Empowered For Service.
Through the great commission God has commanded his children to go into the entire world to take the gospel, teach the commands of Christ and make disciples. This in itself is impossible to the natural man to do without Godís help. No one apart from God can do anything without God working with them. Nicodemus said of Christ,
no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him (John 3:2
The bible tells us several times that it is not by human power that one succeeds. but through the spirit. We have example of David coming against Goliath but he came in the name of the Lord. As he confronted an arrogant Goliath David said,
It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lordís, and he will give all of you into our hands."1 Samuel 17:47
As Christians we face many trials and persecution from the world on a daily basis. Without the help of the Holy Spirit many of us would fall under the pressure of the barrage of fiery darts of the devil. God empowers us in many ways and as the name Emanuel means God with us, the truth is he is always with us. Look at his promises,
Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."Joshua1:9
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28
I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Because God is closer than a brother, we have the power of God in us saturating our entire being. Still with all this divine power at our beckon call Christians cringe under the intimidation of Satan. Do we ever considered that God is able to do more than we ask?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20
We have the power of God living in us that will be in us through thick and thin as long as we live if we continue in his love. We made a commitment to serve God, in return God has made a commitment to be in us and guaranteed us of what is to come. The promises above (Joshua1:9, John 10:28, Matthew 28:20, Deuteronomy 31:6 and Ephesians 3:20) is how God expresses his commitment to his children.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
In this regenerated condition your sins have been washed away, you have been reconciled to God and you face a bright future without end. On Jesus last night with his disciples he was explaining that he was going back to his father. he said I am going away, but I will leave you helpless, like an orphan, I will come to you and empower you from on high with a Spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
The Christian is no longer alone Ė Emanuel is with you. His plan is not to harm you but to give you hope and a future. God does not want you to face the spiritual forces of evil alone and has told us to submit to God and the devil will flee from you. God has committed to the full extent of his power to help his elect to overcome the powers of the spiritual realm.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth Acts 1:8
Receiving the Holy Spirit from God gives you the strength to take the gospel of God to the uttermost parts of the world. God has made you into an Ambassador to the nations of the world with the help of the Holy Spirit. You have been given an ministry of reconciliation and the command to make other disciples. You have a assignment to teach the same commandments that Christ taught to his disciples.
The elect have been called out of the world by God and have been chosen to bear the name of Christ to the people of the world. However, men are usually too timid to confront the world with the gospel and without Christ opening the minds of men to the Spirit world they would not speak. Even as we speak the weeds grow wild in the fields we are to harvest. God has given his chosen ones the authority to go into his fields to bring in the crops ready to be harvested.
We find that God did not call us to go into the fields alone. He sent his disciples out two by two, He gave Adam a suitable helper, he showed Elisha that Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 2 Kings 6:16. John said the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4. And Jesus said I am not alone, for my Father is with me. John 16:32 Ultimately, you will not be alone to harvest in his fields or face spiritual warfare alone, because has promised to be with you until the end of the age.
Its important to remember that God is greater than the angels reserved for the pit of fire and darkness. In the struggle with evil we face a spiritual battle by faith because the conflict takes place in the spirit realm where we can not see. We need a capable person in the Spirit world to win our battles for us. Therefore the Christian greatest asset is Emanuel, God with us.
Most of the time, we face our trials with our eyes wide open when we should close them. We need to face our trials by shutting the world out and focus on the promises of God. Our sinful mind is hostile to God and cannot submit to God's will, so we must rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. This is when we should understand that those who yield to the sinful nature do not have their minds set on the things of God. Even then, God is able to do more than we can imagine.
Lets now consider these verses.
God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. Men of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed." 2 Chronicles 13:12
When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies. Numbers 10:9
It is our responsibility to sound the battle cry through prayer whenever Satan attacks us. Remember that we are to submit to God so Satan will retreat from our life and give us relief. Consider this: doesnít God have great pleasure in helping his children to ward off evil? Do you think God wants his children to be overcome by the evil that is out to steal, destroy, and to kill?
As Christian soldiers we are often shot at and wounded by those we are trying to rescue. David went into battle several times and he sought the Lord for advice every time. David was not alone and able to face a domineering person that was experienced in battle by the name of Goliath. He went in the name of the Lord knowing that God fights his battles.
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the Lordís and he will give all of you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:47 Jesus said "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26. Apart from God you can do nothing but with God all things are possible. These statements are amplifying the same principle of whom the elect must trust. For its---'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
Understand that Christ overcame the world with God at his side. Even though you cannot see God you by faith must believe the same God, Jesus had, is at your side 24-7 seven days a week. God wants you to become a winner and living by the Spirit gives you an advantage. The purpose of the Spirit of God in you guarantees what is to come on the day of redemption.
John prophesied that Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Having the Holy Spirit poured out on you may not be as dramatic today as it was at Pentecost. Still, the day of Pentecost was special because it was the day God ordained the church with fire. The events of Pentecost were displayed in such a manner that the approximately one hundred and twenty people in the upper room knew and understood what took place.
God left no doubt that his hand was involved in the upper room experience when he anointed men with the Holy Spirit and fire. The commotion of this day drew men and women from many nations to see the cause for the blustering wind they heard. God began to build his kingdom of Kings and Priests anointing them by pouring out his Spirit on those in the upper room.
Something radically happened that day to those in the upper room as the Holy Spirit changed their lives and enabled them to minister to the needs of the world. God summoned men from sixteen different countries that were in Jerusalem to the upper room where they heard common men give a wonderful message about God in their native language.
Those who did not understand that God was fulfilling his promise to pour out his Spirit thought they were drunk. They only saw what they wanted to see and refused to believe the power of the living God could make the changes they saw. They did not see Jesus Christ pouring out the Spirit of God on the hundred and twenty in the upper room. However, they were left with an impression of the power of God.
Keep in mind John said, Jesus Christ would baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire but your experience may not be as dramatic. There have been some that received the Holy Spirit experiencing the warm oil of the Spirit saturating every fiber of their being even to the tip to their fingers and toes. Believe me if, God blesses you this way, you will know it and not forget it. For others, God will restrict your experiences to what you will allow him to do.
God has several reasons for giving you his Spirit and every one of those reasons helps you to live a life acceptable to God. God does not rule with the crack of a whip but with the gentle voice of the Spirit who reasons with you and allows you to decide according to what you see as right.
Godís love for you comes with a personal commitment with a number of promises to serve your spiritual needs. We need to burn God's promises into our minds so we can remember that both God the father and the son have said that no one can take you out of their hand. Both have promised to be with you until the end of the age wherever you go. And because God does not want anyone to perish he has anointed you and equipped you to live a holy and acceptable life in his eyes. And finally, God has given you his spirit that guarantees what is to come.
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