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He Came to Set You and I Free to Serve

by Fenny West  
7/30/2007 / Christian Living

He Came to Set You and I Free to Serve
Isaiah 61
The Year of the LORD's Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

We did not hear much about Jesus until the time for the fulfillment of His ministry. He had been preparing for gruesome yet glorious and finest hour. And when that time came John the Baptist introduced Him:

Behold the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. (John1:29)

John was baptizing his disciples and Jesus wanted to follow suit but John was apprehensive. He did not consider himself qualified enough to baptize Jesus. But Jesus insisted on being baptized by John. After he did, we are told:

When Jesus went into the temple later on He opened the scroll to the passage in Isaiah where it read: 18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,

From then on Jesus began to heal the sick, set the captives free comforting those that mourned, opening the prison doors to those who were held captive; opening the eyes of those physically and spiritually blind; releasing those that were being oppressed by the devil; declaring the acceptable year of the Lord's favor.

38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.(Acts10:38)

Notice that he did not do any miracles or even commence His ministry before the Holy Spirit came on Him. This is why every believer needs the Holy Spirit in all his fullness to be set free and to se others free. the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, righteousness and judgement, does the miraculous, raises the dead, inspires us, prompts us, sheds God's love abroad in our hearts, equips us for His service.

Without Him we are empty vessels, vulnerable to the enemy like the seven sons of Sceva who were preaching in the name of the God Paul preached without knowing Him. They were trying to cast out demons and the evil spirit overpowered them saying: : Paul I know Jesus I know , but who are you?

13Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15(One day) the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (Acts 19:13-16)

It was after Jesus had fasted for forty days and night that He came back in the power of the Holy Spirit.

14Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

Paul, aware of the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit asked the Ephesians: Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? They replied they knew nothing about that and that they had been baptized in water. Paul prayed for them, laying his hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
3So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
"John's baptism," they replied.
4Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

On the Day of Pentecost we were told that as the believers waited in Jerusalem for the power from on high the Holy Spirit came like a rushing mighty wind and fire and sat on he heads of the disciples who were filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit enabled them. Acts2:1-4

Peter himself told us that the gift was not only for the but for those that were afar off- you and I.

37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far offfor all whom the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:37-39)

True, without the Holy Spirit we cannot be born again but that is quite apart from being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is like the difference between a cup with water in it and another cup with water full to the brim and overflowing. Without the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we'll be anaemic as Christians- ineffective in our service. We will also be short-changed in our Christian living as we cannot hear God's voice, forced to deny the miraculous, not bear fruit or enjoy the gift of the Holy Spirit; the Bible would not make much sense as we may not go beyond its milk to the meat

Even after receiving the Holy Spirit we need to be being filled (according to JB Philips) because the anointing can be dissipated or diminished as we encounter various obstacles, minister to people with divers problems. Just like it happened to Jesus when the woman with the blood disease reached out and touched Him, making a withdrawal of the anointing for her disease, it can happen to us.

Remember, Jesus said: 'Power- Holy Ghost power -has gone out of Me.'

This was why Paul said in Ehph5:14-18
"for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
15Be very careful, then, how you livenot as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

This is a lovely, powerful song that the Holy Spirit wants to birth in you for you to start singing as you let Him into your life, in His fullness.

He gave us beauty for ashes
the oil of joy for mourning
the garment of praise
for the spirit of heaviness
that we might be trees of righteousness
the planting of the Lord
that He might be glorified.

I woke up with this song and the Holy Spirit led me to write this article.

As the Holy Spirit comes in, mourning will flee, depression will depart. He will give you the oil of joy in place of sorrow and shame. Sickness and disease must bow to His presence. You will have new lease of life as He sets you apart for His purposes. He will give you a new name- from the outcast to the accepted, beloved; oak of righteousness, God's vineyard, from barely-getting-along Christian life to a vibrant one on fire for Christ. As you surrender to Him and keep in tune with and in symphony with Him, you will grow in grace in His knowledge and go from glory to glory like a tree of righteousness to the glory of God.

It will be a glorious s new beginning for you. However I dare say, this is not the end and should not be your ultimate goal. It is the Gateway into greater things Christ has in store for you. Do not consider yourself as having arrived. Press on reach forth like Paul for the price of the high calling in Christ Jesus. It will be time for you to fan ablaze the gift that the Holy Spirit would bring with Him. It will be time to discover your ministry and start developing your spirit and mind to fulfilling it. It will be time to wait on the Lord to be revived and renew your strength so that you can mount up like the eagle run and not grow weary, walk and not become tired or faint-hearted.

He came to set you free and fill you for service.

Free Now to Serve My Lord

Time there was when I was in great bondage
Time there was when I languished in prison
Time there was when I groped in the dark
But I'm now free to serve My Lord

CH: Free now, free now,
Free now to serve my Lord
Free now, free now,
Free now to serve my God

Time there was when I had no goal
Time there was when flesh was in control
Time there was when vision I lacked
But I'm now free to serve My Lord

Time there was when I was going blind
Time there was when it was all nakedness
Time there was when I served myself
But I'm now free to serve My Lord

(I am set free for freedom
Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.)

Fenny G West

This is one of the hundreds of songs and poems the Holy Spirit has birthed through me since I became a Christian. I could not have done it in my own strength, intellect or ability. To God be the glory, honour and praise.

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