This quarter, we focus on the baptism with the Holy Spirit in our weekly devotional series. This week’s devotional comes from Luke 16 – 22.
As I read Luke’s Gospel, it becomes glaringly obvious that Jesus could not have done all that He did without the indwelling and anointing of the Holy Spirit. The fact that He calls us to a life that is completely faithful to Him is tremendous. For there is no way possible that we could do what He has commanded of us without the Spirit of God.
This season of my life has been both rewarding and challenging. I had no idea of all the adventures in Christ I would have when I said yes to my husband’s proposal more than 4-1/2 years ago. In fact, I remember being newly married and pregnant, sobbing and thinking, “What have I done?!” I had walked away from everything that was familiar and comfortable to me—everything that “I” had built in my life, the expectations of my burgeoning career that was just starting to pay off. “Who does this?” I cried.
As my husband consoled me, I heard, “Remember Lot’s wife.” That sobered me up real quick! Could it be that my longing for a life of empty security in temporal things was more significant than a life walking in the calling of Jesus?
Then, feeling like I was bathed in love, I felt the presence of the Living God. What great comfort to know that by trusting Him completely with childlike faith, my family has been led to a deeper and more powerful life in Him.
During this time, I began to understand that True Righteousness is a person, and He demands our loyalty to Him and not to our selfish ambitions. I realized that His work is a freeing thing. When I chose to walk away from what “I” was building, I learned the greatest paradox of discipleship: To die is to truly live.
Jesus taught that true faith is always manifested by obedience to the will of God. Regardless of what we face in ministry, we must not be compromised by self-imposed distractions or by the expectations of others. Jesus demonstrated how to do this, and also showed us that there are many lives at stake.
Jesus knew where His authority came from, and because of what He accomplished on the cross, we are now free from the hold of this world.
I wonder if Lot’s wife would have looked back if she had truly known Who it was that awaited her? What about us?
By: Ishtar Gleason, assisting minister at Grace Street (Cambridge Foursquare) in Cambridge, Mass.
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