spiritwarfare

Submission and Obedience

Spirit Baptism

When Jesus began His ministry, He went to the area of the Jordan where John the Baptist was immersing Jews who confessed repentant hearts. On sighting Jesus, John proclaimed, "...He will baptize you with the Spirit and with fire."

In his letter to Timothy, Paul listed the awful chaotic symptoms of the last days. One of his most resounding statements is that in the last days, men would deny the power of the Gospel, who is the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, that denial is not limited to people of the world.

Today's church fears submitting too much to the Holy Spirit, because they do not want to lose control of their lives and behaviors. In this generation of "raise your self-esteem" and "take control of your destiny" thinking, submission to the Spirit is the complete opposite. Extremes in how some members of the Body use and mischaracterize the Holy Spirit have made the embrace of His person distasteful even to Christians.

Instead, they talk much about loving Jesus, having Him in their hearts, surrendering to Him and so on. In a real sense, all they say is good and true, for the Godhead includes:

the Father who sends the Spirit;

Jesus who is seated at God's right hand, but promised the gift of the Holy Spirit in His stead; and

the Holy Spirit, whose era dates from Pentecost to the present day to indwell and conform us to the image of Christ.

Three in One, the Trinity.

However, this is the time of the Holy Spirit:

It is submission to the total and complete work of the Holy Spirit in our inner depths that breaks all the power of sin and enables us to love God truly from a whole, undivided heart.

It is surrender of our will to Him that gives the Spirit complete authority to control everything about us.

It is walking in total obedience to Him that transforms us more and more to the image of Jesus, though those being transformed are not conscious of that image as much as they are of their freedom to live the Word.

It is IN the Holy Spirit that we walk in power and glory.

Thus, surrender completely to the Holy Spirit. Hunger and thirst after righteousness--after Him--until you feel you will turn inside out for yearning...that you will die without Him. He will immerse you, baptize you in Himself so that there is no shoreline, no depth to toe-touch. Be rapt in Him.

What a difference between our containing Him in His infilling, and our being swallowed up in His depths! Baptism! The river of the Spirit flows; its depths increase. Plunge in! Then is when you can say, like Jesus, "Not as I will, but as You will," and KNOW with knowing that through and through you desire ONLY His will and none other. No will except His will, no thoughts except His thoughts, no control except His control, because we become one with and IN Him, and our personhood already not our own becomes transparently united with Him.

Transformation is not an easy path. It demands utter obedience, immediate obedience, unquestioning obedience. But, just as Esther gained access to the entire kingdom of Persia through her obedience, so, too, do those who dwell IN the Spirit have privilege to wage war for and with God against the forces of evil that seek to destroy the Church and His purposes for this earth.

What Jesus purposed when He said "Not as I will.." in the Garden, He fulfilled on the cross. And His determination was that through His obedience we could and would be transformed to His image and likeness IN and through the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, He desires that we become His Victorious Bride bearing the same heart as that of her Bridegroom: "Not as I will, but as You will."

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
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