All posts by SIMPLE TRUTHS DEVOTIONAL

Rev. Dr. Samuel Somuah Asante is an ordained minister of the gospel, who is commissioned to project the Lord Jesus Christ. His ministry emphasis is on th divine elevation of the believer in Christ. He believes strongly that all who are in Christ have the privilege to live above sin and failure, walk in righteousness and the resurrected life of Christ. He encourages Christians, especially pastors, to live a life that manifests the glory of God through them. Rev. Somuah is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Ghana and holds a Masters degree in Theology from International Theological Seminary (Ghana Campus), and a PhD in Biblical Studies from ZOE Theological Seminar (USA). He is the Chief Servant of Jesus Witness Ministry, based in Taifa-Burkina, Accra. He is married to Rev. (Mrs.) Doris Somuah Asante and are blessed with two sons, Samuel and Arnold. They make their home in Accra, Ghana.

DON’T BE DISCOURAGED BECAUSE OF FAILURE

KEY SCRIPTURE: John 5:5 KJV “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years”.

(Read John 5:1-11)

The story of the impotent man who laid at the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years has so much to teach us about not giving up to despair or getting discouraged over failure. The Bible said at this pool an angel came ones in the year to stir the water. Any of the sick folks who first entered the troubled water was made whole. This man laid there all these years without being able to get into the water any time it was troubled. He did not give up for any of these many years and asked some people to send him home.

Let’s consider the following analysis. He said to the Lord when he encountered him, that, I have no man to get me into the water when it was stirred. This meant no body carried him home. If there were some people to carry him home, then those people should easily be available to dip him into the water when the water was troubled. This man had no one to be carrying him about. He laid there for thirty years without going home. What was the hope of him ever getting into the water? This man decided that there was no use in giving up, he would stay there till some good Samaritan would carry him and dip him in the water. It is always better to be optimistic about the turn of events that to be negative and give up. it is the man who has given up, who has truly failed

In all these years of his resilience Jesus had seen it. His resilience attracted the Lord Jesus to him. Dear brother or sister who seem not to make a headway in whatever you may be doing? Do not get discouraged. Your commitment and diligence are a prayer or a memorial before God (Acts 10:4). Do not give up and throw in the towel. When the Lord got to him, He asked, would you be made whole. The impotent man did not call him.  His decision to remain till his helper comes was a prayer, which Jesus came to answer. When you give up then you have withdrawn your request from the Lord. Stay on and keep doing your best and trusting sincerely, knowing that God always rewards diligent seekers. (Heb 11:6)

CONFESSION

I am doggedly hooked up to the Lord Jesus. I am a winner always. Nothing can cause me to turn from Him. My decision to hold on diligently to Him is my prayer that attracts His presence for an answer.

FURTHER STUDIES

Hebrews 11:6 KJV. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

John 5:6 KJV “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?”

DON’T BE DISCOURAGED BECAUSE OF A LOSS

KEY SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 10:35 KJV” Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward”.

 To be discouraged is to yield to the feeling and thoughts to give up doing or holding on to something as a result of a negative condition, perceived failure or a negative response from some individual or a group of people. There are a million and one situations or conditions that can result in one getting discouraged. In our study for today, we would consider responding to discouragement as a result of a loss. To lose something is part of the human experience. Matthew 6:19 KJV “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal”: According to the Lord, on this earth we would have moth and rust corrupting what we have and use. We may also have thieves breaking in and stealing. On this earth there may be losses of basically anything visible that we can see and touch. (this will normally be in relation to how we respond to the Spirit and prayer) There is one person that we must not lose, and that is God.

In the story of Job, he lost his wealth, his family, his prestige and his health. Losing is very painful and can be very disheartening. He virtually lost everything. Discouragement in God should have been his natural response, yet, he did not get discouraged in the Lord God. His wife came to Him and said in Job 2:9 KJV “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die” .Job quickly answered his wife and said, ‘you speak like one of those foolish women…’ Job would not allow the loss, the disgrace and the pain to rob him of one thing he should never lose, that is God.

