“Are you kidding me?!” Since around the year 2000 this has been my response to the numerical year that we are entering into. “2001 ?! Are you kidding me?!” . “2002 ?! Are you kidding me?!” And my response to 2014 is the same. I wonder if Jesus ever reacted that way to the new year? “25 A.D.?! Are you kidding me?!” I suppose not. He was prepared for whatever the following year would bring because He was in tune with His Father and He had the Spirit without measure.
For us 2013 is now a memory. We now enter into a new 365 days. At some point at the end of a year I usually watch a recap of events in our nation for that year. I am always amazed at how much happened and at how much I have forgotten had happened. The same is true for my own life. Each year there are some things I intentionally want to forget such as tragedy and grief. There may also be a mistake I made during the year that I would like to forget. It may be difficult for you to look back at 2013 due to struggles and trials. It may be financial or relational issues that tend to steer you away from even thinking any more about last year. You may look back and wonder how you even made it through the year. Health issues may have caused you to change your routine of life , question why and challenged your faith in God. Whatever tragedy, grief, trial, test and challenge you experienced in 2013, I would point out that you are reading this devotional for 2014. That indicates that you are still here. And if you are still here, then God still has a plan and purpose for you. May I also add that in Jeremiah 29:11 it says that His plan and purpose is for good and not evil. Allow the tests you have been through in life to cause you to mature in your faith and be open to the Lord using you to minister to others who are experiencing the same tests. There is an anointing that rests upon those who have been through tests and trials to encourage others. It is up to us if we allow that anointing to flow from us or to shut off that anointing with doubt and complaining. Much of the difference in how we react is based upon our spirit. If we continue to walk in, live in and be led of the Spirit , then the anointing will empower us to encourage and minister to others. If we shut out Holy Spirit from our spirit , our soul will rule and complaining and doubt will come forth.
In a recent Wednesday night discussion on the body, soul and spirit , it was mentioned that it seemed we were being fined tuned through this teaching. I whole-heartedly agree. I remember as a child that we would receive three television channels. Yes, only three. All three channels were broadcasts from Columbus , but each one came from just a slightly different area. This meant that when we wanted to change channels we had to physically go outside and turn the television antennae toward the broadcasting tower to get a clear (or as clear as could be) picture. This was called fine tuning. I would stand outside and slowly turn the antennae while my parents would speak loudly (my parents never screamed at me. Love you Mom !) through the wall of our home instructing me if the signal was getting better or worse. Finally we found the place where the clarity of the picture was going to be as good as it was going to be. Of course, occasionally an airplane would fly over our home and briefly interrupt the signal as lines rolled through the television picture.
Oh I remember the joyous day that we installed a “remote television antennae turner” on the pole and we could actually turn the antennae without going outside. At that time I thought it was so amazing that we could develop technology to do that. Oh my goodness how times have changed ! Though it now seems primitive, it was all about fine tuning and clearing up the reception , the signal and the picture.
Every believer needs fine tuning. Paul said it well when he said I have not attained perfection. None of us are above the needed spiritual elements of the fine tuning of our faith and walk with Christ. Much of the time the experiences we have in life are meant to fine tune us spiritually. They are not meant to cause us to turn our antennae away from hearing Gods voice , but they are meant to clarify His words to us. To hear His voice clearly we must allow our spirit to have priority over our soul. Our thoughts will be fine tuned only through the Holy Spirit speaking through our spirit to our soul. This is why it is of utmost importance for each believer to surrender to Holy Spirit in body, soul and spirit. Then the Very God of Peace will sanctify us wholly. (1st Thessalonians 5:23)
So now that you see the need for a spiritual fine tuning, how does that happen ? What step must we take to fine tune our relationship with Christ? It begins with a total surrender to Christ which then invites Holy Spirit in to do His work. So what does it mean to surrender our life ? Does that mean we must become a monk or a nun and live in a monastery? Do we have to keep a schedule of our prayer life and a time sheet on how often we spend time in the Word ? Yes, that is exactly what you must do. (Just checking to see if you are still reading this.) Though the above examples could be symbolic of surrender, we can live our everyday lives surrendered to Him. The fine tuning begins with a surrender of the heart to the Holy Spirit’s will. It must first be an inward commitment , then the outward actions follow. If you attempt the outward actions without first surrendering your heart, it is meaningless and will not result in any good thing.
