Day 19
THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES DREAMS AND VISIONS
ON OCTOBER 31, 1955, while driving from Palmer to Nashville, the glory of the Lord suddenly
filled the car. There was, as if literally before my eyes, Jesus at my right as I kept on driving. He was
interceding to the Father for me. I never felt so loved. It was as real as the beautiful Lake Hickory I
can now see as I write this book. I cannot say what was going on in the heavenlies for the next sixty
miles. When I get to Heaven, I will ask for a DVD to find out. An hour later I heard Jesus say to the
Father, “He wants it.” The Father replied, “He can have it.” The Spirit of God flooded my heart with
warmth and a peace I did not know was possible for anyone to have. For some thirty seconds or so
there was the face of Jesus looking at me. My theology changed before that day was over. It was the
first time I had a vision.
The following month I had another vision as I was praying at my bedside in my dormitory room. It
was a vision of myself preaching in a famous auditorium. I was wearing a dark blue suit. There was a
choir behind me on the platform. Each member of the choir was wearing a light gray robe. I heard no
voice. There was only the vision, nothing more. But I was in awe. I got up hurriedly and went into the
next room to tell this to my friend Bill. I said, “Bill, God is going to use me.” He said, “I know that.”
But I said, “But I mean really use me.” I was a Nazarene then. The thought of a worldwide ministry
was not remotely on my radar screen. But I knew from that day that God was going to give me an
international ministry one day. Over the next six to eight months I had about a dozen more visions.
Some have been fulfilled, some not.
The Book of Ezekiel is full of visions. All were said to come by the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit lifted
me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem” (Ezek. 8:3). Daniel
also had visions; many of these were visions in the night, which I take to mean dreams. Joel gave a
prophecy: “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old
men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28). This passage was quoted by
Peter on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17).
When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John on a high mountain, He called the
occurrence a vision. “Tell no one the vision,” He said to them (Matt. 17:9, ESV). God spoke to
Ananias in a vision about the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:10–16). Cornelius was given a
vision even before he was saved in which “he distinctly saw an angel of God” (Acts 10:3). At almost
the same time Peter went into a trance, and this resulted in a vision (vv. 9–20). Paul had a vision in
the night (possibly a dream) that indicated he was to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:9–10). Paul had a
similar night vision that led him to stay in Corinth another year and a half (Acts 18:9–11). Paul even
refers to his own dramatic conversion as a “vision from heaven” (Acts 26:19). The Book of
Revelation is the greatest vision ever.
The purpose of a vision is to show us what we need to know—often with reference to the future.
Sometimes it could refer to the immediate future (Acts 10) or sometimes an event in the distant future.
It may be God desiring to communicate with us intimately. Isaiah’s vision showed him the glory of the
Lord, his own sin, and his calling. The vision on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured
demonstrated the glory of Christ and His superiority to Elijah and Moses. Peter’s vision enabled him
to accept Gentiles. It took something extraordinary to convince the early church that they had to
overcome an extraordinary prejudice.
Paul had extraordinary “visions and revelations from the Lord” (2 Cor. 12:1). Such could breed
conceit, he said, so God sent him a “thorn” in his flesh to humble him. Indeed, it was necessary
because he had “surpassingly great revelations” (v. 7). These may well have included the way he
learned the gospel—directly from Jesus. He wrote: “I did not receive it from any man, nor was I
taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12).
One huge caution: any vision given to you or me will not be new teaching. There will be no “new
revelation.” The canon of Scripture is complete; nothing will ever—ever—be added to it. Should
God give a vision, it will be subsidiary to Scripture and only because you need it. By the way, I don’t
get visions these days. Only dreams. It must because I am old!
