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Daily Devotional with Pastor Jon

July 15

These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.

Ezra 8:1

The number of men who responded to Ezra’s invitation to return to Jerusalem following their captivity in Babylon - listed in verses 2 through 14 - was approximately fifteen hundred. Keep in mind that most of the Jews carried into Babylon had, over time, become comfortable there. In the first group, led by Zerubbabel, nearly fifty thousand went. In this second group, there are fifteen hundred who go. Most chose to stay.

The Holy Spirit is a perfect gentleman. He invites. He encourages. He inspires. He enlightens. But He doesn’t force. That is why He is likened not to a vulture or an eagle, but to a dove, a bird of peace and gentleness (Matthew 3:16).

In Ezekiel 47, we see Ezekiel being led to a river - often a picture of the Spirit in Scripture (Joshua 3:13) - where he stepped in up to his ankles. Then he was led downstream, where he stepped in up to his knees. Further downstream, he stepped in up to his waist. Still further, he found himself over his head. What does this say to us? The Spirit of the Lord invites us to step in. Some step in up to their ankles. That is, they’re standing in Christ, believing in Jesus. Others, however, choose to go deeper. They go to their knees, not only believing in the Lord themselves, but praying for others. Others go deeper still, sharing their faith and seeing others born again. And others ask the Lord to take total control of their lives, allowing the baptism of the Spirit to wash over them completely. At each stage, Ezekiel had a choice whether or not to step in. So do we. Will I do what the Lord invites me to do? Will I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon me? Will I believe that His Spirit will fill me? Will I witness for Him?

Gang, the Lord will take you as far and as deep in Him as you want to go - but not one step further. Why are some people seemingly so Spirit-filled? I suggest it is simply because they want to be, that they are those who say, “Lord, take total control of me. Do whatever You want with my life. I want to be lost in You.”

This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Day of Feasting" by Pastor Jon. "A Day of Feasting" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the Old Testament books of Joshua through Malachi. If you would like your own copy of "A Day of Feasting" you can order one from the SearchLight Store.

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