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One of the most influential Pentecostal and Charismatic revivals recorded in America was initiated by a man called Reverend William Joseph Seymour. This revival, known as the Azusa Street Revival, was one of the greatest awakenings recorded followed by the second great awakening spearheaded by Charles Grandison Finney.

These two revivals set the foundation for the Pentecostal movement in America and served as models to other leaders in some parts of the world. Reverend Seymour was a black man in a predominantly white community and at a much more segregational time than today. It is said of him to have been so thirsty and eager to study the Word of God at any cost that when he was refused admission into theological classes as his other white peers due to his skin color, he sat outside the classroom stairs and studied from the window no matter what met him in terms of weather conditions. He did this through the winter, summer, spring or autumn.

Most of the manuscripts and testimonies given and written by those that had a chance to meet Reverend Seymour in persone, commonly testify of one thing – that he was hardly offendable and spoke very few words except when he had to preach the Gospel.

A perfect spirit

Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49 KJV

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised His disciples to send them ‘the promise’ , which our faith generals in Hebrews 11 never inherited. He also asked them to tarry in Jerusalem while they waited to be endued with ‘power from on high’ which presumably was supposed to be given unto them by the reception of this very promise. There are three types of power that you should be exercised into as you grow in the spirit: power over your appetite, power over your possessions and power with men. These being the main, mastery of the three enables you to move freely into the other kinds of liberties that lead to the perfection of one’s spirit until the day of Christ.

Power over your appetite

When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn. Psalm 69:10

Fasting is commonly known as a spiritual discipline but mostly treated as a religious practice. The essence of fasting is that one can learn to tame their appetite, magnifying God above even necessary food. In the book of Job, twenty-third chapter and twelveth verse, the Lord’s servant makes a bold statement that He has esteemed the Words from God’s mouth more than his necessary food. Something necessary is deemed indispensable, required, much needed for survival, and I believe it is so with food to our bodies.

When a man gets to a realization that he can tame his appetite for food which is necessary, it is presumed that they would not hesitate if they had anything else to surrender, which might not be as necessary for survival. It is with this understanding that we fast, taming the necessary things in our lives to give due honor to the primarily indispensable presence of our Maker.

You will notice that believers who fast without understanding, grow to resent this practice because it turns into a performance rather than a heart’s posture to align the Spirit’s priorities. Consequently, taming this appetite over a necessity such as food, trains us to have power to tame even other appetites that may have no consequence to our bodies but might have a bearing on our spirits.

Power over your possessions

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:7-8 NIV

Our material possessions can become idols and huge hindrances to our ability to submit to God’s Spirit at work in and through us. Paul tells his son in the Lord, Timothy, that the necessary thing for a man is already accounted for when they have food at their table and clothes on their back. We live in a world of clutter, where everything surrounding us tells us that we need the newest pair of every shoe, every gadget, every car, and so on – even when some of these tools serve more or less the same purpose.

Nowadays, consumerism has enveloped people so much that they tend to lose the ability to exercise power over their possessions consequently idolizing what they own above the diligent instructions of their Master. In his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul writes the following statement : I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every -where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil 4:12-13).

The Lord’s servant simply means that whether these things are available or not, a child of God should know how to be content and carry no consciousness of lack of it for it has no bearing on their spirit nor eternal life. This wisdom and understanding preserves your most precious possession which is the Holy Spirit, which in His turn, enables you to conquer over all darts the enemy attempts to throw at you.

Power with men

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:41 NIV

There are things that cannot be done by a man except for God being with him. On the day of Pentecost, the apostle, Peter, preached to the people and their hearts were convicted in masses. Our theme scripture tells us that about 3000 counts got baptized, gave their lives to Christ, sold their possessions, shared everything and lived content as they continuously remained in prayer and fellowship with one another.

It takes a different kind of unction from God to be a leader, to speak with authority and to perform certain tasks or miracles whether in the spiritual realm or physical. Every person you see that qualifies to be a leader in any field has this anointing by God even if they may not recognize or acknowledge it for only He appoints rulers (Daniel 2:21).

As believers, it is fundamental that we exercise our faith to become powerful with men so as to leave an obligation in the hearts of all that encounter us to seek, desire and know this faith we hold on to that their souls may be saved. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He commissioned His disciples to bear Him witness in all Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the outermost parts of the world (Acts 1:8).

That commissioning still stands today for you and I, as we bear Him witness empowered by His Spirit at work in us. How we live our lives is a powerful testimony of our faith and it should never be a stagnant or regressing testimony but one that goes from faith to faith and glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:16).

A tamed mouth

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21

You are a spirit, with a soul, living in a body (I Thessalonians 5:23). This phenomenon of being primarily a spirit before we are our souls or the bodies we see, is what grants us above all other creatures, our likeness to God (Genesis 1:26). With this in mind, we are familiar with the account of creation where our God spoke all the earth into existence by His infinite power and wisdom. This same power to create worlds with our speech was also imparted into us and gives us the capacity to create when we speak. Many believers are oblivious to this reality and what they speak with their mouths becomes what causes friction between what they have created and what God’s initial plan was and has always been for them.

We Know that God is gentle and cannot deny Himself by not honoring this aspect of His identity. When you come into agreement with something that opposes His initial plan to prosper you by the words you speak,you leave Him with no other choice than to agree with what you speak. A particular aspect of a perfect man therefore, becomes their ability to control the words that come from their mouths for He knows how powerful they are.

In learning to master this by the help of the Holy Spirit, you gradually grow into a perfect man for you are rarely exposed or provoked to err in speech by agreeing with things that God did not pre-plan for your life.

If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, and you feel that this is the perfect time, pray this prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I thank you because you died for my sins and you were raised for my glory. Today, I receive you as my Lord and Savior. I am born again. Amen.”

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