Posts Tagged John 14: 17

Fertile Desert

Isaiah 32: 16 -18

The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

Glory! Hallelujah! Does this strike you as good news? Or, perhaps, great news! I can even sweeten this by telling you when this is to happen. This is for you today.

The problem with many Old Testament verses is that people stumble over the timing. That is understandable. I will tell you that most of them are fulfilled in Jesus if you ever have doubt. The great thing about today’s verse is that Isaiah actually told us when this would become a reality. In verse 15 he disclosed that this change in the environment, this change in the world would come when “the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high.” Yahoo!

Jesus promised us another. In fact, he said it was better for us that he leave earth so that he could send the helper (John 16: 7). He told his disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they received that which was promised, or in other words, the Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 4 – 5). Then, on the day of Pentecost, the promise was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit was poured out from on high. You and I are not living in the time of which Isaiah spoke. This prophecy is for our time. We should take great joy in this good news.

Isaiah saw that because of the coming of the Holy Spirit we could live in peace and righteousness. This concept is very in keeping with other New Testament text. Paul wrote that we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5: 21) and did you know that Jesus is the Prince of Peace? Additionally, when he left earth, he left us his peace (John 14: 27). Increasingly, we are seeing all of the pieces fitting together. It shouldn’t be any surprise, though, because all of this was part of God’s master plan. He knew when He whispered in Isaiah’s ear that this day would come and that what He told Isaiah would be fulfilled in our sight.

There is a key to unlocking all of this though. The key is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that he is the “Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you” (John 14: 17). It is the “in you” piece that is so revolutionary. The disciples knew of the Holy Spirit but Jesus was telling them that when he went away and sent the outpouring of the Spirit, then the Spirit would come to not only live with us but in us. This continuing presence of the Holy Spirit is a game changer. The sad truth, though, is that it is only a game changer for those who recognize the truth and embrace it. He was sent as our helper so we have to let him do his job.

In him is this peace, confidence, righteous enjoyment and all of the other great and wonderful things that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have worked to bring us. Their plan installs each of them in our lives as partners. Isaiah saw the desert turned into a fertile field. That desert is our lives and hearts. They have been renewed in Christ and we have a joyous and victorious reality to live.

The Promise

Numbers 11: 16 – 17

The Lord therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, who you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you , and will put Him upon them.

This “Spirit” spoken of is the Holy Spirit of God. God reveals to us in this passage that His spirit was “on” Moses. That is a powerful revelation for anyone who has ears to hear. 

Moses did gather the seventy elders and God did put His Holy Spirit on them too so that they could help shoulder the burden of caring for the Israelites. When God put His Spirit on them, the Bible tells us that they began to prophesy (v. 25). That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is the same spirit which was spoken of in Acts 2. God promised in Joel 2: 28 that He would pour out His Spirit on all mankind. This outpouring was a monumental occurrence, the fulfillment of a long awaited promise. In fact, if you study all the verses which speak about the Holy Spirit you will see numerous references to the promise of his coming. Then in Acts 2 we get to witness the outpouring of the Spirit. 

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came “upon” people as was the case with Moses and the seventy elders. This resting of the Holy Spirit upon people gave them tremendous ability and power. Jesus told the disciples that when he left he was going to send the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7). He also told them that the Holy Spirit was coming to live IN them (John 14: 17). 

This is a new dispensation, if you will. We are talking about the same Holy Spirit which brooded over the waters in Genesis 1: 2. However, a new thing was happening. Jesus was sending the Holy Spirit into the world to stay. Not only that, but importantly, the Holy Spirit was sent to us individually rather than collectively. That is an important distinction. The Holy Spirit was with the nation of Israel as they sojourned to Canaan but He did not live “in” them. Jesus has now sent the Holy Spirit to each of us, to live in us and to be our constant companion. He said the Holy Spirit would be to each of us a go along, a teacher, a guide and a helper (John 16: 7, 13, John 14: 26).

