Jesus Christ: Cast a Vision

When the Spirit speaks, it’s necessary to act, and encourage others to do so. Yet before action takes place it is necessary to cast a vision, one with clarity and simplicity. Now, what exactly meant by a vision? It’s simply asking the question of where are we going from here.

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15.

Indeed, the time had come. It’s so important to proclaim a vision at the right time. Old testament prophecies that a messiah would come were fulfilled, and it was time for Christ’s twofold proclamation. This proclamation consisted of encouragement and exhortation. By declaring that “The Kingdom of God is near,” Jesus sent a message of hope. Yet along with that was a tinge of urgency that progressed into His call to action, “Repent and believe the good news!”

In this verse we see that Jesus acknowledged the timing of his proclamation, gave a crucial hint of what was to come, and an imploration of what should be done in the present instant. The time had come to proclaim the truth of the future and the fact of the present. And the simplicity in His proclamation is such an example and lesson to us that we do not need to ‘dress up’ what the Spirit is calling us to do. It must be direct and to the point so that when we share it with others, they can easily get the picture.

You see, Jesus’ call to evangelism was in fact his vision. A vision that people may repent and believe the good news. As Christians, we have been called to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and to do this we must not only take action, but make a vision.

Proverbs 19:18 says, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keep the law.” Sometimes we get so excited to go out and do God’s will, after merely getting a hint of the vision, that we run off without waiting for the right time to proclaim the vision to others. Jesus waited for the Holy Spirit’s to give Him a vision of what was to come to give His people a chance for preparation. The question is whether or not the people were willing to face the reality and implications of his surprisingly simple call to action.

Whether you are a mother, student, businessman, or whoever, we can all learn from Jesus’ example. When you have something to proclaim, wait for the Holy Spirit to reveal just the right time, and deliver it with clarity and brevity. When it comes to casting a vision, Jesus sure knew what he was doing, so let’s follow His example.

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Jesus Christ: Follower of the Spirit

Mark 1:12-13 says, “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.”

Now, in the verse before this it says that Jesus heard a voice from heaven saying, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Yet immediately after this, he was sent into the desert to be tested. Why? Perhaps simply to glorify God through his pervasive obedience. Jesus was obedient during each temptation, and this obedience started with him following the Spirit. It says ‘at once the Spirit sent him.” At once, Jesus obeyed. Without question. He went. He endured the tests. He followed the Spirit.

This summer I did a workshop on learning to perceive the Holy Spirit and I’d like to share a little piece of wisdom from it: “You cannot please the Father living your life as a believer in the flesh. Only when you invite and allow the Holy Spirit to lead your mind, will you ever leave the carnal lifestyle behind. The truth is, you are an expert in leading your life in your own flesh. Your carnal self is a professional in getting what you want when you want it almost all the time. Your perfect regenerated spirit wants to be led by the Holy Spirit; your flesh, your mind, will and emotions do not. Can you feel this supernatural battle going on inside you?”

Yeah, it’s difficult sometimes to even distinguish the voice of the Spirit when our flesh is trying to distract us. And it’s even harder to carry through with what and where the Spirit calls us. But imagine a life in which we responded immediately to the Spirit’s direction. Wow, I want that kind of life. For all y’all who are living without a real sense of purpose, perhaps you are living according to your own fleshly desires rather than by the Spirit’s direction. This week I challenge you to be on the lookout for the Spirit, and more than that, when you feel that gentle prodding upon your heart, I challenge you to act on it.

Romans 8:5 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

If you know that God has a plan to use you, if you have heard Jesus say, ‘Come follow me,’ if you feel the Spirit’s prodding, what will you do? Will you follow?

Friends, God has chosen you, Jesus has called you, and everyday the Spirit is trying to move you. Be on the lookout and be in the word. The Spirit speaks to us in scripture, it makes it come alive. Jesus was a follower of the Spirit, and seeing how Jesus Christ was the Word come to life, it would be wise of us to constantly be in the word, so that through it we might hear the Holy Spirit’s gentle whisper. A whisper of direction, a whisper of wisdom. A whisper wondering if you in fact will follow it’s subtle imploration.

Jesus Christ: does not self- promote

The subtitle of my blog is “Seek God, Find Yourself” and I believe that the more that you pursue Jesus and live like Him, the more you will discover who he has made you to be. Today I want to focus on how Jesus did not promote himself. Mark 1:11 says, “And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

You see, Jesus did not have to brag about who He was; God stated the fact. My friends, who does God say you are? Ask Him to reveal to you who it is God has called you to be. I think a lot of us often feel worthless and undiscovered, and therefore become impatient and throw a label upon ourselves. “This is who I am.” But perhaps you are simply covering up your futile attempts at self- discovery. This week I want to challenge you all to listen for who God tells you you are. God has made you specifically, beautifully, and wonderfully. And perfectly. Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb.”

And gosh I know that it is so easy to give ourselves our own title. I am going to be this girl, that guy. But seriously, how much more fulfilling would life be if we stopped giving ourselves credit, and instead allowed God to shape us each step of the way. I ask myself all the time, “OK, who am I?” and “Who do I want to become?” Those are good questions, but better would be that which asks “Lord, who have you designed me to be? Where am I going off in my own direction?”

What if Jesus had gotten caught up in his miraculous feats and his enormous following, and began to rely on Himself as the all- powerful redeemer of the world? Hm, bad thought, right? Jesus could not have gone through life without God and without the Holy Spirit because without them He would not have had direction. Is it too bold to say that self- promotion leads to a digression from dependence on the Lord? To be a spiritual leader and example, we must fully rely on God to pave the way for us and to affirm us.