1 Samuel 16:14 – Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.
This is a difficult passage in that it conveys the thought that both the Spirit of God and an evil spirit were sent from the Lord to Saul. God put His Spirit on Saul when he was anointed as King of Israel. Saul even prophesied when he was among the prophets. Saul turned from the Lord’s commands to his own plans during his reign. His heart became cold and selfish. The Lord withdrew His Spirit because Saul chose to do evil before the Lord. Afterwards, the Lord sent an evil spirit to terrorize Saul.
The God of Heaven is in control of both the good and the evil. Satan and his kingdom of darkness have restrictions placed on them by the Lord. They are confined to the earth in their ability to have influence. As believers, we wrestle against these powers (Ephesians 6:12). Satan and the kingdom of darkness have already been judged by Jesus according to John 16:11 declaring that “the ruler of this world has been judged.” Many Christians are still in bondage to the kingdom of darkness because their hearts have not been fully cleansed and released (1 John 1:5-10). The Spirit of God comes to convince of sin (John 16:8). He also comes to produce righteousness (John 16:10).
Many of God’s people battle continually with evil spirits because they refuse to allow the Holy Spirit complete control in their lives. They remain king of their own circumstances, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit His rightful place of rule in their hearts. Unforgiveness is one of the main bondages giving the enemy a right to control, confuse, and bind up our walk with Christ and our relationship with others. Jesus addresses this in the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35). The King was angry that the servant He had forgiven failed to forgive a fellow servant a much smaller debt. The King turned over the unforgiving servant to the tormentors in jail until the debt was fully paid. Jesus stated in Matthew 18:35, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from the heart.” The tormentors are evil spirits. The debt can only be paid through forgiveness from the heart.
Today, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal to you any unforgiveness that would give Satan’s demonic tormentors rights in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a heart of forgiveness for anyone who has hurt you. Ask God for grace to forgive anyone He shows you. Then bind the evil one and be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God has come to fully establish God’s kingdom reign through the Lord Jesus Christ in each of our hearts today and every day.
Ezekiel 11:24 – The Spirit lifted me up.
Ezekiel was a prophet of the Lord with many experiences in the Spirit of God. The Spirit of the Lord led him to act out much of what he saw and heard. The Holy Spirit is still lifting up men and women dedicated to doing God’s bidding. Testimonies are received from around the world of visions and dreams God’s people are having. Testimonies of healings and miracles are becoming common place throughout the body of Christ. The Lord is speaking to His people through unusual events and experiences. As in Ezekiel’s time, the Lord wants to draw near to His people. He wants to lift His people into realms of the Spirit and show them how to accomplish His work.
The Spirit of the Lord does not bring revelation that is contrary to God’s Written Word, but confirms the Word of God by supernatural means. The writer of Hebrews addresses this issue when he asks the question, “How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3). The Holy Spirit breathes life on the Word of God. Many try to use the Word without the life-giving power of the Spirit and are left with legalism and death. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:6, “who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Some important questions to consider are: Is there life in the word you carry for God? Has the Spirit of God lifted you into places of fellowship and revelation to hear what the Spirit would say to you? Do you minister out of your head knowledge or by the Spirit of God quickening you with a message and deeds that produce life in the ones to whom you are ministering?
Take time to seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him to release His life in and through you. Prepare to allow the Holy Spirit to do unusual things through you. Expect Him to confirm the Word of God that you speak to others with His signs and wonders according to His will.
Father, I pray that your Holy Spirit would be free to speak words to me that are filled with Your life. I pray that I may hear your voice guiding me and that You would confirm your Word through me with Your life-giving power. Protect me and others from the “letter of the law which kills” and fill me with the knowledge of Your Holy Spirit.
1 Samuel 10:10 – The Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them.
Saul was sent by his father to find some lost donkeys. Saul sought to find the Prophet Samuel to see if he could help in finding the donkeys. Instead Saul encountered the Word of the Lord spoken through Samuel. Samuel told Saul that “he had been chosen to rule over God’s people.” As Saul left Samuel, he met a group of prophets who were prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul mightily and he prophesied with them. Saul was changed into another man.
Revelation 19:10 states “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Prophecy is directly related to testifying of God’s will and purposes. Samuel prophesied God’s will regarding Saul. When Saul got close to the prophets, he too prophesied and was counted among the prophets. All the Scriptures point to Jesus as God’s one and only King. When we declare the Lordship of Christ, we are prophesying. God wants all His people to have the spirit of prophecy. Moses declared, “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them” (Numbers 11:29)! Paul taught that we can all prophesy in 1 Corinthians 14:31.
