Holiness and the Prophetic In The New Covenant

The concept of holiness is actually a cluster of meanings. Its primary concept is “the other”, or “otherness”. This is meant to lead us to understand the Creator’s glory and nature cannot be humanly manufactured or earned. The fundamental understanding of holiness is that His ways are not our ways! Yet in knowing Him, we also know that He IS love, He brings peace, He is surrounded by glory, and so forth. In the idea of holiness, therefore, we also have all of who He is that we can appropriate as His children. Receive it and be holy yourself! If you do, you’ll find yourself walking in His ways. If you seek His face and His ways, you will hear from Him. This function of communicating with us is accomplished by His Holy Spirit.

As we are “filled” with the Holy Spirit, which is to say allowing Him to take the reins of our lives to the degree that we experience His infilling, we will be able to hear from Him. This last function of His Holy Spirit will grow in us. There is no replacement for time in many areas of our growth including this one. Hearing from God may come very early in our walk, but it takes time to understand His ways and know when and where and how to apply them.

Seasoned spirit-filled Christians usually make this process look seamlessly easy. We are at rest in Him so we tend not to stress. Those less seasoned may bring more drama to the process. That’s ok, because it’s still new to them. We who have walked in the Spirit for many years will walk with greater and greater ease, but with no less awe and thankfulness.

It never gets old to see the Holy Spirit work miraculously, even when it is one’s daily and hourly experience. So don’t be deceived by the seeming ease of a saint of God. Don’t confuse the natural for the supernatural. The supernatural is still operating right out in the open for you to see in their lives when you have eyes to see it.  And the eyes to see it are developed and brought into focus by functioning in it oneself. This is what is meant by the scripture “the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets.” Yet reading the stories about the prophets, Elisha for example, will reveal how it takes time to grow and develop. Elisha became the head of the school of the prophets of his day, and when it was time for Elijah to depart, his more advanced disciples knew of it. But they still hadn’t gotten the whole story the way Elisha had. Thus Elisha instructed them to be still and watch (get behind me).

Insight and revelation are sometimes learned during dire circumstances when all that is natural fails us. This is one of the reasons why you will hear preachers who do not know better preach that we “need” adversity. However, it’s also possible to focus on God’s will even when times are good, to learn all that is needed this way. And in fact, the seasoned lover of God and believer in Christ will normally always do so, no longer being deceived by natural circumstances but rather flowing with the Holy Spirit. (The Holy Spirit doesn’t lead us into the valley, we walk there all by our little old selves.)

Walking by the Spirit, God repeatedly promises He will make all natural things work together for our good and that we will prosper and be in health. Yet there is a balance because to flow with the Holy Spirit requires putting God’s Will ahead of our own. So our focus must remain on His will despite all the wonderful “things” (love, joy, peace in ourselves and in our relationships, provision, health and healing) being added to us. This beautiful interchange is best described by the relationship of marriage, with each partner putting the other first (The song of solomon is one expression of this). Except in this case your “partner” is God. I’d say that’s a little bit unequal, wouldn’t you? And yet He calls us His beloved and His bride, making us righteous, giving us all the benefits of being His which Jesus has. (the book of Ephesians talks a lot about this.)

 So don’t be deceived just because a believer’s life looks great and because they have all their needs met abundantly and seem to do this effortlessly, don’t conclude that it is because they have a great education or are smart, or some other natural thing. In fact, those who rely on such natural things will experience only a form of success but not the success of God, they will experience a success that brings many troubles and worries.

The good success of God brings the kiss of favor: joy and blessing, family and community and peace, protection, all in supernatural ways with revelation and understanding but it all may look very simple. Unless you ask, you may never realize what’s been moving that person, causing them to make the decisions they have made. Yet as those who are living in it know, this supernatural state of blessing has come because they have diligently applied themselves to learning His ways, have consistently put God’s will first and His kingdom, have been using their faith and letting the grace of God do the work, are listening to Him and to Him only, moving with Him and with Him only, have not grabbed at the many earthly blessings and favor being poured on them daily nor on the temptation to copy the zeal or callings of others, but have instead continued to take hold of God’s will, God’s leading and God’s righteousness in Christ as primary.

This is how we can continue to walk in love, even in the midst of God’s constant outpouring of spiritual and material blessing. It’s is the new covenant way of living in His holiness and in the prophetic. No drama. Just truth!! It keeps a person humble. So that, depending on their calling, you may never notice them. And if you do, you may never understand what is making them tick unless you ask.

Author: Danyelle Wolfe Read

Danyelle Wolfe Read is a New York City emigre, with roots in Oklahoma, residing in the US sunbelt. A proponent of bi-vocational pastoring in the tradition of Paul and many others, she has been a ministry leader and speaker, and does not ascribe to a strict differentiation between persons in ministry versus the secular arena. She herself has worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of people from a faith-perspective. Danyelle's writing career began with songwriting as well as newspaper reporting. In her personal life, Danyelle enjoys the outdoors and rural areas, dark skies, trails and birding. A committed tither, she finds a way to plug into the church she attends. It is to this that she attributes her many blessings.

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