Posts Tagged Luke 4: 18

The Brass Ring

Isaiah 42: 1

Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.

I am sometimes asked which book is my favorite of the Old Testament. That’s easy! I love the book of Isaiah. The prophet Isaiah undoubtedly was in the flow of the Holy Spirit. He saw into Jesus’ life and ministry as no one else did. Because of Isaiah’s own intertwining with the Spirit, one can see the person of Jesus all through this book.

Obviously, in this verse, Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah. He also was shown the partnership that would exist between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Before the Chosen One would bring forth justice to the nations, he would experience his own union with the Spirit.

It is through this partnership with the Holy Spirit that Jesus was empowered to do any of the things he did. Without the power of the Spirit, Jesus could do nothing (John 5: 19). This is one of the most profound realities of Christian life. Isaiah’s fullness of understanding of Jesus’ anointing is seen in the sixty-first chapter. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me,” (Isaiah 61: 1). These are the very words which Jesus read in the temple that launched his earthly ministry (Luke 4: 18). This prophesy shows two examples of partnership with the Spirit. First, it shows that Isaiah spoke by the power, leading and unction of the Holy Spirit. Second, it reveals Jesus’ collaborative relationship with the Spirit. This is Jesus’ commission. I have only given a small part of it but you will appreciate reading the entire chapter.

Nowhere is this cooperative relationship defined more precisely than in Zechariah 4: 6, “Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord . . . saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” This is critical language but an idea that we, perhaps, are yet to fully realize. While simple in theory, it is a bit more challenging in application, especially in that most of this applied theory is new in many parts of the body of Christ. We are only just now learning how to work in the flow with the Holy Spirit as Jesus did. However, he is giving us this revelation at this time in Church history so that we may go forward as a dynamic body of believers. As we increase our walk in and with the Spirit, we bring his power and wisdom to our own lives. That must be our first step. Only when we, through the Spirit, have met the pressing needs of our own lives can we set our eyes upon the horizon. However, having learned how to cooperate with the Spirit of the Lord for our own needs, we then take his power to the world. Our perspective changes along with our vision. We can then begin to cooperate with the Father on His goals and His vision instead of constantly being bogged down by earthly issues.

This intertwining with the Spirit is the key element necessary for us to arise as the mighty church of God, The Eternal. If there is any singular expression of needed deep revelation for believers it is the knowledge of how to walk with the Spirit such that every one of us is in continual communion with him, following him step by step. God spoke through Zechariah to reveal to us that everything we need to do, everything we are called to do is to be accomplished in the strength and power of the Spirit. What does this mean? This is the critical question. When we can answer this question definitively, we will have laid hold of the Kingdom of God. This is the brass ring!

Anointed

Psalm 20: 6

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed.

Who is the anointed of the Lord? Is it you? In Isaiah 61: 1 the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus. He prophesied about the anointing that would be on Jesus. The first of Jesus’ anointed duties was to bring good news to the afflicted. When Jesus began his public ministry, he went into the synagogue in Nazareth. When the book of the prophet was handed to Him, He opened it to Isaiah and reading the passage in Isaiah 61 declared that the scripture had been, that day, fulfilled in those people’s presence. Jesus was anointed with power and the Holy Spirit so that He could fulfill His commission as enumerated in Isaiah 61 and Luke 4: 18. Then in Matthew 28: 16 – 20 we read about Jesus passing this commission on to those who follow Him. We are still to go to the world bringing the good news of the gospel to all. We don’t do this in our might though. We do it in the strength of the Lord and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s anointing on us and in us that empowers us to do His bidding. If you have received God’s commission to you and you have received his blessing of the anointing to do His will, then you are His anointed and you, therefore, are protected under His anointing. And while the enemy will do everything he can to thwart you, you are covered by the grace and anointing of God. Jesus said that persecution would come but for us to have no fear because He, Jesus, has overcome the world. Rely on Jesus. Rely on your anointing for they have great power to save you.

God of Comfort

2nd Corinthians 1: 3 – 4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Do you wish to be a disciple of Christ? Do you want to be a person that God can use? If so, then you have to make yourself ready. You have to receive the comfort which you will need for others.

Most of us want to be soldiers for the Lord but we fail to understand that God’s soldiers don’t carry swords, they come with healing. They come bearing good news of the Kingdom. Jesus said he came to set free those who are downtrodden (Luke 4: 18). This statement he quoted from a passage in Isaiah, which reads, “to bind up the brokenhearted.” This is such a big part of the ministry of the gospel. People are hurting. In many ways most of us have broken hearts. Jesus came to heal those hearts. As Disciples of Christ, we are to continue his work. Here is the thing though, most of us are so injured and scarred that all we bring is judgment and criticism. If we are going to be useful to Jesus, we must first get healed ourselves.

