“For the Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever” (Psalm 37:28).
Once God touches and possesses someone, it’s for a lifetime. The Lord will never surrender to Satan what is his. You may falter, fail or fall into devastating sin, but once God possesses you, he will never, ever give up on you. Also, when he possesses you, he prepares you for ever-increasing usefulness.
Think back to the time when God came to you and supernaturally touched your soul. He called you to himself and filled you with his Spirit, while making a commitment to you: “I claim you; you are my possession.” Suddenly, God took control of your life and nothing was going to change that fact. You became God’s purchased possession: “The church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
The Creator of the universe bought you with the price of his own blood and nothing has power over that blood. Satan himself may ensnare you in a hellish trap and yet, just as he thinks he has you, God says, “No, devil, you can’t have him. He’s mine. I’ve purchased him and you must release my property.” God is preserving you, preparing you for his best.
David was a God-possessed man. Even though he was a giant killer, an anointed psalm writer, and a great king, he battled a fierce compulsion in his heart. At the very height of God’s blessing and favor, he was overtaken by a violent attack of lust. He fell into sin with another man’s wife and even had the woman’s husband murdered in battle. David suffered dire consequences for his sin but God preserved him through the ordeal. In fact, David was prepared for even greater ministry after his fall. His voice was heard throughout the land as never before and today we read his anointed words in the Psalms. The truth that God revealed to David through his trial is still being preached today.
Remember, the Lord will never give up on you no matter what struggle you face. You are the Lord’s, so receive his love, power, forgiveness and freedom! “For the Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance” (Psalm 94:14).
The prophet Ezekiel testifies, “He brought me through the waters” (Ezekiel 47:3). In a vision, God took the prophet on an amazing trip through water. Carrying a measuring rod, the Lord paced off 1,000 cubits, about one-third of a mile. The Lord and Ezekiel then began walking in the water, which was flowing about ankle high.
The Lord kept urging the prophet onward, deeper and farther into the river. After another 1,000 cubits, the water came up to the knees — and it was still rising. Do you see what’s happening here? Ezekiel was walking into the future, right into our time.
Christians today live in the final 1,000 cubits of the river in this vision. We’re in the very last measurement of water and Ezekiel says that when he stepped to the edge of this measure, the water was too deep for him, too overwhelming. “I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim” (47:5). In other words, the water was over his head.
All the Old Testament prophets had a limited vision of Christ. Jesus himself tells us, “Assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it” (Matthew 13:17). The Lord reveals in this prophetic vision that in the very last days, the church of Jesus Christ will be more glorious, more victorious, than in its entire history. The Lord’s true body isn’t going to weaken and sputter; it’s not going to dwindle in numbers or decrease in power or spiritual authority. No, his church will go out in a blaze of power and glory. And it will enjoy the fullest revelation of Jesus that anyone has ever known.
Ezekiel writes, “Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many” (47:10). Ezekiel is saying that a body of believers will swim in rising waters of the Lord’s presence and God’s presence among his people is going to increase until the very end.
In the midst of all the death and destruction we see happening, the Lord’s prophecy thunders, “My river is going to rise and everything will live where my river flows.” You see, the river of life, which will crest just prior to the Lord’s coming, brings life wherever it goes.
Most sermons on Pentecost focus on the signs and wonders performed by the apostles, or the 3,000 who were saved in one day, or the cloven tongues of fire that appeared. But we don't hear about one event that became the greatest wonder of all. This event sent multitudes back to their nations with a vivid, unmistakable impression of who Jesus is.
Overnight, thousands of for-sale signs appeared in front of homes throughout Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Scripture says, "All that believed were together, and had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need...Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need" (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35).
Imagine the scene in Jerusalem! Multitudes of houses, lots and farmland were suddenly being sold off, as well as household goods such as furniture, clothes, crafts, pots and pans, works of art.
Onlookers had to ask, ‘What’s going on? Do these people know something we don’t?” Any believer would respond, “No, we’re followers of Jesus and when we gave our hearts to the Messiah, his Spirit changed us. Now we’re doing the works of God and raising money for the poor and helpless.”
How did the Holy Spirit bring about this sudden change of heart in those newly baptized believers in Jerusalem? It was through the quickening in their hearts of the words of Jesus: “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:35-36).
These believers knew they could never live the same way again. Suddenly they saw how serious this matter of representing Jesus truly is and it drove them into their houses to find everything they didn’t need and then take those goods to the streets to sell. Simply put, Christ’s Word gave them a new attitude of love and concern for the needy.
If you cry out for God’s touch and seek to have a new passion for Jesus, you’ll be taken on a great journey by the Holy Spirit. At some point on that path, you’ll end up facing the challenge of Jesus to care for others.
When it comes to our walk with Christ, the Bible shows us there is a crucial difference between a spark and a torch, which we can see when we examine the lives of Saul and David. Saul had amazing experiences with God, moments that ignited in him a great zeal and provoked him to action. “Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: ‘This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!’” (1 Samuel 11:6-7).
After each of Saul’s many moments of anointing in his life, he drifted from his passion for the Lord. One well-known instance of disobedience is when God commanded Saul to slay Agag, the enemy king he had captured, and to destroy all the spoils of battle. But Saul spared Agag and kept some of the spoils and in so doing, quenched the Holy Spirit’s work in his life (see 1 Samuel 15:8-10).
On the other hand, we see David raised up to be Israel’s next king. As his reputation for bold obedience grew, so did the fruit of his obedience, which made Saul jealous. At one point Saul intended to kill David and trapped him in a cave. Yet the Lord was gracious, stopping Saul before he could execute his plan. Simply put, Saul was bent on backsliding but the Lord’s mercy returned to him repeatedly.
David had the same spiritual experiences that Saul did, yet the spark that David received was fanned into a flame. “As David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on” (16:13). The phrase “from that day on” shows the difference in David’s and Saul’s lives. Once David received a spark from God, he guarded it, stoked it and fueled it. He determined, “I want this spark to increase into a burning flame for the Lord.”
Pray with me today, “God, thank you for touching me with the Holy Spirit. Anoint me with power to reach out to those around me and grace to show forth the compelling love of Jesus.”
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).
This is one of the most amazing verses in the Bible, and we read it all wrong. We fixate on “they shall mount up with wings as eagles” and skip over the walk and run portions. But flying like an eagle is not our goal. Actually, most days we may not feel like flying — but we can take one step at a time with our Savior.
Paul says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Notice he says, “walk” in the Spirit, not fly in the Spirit. We don’t start out at a sprint or in the air as the eagle.
Christianity is a walk of faith, not a run of faith. It may sound boring but it’s effective. “For we walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Walking means doing basic, simple things to honor God — things such as deciding to pray, going to church, telling your loved ones you love them, making breakfast for your family, picking up your Bible to read. Every act of obedience is a step and every step will turn into your Spirit-walk.
When you take one small step of obedience, God blesses it. You may not feel like raising your hands in worship to the heavenly Father but you put forth a little effort because you love him — and God does the rest. You may not feel like being kind or reaching out to someone, but you do it because you have compassion and want to please Jesus.
Paul instructs us to take just one step at a time. Put one foot in front of the other and these steps become our walk. Those who walk are the ones who last. Those who try to run and fly usually tire out and are never seen again. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor and theologian, said it well: “One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.”
Today, determine to let God lead you step by step as you pursue your walk with him. Walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7); run the race with endurance (Hebrews 12:1); and then soar like an eagle (Isaiah 40:31).
After pastoring an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years, Pastor Tim served at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years and pastored in Lafayette, Louisiana, for five years. He became Senior Pastor of Times Square Church in May of 2020.