Thursday, November 8, 2012

P2 God's Strategy for Spiritual Victory - The Holy Spirit

Numbers 21:12-13 12From there they set out and camped in Wadi Zered. 13From there they journeyed and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

Yesterday we saw the first strategy for spiritual victory as pictured by the Brazen Serpent in Numbers 21:6-9, namely the Power of the Cross.  In today's blog we will consider the second strategy prescribed by God for spiritual victory - The Person of the Holy Spirit.  In the text of Numbers 21 we see reference to dry river beds and water.  As you will see, both of these were crucial provisions for the Israelites, and they both point to the Person of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian. 

The Significance of the Wadi - the dry river bed
According to the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, a Wadi is "a valley or ravine, that is dry except during the rainy season; also the water that flows through it."  In other words, a Wadi is nothing more than a dry river bed. 

God had Moses and the Israelites camp in a valley of dry river beds or "Wadis".  (Deuteronomy 2:17-18) This episode gives insight into the work the Spirit of God desires to do in the Christian life.  Lets explore some truths that we can glean out of this text in Numbers 21:12-20.

1. A Christian is a Wadi, a dry river bed, needing the Spirit's life to ever flow through it   Numbers 21:12-15
God will sometimes have you dwell in a dry season of life to make you see the purpose for which He made you.  God created you to be a channel, a conduit, a faucet whereby His Spirit can flow.  However we often find outselves getting caught up in complaining or carelessnes, much like the Israelites had.  However when they had experienced the remedy of the Brazen serpent (picture of the cross - John 3:14-16), God moved them into this dry area.  They had complained about having no water before, and God was moving them to a spot that at one time had water flowing through it.

God was reminding these people, as well as us, that He is the One who provides living water - the Holy Spirit.  Jesus notes in John 7:38-39 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."
We will experience dryness at times to see if we are desperate for God.  Its not that the Holy Spirit has left us, rather its God prompting us to call out to God and to exercise ourselves to desire the flowing of the life of the Spirit in our lives.  Ephesians 5:14 and 18 tells us - 14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you..... 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit".

2. A Christian is a dry-river bed that is dependant upon the water of the Spirit for their identity  Number 21:12-15
By definition a wadi is a dry river bed which is flooded by water in the rainy season.  If there had never been water flowing originally, there would be no wadi.  A Christian by definition is a person whose soul has been penetrated by the very life of God.  We are those who are identified by the Spirit of God living in our spirit and flowing through the river bed of our soul.  1 Corinthians 12:13 notes - "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." 

Maybe your life is dry right now as a Christian.  Know that He is still there, inside of you. (Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20)  Know that He is desiring you to desire Him to flow through you.  Your very life is defined by Him as he communicates to to the life of Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

3. A Christian is a dry-river bed, rejoicing in the living water that only God can provide  Numbers 21:16-18
The Person of the Holy Spirit is the Living water of God's very life flowing through the river bed of the Christian.  Living water is flowing water.  The Israelites problem through all their desert wanderings was the need for water.  In Numbers 21:16 God tells Moses - "From there they continued to Beer, that is the well where the LORD said to Moses, “Assemble the people, that I may give them water.”  

What did Jesus tell the woman at the well who was in search of satisfying water in John 4:14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  Just like the Israelites who sang for joy in Numbers 21:17-18, we as believers need to praise God for the provision of His Spirit to us. 

4. A Christian is a dry-river-bed, through whom the Spirit desires to flow to prepare for spiritual victory  Numbers 21:19-20
It is His Spirit, that mighty river, who can burst up as a fountain, cleaning out the mind, emotion and will of our souls. When He does this by His Word, we have the necessary power to move on, just as those people in Numbers 21:19-20.  They arrived at the plains of Moab, the final stop on their 40 year wandering.  Dear Christian, the Person of the Holy Spirit is Who positions us to be prepared to fight and win the fight of faith.  These Israelites had a water well, an endless supply of water, given to them by God.  We as Christians today have the Holy Spirit, living in us and desiring to flow through us to enable us to have spiritual victory in the Lord.  As we close, I point you to Romans 8:2 - "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

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