IN DEBT to the Believer and the Unbeliever
"Both to Greeks and to barbarians
(to the cultured and the uncultured), both to the wise and to the foolish,
I have an obligation to discharge and a duty to perform and a debt to pay."
Romans 1:14 (Amp

09 July 2010

"Led by the Spirit" (Devotional)

When our desire is to be like Jesus we must learn to lean and depend and to be led by the Holy Spirit. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We need a full emersion and an infilling daily and then a full surrender and yielding to be led and guided by the Spirit. This chapter in "The Believer's Secret of Living Like Christ" by Andrew Murray takes us into a deeper understanding of this.

"Led by the Spirit"

"And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from
Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness."
(Luke 4:11)
"Be filled with the Spirit." (Eph 5:18)
"For as many asd are led by the Spirit of God, they are
the sons of God." (Rom 8:14)

     From His birth the Lord Jesus had the Spirit dwelling in Him. But there were times when He needed special communications of the Spirit from the Father. Thus it was with His baptism. The descent of the Holy Spirit on Him, the baptism of the Spirit, given in the baptism with water, was a real transaction: He was filled with the Spirit. He returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit, and experienced more manifestly than ever the leading of the Spirit. In the wilderness He wrestled and conquered, not in His own divine power, but as a man who was strengthened and led by the Holy Spirit. In this also "he was in all things made like unto his brethern."
     The other side of the truth also holds true: the brethern are in all things made like unto Him. They are called to live like Him. This is not demanded from them without their having the same power. This power is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. As Jesus was filled with the Spirit, and then led by the Spirit, so must we also be filled with the Spirit and be led by the Spirit.
     More than once it has seemed almost impossible to be like Him. We have lived so little for it; we feel completely unable to live like this. Let us take courage in the thought: Jesus himself lived in dependence upon the Spirit. It was after He was filled with the Spirit that He was led by that Spirit to the place of conflict and of victory. And this blessing is ours: we may be filled with the Spirit; we may be led by the Spirit. Jesus, who was himself baptized with the Spirit, has ascended into heaven to baptize us into the likeness with himself. He who would live like Jesus must be baptized with the Spirit. What God demands from His children He first gives. He demands entire likeness to Christ because He will give us, as He did Jesus, the fullness of the Spirit. We must be filled with the Spirit.
     This is the reason why the teaching of the likeness of Christ has so little prominence in the Church. Men sought it in their own strength, perhaps with the help of some workings of the Holy Spirit. They did not understand that nothing less was needed than being filled with the Spirit. They thought that real conformity to Christ could not be expected because they had mistaken thoughts about being filled with the Spirit. It was thought to be the privilege of a few, and not the calling of every believer. "Be ye filled with the Spirit" is a command to every believer. Only when the Church restores the places for the baptism of the Spirit, and Jesus, as the baptizer with the Spirit, only then will likeness to Christ be sought after and attained. People will then understand and acknowledge: to be like Christ we must be led by the same Spirit;; to be led by the Spirit as He was we must be filled with the Spirit. Nothing less than the fullness of the Spirit is absolutely necessary to live a Christlike life.
     The way to arrive at it is simple. It is Jesus who baptizes with the Spirit: he who comes to him desiring it will receive it. All that He requires of us is the surrender of faith to receive what He gives.
     The surrender of faith. He asks whether we are committed to following His footsteps, and for this to be baptized of the Spirit. Do not let there be any hesitation, as to your answer. First, look on all the promises of His love and of His Spirit, in which the blessed privelege is set forth: even as I, ye also. Remember it was of the likeness of himself that He said to the Father: "The glory which thou gavest me have I given them." Think how the love of Christ and the desire to please Him, how the glory of God and the needs of the world, plead with us not to despise this heavenly birthright of being Christlike. Acknowledge the sacred right of ownership Christ has in you, His blood-bought ones; and let nothing prevent your answering: "Yes, dear Lord, as far as is humanly possible, I will be like you. I am completely yours: I must, I will, in all things bear your imate. It is for this I ask to be filled with the Spirit."
     The surrender of faith: only this, but nothing less than this He demands. Let us give what He asks. If we yield ourselves, let it be in the quiet trust that He accepts. At once He begins in secret to cause the Spirit to work more mightily in us. Let us believe it although we do not at once experience it. To be filled with the Holy Spirit, we must wait on the Lord in faith. We can depend upon it that His love desire to give us more than we know. Let our surrender be made in this assurance.
     And let this surrender of faith be entire. The fundamental law of following Christ is this: "He who loses his life shall find it." The Holy Spirit comes to take away the old life, and to give in its place the life of Christ in you. Renounce the old life of self-working and self-watching, and believe that the Holy Spirit will renew your life. In the work of the Holy Spirit in you there are no breaks or interruptions: you are in the Spirit as your vital air: the Spirit is in you as your life breath: through the Spirit God works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Have a deep reverence for the work of the Spirit who dwells within you. Believe in God's power, which works in you through the Spirit to conform you to Christ's life and image moment by moment. Be occupied with Jesus and His life, in the full assurance that the Holy Spirit knows in deep quiet to fulfill His office of communicating Jesus to you. Remember that the fullness of the Spirit is yours in Jesus, a real gift which you accept and hold in faith, even when there is little feeling of it. The feelings may be of weakness and fear and much trembling, and yet the speaking, and working, and living may be in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (1 Cor 2:3,4). Live in the faith that the fullness of the Spirit is yours. Entrust the care of your spiritual life to the hands of the Holy Spirit. With the loving presence of Jesus in  you, the living likeness to Jesus will be seen on you; the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus dwelling within, the likeness of the life of Christ Jesus will shine around.
     And if it does not appear that in believing and obeying your desires are fulfilled, remember that it is in the fellowship with the members of Christ's body, and in the full surrender to Christ's service in the world, that the full power of the Spirit is made manifest. It was when Jesus gave himself to enter into full fellowship with men around Him, and like them to be baptized with water, that He was baptized with the Holy Spirit. And it was when He had given himself in His second baptism of suffering, a sacrifice for us, that He received the Holy Spirit to give to us. Seek fellowship with believers who will with you believe for the baptism of the Spirit: the disciples recieved the Spirit together with one accord in one place. Band yourself with God's children around you to work for souls; the Spirit is the power from on high to equip for that work.; the promise will be fulfilled ot the believing, willing servants, who want Him not for their enjoyment but for that work. Christ was filled with the Spirit that He might be enabled to work and live and die for us. Give yourself to such a Christlike living and dying for men, and  you may depend that a Christlike baptism of the Spirit, a Christlike fullness of the Spirit, will be your portion.

     Blessed Lord, how wondrously You have provided for our growing likeness to Yourelf in giving us Your Holy Spirit. You have told us that it is His work to reveal You, to give Your indwelling presence. All the life and holiness and strength we see in You is brought over and imparted and made our very own. He takes of Yours, and shows it to us, and makes it ours. Blessed Jesus, we do thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
     And now, fill us, oh fill us full, with Your Holy Spirit! Lord, nothing less is sufficient. We cannot be led like You, we cannot fight and conquer like You, we cannot love and serve like You, we cannot live and die like You, unless we are full of the Holy Spirit. Blessed be Your name! You have commanded, You have promised it; it may, it can, it shall be.
     Holy Savior, draw believers together to wait and plead for this. Let their eyes be opened to see the wonderous unfulfilled promises of floods of the Holy Spirit. Let their hearts be drawn to give themselves to live and die for men. And we know it will be Your delight to fulfill Your office, as He that baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Glory bo to Your name. Amen

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