Certainly there is an aspect of our own responsibility. We must each receive the Holy Spirit personally. He is not going to set up house within you without your permission. However, when you invite Him in, the power, authority and ability that was with Moses comes and takes up abode IN you. You become the vessel, the carrier of the power of God. This power and authority does not just rest on you and then remove Himself, He is with you and in you all the time. That is a much better arrangement than the Old Testament saints had.

I invite you to meditate on today’s verse and ponder the role of the Holy Spirit in today’s world but most importantly, in your own life. I pray that the Spirit who was upon Moses will come rest in you and with you today.

Abiding Life

Joel 2:28

And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind.

This pouring out is called The Pentecost. The record of this wonderful event is in the second chapter of Acts. God poured out His Spirit for all people. Jesus said of the Spirit, “That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14: 17). This is the purpose of the Pentecost, that divinity would come and make a home with humanity. This abiding presence is not limited to the Spirit of God though. It extends to the Father and the Son. In  John 14: 23 Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all want to make a home with us.

Jesus talked a good bit about “abiding”. His ministry, sacrifice and victory have made it possible for us to be united with the Father, Son and Spirit as never before in history. We are now to become one with the divine trinity. Our DNA is being replicated in the image of Jesus (Romans 8: 29). For those who will submit themselves to Jesus’ words and teaching Jesus moves in and takes up residence. We are becoming enmeshed, intertwined with the Father, Son and Spirit so that there is now no separation between us and the divine. We are becoming so integrated that nothing can tear us apart. “I am convinced,” Paul said, “that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8: 38 God’s Word Translation). And since God is love that means that nothing can separate us from Him. 

This abiding in and with the triune presence of God is the key to our Christian testimony, outreach and life. Abiding in Him means that we shuck off the old self and adorn our new selves with the life of Christ which has now taken up residence within us. No longer do we have to will ourselves to act like a Christian should, no longer do we have to contemplate what Jesus would do in our situation. Now we let the life of Christ which is within us flow out of us and into the world. We put on Jesus and let his life, light and love reach out to other people. 

If you want to know if you are abiding in Him and He in you check your love walk. To the degree that you are others centered, that is the degree to which you are allowing Jesus to express himself. Put on Christ and let him abide forever with you.

Extraordinary Spirit

Daniel 6: 3

Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary sprit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.

Doesn’t this sound a bit familiar? I am reminded of the story of Joseph. Both Daniel and Joseph rose from slavery in a foreign country to become leaders in those foreign lands. It is one thing to become great among your own people in your own land but it truly is something extraordinary to rise to the very top level of influence in a country not your own. How much more impressive is it that these men were taken from their country against their will and yet rose to the very pinnacle of success. What made them so special? What made this possible? This verse answers that question. They were possessed of an extraordinary spirit.

God promised humanity that He would pour out His Spirit on all mankind (Joel 2: 28). But that pouring out did not occur until after Daniel’s and Joseph’s life. In fact, the promised out pouring came after Jesus arose from the dead (See Acts 2). We are blessed to be living in the Age of the Holy Spirit. That causes me to consider these men’s lives and great success in a different light. The scripture says that Daniel succeeded because he was possessed of an extraordinary spirit. What then could be said of those who live today? God has now chosen us as the Holy Temple rather than a building in Jerusalem. He has come and made His abode with us, at least for those who love him and keep his word (John 14: 23). So, truly, we are possessed of an extraordinary spirit. Yes? Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit said, “… that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you” (John 14: 17). We have the most excellent Spirit living within us and this Holy Spirit, this Spirit of Truth is the power of God. He is the creative force of the Father which was brooding over the nothingness and at a word from God created the earth and every plant and animal in it (Genesis 1). There is therefore now nothing which is impossible for us. If Daniel and Joseph could rule foreign nations, rise to the very top of management of a whole nation, each of which was the most affluent and prosperous of their time, when they did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then what can we do? What can we not do? This is huge!  

We have to learn how to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. You can communicate with Him and I believe you should. He is God, you know. I have discovered that He will speak back to you. He will answer you. He will lead you and guide you. This should be “Mission 2015” to get to know the Holy Spirit personally. There are enormous revelations awaiting us. Let us come to know this extraordinary spirit which lives within us. Let us develop communion and a relationship with Him. Become Daniel in your town.