How we become witnesses

sand-768783_640Deuteronomy 30:14: But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (ESV)

The word of God is very important. If you are not holding on to the word of God, it means that you are holding to another kind of word. When Eve stopped holding on to the word of God, it was because she held to the word of the devil (Genesis 3). According to the focus verse, the word of God is not just what you learn, but what you should do.

It was difficult for Jesus to do the word of God when it was time for him to hang on the cross and die for the sins of humanity. Nevertheless, regardless of how he felt about it, he committed himself to the word of God and went through the difficult experience in heaven (Philippians 2:5-11).

We should arm ourselves with the similar mind, to have the same level of devotion for obeying the word of God. James wrote that faith without works is dead. And as an example of a man who had faith, the bible mentioned the fact that Abraham obeyed God by taking steps to offer his son in obedience to him (Genesis 22).

That instruction was most unpalatable when viewed from the standpoint of Abraham’s attachment to the son of his old age, but the instruction was clear and his obedience was swift.

That man showed that when it comes to the word of God, absolute obedience is the only option. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom, and one thing God said when he later stopped Abraham shedding the blood of his own son was that he was now sure that he was someone who feared God, that he was not just seeking God for what he can get. He truly feared God, willing to give up everything for him. He held God in high esteem. Jesus said that it is not so important what you call him, but how you carry out his word (Luke 6:46).

Before Jesus left the scene, he was very emphatic that loving him is not about emotion, but obeying what he said. He has called us to be his witnesses. In the first chapter of the book of Acts, we see Jesus express his expectation of the church, for his people. He said that they should “Wait” in Jerusalem, to “Receive” the gift of the Holy Spirit and they shall be his “Witnesses (Acts 1:4-8).”

Wait

He first said that they needed to wait. Many people do not want to wait. Waiting tests our obedience, tests our patience, and endurance. When we wait, we express how empty we are of our own opinions and plans, but want to go with the Lord, hear him, follow him, key in to his timing and not just run on human emotion or ambition.

During the time of waiting there is the opportunity for a completion in the work that God is doing in us. The bible says that God is at work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13-14). Waiting is preparation for our manifestation, it is developing more and more self-awareness, learning to be different and to act differently, waiting for God to be through with what he is working within and around you to be done.

Receive

Jesus said that when the people wait then they will receive the Holy Spirit. That shows that waiting on the word of God is to experience the Holy Spirit.

Any word that is not leading us into more experience of the Holy Spirit is empty.  Paul prayed that the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with people (2Corinthians 13:14).

When we pray and when we read the bible, when we fellowship with other believers, it should all be means of experiencing the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, who has been sent to be with us.

He is not a visitor, he is an abiding presence; he is not minor player but a major player in our lives. Peter after he preached early in the book of Acts said that the people can expect times of refreshing to come from the presence of God (Acts 3:19-20). Through the Holy Spirit, the presence of God is made available for humanity.

To receive you need a posture of openness, it demands that your heart is open, not closed, that your hands are stretched out to receive. Jesus said that if anyone thirsts he should come to him and out of his belly will come rivers of living water from the water he will give him (John 7:37-39). When you come you express openness. He has to come first.

The process of waiting is supposed to deepen the hunger for God in you, as it is written: those who hunger and thirst shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). It means that then you are thirsty enough then the infilling will come, you will receive.

Witness

After you have waited and you have received, the journey does not end there, it is then time to launch out. There is no more time to smell the roses.

Jesus after he was in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, returned in the power of the Holy Spirit and he was launched into a three and half years of impact.

In that time he trained people who went on to be his witnesses. He said to them: as the father as sent him so I send you (John 20:21-22). He multiplied himself in them. As he was a witness for the father on the earth he wanted others to be his witnesses.

They walked in full awareness of their identity as the witnesses of Jesus. Jesus came to the world to be a revelation of the father that was lost in the Garden of Eden and the disciples who were released in the upper room in the to be witnesses of Jesus. Enhanced by the Holy Spirit, they became the revelation of Jesus.

They were on a roll, they had a duty to perform. The bible says that the knowledge of the glory of the lord will cover the earth as the water cover the sea and the disciples were going to do their part in bringing that to fulfilment (Habakkuk 2:14). They multiplied the influence of Jesus wherever they went as his witnesses.

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