in this time. The Holy Spirit is mightily at work and the Temple is being cleansed even at the same time as our Lord is building HIS church/ecclesia.
    All one and the same and ALL CHRIST!
    Reminiscent of how I have read that when China closed its doors to missionaries and persecution began, the Spirit would tell each individual saint where to meet with each other so the gov’t could not track them. We now have the technology to meet online, by teleconference, video chats, FaceTime, but a day may come soon enough when even that will be shut off. The Grid going down would be all it takes. It is Living epistle time and daily the Lord adding to His church. What an amazing time to be alive!

    I want to thank you for the way that you have strengthened and brought healing to the Body by your posts and prayers!
    👍Ditto that to Susanne Schuberth and Anna Waldherr, whose blogs I follow due to learning of them here.

    In His Love, hugs and blessings to you, your family, and all the saints!
    Judi

    Liked by 4 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Judi,

      Thanks for sharing your insights with us. We who are His Church are going through these trials and testings that we might be free to hear His voice regardless what happens to the internet or all the normal ways we have relied on in the past. I know by experience that the Spirit can give us “divine appointments” with others in our daily walks as HE sees necessary. Satan is called “the prince of the air” and that includes all communications that the world system relies on. Even now he is working to close the internet off to all God’s people so that he can use it solely for his lies. Praises like “political correctness,” “the greater good” and “hate speech” are indicators of what is coming as the prince of lies enforces his definition of these and rises up and takes power in the form of his antichrist spirit.

      BUT like you have pointed out, even under the heal of godless communism, the saints in China have been able to communicate in the Spirit and the Church has thrived under their oppression just as the early church did under severe persecution. It is all part of our Fathers purification process that Jesus might have a bride that is without spiritual spot of blemish. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

      Thanks for writing, Judi. May God’s spiritual blessing be on you and who are with you,

      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Tobie says:

    I’m looking for a double-like button. Thanks, Michael, What a blessing! To be part of a spiritual house is truly the ultimate immunization against institutional collapse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks so much, Tobie. You are so right. The way I see it, Satan gave Jesus his best shot more than once and He could not be shaken for He was never incited to disobey the will of His Father and He died and rose again and sits at His right hand ever to make intersession for us. As we are IN Him neither shall we be shaken, but those things that are of men and the world system will not fare so well. Jesus is our rest, our peace, our salvation and our ALL in us all as we trust and abide IN Him.

      Not to be soon shaken because of His power to keep those who love Him,

      Michael

      Like

  6. sabine says:

    Thank thank you Michael,this message is amazing and bring so much joy in my heart.I am bless and grateful , for it. may the Lord bless you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Sabine, thanks for your comment and letting me know that the Lord has blessed you so. When I write I try to always seek Him and His words as Jesus did with the Father. When I hit the “post” button it is always with a certain amount of interpretation. Reading comments like yours puts my heart at peace again, for sure.

      Your brother,
      Michael

      Like

  7. Gilbert says:

    Hello Miichael,

    I enjoy your much of what you share and I want to encourage you with that.

    Allow me to make this point. Before I do, let me say that my wife and I have been trying to find a place of fellowship for the past two years. But, but for one reason or another we hesitate to associate with what we view as man-made temples masquarading as local manifestations of the Body of Christ – so; we keep looking.

    Michael, the letters you mention in Revelation and the letters of Paul are addressed to local groups that gathered as an entity – a messy one – but one none the less.

    I wouldn’t mind your take on this: it would be a much needed help for us.

    Yearning for His appearing with you,

    Gilbert

    On Sun., Apr. 5, 2020, 9:56 p.m. A Wilderness Voice, wrote:

    > Michael posted: ” “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to > you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship > is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these > things so that our joy may be complete.” (1John” >

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Gilbert, I know the struggle you and your wife share. I spent many years doing the same… always thinking, “Maybe I will find it in the NEXT church, and the next, and the next…” The problem was in that I was not seeking my fellowship IN Jesus and the Father first and above all, but hoping to find what I needed in men. The Lord showed me that I was a 45 year old man running around with my umbilical cord in my hand, hoping to find a man to plug into that would supply what I needed.

      Like John wrote, “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” How easy it is to overlook that all John’s supply was found in his fellowship with the Father and the Son and THAT is where we will find fellowship. Other believers will be added as Jesus sees fit, but not if we make that our focus.

      Love you in HIm,

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gilbert says:

        Much appreciated my fellow pilgrim – will be staying in touch.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gilbert says:

        Much appreciated Michael – will be staying connected.

        Like

      • Michael says:

        Thanks Gilbert.

        Like

      • Gilbert says:

        Thanks again for your post. It made me want to share a few lines.

        Came across an old recording on the web of a convocation service I attended years ago. And, because I was browsing on the subject the speaker (Eric Gurr) was speaking on, I tuned in. After I grew accustomed to the heavy British accent I began to enjoy where the voice was taking me – to those innocent days when one feels like he’s got it together and he can certainly change the world.

        When my mind refocused on the topic that my old acquaintance was discoursing about, the Spirit bore testimony to my spirit and I began to soar with a new appreciation of the mystery and utter beauty of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. The experience reminded me that good and sound Bible teaching can be a handmaiden to worship.

        I believe the Melchizedek event is not a theophany or christophany but the character is a gateway to view the fullness of the Christ event. The Incarnate Son of God is a priest after the order of an everlasting priesthood and is able to bring to completion His work of redemption (clearly spelled out by the author of Hebrews).

