Is it difficult for you to pray? Many people find it challenging. C. Samuel Storms wrote: “I am convinced that every problem in prayer is traceable to a misconception about God. If we pray less than we should, or not at all, it is probably because we are…deficient in our knowledge of the true and living God” (C. Samuel Storms Reaching God’s Ear, pp.18-19). Therefore, it seemed appropriate for this series of thirty devotional readings to be sharply focused on Who God Is as He reveals Himself in the Bible.
The Spirit helps us to know Jesus. As believers come to know Jesus and put their faith in Him, loving Him and obeying Him, they come to understand this teaching Jesus gave to His followers; in speaking with skeptics, Jesus told them “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:19). It follows then, that believers who know Jesus and trust Him, know the Father also. The better we begin to know God, the more likely we are to pray.
The seven I AM sayings in the Gospel of John are already likely to be very familiar to you. Each of these sayings reveals Jesus, linking Him to the Father in the divinity, power and unity of purpose. However, the Spirit has given many more revelations of God, many other Names, titles and descriptions of God which direct the reader into a deeper and fuller understanding of Who God is. Knowing God increases the faith of believers. Knowing God deepens a believer’s worship and expands his prayer-life.
The seven-fold spirit
“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings on earth.” – Revelation 1:4b-5a
Scripture reading: Isaiah 11:1-5
Today’s reading introduces the work of the seven-fold Spirit, (or Seven Spirits) referred to in Revelation. The prophet Isaiah, prophesying about the coming of the Messiah, noted that Jesus would be filled with the Spirit. By His great mercy, God the Spirit revealed the focus of His work in Christ. Why do I call that mercy? Because it follows then that those who are in Christ are those who also receive this same seven-fold Spirit.
The Spirit is the Spirit of the LORD. He is fully divine and majestic. The Spirit is not a force or something impersonal. The Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, the Great I AM. As the LORD made His covenant with Israel, it is the Spirit Who works in and through the leadership of Israel to empower each one for holy service.
According to the New Testament, the Spirit of the LORD is given to all believers. This is the beautiful truth just celebrated a few days ago at Pentecost. The very power and presence of the Living God, the Spirit, is in you, enabling you to remain in Christ. Christians are yet wilful and stubborn. Despite the cornucopia of blessings given to you, do you often turn to your own ways? The Spirit convicts you and leads you to repentance. The personal Spirit speaks to your spirit so that you are reassured you belong to God and the Spirit reminds you no power, and no thing, can ever tear you away from the rich salvation that is yours in Christ.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ask to be given more of the Spirit in your life to the increase of your faith in and obedience to Jesus.
Rev. Vander Vaart served as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America for over twenty years, before joining the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He is now serving as the Atlantic Region prison-visiting pastor working with Redemption Prison Ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.