Today's Foundations Devotionals: The fullness of the Spirit goes together with the Word of God

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Memory verse:

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

(1 Corinthians 14:1)

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Yesterday we finished with Luke 4:1-2:

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil.

Luke emphasises at this point that Jesus was now “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

This was the very cause of His being thrust into direct conflict with the devil at this stage in His ministry.

In the next eleven verses Luke records how Jesus met and overcame the three successive temptations of Satan. He concludes:

Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. (Luke 4:14).

Notice the new phrase Luke uses here: “in the power of the Spirit.”

When Jesus went into the wilderness, He was already “filled with the Spirit.” But when He came out of the wilderness, He came “in the power of the Spirit.”

This represents a higher level of spiritual experience. The full power of the Holy Spirit was now freely at His disposal for use in His God-appointed ministry.

How had He entered into this higher level of experience? By meeting and overcoming Satan face-to-face.

Furthermore, in overcoming Satan, Jesus used one weapon, and only one – “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

Each time Satan tempted Him, Jesus began His answer with the phrase “It is written.”

That is, He encountered Satan with the direct quotation of God’s written Word. Against this weapon Satan has no defence.

This part of the experience of Jesus is a pattern for all those who will follow Him into the Spirit-filled life and ministry.

In the life of every believer it is God’s unchanging purpose that the fullness of the Holy Spirit should be joined together with the regular, effective use of God’s Word.

Only by this means can the believer expect to come victorious through the new spiritual conflicts which the baptism in the Holy Spirit will inevitably bring upon him.

Since the Word of God is called “the sword of the Spirit,” it follows that the believer who does not use God’s Word, automatically deprives the Holy Spirit of the main weapon which He desires to use on the believer’s behalf.

As a result, the believer’s whole spiritual protection becomes inadequate.

On the other hand, the believer who at this stage faithfully studies and applies God’s Word will find that this weapon is now being wielded on his behalf by a power and a wisdom far greater than his own – the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit Himself.

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, how I long for the power and wisdom of Your Word

and Your Spirit to be used in spiritual struggle for the purposes You

give me. Help me make room in my life for the effect of the power of

Your Holy Spirit! Amen.

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