A prophet is a spokesperson for God. We are all called to be led by the Spirit to speak for God. The Scriptures are abundantly clear of how God has willed for His sons and daughters to be filled with His Holy Spirit and be His voice to a lost and dying world. In summary, Jesus is the Prophet Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15-18. Prophecy is the “testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 19:10). “You can all prophesy one by one” (1 Corinthians 14:31).
Let me encourage you to spend time in the presence of God asking Him for the spirit of prophecy. It is one of the gifts of the Spirit God desires for all His people to embrace and use to testify of Jesus and His will. The gift is not motivated by emotions or individual opinions. The Father desires for His people to be able to hear His voice and testify of all He has given through His Son.
Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit and cause me to speak with a prophetic voice of the Lordship of Jesus Christ for Your glory.
Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He Anointed Me to preach the Gospel.
It is one thing to be born of the Spirit and entirely another to be anointed of the Spirit. Jesus was both born of the Spirit and thirty years later anointed to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. The preaching of the gospel is not something that an individual decides one day. Only the Holy Spirit has the authority to call a person to preach the gospel. Only the Holy Spirit can commission one to go with the good news of the kingdom. Only the Holy Spirit can convey on us the authority that produces eternal results.
There are many people who, for one reason or another, try to do the work of God by their own initiation. Jesus addresses this in Matthew 7:22-23 when he speaks of those who went in His name but were not sent by Him. He calls them lawless because they went without His authority. When the Lord calls a person, it can be years before that person is ready to fulfill the call placed upon their life. The Holy Spirit spends the majority of the time preparing the one He has called through many trials and tribulations. He has to put to death the natural ambition that we all possess. The call of God emerges through much pain and disappointment. This can include rejection from family and close friends.
When Jesus was anointed of the Holy Spirit, He had already experienced the rejection of family and friends. His brothers thought He had a demon. He was known as Mary’s boy, in other words illegitimate. This carried into His ministry life. Isaiah declares, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).
The Holy Spirit is calling many today. He has come to rest upon believers and anoint them as He did with God’s only begotten Son. Jesus could stand and declare, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me” (Luke 4:18) because He had chosen to submit to His Father’s desires as He lived a human life. Only a few are willing to go through the disciplines it will require. God is looking for willing sons and daughters who will say, “Here I am, send me.” Inquire of the Lord what He might say to you regarding His call and anointing in your life. Will you be part of that few?
Pray, asking the Father to anoint you for the call He has in your life. Father, I choose to do Your will in all that I do for the rest of my life, regardless of the cost, as You supply me with grace.
Luke 3:21-22 – Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove.
Jesus is the perfect man before God and sets the pattern for all of us. Thirty years before His baptism, Jesus was born from a divine act of God through the person of the Holy Spirit as Mary conceived. Now, thirty years later, Jesus came to John, His cousin, to be baptized in water. The Jews understood baptism as a cleansing, but Jesus was baptized in witness of His coming death, burial, and resurrection. For Jesus, it was His public testimony of His commitment to the will of His Father. The Father’s response was to open heaven and send the Holy Spirit in “bodily form” to anoint Jesus for His ministry. After Jesus’ ascension, the Father poured out His Spirit upon those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, the Holy Spirit is here with us. He is not only with each believer, but He has come to indwell each one who is trusting Christ. Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to come on you and indwell you? Just as with Jesus, every believer that has trusted Christ has been born of the Spirit of God. In the same way that Jesus came to the waters of baptism submitting Himself to the will of God, we too must yield to the full will of the Father as we consider our life on earth. This will take the power of God through His indwelling Spirit. Many believers, once they trust Jesus for their salvation through forgiveness of sin, do not go on to being filled daily with the Holy Spirit. We need empowerment to live the life of a disciple, to witness with power, and to overcome the evil one who ever waits to tempt and distract us from the Father’s will.
Many times, in the book of Acts and throughout the apostle’s letters, we are instructed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. On one occasion, Paul says “… be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing, and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:18-19).
Today, let us yield to the Father as Jesus did. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower you for the call of God in your life. Ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit every day. Then open yourself to receive of the Spirit’s presence and guidance.