Emptied & Coming to the End of Yourself: Where the Spirit Moves & Leads

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first thirty verses of the fourth chapter of this New Testament book. “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungred. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou no Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord the God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season” (Luke 4:1-13). “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? And he said, unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, NO prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath. And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill wherein their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But He passing through the midst of them went his way” (Luke 4:14-30). When you come to the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find the third account of the temptation of the Lord Jesus in the wilderness. That which makes this truly intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that this would be the third time in the New Testament there is a description of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness. In the New Testament gospels written by the apostle Matthew, by John Mark and now by the beloved physician Luke we find powerful accounts of the Lord Jesus in the wilderness where He would be tempted of the devil. What we must needs recognize concerning Jesus’ time in the wilderness is that it would be the very Spirit of the living God Himself who would drive Him into the wilderness. In fact if you read the opening verse of the fourth chapter you will find Luke writing how Jesus would return from the Jordan River full of the Holy Ghost after the Holy Spirit would descend upon Him in the bodily form of a dove. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when considering the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find the account of the activity of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Lord Jesus. In fact if you read this particular passage of Scripture you will find four distinct references concerning the activity and presence of the Holy Sprit within the life of the Lord Jesus. If you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will indeed encounter and come face to face with four different mentions of the activity, the presence and the movement of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Lord Jesus beginning with the first and opening verse. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for it helps us to truly understand and recognize the activity of the Holy Spirit within our own hearts and lives. What makes this all the more captivating and enticing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that the Holy Spirit would indeed be very much involved in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. IN fact I would dare say that the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be marked and characterized by the activity and movement of the Holy Spirit—something which each and every individual who feels the call and touch of God on their lives needs to have present and manifested within their own hearts and lives. Oh I absolutely love the words and language which is present within this passage of Scripture for not only does it speak of Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost but as a direct result of His being full of the Holy Ghost He was also in a powerful position to be able to be led by the Holy Spirit. Having said this there is a part of me that wonders what it was like for the Lord Jesus when He realized and understood the Holy Spirit was leading Him into the wilderness. We know from this passage of Scripture that the Holy Ghost would lead Jesus into the wilderness and it must be understood that the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness AFTER He had been baptized in the waters of the Jordan River. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the eighth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome as well as the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the epistle written unto the churches in Galatia. There is not a doubt in my mind that the words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture highlight and underscore the tremendous truth surrounding the activity of the Holy Spirit within the life of each and every believer. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the powerful language that is found in each of these passages of Scripture for they confront us with the presence—or absence—of the Holy Spirit within our lives. The more you read the words found in these passages of Scripture the more you will be confronted with the tremendous presence and activity of the Holy Spirit within your life or conversely speaking the absence of that same Spirit. If I am being truly honest with you who are reading the words found in this writing I would dare say that you cannot have it both ways—being led by the Holy Spirit it and not being led by the Holy Spirit. When it comes to the activity of the Holy Spirit within our hearts and lives there is no grey area for we are either led by the Holy Spirit or we are not. Either the Holy Spirit is indeed moving, leading, guiding and positioning us within our lives or He has absolutely no authority in the midst of our hearts and lives. I am absolutely convinced we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it directly confronts the presence or absence of the Holy Spirit within our lives. What I will and must declare is that if you profess to be a disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ there must be the activity and movement of the Holy Spirit within your life. You cannot truly profess and confess yourself to be a disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and not be one who is led by the Holy Spirit. I read the words presented by the beloved physician in the fourth chapter of this gospel narrative and I am confronted with the incredible truth surrounding the need for the presence, the activity and movement of the Holy Spirit. I find a tremendous challenge presented before us in the opening verse of the fourth chapter—and not only the opening verse of this chapter but also the words which are found in the fourteenth and eighteenth verses. There is something truly astonishing and captivating about the words we find here in this passage of Scripture for it would begin with Luke describing how the Lord Jesus would return from the Jordan full of the Holy Ghost. Immediately after that we find Luke further describing of the Lord Jesus that He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. With this being said you will continue reading the words found in this same chapter and will find in the fourteenth verse Luke describing how after Jesus overcame the devil and his temptation(s) in the wilderness He would return in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. What’s more is that in the eighteenth verse we find it mentioned how the Spirit of the Lord God was upon Jesus and had anointed Him for a very specific purpose. Pause for a moment and consider just how absolutely challenging these four different descriptions truly are—and not only how challenging they are but also how absolutely critical and necessary they are within our own lives. There is a great need for us to pay close attention to the words which we see in this chapter as it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the activity of the presence of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Lord Jesus. FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST! LED BY THE SPIRIT! RETURNED IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT! THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME! HE HATH ANOINTED ME!