Why does this frighten people so? We walk around badly injured but do very little to receive healing. Do we delude ourselves that if we just let time pass, we will heal. Observation suggests that just the opposite is true. Our wounds fester rather than heal. Then the hurts of our hearts make it not only impossible to carry out the works of the good news but instead we go about hurting others. You cannot give what you have not first received. We cannot comfort others with the good news of the gospel if we will not first receive the comfort and healing that we promise to others. Our words will not ring true and our testimony of our fruit will scream, “Hypocrite!” I realize we are all trying our best but success isn’t in trying alone. We must be equipped with the right tools, the first of which is our own healed heart.

There are plenty of methods, modalities, tools and mechanisms for healing. Our big brother is THE great healer and he got all of his skill and anointing from our Father. Healing is in our house. Is it even rational to think that God has not provided the means by which we are to be emotionally and mentally healed? Did we think healing was only for our bodies? We are three-dimensional beings. Do you think God did not know that and provide for wholeness for every aspect of our lives? That seems an unreasonable speculation.

It is high time the body of Christ stopped going around as the walking wounded. It is time we cooperate with the Holy Spirit for the healing of our hearts. It is time to let Dad repair the damage of our past and of just living in the world. Won’t you trust Him with your heart, with your wounds? Will you reach out to receive, not only the comfort of God, but also the myriad of tools and methodologies He has provided for our healing. Bless the Lord and trust Him with your heart.

A Full Life

3 John 2

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
This passage of scripture portrays the image of a victorious Christian. This is the picture of who we are all destined to be because of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. First of all, our souls are to prosper. That encompasses our emotional life, social life, and our intellectual life. It is the transformation of the human soul through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this is best thought of as the intangibles. It is all of the things that make a life full. It is part of what Jesus meant when he said that he came into the world to give us abundant life (John 10: 10).

As we allow the Holy Spirit to work within our spirits, setting us free from every sort of bondage, we are supposed to also evidence physical well-being and financial prosperity. You see, to God and to Jesus, it is a package deal. We are supposed to have it all, not just one little portion. You are supposed to be well in your body and well in your finances. Your soul is supposed to be healed from any emotional scars and you are to be free. Jesus said that he was anointed to set the captives free (Luke 4: 18). So, his ministry and his word do free us from our former bondage so that we might live in abundance of every sort and pass that blessing on to others. 

It starts in your spirit and manifests in every part of your life. Do not let the devil steal any part of it from you because Jesus came to set you free.

Liberty

2 Corinthians 3: 17

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Are we truly free? Better still, to what are we bound or what is it that prevents us from living in true liberty? There was an interesting discussion in the book of John, Chapter 8 beginning in verse 31:

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” 


The Jews thought they were free but Jesus could see that was only a façade. And even though they were heirs of Abraham, Jesus could see the chains which bound them. I think it fair to say, then, that just being heirs of Jesus is not enough for us either. We must avail ourselves of those tools which Jesus has given us which cut through all chains.

Few people would disagree with the idea that sin keeps us in chains but I do not want to get hung up on the word “sin.” It is too loaded and thus we may completely miss the point that Jesus and Paul want to convey to us. Jesus told the Jews that his word had power to make them free. He told them to continue in his word. This implies that a one-time exposure to his word is not sufficient. When we give ourselves over to Jesus’ word then we will find truth constantly spoken into our spirits.

There are all kinds of things which keep us in bondage. Let’s think about a few. How about health challenges, anger, a critical spirit, depression, fear of rejection, all kinds of fear, legalism, judgmentalism, unforgiveness, etc.? I am sure you can add many more things to the list. Jesus said that he came to set us free (Luke 4: 18) but in truth I think few of us are really living free. Many of have allowed situations, past and present, to forge chains on our lives. There is, however, one who has the key and he is with you right now and well able to set each of us free from whatever binds us.

The Spirit of God was sent into the world to be our constant companion. When we live in that constant companionship we are always empowered with bondage breaking strength. There is nothing that Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot break off of you.

What is required of us, you might ask. I believe victorious living requires a submissive approach. When we allow ourselves to live under the authority of the Lord Jesus while we abide in his presence then that companionship and contrition allow the Lord to speak into our lives. Every moment becomes a very present minute in which the Lord can breathe life and liberty into us. Humility is a great weapon in our fight for freedom as is a willing spirit. Jesus is always speaking freedom and victory into our hearts. We must only submit our wills to his and surrender that moment to pause and listen to him. Busyness is not only a lifestyle in the modern world. It is also a desert in which there is no living river of water flowing. The river of life is inside you right now. If you would be willing to turn inside and receive the ministry of the Lord Jesus he will free you from everything that inhibits you. He will set you free in every single area of life: health, wealth, relationships, spiritual, and occupational. Let him be Lord and be free.