We should only expect from the Lord. The Scriptures say that a man who looks up to another man for his survival is cursed. Thus Jeremiah 17:5 says 'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives'.
The Lord is our refuge, not man. And only He can manifest Himself in our lives by His glory and be the solution to our problems.
The Ark of the covenant was the glory of God's presence and was not to be taken lightly; Uzah died when he struck it. Glory is seeing the presence of God magnified in our lives. But this glory is for believers not the sinful, ungodly or backsliders. It has a purpose in our lives.
In Acts 1:8, Christ promises power to the disciples when the Holy Spirit descends on them-'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth'. Power from the Holy Spirit therefore is not for running around but is to be used in witnessing to the rest of the world so that souls may be brought to repentance and into the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many Christians walk through life dry and unable to share the Gospel. Yet we are expected to be like flowing rivers so that we may attract more people to know Christ. No one is interested in a person who is dry and no one can drink from us if we are this way. The world can see when we are not sustaining or reviving and will avoid our message. This is why we need to be enriched with the Word so that it guides us on our Christian walk. We should flow in the gifts of the Spirit because these empower us. The fruits of the Spirit such as love, peace, patience, kindness and goodness should be evidenced in us. How we behave is key because our lives may be all the bible some people will ever read. The Holy Spirit therefore indwells in us and helps us in godliness, leading a regenerative life, holiness and in putting off our old selves. If we are living in disobedience to God's commands, then we make it impossible for the world to receive Christ into their lives. We therefore deny people, not only the knowledge of Christ and the message of salvation but also the power that comes with the Holy Spirit when people believe and get saved. In Acts 19:2 Paul asks 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?' They answered, 'No we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit'.
Every believer should receive the Holy Spirit because He is a purifying force. Obedience is a perquisite to having this in-dwelling presence. In Numbers 9:23, the Israelites learnt to obey and they kept their eyes on the Lord, 'At the Lord's command they encamped, and at the Lord's command they set out. They obeyed the Lord's order, in accordance with his command through Moses'. Where the cloud went they followed because it was the manifestation of the glory of God. We too should be in tune with the Holy Spirit, our eyes fixed firmly on Christ who strengthens us.
The Holy Spirit guides and protects us and we should submit to His directives. When He is in control, we will hear His voice when He speaks. If He asks us to wait, we will tarry like the Israelites awaited the cloud to move. We will be focused in this tranquility of spiritual empowerment until He gives us our next directive. As the Israelites entered the promised land, the cloud disappeared; the glory of the Lord had been with them throughout their journey in the wilderness.
God sent His son to save us. He healed the sick, raised the dead, set the captives free and fed the multitudes. But when He was leaving, He promised to send the Holy Spirit. The disciples may not have known what the Holy Spirit looked like but when He came, they knew that the glory had arrived. And this time, it was personal!
It was through a corporate sighting that the Israelites saw the holy cloud that rested on the tabernacle but in our times, God sent Jesus Christ to us for individual access through the Holy Sprit. The Israelites had to wait for the trumpet call that signified the moving of the cloud of God's glory but for us, the Holy Spirit settles on each and everyone of us separately, individually and personally. In the Acts 2:3, tongues of fire settled on every individual in that upper room-'They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them'.
The glory of God is falling on us individually. God is looking at us as individuals and not corporately as Christians-this has its place and time. He has expectations of each and every one of us. We each have an assignment, we each have a calling, 'For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do'.
The glory is here!
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.