@ HE HATH SENT ME! Oh dear reader please pay close attention to the words which are found in this particular chapter for if you take the time to read them you will be confronted with the absence of the Holy Spirit’s activity within your life or you will be confronted with the presence of the activity of the Holy Spirit within your life. If I am being honest with you who are reading these words I find it absolutely necessary to disclose and share with you that I know I am sorely lacking in the movement, the activity and the presence of the Holy Spirit within my own heart and life. With this being said there is a great need for us to recognize that if we want to be truly led by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit there is a great need for us to be men and women of prayer—and not only men and women of prayer but also men and women who have clearly defined and recognized prayer lives. Please note that when I speak of recognized prayer lives I am not speaking of prayer lives which are recognized by men here upon the earth but prayer lives which are recognized in heaven before the very throne of God. If you truly desire to be one who is led and governed by the Holy Spirit I firmly believe that you must needs be one who is passionately committed and firmly resolved to prayer and to a rock solid prayer life. You cannot expect to be led by the Holy Spirit if prayer and having a prayer life is absent and missing from your life. Oh it is with this being said I can’t help but wonder if prior to being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, prior to the heavens being opened unto Him, prior to the voice of the Father breaking the Holy Spirit speaking unto Him, and prior to the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon the Lord Jesus He did not spend times alone in prayer before and unto His Father which was in heaven. Oh we know that Jesus was indeed a man of prayer upon reading the four gospel narratives written by the different gospel authors. It is absolutely unmistakable when reading the four gospel narratives written concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ that He was indeed a man who prayed before and unto His Father which was in heaven. The language that is presented in this passage within the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke is such that must be carefully considered as it presents us with the incredible need for the activity and presence of the Holy Spirit within our hearts and lives. We cannot and must not expect to be those who truly walk as disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ without and apart from the activity, the movement and the presence of the Holy Spirit. There is something we must needs recognize and acknowledge when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the tremendous need for us to be men and women whose lives are completely governed and controlled by the Holy Spirit. If we truly wish to be those who walk in the divine pleasure of the living and eternal God who sits upon the throne in heaven then we must needs be those who are led by the Holy Spirit. What’s more is that not only are we those who need to be led by the Holy Spirit but we must needs be those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit. It is when you begin reading the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you can and will be brought face to face with the fullness of the Holy Ghost as well as being led by the Holy Spirit. Oh there is something truly astonishing and captivating when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture for the words which we see here confront us with something that is absolutely critical within our lives—regardless of whether we work and operate in the secular world or whether we are those who have the privilege of serving in a local church and/or standing behind a pulpit week in and week out. If you are one who truly desires to walk as a disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus who walks with and follows Him you must needs be filled with the Holy Ghost—and not only filled with the Holy Ghost but also one who is and can be led by the Spirit. With this being said I find it absolutely necessary to call your attention to the truth that there are some among and within the body of the Lord Jesus Christ who don’t mind being filled with and full of the Holy Ghost yet when it comes to actually being led by the Holy Spirit those same individuals have absolutely zero desire to live in that experience. Please note the underlying reason why one would not want to be led by the Spirit is because being led by the Spirit requires us to be willing to relinquish control within, upon and over our lives. For that one who truly desires and wishes to be led by the Holy Spirit they must needs be ready, willing and able to give up all rights and all control to their lives. Those who want to be led by the Holy Spirit—those who truly want their lives to be governed and controlled by the Holy Spirit—are those who have deliberately and purposely resolved within their hearts and minds that they no longer want to have any say or control over any area of their lives. This is something which must needs be understood and acknowledged for it calls and brings us face to face with the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the need for us to be willing to give up any and every right that we think we have within and over our lives. This is especially difficult over the past two years when our rights—particularly our rights as citizens within the United States of America—have been at center stage. If there is one thing we must needs recognize concerning the activity of the last two years it’s that there are countless men and women who are absolutely unwilling to give up their rights as citizens within this nation and feel entitled to have control over their own freedom(s) and their own choice(s). I am absolutely convinced that if we