Dear child of God no matter what happens, never give up on God. Never get discouraged in Him. Your confidence in Him has a great reward here on this earth and the life to come. Job had a very glorious end, because he did not give up on God. God is good and has no hands in the evil that seems to go around. In Job’s case Satan used her wife’s mouth and voice to speak his intentions to Job. Satan may use people to suggest that you get discouraged in God. He may use your thoughts to suggest those things to you. It could even be a man of God. Refuse anything that opposes the scriptures. God is love and would never change. He is perfect in his nature of love.

CONFESSION

Nothing shall separate me from the love of God. No loss of any kind can make me discouraged in my God. He is my Lord and king and nothing would ever dethrone him from that position in my life.

FURTHER STUDIES

Romans 8:38 & 39KJV” For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:28 KJV “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” .

Job 42:12 KJV” So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses”.

THE MAN GOD USES-ALWAYS SEEKS FOR GOD’S WILL

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1Samuel 23:2 KJV “Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah”.

The life of David reveals a man who was powerfully used by the Lord. One of the secretes of his success was that he consistently enquired of the will of God concerning most of the issues he had to deal with.  Throughout the account of the story of David in the Bible, there were a number of different occasions that it was reported that he enquired of the Lord. It is not surprising that he achieved so much victories. David never lost any battle. 1 Samuel 23:4 KJV” Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand”. He enquired of the Lord a second time for a clearer instruction.

The Lord Jesus said to His disciples and the church as a whole that it was expedient that he left for the father. He said when He lives the Holy Spirit, who is of His kind would come and be with them. (John 16:17) He is our comforter or “parakletos” in Greek. This is a Greek word which means, one called alongside to help. The word help or helper is the Greek word ” sunantilambano”. It means ‘ to hold together against’ The Holy Spirit as our helper has come to hold together with us against any condition. We must seek His mind concerning whatever step we wish to take. He would only join together with us against any condition or situation, if we get His positive concern in any situation. When we are together with Him, nothing should be strong enough to overcome us. Unfortunately, many Christians do not involve Him in what they do.

God would use the man who would seek the counsel of the Spirit always. In most Christian services we have come to accept, the following verse as the grace we share before closing the meeting. 2Co 13:14 KJV “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” We are supposed to constantly enquire from the Spirit His leading concerning most issues. Remember, as many that are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God. (Rom 8:14) We must be very conscious of His presence, and subsequently ready to engage His counsel in all, we do. You may just say, dear Holy Spirit what do I do concerning this matter? Who should I marry? Where do I go from here? Can I embark on this journey?  After you’ve asked Him, wait quietly for His answer. It will normally come as a still small voice, or even through a vision, a dream or a word of wisdom from another child of God. You would have great peace in doing what He says.

CONFESSION

The Holy Spirit is my senior partner. He is my guard and guide I trust Him to lead me aright always. I do so by asking for His mind concerning that particular step.

FURTHER STUDIES

John 14:26 KJV “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” .

2 Corinth 13:14 KJV” The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

THE MAN GOD USES-SHOULD NOT BE BLIND TO THE WAYS OF THE SPIRIT.

KEY SCRIPTURE: Luke 6:39 KJV” And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

Everyone God uses by His supernatural abilities becomes a leader of men in some capacity. It could be preaching, singing, ushering or even cleaning the house of God. So long as God’s supernatural hand comes upon that very task, it becomes a special means of serving the people of God. You become a leader of some kind to those people. God’s kind of leadership is serving those divine abilities to His people.

1 Corinth 4:1 KJV” Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers(servants) of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

Our key scripture says that, in whatever role we play as dispensers of the mysteries of God we should not be blind. Blindness in this context, is simply being ignorant about the dealings of the Spirit. The Lord speaks of the true kind of knowledge that He expects His people to have. 1Corinth 8:2 & 3 KJV. And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him”. A man without love for God is blind no matter what he claims to know. The scripture says it is love for God that gives you access into God, and His ways. Love for God is the healing to spiritual blindness.

