Friday, October 12, 2018

The Presence And The Power Of The Holy Spirit

The burden of my heart lately is that God's people be filled with the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. With all that is going on in these current times, we truly need His presence and His power operating in and through us. Jesus doesn't have us here just to occupy space, and tread water. You and I are here to make an impact on our world! Oh, how we need His presence and His power to do so!

Many Christians believe that once a person is saved, that's all the Holy Spirit they get. But there is more. Certainly, salvation is the greatest event that could take place in any person's life. Salvation assures our righteousness in Jesus, and our place in heaven forever. But what about the rest of our lives here on the earth? You and I have come to know Jesus, not only for our sakes, but for the sake of those God wants to impact through us! I recently heard someone say of the Holy Spirit, "He is in me for my sake. He is upon me for your sake." Our destiny is to impact the world we live in with the love of Jesus in order to bring them to Him. This requires the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives....24 X 7. 

Jesus is the greatest example of how the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit (in Him and upon Him) impacted the whole world. As Savior of the world, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit had to be a part of His very essence. In the same way, we will see how the same applies to you and me. We need both the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit as we follow Jesus, and His example for us.

Let's look at Jesus from the very beginning of His life on earth. The angel Gabriel came to the virgin Mary (Luke 1) and announced to her, "...You will conceive in her womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus." Can you imagine how this young teenager felt when it was said to her that she would give birth to the Messiah, Savior of the world? I respect her response. "How can this be since I am a virgin?" Gabriel responded, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God." Clearly we see the presence of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' life, even from conception. Later when He was born of the Virgin Mary, He was literally born of the Spirit, and born of a woman. In the same way, when we are "born again", we too are born of the Spirit of God, even though we were born also of the flesh. Just like Jesus, from the day the Holy Spirit begins to deal with our hearts, His presence is a part of our lives.

Jesus' life from birth demonstrated the presence of the Holy Spirit. But there was more. How wonderful it was that Jesus was literally born of the Spirit of God. Still, there was more. Jesus didn't come only to demonstrate the presence of the Holy Spirit. He also came to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit! When He was 30 years old something happened that launched Him into 3 1/2 years of ministry that changed the world! What happened? He was baptized in the Holy Spirit, which means He was anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matthew 3:13-17)

When Jesus was baptized in water, the heavens opened, down came the Holy Spirit upon Him, and as God expressed His approval, He called Jesus "My Beloved Son". There is so much happening here. But I want to key on one thing: The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus. He was already born of the Spirit. But even Jesus, born of God, needed not only the presence, but the power of the Holy Spirit. I know I am born again by the same Spirit that conceived Jesus in Mary's womb. I am as "born of the Spirit" now as Jesus when He walked the earth. But if Jesus needed to be empowered by the Spirit, so must I. Listen to the very next verse in Matthew 4:1. "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." Even though Jesus was born of the Spirit, the Bible doesn't say He was "led" by the Spirit until after the heavens opened and the Spirit came down upon Him! 

Why did He need the baptism in the Holy Spirit if He was born of God? Why did He need the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit? You must understand what Jesus gave up even before He came to the earth. (Philippians 2:5-7), "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." Jesus being equal with God, existed in the form of God. Yet He emptied Himself to come to earth as God's bond servant. He could not come as God, the Son (2nd Person of the Trinity), so He came as the Son of God, who was conceived of by the Holy Spirit, born of God, and born of a woman. Think about this. After Jesus, was baptized in water, when the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." The confirmation here is that God wants to powerfully anoint those (who are born of Him) with the power of the Spirit!

And one more thing about Jesus. He said, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me." (John 8:42) Any and everything Jesus did was directed by the Holy Spirit, who was now upon Him. He was so empty of Himself, He desperately needed the Holy Spirit to empower and lead Him every minute of every day. He is our example.

Just like Jesus, we must empty ourselves to become His servants. Upon simply asking, we become born again by the same Holy Spirit that conceived Jesus in Mary's womb, and later endued Him with power from on High! We must be so empty of ourselves, and the world, that we desperately depend upon Him for our every move. Some say, "The baptism in the Holy Spirit may be for you, but not for me." Yes He is for you. You just need to believe that He is for you. Simply ask Him to empower you as a servant of Jesus Christ. He will! Just believe it!

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance." (Acts 2: 1-4) This is the infilling that will change your life, and your world! It will move your relationship with Jesus from mediocrity to a raging wonderful spiritual fire! This is the power the church must have in these current times. Ask Him for it, believe, and receive the precious baptism of the Holy Spirit! He is eagerly waiting for you!

(The Presence and The Power of the Holy Spirit (Part 2) coming soon.)

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