Surrendering our will to the Holy Spirits..
In Mark 1, we read about John the Baptist who had been sent to prepare the way for Jesus, the Messiah. Verse 4 tells us that John preached that people should be baptized to show that they had turned to God to receive forgiveness for their sins. John told the people that he baptized with water, but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. You see Baptism depicts us dying to our old sinful life, and being raised up to a new life with Jesus our Lord. When we make this decision in our lives, Jesus gives us a gift, the Holy Spirit, to come and dwell within us. We then possess the power of the Risen Lord!
During Jesus earthly ministry, he told the disciples “…if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” I believe that some of us never truly understand the power of the Spirit within us, let alone execute it. Many Christians overlook the Holy Spirit and its relevance to their lives. Somehow we are content handling the struggles and battles we face, all on our own:/
Lets take a second to remind ourselves of what happened to Jesus after as he was baptized. Mark 1:10-12 tells us that as Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon him.. Luke 4:1 tells us that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit…..and was then led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for 40 days. You see, Jesus is showing us exactly why we have been given the Holy Spirit.
Jesus ate nothing while he was out in the wilderness. He was able to demonstrated exactly how strong the Spirit is even while the body is weak.
The Devil came to Jesus while he was weak and hungry…and said, “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.” He knew exactly how to attack Jesus. He knew his weakest area at that moment….So he offered him food. Jesus replied, “..people do not live by bread alone.” Here, his response emphasizes the Spirits’ strength amidst our bodies weakness. Don’t doubt that the Devil knows your weakest area as well, and won’t hesitate to attack.
Then the Bible tells us the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time and said, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them..I will give it ALL to you if you will worship me.”
The Devil feeds on our desires sometimes, doesn’t he? He tempts us with the world and all the glitz and glamour of it. He makes it look soooo good and appealing. He’s the very one who puts envy and greed in our very hearts at times. He wants us to be drawn into all this world has to offer…and in doing so, deny the very one who created it all-God.
But Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit replied, “You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” As much as these kingdoms and all their glory look appealing, the Holy Spirit gave Jesus the strength to endure and the power to resist.
Lastly, the Devil then took him to the highest point of the Temple in Jerusalem and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! for the scriptures say He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you wont even hurt your foot on a stone.”
Here the Devil tests Jesus’ pride; He wants Jesus to give in & simply defend and prove his own power and authority. Doesn’t the Devil attack us in this very area also? Doesn’t he always make us want to defend ourselves to others and prove that we are right?! He wants us to take matters into our own hands, instead of keeping our mouths shut and allowing God to plead our case.
But we see Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, respond to the Devil with scripture…”You must not test the Lord your God.”
We see in these verses that Jesus demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirt in our lives. He wanted us to TRULY SEE the Spirit’s role in our lives as Christians. Have you been missing out on the Holy Spirit’s role in your life?
In Mark 14:38 Jesus tells his disciples, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
You see, God knows that we, as humans, are weak. We have a sinful nature, and our bodies are weak in withstanding temptation…but the good news is, the Spirit that has been given to us, is STRONG and able to withstand any temptation! But we must “keep watch and pray”…we must make a conscious effort each day to give the Holy Spirit control.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
hellllooo! The Spirit of the Lord lives within us! Did we forget that?! therefore at every moment of everyday, we are FREE! Free from the chains and bondage of any sin in our lives. We have the power to break free of any stronghold and live the life God intended for us!
Don’t make the terrible mistake of overlooking the Holy Spirit who dwells within you. Acknowledge His power!…and in doing so, acknowledge the POWER THAT YOU, TOO, POSSESS!
The Spirit is willing… the question is: will you let him?
Oh the many things we “think” we can control. We truly believe we are in control of our lives. This is a lie we tell ourselves on a daily basis, and usually come face to face with when we are found: down, disappointed, anxious, stressed, or just one complete wreck! However, we continue to believe this lie even after all the heartache and frustration time and time again.
We must be reminded of who created us…who created this world…who gave us all we have….and who holds time in his hands. Sometimes we need to stop and be humbled by His Greatness and our smallness. He took the time to create you…Psalm 139 says, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. YOu know my thoughts even when I am far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”
It is foolish to think the one who created you does not even know you…nor know what is going on in your life. He is looking down at you right this very moment wondering if you are going to try and make it through the day with or with out his help. He desires more than anything to help and guide you. He knows the difficult and stressful situations that will arise in your day even before you face them. You see, when we acknowledge him each day and hand over our reigns to him, he in return gives us insight and wisdom to face each trial during our day. He directs our every step. The question then is, why do we always want to be in control? We are foolish enough to believe we actually know it all…:/ And that’s unfortunate, because we are all so completely clueless.