The Lord explained how love for Him gives one access to knowing Him, and His ways in John 14:21 KJV” He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him”. When the Lord manifests Himself to you then would you have that experiential knowledge of Him. Many have theoretical knowledge of God, without any experiential knowledge. It is the experiential knowledge about God, that makes you communicate the supernatural abilities of God to His people. God cannot use you if you are blind to His ways. Commit yourself to loving and obeying Him in all you do.

CONFESSION

My heart is filled with love for God and His people. I always do that which pleases Him. He likewise manifests His presence in my life. I also communicate His spiritual verities (truths) to men.

FURTHER STUDIES

John 8:29 KJV” And he that sent me is with me: The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”.

Matthew 17:5 KJV “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him”.

THE MAN GOD USES-MUST BE PREPARED TO GO THE SECOND MILE

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:41 KJV “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain”.

When the Lord delivered his sermon on the mount, He introduced a higher kind of living than the normal Jewish life. He talked about the life of the sons of God. These are the type of people that God would use to reveal his works and glory. Among the many things He taught, He said such people would always have to go the second mile. They would do more than the ordinary man. Throughout the scriptures everyone who has been an instrument in the hands of God has done things that the ordinary man would not dream of doing. This act of doing more or going the second mile must always be a willing action. Mat 5:41 KJV “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

We read about people like Moses who fasted for forty days on two different occasions. The man Enoch walked with God so devotionally to the point that God did not allow him to die like any other man, but took him out of this life. (Gen 5:4, Hebrews 11:5). He literally went the second mile. The life of Elijah reveals one who did more than the ordinary man. He stood for God at a time Jezebel and Ahab prostituted the whole land with idolatry. He was so jealous for the glory of God to the point that He prayed that it would not rain on the Land, so men’s attention would come back to God. God found in him a man to send, to turn the hearts of the land back to Him. After purging the land of the prophets of Baal, he prayed through till the rains came back again (1st Kings 17 & 18). He went the second mile to release God’s glory over the land.

 Someone said extraordinary people are ordinary people who do extra things. 1Corinth 15:10 KJV ” But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” .Apostle Paul said he is the least of the apostles because he persecuted the church, and was not with the twelve when the Lord was on earth. He says, in spite of this he worked harder than all of them, well, all this was by the grace of God. There is grace to make you go the extra mile. Don’t be settled with the ordinary life. Pray more, study more, fast more, sacrifice more, for there is grace for more strides in the Spirit, to bring more glory to God.

CONFESSION

AS a son of God, I do all things to bring glory to my father. I do more than the ordinary man, because I have the ability of the Spirit at work in me.

FURTHER STUDIES

Philippians 2:13 KJV “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”.

John 1:12 KJV. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

THE MAN GOD USES – HE IS NOT ENVIOUS OF ANOTHER’S BLESSING.

KEY SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 27:4 KJV” Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy”

Envy is a longing or passion to have what another person has or to be what the other person is. Envy does not only long for what the other party has, it also desires the failure or destruction of that person. It is very absurd to be envious of anything of any kind. Envy isolates one from his source, that is God. Envy is an evidence of lack of trust in God. The message of envy is that God is not fair to you, to give good things to the other party: and so you must be the one who should have it. Proverbs 14:30 KJV “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones”. Envy poisons the bones, and makes the culprit physically sick. God would not function with an envious person. I said God would not work with such a person because, envy in action disowns God.

King Saul the anointed King became so envious of David such that he left his roles as a king and went searching caves and various lands to find David and kill him. Envy drove King Saul into his death. Job 5:2 KJV” For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one. “He should have just asked David to go fight the Philistines for Israel. This would have preserved his soul from death. Envy is a big sign that one is deceived and always makes Satan use an individual to fulfill God’s plans for the second party

IF you wish to be used graciously by the Lord, then refuse to envy another person. Envy is also a sign that one’s love and relationship with the Lord is dwindling. To keep yourself free of it please maintain a strong fellowship with the Holy Ghost. Spend quality time adoring and loving the Lord. Recognize that He is more than enough for you. Colossians 2:10 KJV” And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” To be complete in this context means, you are filled with everything about God. In actual fact you lack nothing. David said, the Lord is my shepherd and so I have everything I need. If Jesus is your sufficiency, you would continually trust him and not care about what another man has

CONFESSION

The Lord is my sufficiency. In Him all things are mine. Through faith in Him I obtain whatever I require. I cannot envy whatever any man has. I praise God for whatever blessing He’s made available to others. I am very content in the Lord.

