Sunday, March 2, 2014

Being Led

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13

‘Unity in the Spirit’ is a glorious revelation that can come to you and me. I Corinthians 6:17 reads, “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”  When we are led into the truth and fullness of Christ by the Holy Spirit our thinking is revolutionized, we begin to see our surroundings and the world through the eyes of God our Father. Only then can we comprehend the purpose of adversities, and the antagonism and hatred towards Christianity. These are the same challenges our Lord Jesus Christ encountered when He came into this world. We begin to understand what was in His heart and mind that gave purpose to every step He took and every word He spoke.   

It is important to see ourselves as individuals chosen by God before the world began, but more importantly to see that we are a part which makes up the whole Body of Christ.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Our Lord came to reveal the heart and desire of our heavenly Father.  Matthew 3:16-17 reads, “After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. And there came a voice from heaven: “This is My beloved Son I take delight in Him!”  After Jesus receives this word of approval from His Father, Matthew 4:1 states, “Then Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” This verse emphasizes the immediate progression of the steps of Jesus.  Remember we are in his heart; God is love.  There is nothing taking place that is not controlled by the eternal love of our Father God.  Once we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us our unity in Christ all fears, questions, and doubts begin to vanish, and we come into the truth of what is really taking place.

 After He came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him. God audibly declared delight in His Son. There is no doubt that the first 30 years of our Lord’s life were years of temptation and testing.  Remember Hebrews 2:17-18 says, “For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.” Jesus overcame the attacks, temptations and the tests in His private life.  For the Father to open the heavens and declare approval of his Son, we know He was pleased with the first 30 years of His life.  Now He is about to enter His public ministry, but first He is led by the Holy Spirit to face the enemy of the human race.  This is the ultimate test where Jesus meets evil in all its strength and hatred in the personality of the devil. If we identify ourselves with the death and the resurrection of our Lord, the Holy Spirit is showing us what to expect.   Matthew 4:1, Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”  An important fact to realize is that Jesus was led into the wilderness.  Our Lord Jesus Christ had just come from a glorious manifestation of the satisfaction of our mighty God. He was surrounded by family, friends, and other people being baptized.  Then He is led into the wilderness.  What does the wilderness represent?  As human beings we live in two worlds; the natural and the spiritual.  Jesus goes from being surrounded by family and friends, to the wilderness where He is isolated from the people and things that bring contentment to the natural man.  He is now being tempted and tested by the devil and comes out victorious. Our Lord is bringing forth a new humanity, taught by the Holy Spirit, who will be an expression of the divine ideas and thoughts of God.  Isaiah 53:1-2 gives us a better understanding of who the true source of our life is, “Who has believed what we have heard?  And who has the arm of the Lord been revealed to? He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground.  He had no form or splendor that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him.” I repeat a “root out of dry ground.”  The Holy Spirit is using a young plant and root out of dry ground as a type of our Lord to show us that the life our Lord lived did not have its source here on earth.  His source came from above.  John 8:23, “…. You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” How can a plant grow out of dry ground? It needs water and moisture.  Where was the power, the life source, the fountain that our Lord lived by?  It was not in the natural realm.  He is always teaching us that man’s life does not exist in the abundance of things he owns.  It is written in Luke 12:15, “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed: a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” The source of our life our existence is not in what this world has to offer.  Our new life is Christ Jesus.  Our new life source is God.  Colossians 3:3 reads, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”  Romans 6:11 and Romans 8:9 also confirm that we live by Him and for Him. This is why as Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness He is being separated from all His natural resources.  I recall a time when a friend lost his job; he began to lose his house and his vehicles. I witnessed this brother trying to hold on to his possessions by borrowing money and using other world strategies. The Holy Spirit showed me this was similar to a drowning man who sees his life vanishing before him. His life’s work and money spent for security were now vanishing.  Things that we possess represent the natural life.  Jesus spoke of this in Luke 12:16-21 in the form of a parable. Things do not give us life; Christ is our life and our satisfaction. I would strongly suggest you read Ecclesiastes with an open heart and a submissive spirit to God’s Word.  You will clearly see what this world has to offer; “Absolute futility, everything is futile.”

The Holy Spirit is using a young plant and root out of dry ground as a type of our Lord to show us that the life our Lord lived did not have its source here on earth.  His source came from above.

We are seeing tremendous changes taking place in this world.  Our Lord predicted wars and rumors of wars…. nation will rise against nation. Read Matthew 24:4-13. This is all a result of fallen man.  Many think America will be exempt from persecution.  Judgment is coming. God is separating and purifying His people. Hypocrisy within the individual and the Body of Christ as a whole is being purged out. The Holy Spirit is convicting us of those things we presumed were harmless.  No more compromising with the world, God is purging the Body of Christ.  God is helping us understand His ways by bringing us to His Word.  The Holy Spirit is revealing His plan and His purpose to us.  I hear Hebrews 2:3 very clearly, “how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” 

The Spirit probed a question into my heart.  Who occupies the greatest measure of your day? This question enters the depth of our consciousness, because God knows our heart.  He is omniscient. He knows the minute your eyes open in the morning and the minute your eyes close at night. He knows your last thought before you sleep and your first thought as you wake.  He knows your dreams and the thoughts that control you during the day.  Because He knows everything we cannot hide. In Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” We have to say “Thank you Father that your grace and your mercy are renewed every morning.” It is by grace that we are saved not by works.    

Our Lord came into this world with a mission. He came to do the will of the Father and He fulfilled that mission on this earth.    He gave us His Spirit and His power. God knows our limitations, our frustrations and our disappointments.  However, He has made provision for everything through Jesus Christ.  Christ is not only our death, but our resurrection, our life, our victory and our salvation. He is our wisdom, He is our sanctification, our justification, our righteousness, everything.  He is all in all. How shall we escape judgment if we neglect such a great salvation offered to us by a loving God?   In the beginning was God and God is love.  He is still in control and his plan continues to unfold. He will receive everything that He desires.

I received an answer to the question ‘who occupies the greatest measure of your day?’  If we want to know God’s presence we must be occupied with his Son.  This is how we know we are being led by the Holy Spirit, John 16:13-14, “But when He the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you.” Whatsoever you do, do it as unto the Lord.  Live unto the Lord no matter where you are; in school, work, or at play.  This is what satisfies our Father.  Come to him with an open heart.  Our submission and our honesty please Him.  It pleases our Father when we acknowledge, ‘I can do nothing on my own.’ (John 5:30, John 8:28, John 14:30-31).

Before I close, I leave you with this truth. Every action of our Lord Jesus Christ spoke clearly to us of His purpose in coming into this world. Hebrews 1:1-2, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe.” Amen.

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