For further study: Daniel 10:1–9; Joel 2:28–32; Matthew 2:7–12; 2 Corinthians 12:1–10
Sovereign Holy Spirit, I ask for what I need for my own guidance. I thank You that I have
the Bible and the Holy Spirit. I thank You for showing me all I need to know. In Jesus’s
name, amen. Day 19Day 19
THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES DREAMS AND VISIONS
ON OCTOBER 31, 1955, while driving from Palmer to Nashville, the glory of the Lord suddenly
filled the car. There was, as if literally before my eyes, Jesus at my right as I kept on driving. He was
interceding to the Father for me. I never felt so loved. It was as real as the beautiful Lake Hickory I
can now see as I write this book. I cannot say what was going on in the heavenlies for the next sixty
miles. When I get to Heaven, I will ask for a DVD to find out. An hour later I heard Jesus say to the
Father, “He wants it.” The Father replied, “He can have it.” The Spirit of God flooded my heart with
warmth and a peace I did not know was possible for anyone to have. For some thirty seconds or so
there was the face of Jesus looking at me. My theology changed before that day was over. It was the
first time I had a vision.
The following month I had another vision as I was praying at my bedside in my dormitory room. It
was a vision of myself preaching in a famous auditorium. I was wearing a dark blue suit. There was a
choir behind me on the platform. Each member of the choir was wearing a light gray robe. I heard no
voice. There was only the vision, nothing more. But I was in awe. I got up hurriedly and went into the
next room to tell this to my friend Bill. I said, “Bill, God is going to use me.” He said, “I know that.”
But I said, “But I mean really use me.” I was a Nazarene then. The thought of a worldwide ministry
was not remotely on my radar screen. But I knew from that day that God was going to give me an
international ministry one day. Over the next six to eight months I had about a dozen more visions.
Some have been fulfilled, some not.
The Book of Ezekiel is full of visions. All were said to come by the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit lifted
me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem” (Ezek. 8:3). Daniel
also had visions; many of these were visions in the night, which I take to mean dreams. Joel gave a
prophecy: “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old
men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28). This passage was quoted by
Peter on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17).
When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John on a high mountain, He called the
occurrence a vision. “Tell no one the vision,” He said to them (Matt. 17:9, ESV). God spoke to
Ananias in a vision about the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:10–16). Cornelius was given a
vision even before he was saved in which “he distinctly saw an angel of God” (Acts 10:3). At almost
the same time Peter went into a trance, and this resulted in a vision (vv. 9–20). Paul had a vision in
the night (possibly a dream) that indicated he was to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:9–10). Paul had a
similar night vision that led him to stay in Corinth another year and a half (Acts 18:9–11). Paul even
refers to his own dramatic conversion as a “vision from heaven” (Acts 26:19). The Book of
Revelation is the greatest vision ever.
The purpose of a vision is to show us what we need to know—often with reference to the future.
Sometimes it could refer to the immediate future (Acts 10) or sometimes an event in the distant future.
It may be God desiring to communicate with us intimately. Isaiah’s vision showed him the glory of the
Lord, his own sin, and his calling. The vision on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured
demonstrated the glory of Christ and His superiority to Elijah and Moses. Peter’s vision enabled him
to accept Gentiles. It took something extraordinary to convince the early church that they had to
overcome an extraordinary prejudice.
Paul had extraordinary “visions and revelations from the Lord” (2 Cor. 12:1). Such could breed
conceit, he said, so God sent him a “thorn” in his flesh to humble him. Indeed, it was necessary
because he had “surpassingly great revelations” (v. 7). These may well have included the way he
learned the gospel—directly from Jesus. He wrote: “I did not receive it from any man, nor was I
taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12).
One huge caution: any vision given to you or me will not be new teaching. There will be no “new
revelation.” The canon of Scripture is complete; nothing will ever—ever—be added to it. Should
God give a vision, it will be subsidiary to Scripture and only because you need it. By the way, I don’t
get visions these days. Only dreams. It must because I am old!
For further study: Daniel 10:1–9; Joel 2:28–32; Matthew 2:7–12; 2 Corinthians 12:1–10
Sovereign Holy Spirit, I ask for what I need for my own guidance. I thank You that I have
the Bible and the Holy Spirit. I thank You for showing me all I need to know. In Jesus’s
name, amen.


Day 20
THE HOLY SPIRIT MAY DO UNUSUAL THINGS
THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE are stories of the Holy Spirit doing things out of the ordinary. And He still
does unusual things today.
Pastor Jack Hayford tells of flying on a plane with an Indian whom he had never met. Jack felt a
sudden impulse to speak to this man in a language not his own. He felt awkward but finally obeyed
the Holy Spirit. When he spoke, the Indian was astonished. Jack had spoken a word of the Lord to him
in the Indian’s own dialect!
