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When the Holy Spirit leads us to satan
Today I was preaching in my house church Mosaik on Luke 4, and I’d like to share with you the unique relationship between the Holy Spirit and satan that is presented there. Not relationship in the sense that light has anything to do with darkness, but in the sense that when you are baptised in the Holy Spirit, He may take you to where satan lives to beat him up:
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ ”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
In prior to this, Jesus was baptised by John in the Jordan river, and at the same time He was baptised in the Holy Spirit by God the Father, who spoke in an audible voice and called Him His beloved Son. And note that Jesus was then led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where He fasted for forty days until He finally got hungry, and was tempted by the devil. The Spirit sent Jesus to satan.
A Cross-Centered Church
We’ve just finished a very intense and Spirit-filled festival here at the Jesus Army in the UK, and the theme for the three-day event was “A Cross-Centered Church”. One of the most charasteristic things with the Jesus Army is our red crosses. Sadly, the cross has to many become a piece of jewelry, pieces of gold and silver which middle-class Christians hang around their necks to pretend to follow Jesus’s words in Luke 14:27 while they go on with their Mammon lifestyle. The Jesus Army just uses simple material as wood and plastic, and paints it all red to remind people on the blood of Jesus. A true cross isn’t a shiny golden relic, but a tool for torture and execution.
Jesus Army’s motto is “Love, power and sacrifice”, and on this cross-centered conference the focus has been on the latter. Why have Jesus Army succeeded with still practicing community of goods 40 years after it started when so many other Christian communities have ended after less than ten years? Well, they have emphasized from the beginning that it requires commitment and sacrifice. Jesus spoke a lot about denying yourself and leaving stuff behind when you’re following Him. He’s not calling us to comfortability, but to commitment.
A cross-centered church is a Jesus-centered church, and it’s not the cosy, lamb-petting Jesus that you see on postcards but the naked, wounded, dying Jesus with nailed hands and a pierced heart. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”, He said (John 15:13), and He truly showed it by dying for us so that we through His blood may receive eternal life. He died our death so that we may share His life.
Jonathan’s Enormous Sacrifice
I was preaching a prophetic sermon last Sunday. In my house church Mosaik we have been covering the Kingdom of God and the coming of the King in the Old Testament, and I was sitting in the kitchen figuring out what to speak about. My community brother Andreas entered and I asked him “What should I preach about, it must be from the Old Testament about the Kingdom of God?” “Jonathan”, Andreas answered. “Speak about Jonathan. You know what, I think that’s a prophetic word.”
Now what Andreas didn’t know was that I was actually looking at the texts about David, Jonathan and Saul in 1 Samuel 16-31, so it was prophetic allright. And a few hours later when the church gathered in our apartment I talked about how Jonathan made an enormous sacrifice.
As the son of Saul, Jonathan would eventually be the king of Israel. Instead, he helped and saved David simply because he loved him and recognized the power of God upon his life. He realized that the anointing of the Spirit isn’t static – it isn’t necessarily passing on to the next generation and it isn’t necessarily remaining on someone who once has received it – Jonathan clearly saw how his father became possessed and crazy.