want to truly understand the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke there is a great need to consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in his epistles written unto the saints of Rome and the churches in Galatia. There is within each of these epistles a powerful invitation to deliver ourselves from any and all control we wish to have within and over our lives that we might truly be led by the Holy Spirit—and not only led by the Holy Spirit but also governed by the Holy Spirit. It is within the opening verse of the fourth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative we find the account of Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost—and not only being full of the Holy Ghost but also being led by the Spirit into the wilderness. If I am being honest with you who are reading these words I find it absolutely necessary to declare unto that the only way you can truly be led by the Spirit is if we are those who are filled with and full of the Holy Ghost. Oh this is something which we find even in the second book written by the beloved physician Luke when he not only wrote of the acts of the apostles but also wrote of the acts of the early church and the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in the sixth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we again find this reality of the activity of the Holy Spirit within the lives of those who were chosen by the apostles to serve and minister among the church as those who would serve them. Having said this I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. What’s more is I would also like to invite you to consider the words which he would write unto the churches in Galatia which are recorded for us in the fifth chapter. Not only this but I find it absolutely necessary to call your attention to the words which are presented in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts as well as the words which are found in the sixth, thirteenth and sixteenth chapters of the same New Testament book of Acts: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself heareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:1-17). “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify against to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified but the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availed any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that trouble th you shall bear this judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flashes. For the flesh luster against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the tings that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious ness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strive, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revel kings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:1-26). It is absolutely clear from these passages of Scripture that we have been called and invited into the place where we as the saints of God and disciples of Christ are not only led by the Holy Spirit but also to walk in the Spirit. We as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ have indeed been called to be those whose lives are entirely and altogether governed and led by the Holy Spirit. There is a truly wonderful and powerful need within our hearts and lives to be those who have deliberately and intentionally chosen to deliver, give up and relinquish all control over and within our lives that we might be able to be truly governed and led by the Holy Spirit. What we find in the opening verse of the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician is not only an account of Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost but also being led by the Holy Spirit. I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the incredible truth surrounding our need to be full of the Holy Ghost for only to the degree and measure that we are full of the Holy Ghost can we be led by the Holy Spirit. What’s more is that the only way we can truly be full of and filled with the Holy Ghost is if we are willing to empty ourselves and be emptied of everything that is present within us. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly challenging and captivating about the truth of our emptying ourselves that from that place of emptiness the Holy Ghost might indeed fill us. Oh I would dare say that if you are one who is not full of the Holy Spirit you might very well need to take a look at yourself and uncover whether or not you have allowed yourself to be truly emptied. EMPTIED AND CRUCIFIED! What’s more is I am convinced that if you want to be truly full of the Holy Ghost you must needs be completely emptied of anything of your flesh—and not only emptied of anything in your flesh but also crucified. We as the saints of God and disciples of Christ must needs acknowledge and understand that we have indeed been called to be emptied and crucified that the Holy Ghost might fill us—and not only fill us but also lead and guide us. Before we get into the words which are found in the New Testament book of Acts I am absolutely convinced we must needs consider the following words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Romans as well as the words which are found in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the churches of Galatia. What’s more is I would also like to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the third chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Philippi. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these passages of Scripture beginning to read with and from the twelfth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the rewinding of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:1-3). “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:16-21). “…But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, where to we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:7-21). Please don’t miss the incredible language that is found within each of these passages of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the wonderful and tremendous truth surrounding the need for us as disciples of Christ to not only be emptied but also to be crucified. If we truly desire to be those who are full of the Holy Spirit we must needs allow ourselves to be fully and completely emptied of anything and everything within our flesh. We cannot hope and/or expect to be full of the Holy Spirit if we are unwilling and unable to empty ourselves of our flesh and those things which are present within it. I am convinced that this is what is so incredibly important about the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were in Galatia for within that passage he wrote and spoke of the works of the flesh which were manifest and evidenced within this world and within this generation. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it directly confronts us with those things within our own hearts, minds and souls that we must be completely and utterly emptied from. We as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus must needs recognize and acknowledge that if we desire to truly be full of the Holy Ghost we must allow ourselves to be fully and completely emptied of anything and everything that is present within our flesh. We must needs be those who are willing to position ourselves before the altar of the living God and before His holy and scared throne as we completely empty ourselves. Not only this but we as the saints of God must needs be those who are entirely and altogether willing to be crucified with Christ—and not only crucified with Christ but also to crucify and put to death those things within our members that are displeasing in the sight and presence of the living God. CRUCIFIED! CRUCIFYING! I sit here today thinking about the words found in these passages of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the need to not only be crucified but also the need to crucify. If we read the words which are found within the New Testament we must not only be willing to be crucified together with Christ but we must also be those who are willing to crucify and put to death those members within our members. There is a great need within our hearts and lives to be those who are not only crucified with Christ but also those who continually crucify and put to death those members within our flesh which are displeasing in the sight and presence of the living God. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words presented in these passages of Scripture it’s that we need to be men and women who are not only crucified with Christ [past tense] but also those who are daily and regularly crucifying and putting to death those members within our bodies which are displeasing in the sight and presence of the living God [present and future tense]. I write these words and I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the reality that we as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must be those who are truly willing to be crucified together with the Lord Jesus Christ—and not only crucified with the Lord Jesus but also those who are willing to continually crucify our flesh, put to death and mortify the deeds and members of our flesh. It is this reality which is found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were present within the city of Rome. Before I bring you to the words which are found in the New Testament book of Acts I am absolutely convinced there is a great need to consider the words which are found in this particular chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the sixth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome beginning with the first verse: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:1-14). “What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye know, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men. Because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your member servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:15-23). There is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the incredible truth surrounding our need to not only be emptied of ourselves and anything that is contrary to the life and presence of the Spirit within us but also to be crucified together with Christ. With this being said it is important for us to remember that we haven’t merely been called to be crucified with Christ alone but have also been called to daily and continually crucify ourselves of anything and everything that is of our flesh. The work of crucifixion within our lives is not relegated to a one time process where we are crucified with the Lord Jesus Christ once and that is the end of the work. We must needs remember the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Philippian saints when he spoke of his confidence that he who began a good work in them will be faithful to complete it until the time of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more is that the apostle Paul would also write how the living and eternal God has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness which suggests that there is an ongoing process that must continue as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Perhaps one of the greatest things we need to understand is that the process of crucifixion within our lives is not something we do one time and the effects of that act are ongoing and felt each and every day of our lives. The reality of crucifixion is something which must be continually and daily completed within our hearts and lives as we commit ourselves to allowing the Holy Spirit to give us the courage, the strength and the boldness to be able to crucify all those things which are displeasing in the sight and presence of the living God. It isn’t enough for us to simply be crucified with Christ and if it was there would be absolutely no need for the language which we find in the sixth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome. I sit here considering this reality of being crucified with Christ—and not only of being crucified with Christ but also of crucifying ourselves and the members of our flesh and I can’t help but think about the incredible truth surrounding the need to commit ourselves to the daily crucifying of our flesh. It is indeed true that we must needs be emptied of anything and everything within the members of our bodies and with that being said we must also recognize the need to be crucified and to continue to be crucified. If we have any desire within our hearts and spirits to be those who are ready to be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit then we must be those who are willing to empty ourselves of anything and everything that would fill and which has previously filled us. Remember the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Ephesian saints when he instructed them to be not drunk with wine but to instead be filled with the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul recognized and understood the great need within the life of a Christian to be filled with the Holy Spirit—and not only to be filled with the Holy Spirit but also to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit. Just as being crucified with Jesus is something we have been called to do as an experience within our lives it is also something that is not a one time process and that is the end of it. There is a daily need for us to be those who are willing to allow ourselves to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit as we continually mortify the deeds of our flesh as we determine not to yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness but rather to righteousness. We as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs be those who recognize and understand that we have