I met Terry Akrill in Scotland in the summer of 2003. I had never heard of or met a man like this.
He emitted an aroma of roses that came on him suddenly some five years before and never left. I
could literally smell him ten feet away. Sometimes oil would flow in his hands, which augmented the
aroma. He was able to convey unusual things to me by whether or not the oil came on his hands. He
told me something I needed to know about Yasser Arafat in the days I was seeing the late Palestinian
leader. One day he phoned with a prophetic word for our daughter, Melissa; the oil had just come on
him. His prophecy was fulfilled perfectly eight years later. He is now in heaven.
I know of three cases of people rising from the dead. The people involved told me personally of
these happenings. They are good, credible, and honorable men. I too know of creative miracles that
took place, of very stunning prophecies that were amazingly fulfilled, and of startling exorcisms. The
Holy Spirit does these things.
When Obadiah ran into Elijah unexpectedly, Obadiah was almost scared to death. This was
because King Ahab had been looking high and low for Elijah for three years. Obadiah needed
assurance from Elijah that he would turn himself in to Ahab, or Obadiah would be in great trouble
with the king. So he asked Elijah to swear an oath that he would go to King Ahab because, said
Obadiah, “I don’t know where the Spirit of the LORD may carry you when I leave you” (1 Kings
18:12). Carry him? Would the Spirit of the Lord literally “carry” Elijah? Did that sort of thing
happen in those days that Obadiah could reason like that? After Elijah was transported to heaven,
some thought he might still be around. “Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him
down on some mountain or in some valley” (2 Kings 2:16). Could this happen today?
When Arthur Blessitt preached for me at Westminster Chapel, I became enthralled with the most
unusual stories he shared with me—all of them now in books he has written. Perhaps the most
extraordinary was this. Arthur was on Sybuyan Island, Philippines. One day in a town called San
Fernando he suddenly became extremely tired and fell into a deep sleep. While he was asleep, he
was—apparently—in a town on the other side of the island called Cajidiocan, fifty miles away,
giving out Jesus stickers (that said “Smile God Loves You”). Arthur had not been in Cajidiocan at all.
But he did go there the next day as people begged him to return in order to pray for a dying man. He
went there on a three-wheel motorcycle. When he arrived there, he was obviously recognized by the
crowds. As far as the people were concerned, Arthur had been there. The chief of police even
reported that a man with “long hair and a beard carrying a cross” was in Cajidiocan, when in fact
Arthur was asleep in San Fernando fifty miles away. Arthur knew he had not been in Cajidiocan at
all. He couldn’t have been there. First, he was asleep in San Fernando fifty miles away from there.
Second, it was a three-day walk carrying the cross to get there. But when he arrived in Cajidiocan the
next day on the three-wheel motorcycle, the streets were lined with people waiting to see him.
Children wearing Jesus stickers came up to him, which “shows” Arthur had been in Cajidiocan the
day before! Arthur now knew these reports must be true and that it wasn’t a dream or vision. The day
before he had been somehow . . . there. “I don’t know how to explain how or why this happened,” he
said to me on the phone as I was writing this chapter. In all of his experiences of carrying the cross
all over the world, this account was unique. “It only happened once”—on a remote island where
people on the whole did not read or write. He has walked the equivalent of one and a half times
around the world (he holds the Guinness Book of Records for the longest walk).
But there is more. You will recall that Arthur was being taken on a three-wheel motorcycle from
San Fernando to Cajidiocan to pray for a dying man. The man had been given the last rites by the
local priest. When Arthur arrived, he saw a man in an upstairs window looking down at him. The man
ran down the stairs to see who he thought was Jesus! The man thought he had died and was in heaven
seeing Jesus. It was the dying man Arthur came to pray for, healed before Arthur got to him. The man
spoke English. He even translated for Arthur as he preached the gospel to these people. Arthur told
me, “Everyone I prayed for was healed”—on a remote island in the Philippines. Why doesn’t God do
that in America or Britain? You can read more details on Arthur’s website.