1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Hosea 12:2-4 Now the Lord is bringing charges against Judah.
he is about to punish Jacob for all his deceitful ways,
and pay him back for all he has done.
Even in the womb, Jacob struggles with his brother,
when he became a man, he even fought with God.
Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won.
For those who are not familiar with the story of Jacob, he was the younger twin brother of Esau. The bible records him actually struggling with his brother inside his mothers womb…because he wanted “his way”- to be first born. As a young adult he deceived his Father into giving him the birthright.(getting his way again) 20 years later we see Jacob head heading home to face is brother and makes amends. He was afraid, so he cries out to the Lord for help and seeks to make some kind of restitution…But in all these things, Jacob is still resisting. He is still hiding back, relying largely upon himself.
Before going to confront his brother, Jacob camps out alone. The Bible tells us a man came and wrestled with him until dawn…seeing that he would not win, he touches Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of socket. He then renames Jacob “Israel” which possibly denotes God’s continuous effort to keep Jacob going, even though Jacob continues to fight God.
Continue reading Hosea 12
…”He wept and pleaded for a blessing form him.
There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him-
the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the Lord is his name!
So now, come back to your God.
Act with love and justice,
and always depend on him.
We can struggle with God all we want, but he will always reign in control. When Jacob encountered God face to face that night, he was a changed man! He finally let go and gave God control. What are you wrestling with God today about? What do you need to let go of?
I feel like this passage should be highlighted and underlined! I love how God gives us amazing advice. He instructs us to do something, but then goes on to share the awesome results of doing so.
1 My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
2 Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. 11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
We don’t just magically become wise. We must realize we play an active role in this. God tells us to “tune” our ears to wisdom. In that, we must actually be on alert to receive wisdom. We can’t just live out each day as just another day if we desire to be wise. How can we gain wisdom if we do not search for it? We must get in the Word each day and “cry out for insight”. I’ve noticed that even after reading many of the same passages from the Bible over and over again…God still chooses to reveal new and exciting things to me each time I read them. But we can not automatically expect to receive insight and understanding. We must continually ask the Lord for it.
If you find yourself in a slump and feel like you get nothing from reading God’s Word…then maybe you should spend some time crying out to the Lord for insight and understanding. Many times we feel disappointed or let down because we didn’t walk away with anything…but the real question is- Exactly how interested were you in receiving? Are you just reading to read, because that’s what you are suppose to do? Someone told you along time ago that it was important to read your Bible, so thats what you’re doing. No, God has something far greater for you that goes beyond any mundane religious ritual. He has for you a real & exciting relationship awaiting for you. One where he shares special insight with you that he may not share with others. He, in a sense, opens our eyes to knew things that we were once blind to before.
In my past messages, I’ve talked about what it really means “to fear God”. Proverbs 2:1-5 give direct correlation to what it means. i believe when we realize exactly how valuable insight, understanding, and wisdom truly are…and we seek them out like hidden treasures, we begin to understand what it means to fear the Lord. And in this sincere seeking, God indeed grants it!
With this knowledge and understanding he gives to us, we do not only receive wisdom to determine the black and white issues…but we are given wisdom in the grey areas as well.
I do believe Discernment is where we separate the wise from the unwise. Those who stray from all kinds of evil (anything that may appear questionable) and aim to live a “blameless life”(Ps.119:1) I’ve shared this quote before, but I will do it again. “Discernment is not always distinguishing between what is Good and Evil….but sometimes, Good and what’s Best!!” I hear people all the time say, “but nothing’s wrong with it..” And all I want to reply with is, “But is there any good in it?…”
Cry out to God for insight. Seek it out like you have never sought it before….a hidden treasure…a prized possession. The understanding God gives is accompanied with JOY! With Gods help, it is the wise choices that watch over us and keep us safe.
It is one thing to know the “do’s and don’t”….but it’s another thing to understanding WHY you should do this and shouldn’t do that. Ask God for understanding. The Christian life was never meant to be about the Do’s and Dont’s….but about understanding the love of the Father and his provision and care for us.
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Accepting & realizing that LIFE is nothing but a constant flow of CHANGES will spare you the worry and anxiety in years to come