Kingdom Principle: You cannot have a partial anointing of the Spirit of God – you either have it all or you don’t have it.
|Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20||2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14||Galatians 5:1, 13-25||Luke 9:51-62|
If someone offered you a brownie, and said there was one “chocolate chip” that was really dog poop… Would you eat the part of the brownie that didn’t have the chips? Most would pass on the whole batch, even if you knew that your brownie square did not even have the fecal matter directly in it… It seems that even just a little bit of poop will spread throughout the whole brownie batch. This same idea, flipped on its head is to be true of the Spirit of God in our lives… it is to wholly and completely change (corrupt) the whole matter. We will drop the metaphor, but look at the reality that you cannot have just a morsel of the Holy Spirit in you – you are to have it all, or you have none at all. The Holy Spirit is spirit and not matter which can be divided up. Yet as the Spirit fills our lives, we often deceive ourselves and attempt divide our lives into that which is good or bad, or that which has the good chocolate chips and that which is not.
The Fruit of the Spirit cannot be separated into parts of the Spirit, meaning that you cannot have one part of the fruit and not the other parts. (Some people consider themselves joyful but not gentle, or faithful but not patient, even loving but lacking self-control.) You have all of the Fruit (singular) of the Spirit (plural if you consider Isaiah 11:2 and Rev. 1:4) or you have none. Most religions of the world seek to produce the “fruits of the spirit” through discipline, good works, and religion. And YES – it works…. You can produce the qualities of the “fruits of the spirit” without the Spirit of God in you. But if you are producing these qualities, you are a slave to the “law” by which you are producing such things. What is being advocated here – is that the Holy Spirit of God produces (does the work) in you, such that the Fruit of the Spirit is expressed fully in your life. The Spirit of God posses you, rather than you possessing it. As my seminary professor (Ray Anderson) used to say, “You may have all of the Spirit, but the Spirit simply may not have all of you.”
While it is obvious when one lives according to the flesh, rather than according to the spirit, it is not so obvious when one becomes a slave to the “law” to produce good works. This reality is not answered in this week’s Scriptures, rather what is made clear is that God is leading his people like a flock by those who are filled with His Spirit and His Holy ways are not our ways. Further we are to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us, rather than to seek anything of this world. We need to be lead by God and not anything of this world, especially our own flesh. This is why those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Living by the Spirit is truly an all or nothing experience. So no matter how good you can make it look, if “you” are producing good works, there is no good in it at all.
Jesus does not mince words with his disciples when it comes to following Him. To follow Jesus is to follow the Spirit, not those who are on this earth, nor those who have walked the path before. The disciples are merely doing what Elijah did in 2 Kings 1:1-14, but the missed what happened in verses 15. There Elijah demonstrates his sensitivity to the Spirit of God and understands that simply because God does one thing, one time, he always reserves the right to change his plans… (this is why the enemy offers comfort & control… then the plans don’t change.) For this Jesus rebukes his disciples, and what follows is more difficult. We have those willing and wanting to follow but rejected as well. It is clearly that their following is not prompted by the Spirit of God, or at least that the following is somehow rooted in the flesh and its desires. The only true reason to give your live to Jesus, is because you have nothing left to live for, nothing to turn to, and nothing gain – except to follow Him. All things that lead to good other than following Jesus are a burden and a yoke of slavery, this is why His burden is easy and His yoke is light (Matt 11:29-30)
What then shall this inspire us too – surrender our very lives unto the filling of the Spirit. Elisha could not be dissuaded from following Elijah. And when the time came, Elisha knew that if he did not have the Spirit of God in him, the same way it was in Elijah, he had nothing. So he asked…. (In asking for a double portion – Elisha was not asking for more – just the full inheritance possible.) We too are to have the full measure of the Holy Spirit, for that is what Jesus promised to those who follow Him. Not only can we do more than Jesus, we can do what he has done – this all governed by the leading of the Spirit himself. (John 14:12-14)
While the Fruit of the Spirit cannot be “divided”, we can grieve the spirit or quench it. (1Thess. 5:19-22, Eph. 4:30-32) It is in those areas of our life that the full measure of the Fruit is not expressed. Is there more grieving or expressing of the Spirit in your life? –or– Do you wonder if you have the Holy Spirit at all? If so – you may not have because you have not asked for it – Luke 11:1-13 tells us how to ask. If you are seeking more awareness of the Spirit (meaning you have asked and received, but the Spirit is not fully expressed) it begins with knowing what to look for…
Are you willing to ask the Spirit to be evident in your life…. If so you will see the Fruit. But we need to seek the Spirit himself, not the Fruit of the Spirit – (again often seeking in the fruit is a means of the law.) The image I leave with you is “root” verses “fruit”. Without the proper roots, there will be no fruit. And just because there is no fruit – it does not mean there is no roots, but if year after year there is no fruit then we have a problem…. Below is a list of things that demonstrate the root system of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will
John 16:8 – bring conviction
John 14:26, 16:13 – guide to truth
Luke 12:12 – teach what to say
Romans 8:26 – help in weakness
Philippians 3:3 – lead us in worship
Galatians 5:25 – move with confidence