I have more stories—not about Arthur but equally unusual—I could relate. But I fear you wouldn’t
believe them! Nor do I have permission to tell them.
For further study: 1 Kings 17:7–24; 2 Kings 7:1–20; Acts 9:32–43; 1 Corinthians 2:8–9
Omnipotent Holy Spirit, how I thank You that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today,
and forever. I am so glad You can do extraordinary things today just as You did in the
past. Please come down again in our day that the world may see how real You are. In
Jesus’s name, amen.Day 20
THE HOLY SPIRIT MAY DO UNUSUAL THINGS
THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE are stories of the Holy Spirit doing things out of the ordinary. And He still
does unusual things today.
Pastor Jack Hayford tells of flying on a plane with an Indian whom he had never met. Jack felt a
sudden impulse to speak to this man in a language not his own. He felt awkward but finally obeyed
the Holy Spirit. When he spoke, the Indian was astonished. Jack had spoken a word of the Lord to him
in the Indian’s own dialect!
I met Terry Akrill in Scotland in the summer of 2003. I had never heard of or met a man like this.
He emitted an aroma of roses that came on him suddenly some five years before and never left. I
could literally smell him ten feet away. Sometimes oil would flow in his hands, which augmented the
aroma. He was able to convey unusual things to me by whether or not the oil came on his hands. He
told me something I needed to know about Yasser Arafat in the days I was seeing the late Palestinian
leader. One day he phoned with a prophetic word for our daughter, Melissa; the oil had just come on
him. His prophecy was fulfilled perfectly eight years later. He is now in heaven.
I know of three cases of people rising from the dead. The people involved told me personally of
these happenings. They are good, credible, and honorable men. I too know of creative miracles that
took place, of very stunning prophecies that were amazingly fulfilled, and of startling exorcisms. The
Holy Spirit does these things.
When Obadiah ran into Elijah unexpectedly, Obadiah was almost scared to death. This was
because King Ahab had been looking high and low for Elijah for three years. Obadiah needed
assurance from Elijah that he would turn himself in to Ahab, or Obadiah would be in great trouble
with the king. So he asked Elijah to swear an oath that he would go to King Ahab because, said
Obadiah, “I don’t know where the Spirit of the LORD may carry you when I leave you” (1 Kings
18:12). Carry him? Would the Spirit of the Lord literally “carry” Elijah? Did that sort of thing
happen in those days that Obadiah could reason like that? After Elijah was transported to heaven,
some thought he might still be around. “Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him
down on some mountain or in some valley” (2 Kings 2:16). Could this happen today?
When Arthur Blessitt preached for me at Westminster Chapel, I became enthralled with the most
unusual stories he shared with me—all of them now in books he has written. Perhaps the most
extraordinary was this. Arthur was on Sybuyan Island, Philippines. One day in a town called San
Fernando he suddenly became extremely tired and fell into a deep sleep. While he was asleep, he
was—apparently—in a town on the other side of the island called Cajidiocan, fifty miles away,
giving out Jesus stickers (that said “Smile God Loves You”). Arthur had not been in Cajidiocan at all.
But he did go there the next day as people begged him to return in order to pray for a dying man. He
went there on a three-wheel motorcycle. When he arrived there, he was obviously recognized by the
crowds. As far as the people were concerned, Arthur had been there. The chief of police even
reported that a man with “long hair and a beard carrying a cross” was in Cajidiocan, when in fact
Arthur was asleep in San Fernando fifty miles away. Arthur knew he had not been in Cajidiocan at
all. He couldn’t have been there. First, he was asleep in San Fernando fifty miles away from there.
Second, it was a three-day walk carrying the cross to get there. But when he arrived in Cajidiocan the
next day on the three-wheel motorcycle, the streets were lined with people waiting to see him.
Children wearing Jesus stickers came up to him, which “shows” Arthur had been in Cajidiocan the
day before! Arthur now knew these reports must be true and that it wasn’t a dream or vision. The day
before he had been somehow . . . there. “I don’t know how to explain how or why this happened,” he
said to me on the phone as I was writing this chapter. In all of his experiences of carrying the cross
all over the world, this account was unique. “It only happened once”—on a remote island where
people on the whole did not read or write. He has walked the equivalent of one and a half times
around the world (he holds the Guinness Book of Records for the longest walk).