FURTHER STUDIES

2 Corinth 3:5 KJV “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”;

1 Corinth 3:21 KJV” Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;”

THE MAN GOD USES – LIVES DIFFERENTLY FROM OTHERS

KEY SCRIPTURE:2Timothy 2:4 KJV” No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier”.

‘ ALL those the Lord uses, don’t lead normal or ordinary lives. Living for God is warring and no warrior lives like a civilian. The people of this world are all under the power and influence of the prince of the power of the air, that is Satan (Eph 2:2 & 3). To live like them is to come under Satan’s dominion. The Lord said, we are in this world, but we are not of this world. (John 15:19) The forces of this world seek to model us after their nature and ways. The servant of God must aggressively resist this. The Bible says as we renew our minds with the word of God, which is the wisdom of God, we would prove that which is good, acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:2). It is living the life of a renewed mind that makes us beneficial to the Lord

The man God uses resonates with God in the way he does his things. All things are possible with him. He talks in line with the word. His words are filled with love, grace and peace. There is no guile in his mouth. He is confident of a certain future, because his life is a seed planted in God. He knows He cannot fail. 2Timothy 1:12 KJV”……: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”. He is filled with peace and relates peaceably towards all men.

Joseph, the Son of Israel decided to be different because he knew God would use him one day. He always told the truth, would not accept an immoral request to defile himself, and was never bitter about the mistreatment of his brothers. He always acted as God would want him to. The result was that God was always with him.  Gen 39:2 KJV” And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian”. Focus on pleasing the Lord and God would focus on promoting you (Matt 6:33).

CONFESSION

I am sold out to the Lord. I live according to His word. The Spirit of the Lord working through me achieves so much for Himself. My life is a great blessing to many and myself as a well. Thank you, Lord.

FURTHER STUDIES

2Corinth 6:16 KJV” And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”.

2 Corinth 6:17 KJV” Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”

THE MAN GOD USES-HE IS GOD’S MAN, NOT MEN’S MAN -2

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 16:23 KJV” But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men”.

In our key scripture, Apostle Peter took the Lord aside and started rebuking Him that He should never to talk about dying on the cross. The Lord saw it was not just Peter speaking but Satan speaking through him. The Lord rebuked satan to get behind him. He added you do not promote the things of God but the things of men. Any man of God who just follow what men may like to promote may be honoring Satan unknowingly. Men love their flesh and would do everything to secure it. Job 2:4 KJV “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life”.

What are some of the things, that, men like which the servant of God, must be very careful, not to allow to control him or her

1. Men shy away from suffering and therefore would not sacrifice even towards the advancement for God’s glory. The following are some of the sacrifice men may shy away from. You, the man of God must insist on practicing and the members also doing same;

a. Praying for hours

b. Evangelizing remote areas

c. Fasting

d. Giving money for the work of God

e. Going on missions

f. Suffering persecutions

g. Forsaking worldly pleasures for the course of Christ

h. Loving those who despitefully treat you.

2. Men would not easily believe in the supernatural dealings of God. 1Co 1:23 KJV ” But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;” The man of God must be careful not to think like an ordinary man in matters relating to the supernatural power of God.

3. Men may provoke you to anger and make you act accordingly, but be careful you do not allow yourself to go that way. Moses was provoked by the actions of the Jews to anger, so he acted against the instruction of God. He hit the rock twice, instead of speaking to the rock to give out water. Numbers 20:10–12

God would use the man who would carefully consider God’s way and follow it.

CONFESSION

I am God’s man and live to please Him alone. I do not follow the ways of men that appeals to the flesh and its comfort that oppose the ways of God.

