Monday, May 5, 2014

But By My Spirit

You can dedicate what you do as an act of love for Jesus or you can decide to do only the will of the Father. The first is an act of love that depends on you. The second is obedience, that comes from the root of love. The first is what you decide to do. The second is what you are compelled to do. The first is often done in your own strength, ability and talent. The second is done by the power of Yahweh.

Jesus did not dedicate what he did as an act of love for Father. He came in obedience. He lived in obedience. He acted in obedience. He spoke in obedience. Read through the gospel of John and it will become clear to you that Jesus did not act on his own but only did what he was directed to do by the Father. His was a remarkable life of obedience right up to his final breath and beyond. He never asked blessing from the Father for his plans. He had no plans. He did what he was told to do, in love.

In order to be able to carrying out Father's plan, Jesus was given the Holy Spirit at the very beginning. Although he was equally God and equally man, he set aside his claim to the divinity to walk like you and me on this earth. He was given the Spirit so he could demonstrate for us how we are to do what he commands us to do; to do as he did. We too have been given the Spirit so we can follow in Jesus' steps, obeying the will of the Father. Too few people see it this way and often live by option one instead of option two.

We are too quick to read through what we think has become overly familiar. We miss the parts of Scripture where the Spirit led Jesus into the desert, out of the desert, to this place and then that. After writing it so many times the Spirit must have thought we would understand and so did not mention it every time after the beginning. When you read it with open eyes you begin to see things like Luke 5:17b:

"And the power of the Lord (Adonai) was present to heal them." (NKJV)

The New American Standard has it as:

"And the power of the Lord (Adonai) was present for him to perform healing."

What does that tell us? Jesus was given power through the Holy Spirit to do what was needed when it was needed, just like today. Unfortunately we overlook this and continue to go for option one. We do not seek or expect the Lord's anointing (power) and simply do what we think is best, in our own strength and ability. We make our plans and ask him to bless them. This comes from a lack of understanding or simple laziness. It takes effort to seek the will of Father. It takes time in prayer and being in the Word. It takes an emptying of self and a filling of the Spirit. It's easier just to seek blessing because it is a simple matter to overlook scripture:

"'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6)

Remember the words of Jesus just before he ascended:

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

We have been given the Spirit for many reasons but one of them is so we can receive power for what needs to be done in the moment. If it is to preach then preach, if it is to heal then heal, if it is to cast out demons then cast out demons. He always equips us with his power for his will. We refer to it as the anointing of God. And when we have developed an ongoing, intimate relationship with him, we are given to know his specific will for the moment. We have not been left on our own to figure it out. May we never attempt to serve the Lord without his anointing for the task.

I leave you with this, Paul's prayerful desire for the Colossians:

"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." (Colossians 1:9-12) 

Yes, we can live out option one and continue seeking blessings on our plans but these are done without his divine power and will not stand the testing fire. That's a lot of wasted time and energy. Or we can go with option two, and spend our lives occupied with Father's business, following his instructions, involved with a work that will last all eternity. Work within the anointing.

No comments: