Saturday, March 10, 2012

How Are You Doing With Your Plastic Jesus?

Why do so many Christians want to worship a plastic Jesus? They limit God to what they consider to be acceptable and, in turn, they limit their relationship with him. They have created this mold and then pour in what they think God to be, with defined limits and they come up with this plastic version of Jesus they can carry around in their back pocket to bring out at their convenience. A god that fits into their expectation. I wish I could sit down with each of these plastic Christians and explain to them who they are in Jesus but I know that even explaining it to them it would not sink into their plastic hearts. They need a greater revelation from the Holy Spirit.

Most of these plastic people are those who cannot get past repentance. They journey no further than the cross of Jesus. They have no idea that the cross was not the end of it but simply the beginning; the entrance point; the start of an incredible, personal journey with Jesus. Far too many Christians stop at the baptism of repentance; John's baptism. They fail to understand when John explains:

I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11)

These are John the Baptist's own words. Later, when Jesus was explaining to his followers the significance of John the Baptist, he told us this:

I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11)

What is the difference between John and us that the least in the Kingdom is greater than John? John ministered before the outpouring of God's Spirit. Without a doubt the Spirit of God was on John as he was on the prophets of old, but we have the Spirit of God in us. We are possessed and empowered by the Spirit of God to be just like Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the great enabler and comes after repentance.

Far too many Christians and even leaders of Christians fail to understand this and give very little significance to the Spirit. They claim that the time of the manifestations of the Spirit has come and gone. They say that the actions in Acts were for a fixed period of time and has nothing to do with today. Yest, the Word of God says no such thing. These people are fooled by their own flesh, giving excuses of why they cannot do greater things than Jesus, as Jesus told us we would do. We can only do these greater things through the Holy Spirit.

We are so much more than we allow ourselves to believe. We have not been saved by man or some mysterious god. We have been saved by Jesus Christ and after salvation he promised us the Holy Spirit. Is Jesus a man that he should lie? Through the Holy Spirit we are empowered to glorify Jesus to the nations. It has very little to do with us and everything to do with what God wants to do through us. But we have to get past the limits we have put on God and ourselves. We have to throw away our plastic Jesus and worship the living God, empowered by him to do great works. We have to take those plastic things out of our back pocket and really discover who we are in Jesus and what authority he has given to us to "speak to the mountains" we encounter in our lives and in the lives of others.

Even as you read this you can feel the burning in your spirit; that burning desire for more of Jesus; to be more for his glory. You know by the Spirit in you that there is more. There is the baptism of the Spirit you need to experience so the power of God may come on you. Jesus said:

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13)

So ask already. In the book of Acts we see that the giving of the Spirit often happened through the laying on of hands, so ask your pastor or youth pastor about this. Tell them that you want the baptism of the Spirit and you want them to lay hands on you. If they are also fooled into worshiping a plastic Jesus then find a pastor who would be willing. We put such a huge emphasis on water baptism which is nothing more than the baptism of repentance but we totally ignore the greater baptism of the Holy Spirit. We must be born both of water and fire.

Come on my friends, this world needs Jesus Christ but Jesus needs people who know how to work outside of the limits of their flesh. Jesus needs followers who are set ablaze by the power of the Spirit in them. And for those who would argue against this I will simply leave you with this prophecy which is the Word of God, greater than any opinion you may have:

And afterward, 
   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. 
Even on my servants, both men and women, 
   I will pour out my Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29) 

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