When we invite our Lord and Savior to forgive our sins and come into our hearts, He begins filling us with His life and nature and giving us capabilities and gifts far beyond ourselves. As we seek Him for His love, power, wisdom, and knowledge to be used for His glory, we are equipped through His Spirit to serve Him and work for His kingdom. “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them” (Isa 42:16).
In addition to His gifts, He anoints us with His Spirit to do signs and wonders to show Christ’s power to heal and deliver. He begins to form the fruit of His Spirit in our nature so Christ’s goodness can shine through us to the world. God has called us to become His disciples to this generation. We have a grave responsibility to win the lost and lead the blind to Jesus Christ. “ Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you’” (Isa 35:3-4).
The truth of “redemption and a new life” can only be presented effectively to the world through living examples of Christ’s life shining out of our lives. New life and hope in Christ must be conveyed to the world by a life truly filled with hope and joy! Our words and actions will not be believed without the Spirit of the righteousness and goodness of Christ flowing from us. Christ desires us to finish His earthly work…”Christ in us, the only hope of glory!”
We must seek His purposes for our life and then ask Him to prepare us for our calling to be a witness for Him. If we fail to “ask, seek, or knock on His door,” we will not be filled with the gifts and anointing. We have to seek to find, and ask to receive, and knock to have the things of God opened unto us. We must want God to be Lord of our life with all of our heart and totally surrender ourselves to His righteousness. Obedience to Him is better than any sacrifice we can offer. We are called to be a conduit for the flow of God’s kingdom power and His signs and wonders on earth. “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer 29:12-13). What glory! What responsibility!
As vessels of God’s revelation of Christ to the world, we must abide in the source—Christ. We must use what He gives us to further His kingdom. The living waters within us can become stagnate if we do not allow the waters to flow through us to those for whom Christ died. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (Matthew 25:29-30).
We must have Christ’s Spirit operating within and controlling us. The world will closely check us out to see if we bear the fruit of Christ’s Spirit. Believe me, the world knows good fruit from bad. God will never abrogate our right to “choose” between doing good or evil. “OH, AWAKEN CHILDREN OF GOD, TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN OF ME. I WILL SEND YOU FORTH AS A LIGHT AND YOU WILL BECOME SALT (A PRESERVER OF SOULS). YOU WILL LIFT ME UP AND I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.” (The Spirit of the Lord took over as I was writing this paragraph and the above words are from the Spirit of God to those reading this exhortation.)
However, if we begin to live in self-indulgence and self-fulfillment and use our own worldly wisdom and abilities, the anointing in time will dry up within us as our soul and spirit becomes lukewarm. The word says, “Use it or lose it!” “For whoever has, (THE INDWELLING SPIRIT AND THE LIVING WORD) to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him” (MAT 13:12).
Without God authoring our plans or having His blessing upon our purposes, we chance falling below His highest purpose and good. A purpose can be “good” and yet lack God’s anointing. A work can be secular instead of being filled with His Holy Spirit. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). The anointing of God requires us to develop the fruits of His Spirit. The greatest of these is love! We must use God’s priceless gifts for His glory. His gifts are given to be used in His service. Without the Spirit of Christ directing us, we become religious but powerless.
There are many children of God who have no idea that God has put His life within them for His purposes. They think only in terms of Christ as “Savior,” but they fail to make Him Lord and ruler of their lives. It is easy, but not wise, to forget that we are bought with a price and are not our own. We are responsible to carry out His plans. The Lord’s purpose and use of our abilities will vary according to God’s plan for us. It is our responsibility to seek God and study His word until He puts within us our God-given responsibilities on earth. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
We must seek the Lord and study His word so Christ’s image is formed within us. If we take Christ only as “Savior” and then continue to live our lives through our flesh (life as usual), we cannot be profitable to God. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). If we acknowledge Christ in all our ways, He can and will direct our life.
The way to determine if our life is being lived on a fleshly level is to check our fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). God is love and if we are without love we are “nothing.” God’s unconditional love is a growing and developing fruit within us (if we ask and seek for it). The Bible says that without love we are a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
Our homes are sometimes torn apart through the works of our flesh. Unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, and a tongue set on the fires of hell will clearly show our fleshly spirit. Our corrupted flesh and nature will wrongly teach and affect our children. Christ offers us overcoming power for every evil work within us. Repentance, binding the sin, casting it away from us, and asking God to cleanse and give us His love and nature will remedy every evil work within our lives. We as children of God can stop Satan from ruining our lives by resisting Him and giving Christ preeminence in our heart and Spirit. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
When we see a stronghold of Satan in our lives, it could be a sign that we have willingly or inadvertently allowed him in through sin. I well remember a lesson I learned because I carelessly allowed Satan’s power over me. The Lord had called me to a ministry that I intensely disliked because I often was dealing with demonic spirits. One day in anger I said to God, “I will not bind Satan any longer. I want nothing to do with him.”
For nearly two weeks I was inundated with trouble in my family. Relationships were suddenly stormy and strained. Several other strange things began to happen that were clearly Satan’s work, such as a small paring knife that lifted up from the sink and cut me while I was peeling potatoes, and then a bubble of pure washing detergent raised from the washing machine and went straight into my eye. All of this happened in the space of a few minutes. I even watched as the bubble arose and I knew it was headed for my eye. It was as though I was mesmerized and couldn’t move out of the way.
These acts finally brought me to the realization that I was standing toe to toe with Satan, and he was winning. It was then that I realized the hedge of protection from God was definitely down, and I was under frontal attack because of my own sin. In anger, I said, “Lord you have taken away my wall of protection.” God’s Spirit said, “No, you have removed the hedge. You said you would no longer bind Satan and stop his works. Now he has free reign in your life.” Before I made that foolish statement, I had God’s authority and overcoming power. I lost it through disobedience because I had surrendered my authority to Satan. Needless to say, I quickly repented and told God, “I will never stop binding Satan and doing your work!” Immediately I knew I again had the wall of God’s protection around me. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). This incident was many years ago and it has not happened since.
If we do not appropriate all the fruit, truth, and power God has given us, we can become lukewarm and our light to the world is dimmed. “Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him” (Luke 8:18).
It is essential to know the truth! “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). It is most important for us to study His word daily so we can apply it to our lives. The word instructs us according to the mind of God, and gives understanding of His purposes for us. We are also guided and warned by the word of God. We are chosen and called by His Holy Spirit. If something does not match up to the word, it must be rejected. Through knowing the truth we avoid being deceived by Satan. In these last days the devil is going to flood us with false doctrine. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). Do not let your “well” run dry. Stay filled with His Word and Spirit!
Dearest Lord, I have but one life to give You, and I want it to count for Your kingdom. Lord, I need Your fruit and power. Polish me and make me shine. Correct my wrong attitudes and perverse thinking. Fill me with Your presence! Let Your Spirit flow through me and may I bear Your burdens of the hour. Send or bring to my attention those who are in the need of prayer. Make me be aware of the needs of others. I have a responsibility to lift You up so they can know of Your love and grace. Help me to grow spiritually and give answers that will give hope and new life to those I contact. May I always be ready to pray and give an answer for the life of Christ and the hope that lives within my heart and spirit.
Thank You for the privilege and blessings of knowing and experiencing You in my life. Let not Your love and light be wasted in my life. May I continually use all the gifts and power that You give so I can receive more of Your Spirit. I love You with all my heart, and I want my life to express Your life and image. Amen.