Day #85 - From Filled to Powered
The Presence - A Devotional for Living in Thanksgiving, Worship and Wonder
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness… Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.” Luke 4:1, 14a NIV
Do you think you grow more in life through challenging times or easy times?
I’ve been through some hard times. I’ve lost some dear friends to what seemed like premature death. I came out of the shame of brokenness to sinful and addictive behavior. I walked through my own health crisis and accompanying despair. I’m not saying that I made it through these times alone, nor am I trying to say these things to receive for pity. I’ve learned that through all these difficult and challenging seasons of my life that I grow in character and even in the anointing that is on my life.
Getting through hardship alone will not cause you to grow. But through trials and testing we have an opportunity to grow and be empowered if we learn the right lessons, relate to God properly and cling to God above all.
After the baptism of Jesus, in Luke’s account, we learn that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. And when he was led in Luke it says Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit.” Then, when Jesus leaves the wilderness we learned he had an increase and he returned to Galilee, “in the power of the Spirit.” He went in full and he left empowered.
So what happened while Jesus was in the wilderness. He was on a 40 day fast being tempted by the devil. Jesus overcame the devil by quoting the Word of God at Satan’s misuse of Scripture to try and tempt him. When he defeated these temptations by standing on Bible truth, he received an increase in the Holy Spirit’s work in His life.
When you go through tests, trials and hardship, you actually have an opportunity to grow in the anointing of God on your life. I’ve heard many people criticize the idea that we can increase in anointing, or the sense of God’s presence in our life, but we can see clearly this was the experience of Jesus.
I love that theologian Gordon Fee described the Holy Spirit as “God’s empowering presence.” We see this so clearly in this story in Luke 4, as we respond to temptation and testing according to the word of God as the Holy Spirit helps us, we move from being filled to being empowered. We can experience more of the presence of God resting upon us than we already have.
I am satisfied in God but I want more of his presence and power in my life. It might not be how we choose, but God will use what seems like a challenge or a setback as an opportunity to give us more of who He is in our experience. Let us expect more of God’s empowering presence in our lives.
Jesus, thank you for your example of being dependent on the Holy Spirit and standing upon the Scriptures to defeat the devil. If you can experience increase of the Spirit’s work in your life, than I want to experience increase as well. I long for more of your presence. Thank you for using the tests, trials and tribulations of life to teach me more about who you are and to release a greater sense of your presence in my life. In your name Lord Jesus, amen.
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