In Luke 1, the angel of the Lord proposes to Mary. Will you birth the savior of the world? Mary answers, “Be it unto me according to your word, oh Lord.” The NLT says, “Let everything happen to me just as you have said.”
Only time would tell just what that meant. ‘Let everything happen to me’
Many of us have responded in the exact same way. “Yes, Lord, I will follow you. Please use me for your purpose.” With this agreement, we release persecution upon our life that would not be there if we would have said, “No, Lord, I won’t follow you.”
Mary faced the physical pains of the natural birthing process. She also unleashed the wrath of a society that believed she was in sin for conceiving a baby out of wedlock. After this waned, she faced the struggle of her adult son traveling the region preaching, teaching with no home and no means of survival. He eventually is tortured and sacrificed on the cross in front of her face. Her own son.
“Be it unto me” threw heavy punches to the young nazarite virgin.
Many of us have been impregnated with the purpose of God and He is wanting us to give birth to ministry that will further his Kingdom. As we carry that ministry to term and then live with it in adulthood, it takes a toll. We look for solutions to deal with the wounds and the pressure. Since Mary’s solution was her baby (Jesus), we are tempted to think that our solution is our baby (our ministry). Therefore, when struggle comes, we work harder. We try to catch people that leave us. We think one more service, one more sermon, one more encouraging word and one more conversion will help our hurt. When this happens we continue to dig ourselves into a hole that we can never get out of. If we are looking to ministry to heal our hurt, then we will always hurt.
The mission field is inexhaustible. There is always one more Sunday to plan for. There is always one more sinner to save. We chase joy forever, if we think it is found in the grasp of our ministry.
We do not find our hope in the birth of our ministry or our work. We find our hope in Mary’s baby. Jesus was born once and it was enough for eternity.
Personal connection with Jesus is the only way we will find healing for our ministry wounds. We will continue to chase after sinners, hunt down demons, plan weekends, and get really creative with technique. However, we will stop the rat race of thinking that heals us.
Jesus, you are our source. You are our source for help and healing.
The two realities of existence – flesh (or physical) or Spirit, are diametrically opposed to each other and we can not live in both realms.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (KJV) 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (NLT)
Either a person lives their days on earth confined to the chains of self in this present world, or they forsake self and stake their entire existence on the Spirit of God. Sure, like Adam and Eve, we all live in bodies made of flesh and bone, but the body is merely the vehicle that our spirit is contained in.
The question is: will our spirit buy into the realm of humanity that is defaulted to us by Adam, or will it become meshed with the Spirit of our Creator, take on the attributes of Deity and walk with Him in the cool of the day?
This becoming “ONE” with God is not something a person can do on his own; instead it takes the POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST to overcome this present world.
We must surrender completely and absolutely to Jesus Christ, think with His mind and allow His Spirit to inhabit our body. Then, and only then will we be led by the Spirit and walk in the Kingdom of God.
Spirit Baptism | Subsequent Experience
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
More Scriptures of Holy Spirit baptism
Acts 8:14-18, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:2He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
4 Attributes of the Holy Ghost
1. The Holy Spirit will fill you with POWER.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
John 1: 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
1 Thessalonians 1: 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
How many of you want assurance that God is there? Not just head knowledge. Not just hearsay. Divine Assurance.
2. The Holy Spirit will be your COMFORTER.
John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter,
We pray for that attribute during funerals and death, however, it is available 24/7 to those who are filled with the Spirit.
to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth (remember sermon on TRUTH at core), whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Where are you in that last phrase? Do you know him only because he is around you? He wants to be in you. He wants to baptize you. Like a warm blanket on a cold night.
We will never be alone again when the Holy Spirit is alive in our soul. He will be our constant companion, never leaving us unless we forsake Him first.
3. The Holy Spirit will LEAD YOU to all truth.
John 16: 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
When DECISIONS need to be made…We must have the Holy Spirit to be our guide.
Other tools: We have the “council of many” from Proverbs. We have experience. We have the Bible as a guide. Systematic Bible Reading prepares your mind to interact with the world. However, God has created us with a need for his Spirit to guide us. With the absence of the Holy Spirit, we are left to the influences of the world around us (which is dominate by the Flesh/sinful desires)
4. The Holy Spirit will BEAR FRUIT in your life.
Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If you do not have these attributes, or results of the Holy Spirit working in your life, you are not walking in the Spirit. It does not matter how much you call yourself a Christian, how much you attend church or how much you donate to good causes, unless your life exhibits the fruits of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not there.
The ultimate test of your faith is: Are you Generous?
“Well sure, I am giving a ton of gifts this year.” Is there a difference between giving gifts and being generous? You can give gifts without being generous.
Typical Christmas Gift Giving
- It is expected of you. Tradition
- You are returning a favor from last year’s present
- You give first in order to get
Questions to Ponder:
- How much of the money you are spending is giving from a generous heart vs. obligatory heart?
- What if you only gave from generous perspective? Would it change WHO you give to? If it were totally generous, would it include a different group?
Generous – liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish: Giving with no concern for recompense. There is nothing about the definition of generosity that says you have to be rich to be generous. It is a heart condition.