by Nancy Taylor Tate
There are many mixed voices today, sending different messages and giving different advice. This we can be sure of: Today is the day of preparation. Today is the day I have, to make right choices. Today is the day the Holy Spirit desires to do a deeper work in me, that Christ might be seen and glorified in my life.
“…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
Scripture makes it very clear that Jesus is coming back to be seen and admired IN a people.
“When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…” 2 Thessalonians 1:10
As we allow the Lord to deal with our self life, more and more of Jesus is seen in us. This is our testimony and our witness.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” Galatians 2:20
Acts 1:8 tells us we are to “be” a witness. After the Holy Spirit comes upon me, through His power I am enabled to “be” or “become” a witness, or a sample of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The verb in this verse is a present imperative, or an action verb, which speaks of a process of transformation after I have been born again then filled with the Holy Spirit. This empowering enables me to “be” or “become” a witness, wherever I might be, to the uttermost parts of the earth.
There is always a progression in that which the Lord does. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon an individual to “do” a particular thing or to fulfill a special calling. Yet in the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit coming to empower a corporate body of Believers to “be” or “become” a witness unto the Lord. From this state of being, we then do what we do, which is our service; but the empowering in the New Covenant goes beyond “doing” to “becoming” a witness unto the Lord.
In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were called to be a witness, but they lacked the grace or the empowerment to fulfill their calling. In the New Testament we have that grace through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
“A new heart also will I give you…and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes…” Ezekiel 36:26-27
What a privilege to live in the day we are in! To be a New Covenant body of Believers! What grace (empowerment) is available to us today, if we will but reach out for it!
Today, where there is uncertainty, conflict, and fear, there is an assurance we can demonstrate in Christ Jesus. Some see only man’s systems failing; yet others understand God’s purposes are moving forward. In the midst of all that is happening, there is a people being empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a witness unto the Lord today.
Following the crucifixion of Jesus, the early church was in confusion and fear. After the resurrected Christ appeared to the disciples, their whole perspective changed. Even in the midst of great pressure, they were able to see the sovereignty of God and focus on His purpose being fulfilled, as they asked for boldness to declare the Word of God.
“The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ…for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” Acts 4:26-29
In the presence of the risen Lord, the fact of His sovereignty became a reality to the early church. From that point on, circumstances no longer caused them to become fearful or confused. They stood bold in their witness of the resurrected Jesus, even to the point of death.
“Parousia” is a New Testament Greek word that relates to the second coming of Christ; this word also relates to the “Presencing” of the Lord, in which He is beginning to reveal Himself in a greater and more personal way to those who have come apart to seek Him.
The Lord is manifesting His presence and making Himself known today to those who are seeking Him, that we might be empowered in our day, just as the early disciples were empowered in the time in which they lived.
In order to receive this empowering, our times of worship, prayer, and spending time in God’s Word in communion and fellowship with Him, are essential.
Jesus is our example. Revelation 3:21 makes us aware that we can overcome even as He overcame. If Jesus had used His deity to overcome, we could not overcome as He overcame, because we are not deity, and never will be.
How did Jesus overcome? He did not use His deity or mere human strength. There was a divine enabling that Jesus received, that enabled Him to overcome.
We see this clearly in the garden of Gethsemane prior to His crucifixion. Jesus went into the garden and prayed, then He prayed, then He prayed again; and an angel came and strengthened Him.
“And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” Luke 22:43
That same divine enabling is available to us today, if we will but reach out for it.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
The word “renew” in this verse translates “exchange.” There is an exchange of strength available, a divine enabling, for those who are willing to take the time to receive it.
All through Scripture we are taught not only to pray, but to continue in prayer and to pray through. As we spend time in prayer, opening our hearts to the Lord, we receive deeper revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the strength to stand by His Spirit.
In the time of transition from law into grace, prior to His crucifixion, Jesus said:
“…this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:53
In the midst of that darkness, Jesus was able to say that though the prince of this world came, he was unable to find anything in Him, except that He loved and obeyed His heavenly Father.
“…for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.” John 14:30-31
Likewise today, we are seeing the power of darkness, this time in its final hour. Yet the Lord is preparing a people in whom Jesus is being seen and admired—a people in whom the prince of this world, who works through children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2), can find nothing but love and obedience to the Lord.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11
The Lord will not leave Himself without a witness. Jesus came as the perfect Witness. Now through His Spirit, as New Covenant Believers, we have divine enablement available to us to be that witness through the power of His Holy Spirit.
I often talk about the preparation of a people for the end time purposes of the Lord. For those who are willing, this is the preparation that the Lord would do today for His end time purpose: He would prepare a people in whom Jesus can be seen and admired, everywhere and in every circumstance; a people in whom no test, no pressure, no problem can cause anything to be seen but love and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
What a calling!
Lord, help me to walk worthy of this calling! Do this work in me! Empower me by Your Holy Spirit. Cause Jesus to be seen and admired in my life. Let Jesus be glorified through all I say and do. Grace me, Lord, I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.