indeed been called to a life where we continually and daily crucify the members of our flesh through and by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. Having said all of this I find it absolutely necessary to first and foremost call your attention to the words which are found in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Ephesus. It is in this passage of Scripture we encounter the apostle instructing them to be not filled or drunk with wine wherein is excess but to instead be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is this concept of being filled with the Holy Spirit which we must recognize and understand—particularly and especially when we consider the words found in the New Testament book of Acts. It is in the first and opening chapter of the New Testament book of Luke we find Zacharias and Elisabeth being filled with the Holy Ghost as well as the angel Gabriel declaring unto Zacharias that the child which would be born unto them would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were in Ephesus followed directly by the words which we see in the New Testament book of Acts in the second, sixth, thirteenth and sixteenth chapter, as well as the twentieth chapter: “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepiest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:14-21). “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaean? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:1-13). “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Procorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:1-7). “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Mayan, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucid; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister” (Acts 13:1-5). “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy’s, the son of a certain woman, w high was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.A no so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, and assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; and from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days” (Acts 16:1-12). “And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more” (Acts 20:18-25). I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in these portions of the book of Acts for each of them present us with different elements of the movement, activity and presence of the Holy Spirit within the lives of the saints of God and apostles. We dare not and must not quickly glance over these references for they call and draw our attention to the incredible need for the activity and involvement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In fact I would dare say that we do ourselves a great disservice when we think and believe that can somehow live our lives absent and independent of the activity and involvement of the Holy Spirit. There has been much damage and many needless harm that has taken place in the lives of many men and women because they neglect and/or ignore the involvement of the Holy Spirit within their lives. We must understand that if we want to truly walk as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in this generation we cannot do so apart from and without the involvement of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps one of the greatest truths found within the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is that even He needed the presence of the person and power of the Holy Spirit. I am absolutely convinced that from the time the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in the bodily form as a dove to the time He ascended unto the right hand of the Father the Holy Ghost was not only upon Him but also in dwelt Him. There is not a doubt in my mind that if the Lord Jesus needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit then we as His disciples and followers also desperately need the indwelling of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. I read the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke and I am immediately struck with the fact that what originally began with the Lord Jesus Christ having the Holy Spirit descended upon in the bodily form of a dove. Scripture makes it perfectly clear that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Lord Jesus while He was still in the waters of the Jordan River and here we find a powerful reference of the Lord Jesus after the baptism. The beloved physician Luke would write concerning the Lord Jesus and how He was not only full of the Holy Ghost and returned from the Jordan. What we must needs understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that not only did Jesus return from the Jordan being full of the Holy Ghost but He was also led by the Spirit into the wilderness. If there is one thing we must needs understand it’s that being led by the Holy Spirit doesn’t always mean we will be led to the mountain top where we would like to think the presence and glory of the living God is usually attributed to. There is something truly astonishing about the words found in this passage of Scripture for when we think about the leading of the Holy Spirit we tend to think of it as being His leading us into places of comfort, places of convenience and even places where were feel at ease, quiet and peaceful. The truth of the matter, however, is that the Holy Spirit can in fact and does in fact lead us into our own wildernesses. What makes this all the more astonishing when you take the time to consider it is when you read the Old Testament book of Exodus and how after the children of Israel were delivered from the slavery, bondage and oppression of the land of Egypt they were not brought by the path which would have been shorter than what they would experience. Scripture clearly indicates the Lord could have brought the children of Israel through the land of the Philistines, however, He knew that if they experienced war in the midst of their land they might return back to the land of Egypt. I read the words which are presented here in this passage of Scripture and I am struck with the fact that the Spirit could have led Jesus to the mountain to pray but instead He led Him to the wilderness to be tempted. This is something which we have a great need of recognizing and paying close attention to for there are countless men and women who would like to believe within their hearts that the Holy Spirit leads them to the mountain to pray, or to the sanctuary to worship or even into the valley to rest. There are countless men and women who think that being led by the Spirit means that we are led beside still waters and are made to lie down in green pastures on a consistent basis. The truth of the matter is that while it was indeed true David spoke of the Lord as leading him beside still waters and making him to lie down in green pastures he also spoke of a table in the presence of his enemies and walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Why is it that most of us are okay with the Lord being our shepherd when he makes us to lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters and yet we have a difficult time when he wants to prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies? Why do we have an incredibly difficult time when the Lord wants to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death knowing that his rod and his staff comfort us? Oh I am absolutely convinced there are a number of men and women who are sorely mistaken when it comes to the leading of the Spirit as they not only expect but also desire the Spirit to lead them beside still waters and make them lie down in green pastures. There are men and women among us within our churches who very much desire the leading of the Holy Spirit within their lives and yet they are unwilling to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them into all places where He desires. