Luke 4:1 “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,”
Can I just say from the outset this morning that there are times when writing this blog, I am under conviction? If you were to ask me right now, ‘Am I filled with the Spirit?’ I would have answer honestly – no. I can tell you though, that there are and have been times when I have know that the sweet Holy Spirit has filled me for a work most wonderful.
Whether it was to lead a soul to trust in the Savior or preach or teach His wonderful truth, I have known His leading, His guidance and His fullness in my life. I have earnestly prayed for His power; His filling; His taking control of my life. But sadly, I would miss day of devotion here, my time in prayer faltered and soon, I was feeling distant from my God and His presence in my life.
To know that the Lord Jesus Christ is my example in everything, I see in the text that whenever I am tempted, His answer – my answer must be sweet submission to the Holy SPirit of God and His leading in my life.
You see, if Jesus would have pulled rank on the devil and literally sent him to hell, how would you and I fare when we are met with temptation? Jesus, fully human and fully God, submitted to the Spirit’s leading to be tempted. Then, by His guidance gave us example to use the sword of the Spirit against our enemy; showing both its power and our enemies defeat by it.
Whether it is apathy, sin or just plain neglect on our part, we fail to seek out the Holy Spirit’s help in even the simplest of tasks. Jesus allowed Himself to be led of the Spirit to go where the Father would lead.
If the world today were to ask of the church – ‘Where are the examples of Jesus for me to see? Show me and I will believe!’
As one called to be a witness (all are called – all are commanded), I must be that example or my words fall short of their meaning. Truly, where will the world turn to if not those of us who name the name of Jesus Christ?
The clarion call I hear today is to get back to simple trust and obedience to the sweet Spirit’s leading daily and moment by moment. The early Christians gave us example as well.
Given the command to win the world, Jesus said;
Luke 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Doing as they were told, God fulfilled His promise and they departed from that place and shook the world for Christ. Jesus left us the same charge:
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
So, the path we need to be asking God to show us is not for more wealth, a better home, a better life; all those things have been already promised:
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
We need to ask for the filling of the Holy Ghost of God. For Him to take possession of us and lead us as the Father guides. I will share a testimony of such an event.
While walking the streets of our city, handing out gospel tracts, it was a particularly cold and frigid day. Our feet as stones and our spirits were low because who would want to stop let alone hear in this cold? I passed a truck where a man sat waiting and the Spirit said “Go give him a gospel tract”. I had all but made up my mind that I was done and needed warmth – inside and out.
I took another step and again, the Spirit said, “Go witness to this man”. Almost reluctantly, I turned and knocked on his window and asked if he would like to take an invitation to our church. Despondency was written all over his face and I asked if I could help.
He invited me into the truck (prayer answered!). As we began to talk, I came to find out that he had fallen on hard times. He had just been kicked out of his apartment, lost his job and he was helping his now, ex-girlfriend with some errands for the last time out of kindness as she had dumped him.
I told Him God knew all about the situation and circumstances he was in because He told me to come to your truck. I began to share with him verse after verse on how to be saved. I came to finally ask him “What would stop you from trusting Jesus as your Savior today?” He said, “Nothing”. As we bowed to pray, it was like the devil himself came into that truck. His ex-girlfriend said “Who the (unrepeatable) is this and why is he in this truck?” As bold as I could muster, I said, “Ma’am, this man is about to make the most important decision in his life. Could you give us a moment?”
She only raised the contention up a notch and as calmly as I could, I told the man, “This is your decision – not hers. You have the power to make me go or invite me to stay.” She began to rant and rave, and demean this man in front of me. In the end, he said, “I think you should go…”
My heart sank. Before I closed the door I told him, that when you are alone and have time to collect your thoughts, read the tract and remember what you were about to do. I left that truck thinking I had failed. But I was comforted by the Holy Spirit’s presence knowing that I had done what he had asked me to do and possibly have saved a man from commiting suicide (which he said he had given serious thought).
Even now, the tears flow remembering just how much I wanted to see him saved and try though I may, I just could not break the devil’s hold on that situation. I have prayed for him through the years whenever I tell this account and when the Spirit brings it to mind. Only Heaven will reveal the whole story… and oh, what a day that will be!
I do regularly pray for His power and the fulness of His Spirit in my life. I know too though, that that need must exceed all others – a full, complete and total surrender. Father , please help us to want you more than anything this old world has to offer.