FURTHER STUDIES

Number 20:10 KJV” And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?  And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them”.

1 Corinth 1:21 KJV” For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”.

THE MAN GOD USES-HE IS GOD’S MAN AND NOT MEN’S MAN

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 27:42 KJV” He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him”.

When the Lord Jesus hanged on the cross, the people mocked Him to prove that He is the king of the Jews. They also said, He claimed to save others, so he must come down, so that they would believe Him. Dear child of God, or servant of God, we don’t need any proving to any man that we are called of God. We are only to do what the Lord instructs us to do. A man’s ego could easily have been prompted to prove to the people that He is someone special. God had called on Jesus to die for humanity. Satisfying the demand or request of the people would have meant God’s agenda for Him and men had

 been jeopardized.

IT is sad to find certain ministers who always want to say what the people love to hear. 2Timothy 4:3 KJV” For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”. Some preachers don’t want to hurt some rich and influential people in their midst.

There are two main motivations why people pray for the sick. They do so either to bring glory to God, or to prove a point to the people. Unfortunately, many falls into the later one. This is a way to prove how anointed they are, and so they miss the real influence of the Holy Spirit in such a time. Miracles are the works of the Spirit and must only be done with the Spirit’s instructions and to the honour of the Spirit and not anyone’s expectation. You are God’s man, so act for Him and not any person

Some Pastors have fallen from favor with God because, they followed the pressure of the people. King Saul is one such an example. The Lord asked him to go kill the king of Amalek as well as every other person. 1 Samuel 15:3. He conquered them all right, but failed to kill everyone and everything. When the prophet Samuel asked why he disobeyed the voice of God, he said the people made him do so. 1 Samuel 15:7–23

God rejected him because he failed to obey Him and rather obeyed the people. One’s ego always come to play when the people want things to be done in a way which does not necessarily come from the Lord. You must always hear from God and do just what He says, period!

CONFESSION

I am called by God and sent to serve His people, so I take His instructions for the children of God. I always please God by doing what He says, irrespective of whether the people are pleased with it or not.

FURTHER STUDIES

Matthew 16:22 & 23 ” Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men”.

Galatians 1:10 KJV” For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ”.

THE MAN GOD USES–HE IS NEVER CASUAL WITH GOD

Matthew 7:6 KJV” Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you”.

Many wonders why God seem to have forgotten about them. Certain divine abilities do not manifest at all in their lives. I think besides the fact that God may be having His special timing to relate with some of His children, some simply don’t match up. He said clearly in our open scripture that don’t give holy things to the dog or the swine. The anointing and all divine abilities are holy pearls of great price that cannot be wasted on people who are not serious with the things of God. There are a number of people supposed to be men of God, yet spend not up to two hours in the whole day to pray. They have no time to study the word. These people have all the time to follow CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. They know all the names of the players of Chelsea FC. Their time is always on their mobile phones, watching videos and forwarding them. Dogs go back for their own vomit and pigs feed on filth. What is the spiritual value of most of these social media videos?

The apostles said in Acts 6 :4, that, they will give themselves continually to the ministry of the word and prayer.  The man who is committed to holy things would attract holy things. The Lord Jesus never revealed himself to the Pharisees when he resurrected from the dead, because they had no value for holy things. God rewards diligent seekers (Heb 11:6). Time is destiny, yet people waste it with ease

God is ready to work through men, but would only work with those who have decided to treat serving Him with all the seriousness it takes. The Christian is faced with an unseen enemy who would steal every word of God that is not diligently kept (Mark 4:15). Being casual means, you would constantly lose every word that you receive. The casual man would also lose the impact and blessing of the word, because of the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches ,and lust for other things would choke the word making it ineffective.(Mark 4:18&19) God wants to use you, so be very diligent with your time in the word, prayer and His work as a whole.

CONFESSION

I am about my father’s business, and as long as it is day, I will work the works of Him who sent me whiles it is day, night comes when no man can work. God always honors those who honor Him.

FURTHER STUDIES

Hebrews 11:6 KJV “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Romans 12:11 KJV” Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord”;