We have touched on how much we need the help of the Holy Spirit as we have discussed our Spiritual walk & aligning ourselves with the will of God in order that He might bring revival: personal, national, global.
Today I want to look more closely @ how that actually happens. Please turn to Romans 8:26 ~ 27 which says: And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
The first word I would like us to study is astheneia. It is translated variously as weakness or infirmities. The Greek is a generic term that is inclusive of all types of sickness & disease. It includes nosos [a terminal condition for which there is no natural cure] Matthew 4:23, malakia [refering to a crippling disease of the muscles or nerves also Matthew 4:23] kakōs [to be mentally unwell, plagued by evil spirits, prone to bad thinking, or criminally wicked Matthew 9:12], mastix to be plagued or tortured by recurring pain or illness & ~ people who were so sick they were critically ill, even comatose [Matthew 14:14].
Understand that without the Holy Spirit operating in us we are literally sick: weak, diseased, crippled, mentally unwell, tortured ~ even comatose. We do not want to be that sort of a Christian. That sort of a Christian is weak & ineffective.
Nor do we want to be the sort of Christian who knows the word but does not operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are word people, faith people. We know that the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12
What we need to understand is that there were 2 different sorts of swords used in Jesus day. There were practice swords. These were huge, 2 handed swords used in practice. They were specifically designed to build strength & muscle but were absolutely useless in warfare. In the same way knowing the word, using the word believing the word builds up our strength & muscle but when we are embroiled in the battle we use our fighting sword, a short, two bladed sword basically used for stabbing.
Now we understand that both edges of this sword are sharp. One edge is the Word of God. The other edge is us agreeing with the word of God. We say what God says. We confess what God confesses. This is our weapon of warfare.
However there is a missing element in all this, good as it is. The missing element is the Holy Spirit.
This is how it works. We are jogging along nicely with our life & everything is pretty honky~dory. Suddenly there is an eruption & we find ourselves facing a huge mountain ~ but hey! We’ve trained to deal with the mountains in our lives. We know we’re supposed to *speak to our mountain* ~ & so we land on all the bible promises that address our condition.
Financial crisis: Deutronomy 28:8 The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. Or Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Sickness? Exodus 23:25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you…
We know to pray the Word, speak the Word, believe the Word ~ & our mountain sits there. It’s huge. It’s ugly. And it doesn’t budge! We’re believing for our healing, our financial situation, our prodigals but our healing doesn’t happen, our finances remain in the red & our children are still apostate.
So we bind our mountain because we know the Word & the word says: I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. And we loose. We may even get others to agree in prayer with us and when that doesn’t work & our mountain still continues to sit there we fast & we use the name of Jesus & we confess the word, we pray & fast & bind & loose & still that mountain doesn’t budge!
Remember we said last week the key to so much of our being overcomers is to be *in Christ* for He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
If we reference our opening scripture we learn: we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. Or we do not know how to pray as we ought… You see when we are in a battle we aren’t meant to be wielding our great 2 handed practice sword because that is not how it is meant to be used. We will exhaust ourselves & do no good. No! For the battle we need our short stabbing sword.
Now those of you who studied the Christian’s armour learnt that each piece of equipment served a specific purpose. If you remember your history you know that a Roman soldier did not, as so many pagan cultures did, engage in single combat that was often fought without a shield. He fought from behind his shield & his shield was large enough to protect his whole body. When he locked his shield with others they created an impenetrable wall. Paul tells us that our shield is faith & we know faith comes by hearing & hearing by the word of God. That is our big practice sword. We build our faith through the word of God. Then when we are engaged in battle we fight from behind our shield of faith.
So why doesn’t our mountain move? Because we need the Holy Spirit’s help. He converts the word into our short stabbing sword. The Holy Spirit helps us…when? In our infirmities! This is why we discussed the various types of sickness included in the word *infirmities* first. Whatever we are battling, however big our mountain, we are helpless in our own strength but the Holy Spirit is there to help us.
Now the Greek word translated help is synantilambanomai…Not only is this the first time this word is ever used, Paul invented it to describe Holy Spirit help. Syn refers to partnership, co~operation. We are to partner with the Holy Spirit & co~operate with Him. Anti is against in its simplist construct but it implies something or someone that is a menace to society, dangerous & the lambanomai means to grab hold of someone, to aid.
When something or someone comes against us & we are caught in a battle & cry out for the Holy Spirit’s help he partners with us. He is furious on our behalf because we bear His seal, the protection of Jesus blood & the love of the Father & so he rushes to help us.
He intercedes for us ~hyperentynchanō.
In defining the word *intercession* Rick Renner explains there are 3 implicit meanings:
· To fall into a ditch with someone
· To share emotions & frustrations
This is what the Holy Spirit does for us. He’s not perched on the ledge of our dilemma offering unwarranted advice. He gets right in beside us sharing our emotions & frustrations, supplicating on our behalf & rescuing us. And here’s the awesome thing. He shares His emotions with us. The Holy Spirit will always point us to Jesus the author & finisher of our faith. He will always bolster our confidence in the one who rescued us. He will remind us that we are to be joyful because of all that has been done for us & because we are so loved of God & we can continue to praise Him because God is good always.
Now, if we have been in our ditch for a while, if we have been battling our mountain in our own strength, it is going to take a while before the Holy Spirit makes a difference. We need to learn to be quick to cry out for help.
The next really awesome thing is that the Holy Spirit knows exactly what to pray, how to pray it & what is needed. He is very specific. See if you are praying for people, if you are praying for a mountain to be moved, you need to be stabbing with your fighting sword to kill. You don’t want to be inflicting superficial wounds. Is the sickness unto death or is it recurring? Is it mental or nerves? Is it caused by satanic attack, genetics or a spiritual illness? In the natural we cannot know any of these things but the Holy Spirit does & He will pray the specific will of God into the circumstance.
Perry Stone talks about the secret weapon in Ephesians 6. It is not mentioned as a weapon by name but every Roman soldier carried 2 lances: a short one & a long one. I don’t want to side~track but Ephesians 6:18 says Pray in the Spirit @ all times…
When we allow God’s Spirit to pray through us we can know we are praying out the perfect will of the Father. It will be specific. It will target the right area & it will be effective.
Lastly you don’t have to be smart to qualify for the Holy Spirit’s help. 1 Corinthians 1:27~28 tells us that God chose morons, the base [literally those considered so ugly they are not publicly presentable], social rejects & the foolish to confound the world. When we have the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit He wars on our behalf, He wars beside us, & He guides us into the victory parade with Christ.
I am indebted to Rick Renner for a deeper
understanding of the Greek &
Perry Stone for insights into the armour.