        The study of Melchizedek has been a much needed encouragement to me. I have been stumbling over the past two years (along with my helpmate Dorothy) with the spirit of discouragement. After a number of years labouring as a tent-maker in ministry and now idle- looking for a church family and finding only dry bones, I have been growing weary and disappointed – wondering if it was all a waste of time and energy.

        These days of pandemic has affected many who would normally gather for religious exercises. And, I must admit it gave me a little solace to know that I was not alone suffering from lack of fellowship. You’re absolutely correct to draw our thoughts to the fact that our fellowship is with the Father and the Son. It is the Spirit that gives life and enables our union with the Trinity. The local church is but an imperfect reflection of the True Church – which is above – is the Bride. We lack nothing, even in these days of isolation.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Thanks Gilbert. Abiding in Christ in the rest of God is the key. It is there that we will find all the fellowship we need. When we find a second saint that also abides in His rest we will find true God given fellowship. It gets to the point that just to be in the company of the Spirit in another is enough. Speech is not necessary for our spirits to be filled. Mere religion that is generated by the active souls in men will always leave us hungry. In fact soulish chit-chat with other Christians tires me out quickly and I want to escape.

        “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1John 1:5-7, ESV)

        Like

  8. A very good and timely blog article, Michael! ⭐

    I believe we need God’s help and protection to make us set our minds on things above, not on things of the earth. Without Him we can do NOTHING in the spiritual realm! However, when Christ takes over our spirit, so to speak, it is a wonderful and peaceful condition we may experience. The Bible explains it this way,

    “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Is 26:3 ESV)

    and the apostle Paul said,

    “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20 ESV)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Susanne, for your comment that brings our attention to how great our lives can be if we are enlivened by the Spirit of Christ and not the dictates of our flesh. That verse you quoted from Paul’s letter to the Galatians is a wonderful thing that has captured my attention since I first found it fifty years ago. In some version it reads,

      “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20, KJ2000 – emphasis added)

      When we walk in this body with Christ living in us we live by HIS life and walk by HIS walk, not our own and we have HIS faith and love working in us. Wow, what peace is ours no matter what the enemy might throw at us! Thank you dear sister for this wonderful reminder of all that is our IN Christ.

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  9. So right, Michael. Ron Whited made exactly this point in his 4/5/20 post “THIS is what Jesus would do!” at https://ronwhited.wordpress.com/.

    Blessings,

    A. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Anna, for the article by Ron. To the question we have heard so often, “What would Jesus do?” The answer from His words is clear,

      “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father has given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:36, KJ2000)

      “Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.” (John 14:10, KJ2000)

      There is a fine line of difference between trying to imagine from the gospels what Jesus would do in every circumstance that comes our way and walking IN Christ and doing only the works that He IS doing through us and only speaking HIS words that HE is saying in this hour. One can be done in the power of our flesh and the other can only be done by Him working and speaking by His Spirit in us. We do well to remember His warning regarding where our works come from, mere religion or by walking in obedience to His Spirit in us…

      “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” (Matt 7:21-23, KJ2000)

      In HIS love,
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  10. dimple says:

    Thank you, everyone, there is much encouragement and edification here.
    2Co_13:1  This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Allan Halton says:

    “This is the word of the LORD… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Zech 4:6, NKJV)

    Michael, oh that this word would lay hold of all the people of God, and cause us to cease from our own works! I continually feel myself in the grip of it these days through other passages of Scripture the Lord is speaking to me through– Matthew 11:28-30 in which we are called to take His yoke of rest upon us, and Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 about entering the Rest of God.

    So I am glad that you refreshed this “old” verse to my heart. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD.” Truly, it is the greatest encouragement to me that no matter how formidable the “mountain” seems to be, God has the provision for levelling it– the one and only provision– if we His people will but cease from our own strivings and “walk in the Spirit.” Indeed, it is a battle, for the Prince of darkness has many wiles to sidetrack us and keep us striving in the flesh. It’s because he knows his kingdom is secure that way. He knows that the light of a Spirit-fueled lampstand means the complete exposure and utter ruin of his kingdom of darkness, his “mountain.”

    Do we too know this? I think we do, but as I said, our Adversary is determined to keep us from walking in the reality of it. So I am deeply thankful for the determination and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ our great high priest to bring each of us into the full reality of this beautiful truth– as we come to Him again and again for His much needed grace, determined ourselves for His sake to not stop short of the desire of His heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Allan, thank you so much for this light filled comment. You are right about our enemy constantly trying to pull us back into the flesh as we seek to do the work of the Lord instead of resting in what Jesus has already done and is doing by His Spirit. Learning the difference has been a life long thing with me for “the flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.” But Paul gave us the key in the verse before this one saying,

      “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16, KJ2000)

      The flesh knows no rest, but abiding in His Spirit does and without that state of spiritual rest we cannot hear His still small voice and will miss His leading.

      “Thus says the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” (Isa 66:1, KJ2000)

      HIS habitation is always where we are resting in the Spirit not in the soulish works of our flesh. This is why we must wait for the leading of the Spirit or our works and words will not be of Him.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Exactly. Most of us only know of the institutional church system. It does not promote the fact that church is not a building nor an organization. Church (Ekklesia) is a living organism of those of us who love God and follow the Spirit of God from within us. No need to despair over buildings being closed (which they should be right now). We are the Church each and every day. We can fellowship with God and with one another for support and encouragement whether in a building or not. It is by the Spirit the we live and move and have our being. Good article Michael.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, my brother, it is “in Him we live and move and have our being.” I noticed that Paul said “being,” not “beings.” In religion there are millions of beings, but IN Christ we are all ONE, the body of Christ. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wishing you and yours a blessed Easter, Michael. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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