By Mma Nwosu
Blessed of the Lord! How are you? I have completed the Part I of what I have titled:
The Anointing of Praise and Testimony
10 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it (Psalm 81:10)
A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled (satisfied) (Proverbs 18:20)
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger
Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely (beautiful and fitting) (Psalm 147:1)
Praising God, thanking Him, and speaking His word, is edifying, as well as life giving and sustaining. It aligns us with His will and activates the Holy Spirit who is the Facilitator. The Word of God is alive and omnipotent (John 6:63). Therefore whenever we open our mouths to speak or sing the eternal truths of God, transformation begins to occur both within and in the environment.
5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
6 Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us
Part I: New Wine
God’s Word is able to penetrate every part of our being- spirit, soul, and body. Nothing is beyond its reach (Hebrews 4:12-13). It is a faith booster as well (Romans 10:17). It affects us emotionally and psychologically. This is why God lovingly appeals to us to praise Him. He is the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 2:13 , 7:13, Revelation 7:17). Even though our heavenly Father loves the adoration of His children, it is us that cannot afford not to praise Him (Mark 2:27). This is because when we praise the Lord, He in turn pours out His Spirit of life on us.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ ( Ephesians 5:17-20)
1. God recognizes you have a need – a hunger and appetite
(John 7:37-39, 6:35).
We often desire something to give us a lift. Alcohol appears to fill that need but Hallelujah! our God has a far superior wine. The first miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). As we will see, there is more to this dramatic act than the obvious creation of pleasant tasting vintage.
Our actions are usually the result of our longings and appetites (James 4:1-2). People sweat and toil so they can afford to indulge themselves in food and beverage. In a similar manner, they continually search for love (John 4:14-18).
They do this not recognizing that the Lord is the giver of satisfaction.
55 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Wherefore (why) do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
The scriptures clearly confirm that the Lord knows our predicament. He understands people’s constant yearning for alcohol, for example. What most people do not realize is that He has the remedy for our problem – a vintage from the wine press of the Cross. The wine God has for His people operates like the regular wine in some ways but it is very different and has a very different effect. In both instances the mouth is involved. The regular wine makes its way through the mouth and finds its way to the belly. As will be shown, the spirit wine comes from within out into the atmosphere and back into reins – the spirit, soul, and body.
2. Ephesians tells us that getting filled with the Spirit should replace drinking wine, and tells us how to be filled with the Spirit.
This heavenly Wine was announced by the Lord’s prophetic act in Cana of Galilee.
When Jesus was told they had run out of wine in wedding, He asked them to fill some vessels with water, then He asked them to pour out the contents, which had turned into wine. The vessels are a portrait of believers in Jesus Christ. Filling the vessels with water is a foretelling of believers being filled with the Spirit of God, or being baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:14-18, See 2:1-21). The pouring out is the process of stirring up the gift of the Holy Spirit received. We accomplish this through acts of faith (2 Timothy 1:6-7). The effect of arousing God’s Spirit in us through prayer, Bible reading, worship and praise, thanksgiving, and testimony, is called the anointing.
Being filled with the Holy Ghost is essentially drinking the Lord’s wine. Jesus prophesied that rivers of living water would flow in the bellies of those that received the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). . This is the way wine makes it’s way through the stomach. He was speaking of the New Wine. He also stated it would satisfy our longings. Therefore the solution to cravings is praise, thanksgiving, and the God’s word.
Paul told the Ephesians how to be drunk in the Spirit.
a. By speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. i.e. speaking the words in the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, which is the Word of God.
b. Singing and making melody :- this is musical. This is taking our praise and thanksgiving to an even higher level. Music along with dance is the ultimate language of expression. It is a divine gift that enables us more intimately communicate our love and appreciation to the Lord. If we truly understand that God is love, then we should also know why musical worship is close to His heart (1 John 4:8).
c. Giving thanks – this can be musical or non musical.
3. God wants His people to be drunk in the Holy Ghost.
This is a state of overflow of the New Wine. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost came down and the disciples began to speak with other tongues (Acts 2:4). They were first filled – the Holy Spirit filled them within. Then they began to speak into the atmosphere, and the resulting power went back through their mouths to energize their spirits, souls, and bodies (Psalm 81:10).
The people heard them glorifying God in different languages (Acts 1:28-11). Something had happened that enabled them praise the wonderful works of God. They were exalting the awesome Creator who made all things by His infinite power and wisdom, and redeemed all Creation by the sacrifice of His Son. This is the story (summary) of the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs!!
120 people speaking in foreign and strange languages and loudly glorifying God was such a strange occurrence that a throng of people gathered to witness the event. They were perplexed and all they could think of to make sense out of the scene was alcohol. Their conclusion was not unreasonable because of the behavior they were witnessing. What they didn’t realize was that this was an act of God.
The disciples were babbling. Alcohol causes incoherent speech (Proverbs 23:29, 23:30, 23:33)
They seemed carefree. Alcohol makes people forget their problems (Proverbs 31:6-7).
They were happy (Psalm 104:14-15, Proverbs 15:13). It is an elixir that produces joy, and joy is psychological strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
They were bold (Proverbs 20:1)
They were uninhibited. Alcohol alters a a person’s sense of judgment and conformity to social norms (Proverbs 31:4-5, Hosea 4:11)
The New Wine has all these desirable characteristics of wine without the unwanted ones. It doesn’t make people act foolishly or immorally. It promotes health rather than destroy it. It motivates a person to obey rather than disobey the Lord. The joy that it produces is long lasting and doesn’t end with depression. It satisfies a person’s longing in a lasting way. It makes one wiser instead of foolish and foolhardy.
To be continued…