We have the theme of Restoration in 2015
Spirit of Elijah will come upon us and bring restoration. This means the Holy Spirit that worked through Elijah will come and work in our lives.
Looking at the life of John the Baptist to see what that looks like in our lives.
Last time we saw that John went into the wilderness to get away from society to be able to get to know Jesus better.
We are calling Harvestime to do that the next 21 days through fasting.
Now start looking at the message of John.
- He must increase and I must decrease.
John 3: 30 He must become greater and greater and(but) I must become less and less.
Diminishing our self importance and egotism, the presence of Messiah in our lives cannot increase.
Two words used here
- abnegation of being = transparent allowing the essence of God to fill him and flow through him
- Opaque = self which blocks the ability of God to be able to flow through us.
The extent that we are able to mortify ourselves is the extent that the Messiah is able to increase his sway over us.
This happened in the fast in Israel. They humbled themselves with prayer and fasting. Psalm 35: 13
But in Isaiah 58, the people fasted and still ended up fighting with each other so there are outward things we can do but it really doesn’t bring any inward change so what are some of the fruits that show that we are becoming transparent?
We have an example of some of this in the life of Joseph the Levite
2. Joseph the levite Acts 4: 34 – 37
Sold what he had and gave it to meet the needs of the people Acts 4: 34 – 37
Wasn’t to be noticed because the next chapter we have two people who only gave when they were noticed and they were killed by the Holy Spirit.
Possessions can be a blockage of allowing Messiah to come through us.
Not just having, but lack and this stops us from giving to the needs around us.
3. Believed in others. Acts 9: 26, 27
Came and brought Paul to the Disciples
Believe in others and invested in them.
Disciples renamed him son of encouragement so his name is Barnabas instead of Joseph
4. Willing to have life interrupted Acts 11: 22 – 24
Wanted to stay in Jerusalem, but went to Antioch and was excited at what God was doing there.
Rejoiced when other things were happening in the lives of others. Acts 11: 24
God is here and people are getting converted, that is what is really important.
Who was getting saved? Gentiles and they were worshipping together. (Vs 21)
5. Apostle Acts 14: 14
Apostle means sent as a legal agent or representative dispatched on a mission to represent the interest of the sending party.
Looked like Jesus and it was recognized by others
Don’t have to look for our own promotion. Promotion comes from the Lord Psalm 75: 6
Are you the Messiah? NO
Look like him.
6. John in prison Mark 1: 14, 15
When John was totally out of the way, the kingdom of God was able to be preached.
Fast will get us out of the way so kingdom of God can advance.
Now different callings, but how do we maximize that God has given us through salvation.
Get to where God has for us and continually looking for a change and nothing happens.
- See needs around us
- give in a cup of coffee
- give time weep with those who weep how if we don’t even know if they are weeping.