Greetings from Zimbabwe friends!
As I write this post, we are in the midst of a blessed season of seeking Jesus and seeing Him come closer in tangible and discernible ways that are encouraging, stretching and uplifting. This season would be described as revival by history and the vocabulary of many believers. Another work many would use is awakening. The idea in the second word being that the hearts and or minds of believers and unbelievers are often sleeping and unaware of the reality of God’s presence and interaction around us constantly. This second term is exciting to me, especially because we live in a very dark place where Satan and his deceptions are worshipped and lauded as supremely sovereign over the realities of Zimbabwe. Also, I prefer “awakening” because “revival” requires that something had to be “vived” or living at some other point and is being re-filled with life and animation. So, I am seeing revival as a renewing of life that has already been imputed previously and awakening as both the unveiling of Christ initially and the renewed unveiling of Jesus to those who have once truly seen, tasted and lived in Messiah.
Here in Doma, I feel we are experiencing “awakening” because the hearts of so many have never truly come to know Jesus personally and merely have the substance of knowledge without the indwelling Spirit of Christ. This draws my heart to ponder Romans 8 where Paul equates salvation with being filled with the Holy Spirit or having the Spirit of Christ dwell in you. He says, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” vs 9b. As I let the weight of these words sink into my heart I am struck by the weight and simplicity of God’s message in this passage, namely, “If you are mine, I WILL put my Spirit in you.” and “If I have put MY Spirit in you, you are MINE!” This should come as no surprise to us, as the entirety of the New Covenant is based on removal of transgression, indwelling of God’s Spirit, creation of a new, responsive heart and relational fellowship with God for life and into eternity. (Jeremiah 31) So often I’ve allowed the Gospel, walking with Jesus and being a Christian to become so complicated, pondering the minutia of the faith in trying to discern the depths of faith in Jesus, but struggling to do so with this firm anchor of hope. The question and assurance arises from this verse, “Do you have the Spirit of Jesus Christ?” If you do, you can KNOW assuredly that you belong to God, have peace with God, are justified and are promised the power to overcome sin and live a victorious life in Jesus here and now. All of those things are impossible without the Spirit of God in you!
Now that you and I have the Holy Spirit, shall God withhold anything necessary to conform you to the image of Jesus and create a renewed, worshipful creature out of you? The answer, according to Paul, is “NO!” “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32) This is no prosperity teaching, rather this is the empowerment of powerful Gospel living and dying in the name of Jesus for all generations. God has granted all things to us required for life and godliness according to 2 Peter 1:3. The question arises in my heart, “Do you really believe this?” If you do, the evidence will be obvious, manifest and clear of any and all to see. So, as you read or ponder today, how is your faith, how is your evidence? Can you SEE that you are truly redeemed, sealed and transformed in Christ. You don’t have to wonder! I encourage all of us who truly believe to begin responding to the tremendous promise of our Father about identity, adoption, imputed righteousness, grace, and abiding love to believe like a small child again. It’s incredible to see how the Father responds to the simple, childlike faith of His kids. I pray you experience that response! Take a chance…believe all He says about you again and act upon that incredible truth. I hope this reminds or inspires you to revel in your Father's love for you. I pray that love will envelope you, establish you in the identify of adoption and cause you to live a bold and mightily empowered life for Jesus' glory among the nations!