Thread of Life
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan….and Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.” Luke 4:1,14 NASB
Can you remember the last great movie you watched at the theater? These all-time favorites are often known for having a gripping story line that draws you in and captures your attention. The story line is like a bright colored thread that weaves in and out of the movie, from the very beginning until the closing credits. Every scene somehow supports this central theme. In some ways we can take the same perspective when looking at life. Imagine a life being painted across the canvas of time. The artist carefully portrays highs and lows, good and bad, quiet seasons along with stressful times, and joyful moments as well as times of sadness. If we look closely, we might observe some threads that form a characteristic that stays with the individual from start to finish. In Luke 4, the Holy Spirit graciously highlights for us one of the key threads that ran throughout the amazing life of Jesus. He is showing us that the same can be true in our life journey! The Scripture reveals that our Lord Jesus was one who walked in fullness and power.
For a moment, let’s take in the big picture of what was happening around Jesus as described in Luke 4:1-14. Notice that all the specific events were framed by phrases showing that Jesus was flowing in the fullness and power of the Spirit (verses 1 and 14). He did not experience these events in a void. The details contained within verses 2 to 13 are important, but let’s not miss the bigger picture. Do you see this bright colored thread weaving in and out of the passage? The Holy Spirit is reminding us that the central theme of this story is that we are always connected to him in fullness and power. In fact for Jesus, the reality of walking daily in fullness and power continued throughout the gospel narrative, all the way through his resurrection. In Acts 10:38 we read that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him.” Life, miracles, healing, wisdom, and love flowed out of him as he flowed from this place of fullness and power. Friends, he has given us this same gift so that we too can walk in overflow and abundance!
Life is full of pressures and challenges. For every one of us the script looks different. We can see some details of the script in the life of Jesus when we read verses 2 to 13. Notice the intense pressure Jesus faced from powers that sought to compel him to abandon Abba’s chosen path. He faced voices of temptation, appeals to his vanity, and even a brazen attempt by the devil to steal his worship. Despite all this, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.”
The point for today is not the specifics of what Jesus faced, but how he successfully overcame those obstacles. Jesus walked in fullness and power. There was no moment when he was disconnected from the source of his power. Yes, there were strategies he employed, but the underlying current to this story is that he was walking into this pressure-packed scene in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and he left the scene in the power of the Spirit. There was no drop off. There was no lack. The Spirit provided what was needed in the moment for victorious living. This is exactly what Jesus told His disciples would happen: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The same is true for us today. No matter what circumstances you face today, from moment to moment you can connect with the reality of the Spirit’s fullness and power. This is one of the great benefits of the gospel of grace. Immerse yourself completely in this reality. It is your privilege as a beloved son and daughter of the Most High King!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Glorious Father and Lord, we love you with all our heart, and bring praise and honor to your wonderful name. Thank you for pouring your loving Spirit into our hearts and lives. We embrace you, dear Lord, in every aspect of our lives, and welcome the full measure of your presence!