The Sanctifying Spirit of God
by Pastor Ken Matthias
God is sovereign. He can do whatever He likes, whenever He likes. That said, I personally cannot say I have ever seen a significant move of God’s Holy Spirit without seeing the prerequisites of 1 Chronicles 7:14 present; humble prayer, turning from our wicked ways (repentance), and intentionally and intensely seeking the face of God.
God took Ezekiel to a valley filled with dry bones and asked him, “Can these bones live?” The East Kootenays is a collection of communities lying within a valley full of dry bones (people without the Spirit of God in them). The same question God asked Ezekiel could be asked here, “Can this valley live?”
God tells Ezekiel to prophecy over the bones.
In 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, the Apostle Paul says, “My message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on man’s wisdom, but in God’s power.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is God-Breathed (KJV “given by inspiration of God) and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Prophecy is Holy Spirit inspired/empowered speaking of the truth of God’s Word. Gold told Ezekiel to prophecy. We speak God’s words, not our own. To try and claim, declare, or prophecy something the Holy Spirit has not given you to say is not prophecy; it is bad theology. The Holy Spirit Himself speaks only the words he hears from Jesus (John 16:13). I would be inclined to model speaking God’s truth after the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the most anointed person I know 🙂
But as God challenges us to humbly pray, repent, and seek His face on behalf of this valley, speak life over it. Prophecy the truth of God’s word into it as the Holy Spirit inspires you. In doing so, believe that we are demolishing every argument and pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). This is the divine power that demolishes strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4).
But like the individual set free from demonic oppression, there is an urgency to occupy lest the demon returns with seven others, stronger than itself. It is not enough to tear down the walls. The Spirit of God must enter in.
1 Peter 1:1-2 teaches us some of the work of the Holy Spirit as He enters in, “… To God’s elect … who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood…”
Foreknowledge always precedes being chosen, elected, or predestined. “For those whom God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son… (Romans 8:29).” God does not go through a crowd saying, “I pick that one and that one, and not that one or that one.” He simply foreknows which ones will choose to receive Him, and which ones will not.
The sanctifying work of the Spirit helps those who are called; to be obedient to Jesus, and to be sprinkled with His blood.
Being sprinkled with His blood reflects the Old Testament Day of Atonement, where the high priest would sprinkle blood on the altar for the atonement of the people’s sins (atonement meaning to cover over, pay for, or make amends for). This is Salvation.
Obedience to Christ is tied into the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. The word sanctify is in the same group as the word holy; meaning to be set apart. This connects to God’s instruction, “Be holy, for I am holy (Leviticus 11:44).”
Holiness is a choice, not a state of being. You are granted righteousness (salvation) through acceptance of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, but you are not made holy. You choose to be holy. You choose to set yourself apart for God. But you are not left to make this choice in your own power. The Holy Spirit is set apart to help you with salvation (sprinkling of blood), and sanctification (holiness; choosing to be set apart).
So, we humble ourselves and pray, seek His Face, and turn from our wicked ways. We pray and speak the truth of God’s word over this valley we live in, demolishing strongholds, arguments, and pretensions that have set themselves up against the knowledge of God. And then, we invite the Holy Spirit to enter in, bringing life and salvation to the people, and helping them set themselves apart for God in holiness.
And do not forget; We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are the ones who hold treasure in jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7). It is tempting to pray these prayers and speak this truth from the comfort of our home or the safety of our churches, but though we do not belong to this world (1 Peter 1:17), we are called to be light and salt in it. Let us be found faithful.