Walking in the Spirit; June 8, 2018

Mark 9:12-13 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

I find this passage to be evidence that while Jesus was truly the preexistent Son of God, a coequal member of the Trinity, He was indeed fully human, and as such there were things He struggled with. Moses and Elijah appeared to Him, and the Father spoke to Him out of the cloud, precisely to strengthen and reassure His very human nature to prepare Him for the cross. He operated fully in the Holy Spirit, which is why He had frequent Words of Knowledge about people, such as Nathanael. (John 1:48) However, in choosing to be born as a human baby, He was choosing to take on our human limitations. That’s why we don’t have any reliable record of His performing miracles before the Holy Spirit came on Him at His baptism. (Mark 1:10) I think He even struggled with the idea that John the Baptist was Elijah, restoring all things, when John had been beheaded. Moses and Elijah helped Him accept what His human mind couldn’t understand, so that He could get through the Garden of Gethsemane and all that followed. I don’t think we appreciate the humanity of Jesus sufficiently. That’s why we balk at His statement that “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) We fail to believe that the same Holy Spirit is available to us, if we will yield ourselves to Him in faith.

I don’t remember learning much about the Holy Spirit before 1973 or so, when I was encouraged to read books like 9 O’clock in the Morning and The Holy Spirit and You. I immediately recognized that much of what I was reading was Scriptural, and I started seeking to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, but those books were so focused on the gift of tongues being the definitive evidence of the baptism that I was effectively seeking the gift rather than the Giver, and nothing happened. It was months later before a friend encouraged me to trust God enough not to place conditions (such as tongues) on God, and I was able to receive in faith. However, the evidence that something happened wasn’t any feeling or “manifestation gift,” but the fact that I was telling a total stranger about Jesus, and I realized Acts 1:8 was indeed true. In the months and years that followed I have experienced everything mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 at least once, and most of them several times. That said, I still have plenty of room to grow in being a consistently open conduit for the Holy Spirit. I don’t think I’ve come to the point of “greater things” yet by any means! I am to keep pressing in to my Lord, not trying to dictate to Him but rather seeking to hear and obey Him accurately and fully, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me indeed abide in Your Son by the power of Your Spirit, so that Your grace and power may be manifested in and through me for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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