I recently read an article about the divide between Evangelical and Charismatic Christians. There seem to be many divisions in the Body of Christ; however, there is hopefully one thing all Christians agree upon. That is; when we are born again the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us.
This is a doctrine I have pondered off and on through the years. Most certainly I believe it is true but as I delve into its meaning I am overcome with thanksgiving for what the Lord has done. When I first realized just WHO is residing within me I was in awe of the goodness of our God. It was not enough to just save us so we could be with Him throughout eternity. Our Heavenly Father far surpassed this and sent us His Spirit.
At this point in time I’m only beginning to grasp all this means. However, I now understand all who God is and has is indwelling me because His Spirit is within me. From the love He has shed abroad in my heart (Rom. 5: 5) to the wisdom I seek all is within me and mine to know. In this, I know I will never be separated from God and when the time comes to shed this body the Holy Spirit will guide me Home.
It wasn’t until Jesus ascended to our Heavenly Father that the Holy Spirit came into the earth on Pentecost. It was then the disciples were able to do what Jesus had commanded them at the end of Mark’s Gospel. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16: 15 -20)
It is the same Spirit of God who equipped them who also equips us for service in God’s Kingdom. Some think this is only for the five fold ministry; however, since our God has given each of us His Spirit He must also have a purpose for us and how we are to serve Him. Some call it our destiny, others our purpose and I’ve even heard the word “assignment” used. Whatever word one chooses it’s the reason we were created.
Every Christian knows they need God but does every Christian know God needs them? Though we may ask why would God ever need someone like me the truth is He does. Each of us are created for a purpose and when we live it as God has planned we will be fulfilled.
When I went to Catholic school and studied the Baltimore Catechism the very first question and answer I ever learned was; why did God make me? The answer; to know, love and serve Him. Since I was born again I have learned to know God in His Word both written and preached, by His Spirit’s guidance and from spending time in fellowship with the Lord. Loving God is the easy part because He is love and His love is in me and surrounds me. How to serve Him? I’m still searching for the answer.
For the better part of the last ten years I took care of my mother. However, I knew it was where the Lord wanted me to be. Even when my brother was alive I knew it was God’s will for me to make sure she had the care she needed. During her last few months when she was in the nursing home she was miserable but even then I knew the Lord knew I had done the best possible for her. The Lord showed me what we do in love for others is always from Him. Though her mind couldn’t grasp why she couldn’t go home, I have no doubt she now understands what she couldn’t then; that because I placed her there did not mean that I did not love her but that I did.
Even then I knew there is something else the Lord wants me to do. Though, at times, I grow impatient waiting to know what it is I also know God’s timing is ever perfect. It is written “Behold, I send an angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place I have prepared.” (Ex. 23:20) Therefore, I am sure God will get me there as long as I follow His Spirit’s leading.
Maybe you, too, are searching or maybe you have already found your purpose or think you’ve completed your good work. I can tell you if you are still living and breathing the Lord isn’t finished with you yet. One thing we can all be sure of and it is, as the Body of Christ, we have a corporate destiny; to bring others to salvation in Him.
Since we are still here there are battles to fight and win and territory to take for the Kingdom of God. Each one of us is part of the Lord’s Army; therefore, it is ever our duty to put on God’s Armor and fight the good fight. In this, we are doing what the Lord has asked; to occupy until He returns. By His grace we will. To God be the glory! Amen.