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the leading of the Holy Spirit does not always mean that we are going to be led into places that are comfortable and convenient for us. When we read of the Holy Spirit leading Jesus after He had been baptized in the Jordan River we find that He did not lead Him into the city of Jerusalem and unto the Temple. The Holy Spirit didn’t lead the Lord Jesus into the synagogue where He would begin to teach and preach the gospel of the kingdom. After the Lord Jesus emerged from the waters of the Jordan River He didn’t even lead Him into the place of healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, casting out unclean spirits and the like. After the Lord Jesus returned from the Jordan River where He was baptized He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where He would be tempted of the devil. This is something incredibly significant for us to recognize and pay close attention for when we think about Jesus’ being led by the Spirit into the wilderness we find that although He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness He was indeed full of the Holy Ghost. Despite the fact the Holy Spirit would lead Him into the wilderness He would not go alone nor would He even go within and of His own strength. I absolutely love the words which are found in this passage for they bring us face to face with the incredibly strong truth that although the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil He would not go absent the personal presence of the Holy Spirit. It is incredibly significant to read the words present here in this text for within it we encounter the strong truth that if and/or when we experience temptation there is a great need for the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. I do not believe it is by accident or coincidence when we read of the Lord Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost and then immediately being led by the Spirit into the wilderness for it would be the Holy Spirit that would help sustain Him during those forty days and forty nights. Scripture makes it perfectly clear that the Lord Jesus would fast forty days and forty nights in the wilderness and that afterward He was hungry—essentially his flesh was indeed weakened by the lack of physical sustenance and nourishment. WHEN YOU COME TO THE END OF YOURSELF! Oh I write these words and as I write them I can’t help but be confronted with the incredibly powerful reality that we as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must recognize the person and presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested when we have indeed come to the end of ourselves. Oh I find it truly astonishing to read this passage of Scripture and how the language of Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit speaks to the emptying of Himself—perhaps even Him emptying Himself of that which He had with the Father before He would take upon Himself the form of human flesh. Of course we know that Jesus was still the eternal and only begotten Son of God and was indeed still fully divine, however, I would dare say there was this emptying which took place within Him that would necessitate the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit. I firmly believe that in order for the Lord Jesus to be full of the Holy Ghost as Luke suggests there would have had to be an emptying of Himself that the Holy Spirit would have been able to work with. What’s more is that when we think about Jesus’ being led by the Spirit into the wilderness and His fasting forty days and forty nights we must recognize that not only was there an emptying but there was also a coming to the end of Himself. The simple fact that the Lord Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights would not only mean that He was weakened in His physical flesh but also that He had indeed come to the end of Himself. This is something we have a great need to recognize and acknowledge within our hearts and minds for there is something about coming to the end of ourselves—even the weakening of our flesh that warrants and necessitates the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus would indeed be led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, however, we must also recognize and understand that in addition to his being led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness He would also be full of the Holy Ghost. The Lord Jesus Christ was indeed filled with and indwelt by the Holy Spirit and when He was confronted by the devil during that time in the wilderness He would not do so alone. I read the words presented in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke and I am brought face to face with the incredible reality of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. It is indeed true that when the Lord Jesus would encounter the devil in the wilderness after fasting forty days and forty nights and being weakened in His flesh, however, He would not encounter those temptations alone. Jesus would return from the Jordan River unto Galilee being full of the Holy Ghost and immediately thereafter the Spirit would lead Him into the wilderness. Oh if there is one thing we must needs understand when considering our lives as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ it’s that we must not only be completely emptied of ourselves that we might be filled with and full of the Holy Spirit but we must also completely and utterly come to the end of ourselves that that the Holy Spirit might be able to have His perfect work within us. There is something truly captivating about the words we find within this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter the Lord Jesus as not only being full of the Holy Ghost but also led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would be intimately involved in the life of the Lord Jesus which is something we have a great need