photo by Laura Evans
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
Luke 4:18 ESV
Dear ICB family,
Luke records that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism (3:22). Then Luke 4:1 says that Jesus, "full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil." The Spirit appears twice in one verse. That must be important.
After his temptation in the wilderness, "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee…. And he taught in their synagogues" (Luke 4:14–15).
And then, when Jesus comes to his hometown and opens the scroll of Isaiah to announce his agenda, literally the first words out of his mouth are "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" (Luke 4:18).
Jesus was full of the Spirit, was led by the Spirit, and worked in the power of the Spirit, and when it came time to declare publicly what he was up to, the very first thing he acknowledged was that the Spirit was upon him, anointing him to carry out his work.
Let's see now. Being full of the Spirit. Being led by the Spirit. Working in the power of the Spirit. Having the Spirit upon you. Sound familiar?
Just a few weeks ago Pastor Neil called our attention to Paul's various statements about the Spirit in Galatians 5. There Paul says we are to walk with the Spirit (v. 16), be led by the Spirit (v. 18), bear the fruit of the Spirit (v. 22), live in the Spirit (v. 22), and march in step with the Spirit (v. 25).
Jesus walked his entire life in step with the same Spirit with whom Paul calls us to walk today.
It should come as no surprise, then, to find that that is exactly what Jesus himself did. Once the Spirit descended upon Jesus at his baptism, it was that Spirit who anointed (and empowered and led) Jesus to carry out the mission that the Father had entrusted to him. And this is the very same Spirit who leads, walks with, anoints, and empowers us. The fruit that grew in the life of Jesus was produced by the same Spirit tending the soil of our hearts. Jesus walked his entire life in step with the same Spirit with whom Paul calls us to walk today.
It won't be easy. Walk in step with the Spirit and you're liable to find yourself alone in a desert subjected to intense Satanic attack. Or you might find yourself saying things that make people in your hometown want to throw you off a cliff. But if the Spirit is upon you and has anointed you? If it's his power by which you work? If it's the Spirit who fills you and leads you?
The presence of the Spirit of God in our lives is our great privilege as New Testament saints. And he is as real in our lives as he was in Jesus' life. So following Jesus, our example, let's be led by the Spirit, let's be filled by the Spirit, and let's allow him to anoint and empower us to do the work that he has called us to do.
Longing for more of God's Spirit,