June 9, 2015
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.
38. We’ve all heard it said. As the story goes, we only use about 10% of the capacity of our brain. On a similar note, what if we could flip a switch that told us the percentage to which the Holy Spirit was filling us at any given moment. What would my gauge read? And yours?
Doesn’t it make sense? If a person can be filled with the Holy Spirit, they can also be half full or even running on empty.
We know Jesus gauge read 100% all the time. Scripture says the Spirit dwelled in him even beyond measure. This is why the crowds of people were irresistibly drawn to him as we see in today’s text. It’s also why, as the text reveals, the demonic spirits “fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.'”
I think this is the essence of what becoming a disciple of Jesus is all about. It’s learning from him what it means and what it takes to move the needle on our “Holy Spirit gauge.” Learning to walk in the humble way of the cross means learning to live in the powerful way of the Holy Spirit. But remember, this is not about a “formula” but a “fellowship.” It’s not the love of power but the power of love. It takes an ever deepening maturity characterized by an ever present humility to grasp this.
There is always more of the Holy Spirit. The issue is the level of our availability–that’s the percentage to which we will be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is what the “means of grace” are all about– deepening our fellowship with Jesus through the personal presence of the Holy Spirit.
What if we aren’t witnessing New Testament realities because we have anemic levels of the fullness of the Holy Spirit?
39. Even more interesting is the way Jesus gave the demons “strict orders not to tell anyone about him.” Jesus exercised authority over the principalities and powers of darkness.
What if one’s level of kingdom authority cannot exceed their level of Holy Spirit fullness? It would make sense of the seeming sway of the powers of darkness in our time.
I don’t want to be over simplistic with these lines of thinking, yet I do want to explore the hypothesis.
So here’s how we close today. Take out a piece of paper (or if you are in the fasting challenge, get out your notebook) and write down the percentage to which you assess your own fullness of the Holy Spirit. I’m doing it too. While our self assessment could be skewed in either direction- it at least gives us something of a benchmark.
We will keep an eye on that in the days ahead.
SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, FALL AFRESH ON ME.
P.S. Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge. It’s 40 days, one day per week at a time, over the next 52 weeks. It’s a food only fast. Begins after supper on one day and ends at 4pm the next- 2 meals. Liquids fine. Fasting goes better together. I’ll send you a short weekly encouragement email if you register.– sign up here.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.