But there is more. You will recall that Arthur was being taken on a three-wheel motorcycle from
San Fernando to Cajidiocan to pray for a dying man. The man had been given the last rites by the
local priest. When Arthur arrived, he saw a man in an upstairs window looking down at him. The man
ran down the stairs to see who he thought was Jesus! The man thought he had died and was in heaven
seeing Jesus. It was the dying man Arthur came to pray for, healed before Arthur got to him. The man
spoke English. He even translated for Arthur as he preached the gospel to these people. Arthur told
me, “Everyone I prayed for was healed”—on a remote island in the Philippines. Why doesn’t God do
that in America or Britain? You can read more details on Arthur’s website.
I have more stories—not about Arthur but equally unusual—I could relate. But I fear you wouldn’t
believe them! Nor do I have permission to tell them.
For further study: 1 Kings 17:7–24; 2 Kings 7:1–20; Acts 9:32–43; 1 Corinthians 2:8–9
Omnipotent Holy Spirit, how I thank You that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today,
and forever. I am so glad You can do extraordinary things today just as You did in the
past. Please come down again in our day that the world may see how real You are. In
Jesus’s name, amen.


Day 21
THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS SUPERNATURALLY
ONE OF THE best descriptions of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is found in these words: “‘Not
by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zech. 4:6). These words were
addressed to Zerubbabel the governor of Judah. He was told how the rebuilding of the temple would
be accomplished. “Might” probably refers to collective strength; “power” means an individual’s
strength. In other words, the rebuilding of the temple would be carried out supernaturally—not
something that can be explained at the natural level. The rebuilding of the temple would be a
supernatural enterprise. For once the Holy Spirit is brought in, it means that one has crossed over
from the natural to the supernatural.
This does not mean that we do not get involved. We do. But all we have to do is to obey the Lord.
Then the Holy Spirit moves in and does the rest. For example, God waited for Moses to lift up his
staff when the children of Israel came upon the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army chasing them. That’s all
he had to do. God promised him: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still . . . Raise
your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go
through the sea on dry ground” (Exod. 14:14–16). Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The
Israelites went through the sea on dry land, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. All
Moses did was to raise his staff and hand. That was the natural side. The Holy Spirit did the
supernatural part.
In a battle between Israel and the Amalekites, strange as this may seem, “as long as Moses held up
his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were
winning.” When Moses grew tired, Aaron and Hur held his hands up, “one on one side, one on the
other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset,” and the Amalekites were defeated (Exod.
17:11–13). God intervened supernaturally. But it was connected to Moses’s hands being lifted.
This pattern continued after Israel entered the land of Canaan. Sometimes God asks us to do strange
things that make no sense to us. God told Joshua to have the children of Israel march around the city of
Jericho every day for six days. Then on the seventh day they were to march around the city seven
times, with the priests blowing trumpets. Then the people were to give a loud shout, which resulted in
the walls of Jericho collapsing. They did this as they were commanded. They may have felt stupid.
Walking around the city. Quietly. With no weapons. But on the seventh day after circling the city
seven times, the people gave a loud shout, and the walls collapsed (Josh. 6:1–20). They did the easy
part; God did the rest.
God later told Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I
will deliver the city” (Josh. 8:18). The result was a total victory for Israel. The Holy Spirit did it. But
Joshua had to hold the javelin and point it toward the place of battle. Centuries later King
Jehoshaphat was challenged by the Ammonites. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, who said,
“The battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). The Israelites did nothing but sing to the Lord.
“As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and
Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (v. 22). The victory was wholly
supernatural but was nonetheless inseparably connected to their singing to the Lord.
This is exactly what was meant by the prophet’s word to Zerubbabel. The people still had to get
the materials for the temple. They had to rebuild the foundation. They had to lay the stones. But it all
happened with ease. This is the essence of the anointing of the Holy Spirit; it enables one’s gift to
function with ease.
John Wesley said that God does nothing but in answer to prayer. I’m not sure I believe this entirely,
but the Lord did say, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”
(Prov. 3:6). This verse is preceded by a crucial truth that we should remember every single day of
our lives: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (v. 5). Our
understanding may suggest that God’s ways don’t make sense. He replies, “My thoughts are not your
thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways
higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8–9).
