Set Jesus Free Part Two
Today, I want to talk with you about what we must do in order to free Jesus in us so that He can live His life through us. It is written,
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:11
We see from Paul’s writings that there is a “process of maturing” that we look forward to. Our spiritual childhood should be temporary and our understanding of God should grow as we become adults in His spiritual kingdom.
Consider, for instance, when a child desires to cross a busy intersection. If done correctly, when the light is red and the sign indicates to cross, there is little danger. However, if the child crosses when the conditions are not right the probability of disaster increases significantly. The safety of the child depends upon their ability to correctly interpret what the signals are saying.
Our walk through this life can be likened to a busy intersection. It is important that we reach our destination, but in order to do so we must trust the information provided by the One who designed the signs and signals. If we trust the information we are given we can even walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil.
We learn from the book of Isaiah,
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”
And in the gospel of John Jesus promises,
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
God has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell within each one of us who asks. As it is written,
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
The Holy Spirit is given for the express purpose of leading us through the busy intersection of life. He is called “the Spirit of truth” because through Him we may know the truth and be set free. He is an inner light that can direct us through even the most dangerous of situations if we will but trust and obey His signs and signals.
One of the reasons that it is dangerous for a child to cross a busy intersection is because they are physically small and their field of vision is limited. They cannot see far enough ahead to know whether or not a speeding vehicle will come upon them suddenly. As Christians our field of view (our natural minds) is also limited and we cannot see all that is necessary to navigate the world we live in. However, God, who is eternal, all knowing, and everywhere present will give us the necessary knowledge if we will but ask and are willing to hear.
What is often times the “sticking point” is when the Holy Spirit speaks a word that conflicts with our natural understanding. We, as it were, look both ways, up and down the street of this world, trying to determine if the way forward is clear. But, just as we decide to step out the Holy Spirit says, “Don’t go.” Our natural mind argues with the Holy Spirit trying to convince God that we are right and He is wrong. Unfortunately for us we often ignore the voice of God and suffer the consequences.
For example, a woman testified that on her wedding day, guests had arrived and everything was set for her to walk down the aisle when the Holy Spirit said, “Don’t marry him.” She argued with God all the way to the alter and said, “I do” anyway when God said, “do not”. After all, how could she disappoint everyone? Later, after years of physical abuse and a bitter divorce, she admitted that she had disobeyed the voice of God and that He was right all along. God was not being cruel by telling her to break off the wedding but was simply trying to spare her years of misery through His divine wisdom and foresight. He was aware of the oncoming problem when her field of view was too limited to see the danger.
Many times our doctrines and principles also hinder us for obeying God’s voice. At times we forget that God is sovereign and that He is the one who “wrote the book”. We sometimes toss aside His advice because it does not fit with what we have been we know. Here is a truth:
“Principles, while being good for general guidelines in the absence of direct communication from above, should never prevent us from hearing and obeying God’s voice.”
For example, I was in church one evening after service sitting in a pew. A lady I did not know came and stood beside me. I felt an overpowering desire to hug her and decided to obey. She was standing and I put my arm around her waist and just held her near me for about fifteen minutes. We said nothing but just listened to the after-service music. I felt to let go and we went our separate ways without speaking a word.
Normally, such close physical contact with the opposite sex is not permitted in most churches because the “principles” tell us it is unseemly and inappropriate. It is possible that people who looked at us may have judged our action as unspiritual. Even I did not know why I did what I did; I simply yielded to God and trusted what He was telling me to do.
About a week later the same woman came up to me with tears in her eyes and said, “Do you remember me? That night at the church I felt that God did not love me and I had decided to go to the waterfront dock, wrap a sheet around myself, jump into the water, and drown myself”. She continued, “But when you held me close I felt the love of God and it was if He was holding me and I knew He loved me.”
On that night God did what was necessary to touch that woman’s life even though it confounded my natural mind. I could have obeyed the principles, ignored the voice of God, and no one would have blamed me: except Jesus. Maybe, I was the only one in that church on that night who would yield to the Holy Spirit so that He could personally touch her aching heart and show her that He really did care. What was just a “hug to me” may, through the Holy Spirit, literally have been “life” to her.
Let us free Jesus to do whatever He wishes to do in our lives. Let Him again walk the earth and heal the broken hearted through us. Let us throw off the chains of our natural understanding and give Him free reign in our lives so that He can reconcile the world to God our Father. Give Him permission to do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, and to whomsoever He wishes so that some might be saved. This is the task set before us as true servants of God.
Let us not fear what others will think so that we might be the hand of God in the lives of the lost and saved alike. We are responsible for eternal souls and our actions have eternal consequences. Let us allow God to break open our earthen vessels and show forth the treasure that lies within.
I tell you a truth:
“We must be willing to move from where we are to where God is in order to eat spiritual manna, be shielded from the fiery trials of life by day, and have our darkness spiritually illuminated by His light. To see the miraculous provision of God in our lives we must change our position to be where God is.”
Just as it was vital for Israel to be in the presence of God in order to survive the natural wilderness of Sin, we also must continually dwell in His presence to survive spiritually. For Israel, this meant that when the pillar of fire and smoke rose up and traveled off over the horizon that they needed to break camp quickly and journey with Him. Likewise, if we desire to see the provision of God in our lives and experience His spiritual power we must keep up with Him too.
Presently, God is somewhere off in the distance and we are perishing in the wilderness of this world because we have fallen behind. Many of us attend churches that are mere monuments to past movements of God. Though these denominations were once where God was, they are not where God is now. Furthermore, these past testaments to God’s presence do not seek to change their position. If we stay where God is not present we will not prosper any more than they will. We will have a form of Godliness, but will lack the power thereof.
Where God is presently in our age, is at the very limits of what we would consider “Christianity”. He is doing new things and these new things do not look like anything we now know. It is as if we are like Simeon looking at Christ as a baby. In Luke we read,
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
I tell you a truth:
“A great move of the Holy Spirit is already here if we have eyes and ears to know it.”
Please pray with me now,
“Father, give us ears to hear and hearts to understand what your Spirit is saying to your sons and daughters. I pray that, through your grace, you will give us wisdom from above to know the time of our visitation. Forgive us our sins and trespasses causing us to grow white hot in our fervor to serve you without reservation. I pray you open up the heavens to teach us the meaning of our responsibility to obey your voice. Bring us to where you are that we might dwell in your presence forever. Amen.”