of recognizing and paying attention to. The Holy Spirit would indeed fill and indwell the Lord Jesus Christ and would be a powerful presence within Him after He had indeed emptied Himself in the process of taking on the form of human flesh. There were certain things the Lord Jesus put aside and laid down that He might take up the form of human flesh and this is a truth that must be recognized when we consider the language found in the fourth chapter. The fourth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke would indeed bring us face to face with Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit but it also presents us with the truth of Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness after hearing the voice of the Father and even after the Spirit descended upon Him. I have to admit the more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit within His life. What makes the words and language found in this passage so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the after the heavens were opened unto Jesus, after He heard the voice of the Father speak unto Him as His beloved Son and after the Spirit descended upon Him in the bodily form of a dove—even after the Holy Spirit would dwell within and fill the Lord Jesus Christ—He would still be led into the wilderness. We would like to think that after we hear the voice of the Father speaking unto us and even after the Holy Spirit comes upon us that we would be led into the sanctuary to worship or to the mountain to pray, however, the truth of the matter is that there are times when we hear the voice of the Father, when the heavens are opened to us and when the Spirit comes upon us that we are driven into the wilderness. What’s more is that there seems to be any and every indication that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Not only this but I have to wonder why Jesus would choose to fast forty days and forty nights. Did Jesus know the purpose for the Spirit’s leading Him into the wilderness and that He would be tempted of the devil? There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the Holy Spirit not only led the Lord Jesus into the wilderness but also revealed unto Him that He would be tempted of the devil. Moreover there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t required of the Lord Jesus to fast forty days and forty nights that He might fully and completely come to the end of Himself. Oh more often than not it is only to the degree and only when we come to the end of ourselves that we are in fact able to fully trust and rely upon the person and presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives. As I prepare to bring this writing to a close there is a great necessity to recognize how although Jesus had indeed heard the voice of the Father speak unto Him as being His beloved Son and after the heavens were opened unto Him and the Spirit descended upon Him in the bodily form as a dove He would still be led into the wilderness. It would be in the wilderness where the truth of Jesus as the Son of God would indeed be brought to the forefront as the devil would indeed tempt Jesus according to the reality of His being the Son of God. It would be there in the wilderness the Holy Spirit would tempt Jesus on the basis of His being the Son of the living God for He would include in his temptations the phrase “If you are the Son of God.” Jesus knew that He was the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God and it might very well have been that reality of His relationship and identity as the Son of God that would serve as the temptation of the wilderness. In all reality I can’t help but think about the temptations in the wilderness as being the means to determine whether or not Jesus would use His relationship to the Father as the eternal and only begotten Son to accomplish His plans and purposes or whether or not He would fully trust and rely upon the person of the Holy Spirit. We as the people of God who read the words found in this passage of Scripture must needs allow ourselves to understand that the temptation of the devil in the wilderness might very well have been used on the basis of Jesus as using His relationship to the Father as the eternal Son rather than trusting and relying upon the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. There is a specific reason why the Lord Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit which is evidenced in the following chapter as we find Him in the synagogue in the town of Nazareth. I read the words which are found in the fourth chapter of this gospel and I am brought face to face with the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ and that He was indeed anointed of the Spirit to carry out and fulfill that purpose and assignment for which He had indeed been chosen. Oh there is a vast difference between the Lord Jesus using His relationship to and identity with the Father to serve His own purposes and accomplish that for which he was called and ordained to do versus trusting and relying upon the Person and presence of the Holy Spirit. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for when we come to the second half of this chapter we find Jesus in the synagogue in the town of Nazareth reading from the prophet Isaiah and emphatically declaring that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord was upon Him and had not only anointed Him but had also sent Him. This is something we must needs understand in direct connection to the temptation in the wilderness for Jesus could have very easily chosen to move and operate solely on His relationship to the Father as Son rather than relying on the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. It was Jesus Himself who would declare that the Spirit of the Lord God was upon Him—and not only was the Spirit of God upon Him but the Spirit had anointed and sent Him. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading these words it’s how incredible necessary it is for us to be people who are anointed and sent by the Holy Spirit—and not only anointed and sent by the Holy Spirit but also those who are completely and utterly filled with and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. There is absolutely no room nor is there any place for our flesh when we want to be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit and the question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are willing to empty ourselves and to come to the end of ourselves that we might indeed be those who operate under the guidance of the Holy Spirit within our lives. We must needs be those who live as crucified and emptied vessels in the sight and presence of the living God for it brings us to the place where we are willing to give the Holy Spirit complete and utter control of every area and facet of our beings.

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