We do our part—might and power, operating at the natural level. God does His part—by the Holy
Spirit, doing the supernatural. How foolish we are to argue with His ways.
For further study: Exodus 14:13–31; 2 Chronicles 20:5–23; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 9:6–11
Gracious Holy Spirit, thank You for being just as You are. Please forgive me for
doubting Your Holy Word and Your infinite power. In Your mercy grant me grace to help
by not leaning on my own understanding but to trust You entirely. In Jesus’s name,
amen.Day 21
THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS SUPERNATURALLY
ONE OF THE best descriptions of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is found in these words: “‘Not
by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zech. 4:6). These words were
addressed to Zerubbabel the governor of Judah. He was told how the rebuilding of the temple would
be accomplished. “Might” probably refers to collective strength; “power” means an individual’s
strength. In other words, the rebuilding of the temple would be carried out supernaturally—not
something that can be explained at the natural level. The rebuilding of the temple would be a
supernatural enterprise. For once the Holy Spirit is brought in, it means that one has crossed over
from the natural to the supernatural.
This does not mean that we do not get involved. We do. But all we have to do is to obey the Lord.
Then the Holy Spirit moves in and does the rest. For example, God waited for Moses to lift up his
staff when the children of Israel came upon the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army chasing them. That’s all
he had to do. God promised him: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still . . . Raise
your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go
through the sea on dry ground” (Exod. 14:14–16). Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The
Israelites went through the sea on dry land, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. All
Moses did was to raise his staff and hand. That was the natural side. The Holy Spirit did the
supernatural part.
In a battle between Israel and the Amalekites, strange as this may seem, “as long as Moses held up
his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were
winning.” When Moses grew tired, Aaron and Hur held his hands up, “one on one side, one on the
other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset,” and the Amalekites were defeated (Exod.
17:11–13). God intervened supernaturally. But it was connected to Moses’s hands being lifted.
This pattern continued after Israel entered the land of Canaan. Sometimes God asks us to do strange
things that make no sense to us. God told Joshua to have the children of Israel march around the city of
Jericho every day for six days. Then on the seventh day they were to march around the city seven
times, with the priests blowing trumpets. Then the people were to give a loud shout, which resulted in
the walls of Jericho collapsing. They did this as they were commanded. They may have felt stupid.
Walking around the city. Quietly. With no weapons. But on the seventh day after circling the city
seven times, the people gave a loud shout, and the walls collapsed (Josh. 6:1–20). They did the easy
part; God did the rest.
God later told Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I
will deliver the city” (Josh. 8:18). The result was a total victory for Israel. The Holy Spirit did it. But
Joshua had to hold the javelin and point it toward the place of battle. Centuries later King
Jehoshaphat was challenged by the Ammonites. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, who said,
“The battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). The Israelites did nothing but sing to the Lord.
“As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and
Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (v. 22). The victory was wholly
supernatural but was nonetheless inseparably connected to their singing to the Lord.
This is exactly what was meant by the prophet’s word to Zerubbabel. The people still had to get
the materials for the temple. They had to rebuild the foundation. They had to lay the stones. But it all
happened with ease. This is the essence of the anointing of the Holy Spirit; it enables one’s gift to
function with ease.
John Wesley said that God does nothing but in answer to prayer. I’m not sure I believe this entirely,
but the Lord did say, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”
(Prov. 3:6). This verse is preceded by a crucial truth that we should remember every single day of
our lives: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (v. 5). Our
understanding may suggest that God’s ways don’t make sense. He replies, “My thoughts are not your
thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways
higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8–9).
We do our part—might and power, operating at the natural level. God does His part—by the Holy
Spirit, doing the supernatural. How foolish we are to argue with His ways.
For further study: Exodus 14:13–31; 2 Chronicles 20:5–23; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 9:6–11
Gracious Holy Spirit, thank You for being just as You are. Please forgive me for
doubting Your Holy Word and Your infinite power. In Your mercy grant me grace to help
by not leaning on my own understanding but to trust You entirely. In Jesus’s name,
amen.