John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel. (Luke 1:80 NLT)
John right from his childhood lived up to His motto, “He (God) must increase and I (soul) must decrease!”.
The “I” he knew was his soul, which is his self will, emotion and intellect – these he made sure decrease; meaning these will not be strong enough to overcome his decisions and purpose for his life!
For this reason, he forced himself to live in wilderness where there is not much appetite for his flesh and until his soul (self will, emotions and intellect) submits to his calling.
As soon as he dominated his self, his spirit became strong by the power of God’s Spirit and His word – sharp enough to discern and pinpoint accurately the Lamb of God Jesus Christ, the Messiah to the whole world!
A great preparation was needed for that great calling and the great life of John the Baptist, it wasn’t automatic because God said so. Are we getting ready?
You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Luke 1:14-17
I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone. (Numbers 11:17 NLT)
Without a doubt delegation is a leadership skill to efficiently lead the people. But when it comes to the burden for the people – there is nothing we could do to delegate or share.
Such burden can’t be taught or trained. No words could describe the deep ache and yearning to achieve what God called and laid upon us. The burden has to come from the same Source we received from, when we were called – directly from God!
Gathering leaders before God often to intercede for the people whom we are called to lead alone will trigger this sharing and spreading of this burden!
When Lord Jesus called out the names of 12 disciples out of His many followers, it wasn’t done to give a position with a title but to appoint them with His burden!
“I’ve come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now! I’ve come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished!…” Luke 12:49 MSG
At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? (Mark 8:16-17 NLT)
When things get tight and there is shortage in supply – naturally an argument sets in to point fingers on each other and figuring out who’s responsible for the “mistake” that caused all these mess.
The result is strife, envy and hatred – breaking the unity and losing the self-worthiness.
Disciples were arguing over the food which would really doesn’t matter more than a meal. In fact, they want to complete the root cause analysis on whom to blame before Jesus finds out what’s going on.
But the correction from the Lord Jesus was both rebuking and comforting the disciples! He made them to remember the miracles of feeding thousands with just meager amount of bread.
As God’s children, especially in the family, Lord never wants to beat ourselves or blame others on those forgotten responsibilities and realize we serve a forgiving, wonder working God!
May Lord help us not to pass our stress on each other for things that really doesn’t matter. Let’s trust in Him who is our Provision.
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Colossians 3:1 MSG
They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.” (Mark 7:37 NLT)
Every minute somewhere, someone is touched by Christ Jesus and receives their miracle!
If we take a moment to look back at our own lives (or others who has Jesus Christ as their Lord), we will testify that He is so wonderful!
When Jesus walked among people 2000 years ago, they were in peak of joy as they had the very Creator in midst of them and testified that ‘nothing is impossible for God!’
Today, if we come out of our own small circle and start working with other needy people by introducing Christ Jesus their Savior to them – the stage has been set to see for ourselves the most wonderful things He will do for them!
This is exciting, is there anything impossible for Him!
…and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him. Mark 7:32
Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed. Mark 6:56
One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (Mark 7:1, 2 NLT)
Usually people who are good for nothing and don’t have anything to do in their lives, look at every good things in a wrong way and accuse all the time.
Lord Jesus never allowed such ridiculous wrong/erroneous accusers around Him or His disciples. In fact, He spoke straight to them that they’re not of God and warned His disciples then and there never to listen to such or become religious like them.
We all have to be careful not to become self-righteous and proud, resulting in narrow mindedness and foolishness to argue with God Himself about the way things ought to work.
Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too greator too awesome for me to grasp. Psalm 131:1
So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds…
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (Mark 4:36, 38 NLT)
Faith in God will make us do astounding things like sleeping peacefully in the middle of a storm – which will very well irritate everyone around us, especially when we are looked up to lead them.
People wants someone who has faith in God among them, they hang around, they’re joyful, they are excited to tell they live by faith – but when a storm hits they panic and demand everyone panic with them – and it becomes unacceptable if the one that has faith says, ‘Be calm and let God control it’.
As much our flesh wants to react and use the opportunity to show our burden, love and care for those panicking in the storm – it is more important to show what our faith in God can do and challenge them to put their faith in use by the way we react, and show how faith handles the storms of life.
God use storm to perfect our faith or at least to find the real faith!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out. (Leviticus 6:13 NLT)
Doesn’t matter what we do or don’t in a day, our everyday calling is to submit before God with the fear that He is our Lord. We should never become cold and indifferent to Who He is!
It wasn’t easy for God to find us, save us and deliver us. The fire (His Spirit, the reverence for God) in us came from Him and it is our responsibility to keep it burning – we must spend time to guard it, feed it and use it.
Reason, by letting the fire go – we can’t start a new fire when we want it, that would be a strange fire not fit to please Him.
Keeping the fire on the altar is the only declaration/confession we could do daily to show that we serve God irrespective of our situation and feelings.
Listening and yielding to Holy Spirit is the only supply to keep the fire burning.
God is faithful, one of these days He will stir it up and we will see His glory!
Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Acts 2:2-4
When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” (Mark 1:37, 38 NLT)
Lord Jesus kept His ministry simple to the point why He came – to preach the good news in every town and villages before He would finish for us on the cross.
Signs & wonders – healing, deliverance and miracles are only the outcome of His preaching and teaching; never in His agenda but always His will!
He set it clear to His disciples that they should never seek the crowd that wants them but go seeking the souls that doesn’t know that they are in need of God. By giving the good news, their eyes will wide open to the truth that sets them free!
There is not one truly free without Christ Jesus. There are billions in the waiting list – waiting for you to come and tell this good news. Let’s go!
So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem. “And after that,” he said, “I must go on to Rome!” Acts 19:20-21
But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. (Exodus 40:37 NLT)
One important thing as a child of God we need to understand that we never become stronger to live without God’s guidance.
Every time we do things of our own ignoring God’s will we become vulnerable – yet, thanks to His mercy that come and find us!
Nevertheless, when we are in wilderness it is our responsibility to wait on God to tell if we make a move or not irrespective of comforts or discomforts we have in that place.
The wilderness seasons are not an exception that we can’t do what we want to do, but it’s a training ground to perfect and practice the fear of the Lord – only to keep it for the rest of our life!
Joseph and Daniel were brought into a foreign land each in their time as mere slaves when they were young and able – but both chose not to rebel in their wilderness season and waited upon God.
God, Who knew how and when to make the right move – one day, made them to become second-in-command in that foreign nations because they learnt to fear God and resolved in their hearts never to leave Him!
This is God’s plan for everyone who dare to persevere to do His will in their toughest time.
So, if the cloud doesn’t move you don’t move; when it moves you move. It’s that simple!
I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Psalm 119:19, 28, 30, 33
On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.” (Exodus 16:5 NLT)
God brought Israelites out of Egypt, so they can worship Him, depend on Him and be free from slavery to the world that abuse and demand more for less.
We God’s people are called for more than who we are, and way more than what the world things who we are!
We are called to separate ourselves unto the Lord by getting away on a regular basis from the pressures and cares of this world, and simply worship Him.
This separation is our sanctification that brings provision, favor and growth in our lives – which makes us a blessing to all.
The Lord will supply for what He called us to do. We are called to worship Him!