We are blessed to have in our reach today a plethora of materials available to us to study scripture. There is an endless list of Bible translations , commentaries, books and teachings that will assist us in maturing in the faith. Add our access to limitless material on the world wide web and it is too much to ever explore. One concern is that we have all this available and we do not take advantage of it, but I have another concern too. My concern is that all of this we have available has distracted us from what matters most. In 2nd Kings Chapter 4 a husband and wife decide they want to set up a small one room apartment as a place for the prophet Elisha to rest when he travels through their area. When asked what he would like them to put in that room, his reply was a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp. That was it. He needed a bed to find rest for his body. He needed a table and chair to sit and read what the Lord had spoken to him , as well as, write what the Lord was speaking to him. And he needed a lamp to light his writings at night. I would say this little space was a place of fine tuning for the prophet. There were no distractions to remove his spirit from connecting with God. He didn’t have the current issue of Charisma magazine. He did not have the latest translation of the Word from Jerusalem Publishing Company. He didn’t ask for wi-fi so he could connect to the current internet publications. It was just practical household items , God and the prophet.
Please understand I am not saying there is not a place for hearing from other anointed believers the rhema word for the season. If I didn’t support that, I would not be writing this. But I am saying beware of living entirely off of the words that God has spoken to others. Find that place of fine tuning and reception for yourself. There is no substitute for connecting your own spirit with Holy Spirit and downloading exactly what He wants you to hear and know.
There are moments that our body needs fine tuned. You will find many taking steps to accomplish that as a new years resolution by joining an exercise club or changing eating habits. It could be due to health issues or preventive maintenance. Either way it is fine tuning and it is good for the body.
Our soul or our mind constantly needs fine tuning. It is a continual process.(James 1:21) Our flesh consistently presses us to live our own selfish desires. It has been a battle in every person who has lived since the fall of man. The only way for the mind to be fine tuned is for the choice to be made to allow Holy Spirit full control in our spirit. God works from the inside out. The enemy works from the outside in.
Our spirit needs fine tuned every day. It is accomplished through the fundamentals of the Word, prayer, fellowship with other believers and in praise and worship of God. It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I thoroughly enjoy praising and worshiping the Lord with other believers in a corporate setting. If you are not experiencing consistently the atmosphere of believers gathering together and worshiping the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, then you are missing a vital part of nourishment in your spirit. If you never praise and worship Him in a personal setting then you are missing another vital part of your spiritual walk as well. Both experiences are necessary for the consistent fine tuning the spirit needs in every believers life. Let me add that our corporate worship should be an extension of our personal worship.
For some there may need to be a major adjustment due to the winds of adversity turning the spiritual antennae a completely different direction then it should be. For others the adjustment may be slight. In either case, the love of God, the grace of Jesus and the communion of the Spirit will line up your body, soul and spirit to be spiritually tuned in to His direction for your life.
So as we enter into another year take a few moments and ask the Lord is there anything I need to let go of? Is there anything I need to pick up ? What things should I hold on to? I could expound on examples of answers to each of these questions , but I challenge you to get your own answers from the One Who will fine tune you and reveal necessary adjustments Himself. Why not go right to the Source yourself ? Jesus said in John 16:7-10 that it was necessary that He would go away so Holy Spirit could come to earth and instruct believers in righteousness. That is spiritual fine tuning. He is standing by ready to prepare us for another new year. May you hear the voice of the Lord , see clearly His plan and be in His perfect will as 2014 begins.
I pray this year would be a year of favor and blessing for you and your family,
In His Grace, Pastor Wes