Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness… (Luke 4:1 NIV).
Scripture records that our Savior embarked upon his earthly ministry full and sent, empowered and anointed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1-19). This intimate relationship fueled his ministry of preaching the Good News of the Kingdom and demonstrating the Father’s love for the world. It was “through the eternal Spirit” that Jesus “offered himself unblemished to God” for our salvation (Hebrews 9:14, NIV). The Apostle Paul declared, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9 NIV). This relationship of fullness sustained Jesus during his temptation and triumph in the wilderness, his passion in the garden, his agony on the cross and his victory in the resurrection. In many ways, the life of Jesus was higher than, yet in other ways it was meant to be imitated. He commanded us to love, serve and go as he did. He invited us to lose our lives in His greater life, to take up our crosses and follow Him and to do even greater things than we saw him doing. However, he instructed his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit who would clothe believers with power from on high (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8). What he expects his church to accomplish and who he expects his church to be is utterly impossible without the indwelling and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. Why would the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, exhort believers to be filled with the Spirit and walk by the Spirit? Because that’s what Jesus did. We are compelled to fix our gaze upon our Savior and imitate his Spirit-filled, Spirit-led life as we obey his commands to be his witnesses, to be his compassionate hands and feet in the world and to be his church on display – loving, serving, forgiving and uplifting one another. How is this accomplished? By allowing ourselves to be controlled by the indwelling Spirit of God as we prayerfully surrender our wills and offer our lives to the Spirit’s divine leadership. If we submit to the Holy Spirit’s influence as Jesus did, we too will experience fullness as we walk in the very footsteps of our Spirit-filled Savior.
Keith West is the founding President of Latitude GLC, a non-profit ministry in Rockwall, Texas. Keith believes his calling is to be a "Barnabas" to the next generation of spiritual leaders.