Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2-3.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
The importance of being earnest. And by that, I mean being focused, faithful, and fervent. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-3.
The importance of being earnest in pursuing your calling—“work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13. Earnest means serious and zealous in intention, purpose, or effort: an earnest worker. showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the believers, practicing hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13. Be fervent in spirit. I had one thing against the church at Ephesus though they were persevering in the faith and were enduring various trials for My name’s sake, and had not grown weary, but I had one thing against them, they had left their first love. The pursuit of love was no longer their passion.
Jesus was earnest in His pursuit of His calling, the purpose for which He came. “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to with which to be baptized, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!” Luke 12:49-50. He came to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.
Press forward and stir up, fan into flame, the gift of the Holy Spirit in and on you. Paul counseled Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6.
Paul was earnest about his calling. He pressed on in spite of any opposition. “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14.
Jesus, when I raised Him from the dead, came to the disciples and gave them peace, purpose, and power to go forward earnestly. His first word to them was “Shalom,” which are My plans for you, it is peace, prosperity, health, and good relationships, in other words, being whole in every area of your life. He next told them, “As the Father has sent Me so I send you,” giving them purpose. And then He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” giving them power.
And the only way you can earnestly pursue your calling is by speaking My Words and nothing else. That is what I told Joshua when He was about to enter His calling to lead the Israelites in to conquer the Promised Land. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8.
Your words and your successful completion of your assignment on earth are linked together. By your words you are acquitted and by your words you are condemned. David wrote: “I said, ‘I will guard my ways so that I will not sin with my tongue. I will guard my mouth with a muzzle as long as the wicked are present.’” Psalm 39:1. And, if you read Psalm 39, he does pretty good for a while but then what happens? A wicked man is in his presence and he gets provoked. “My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue!” Psalm 39:3. Do you see? He was musing upon the offense. He let it in and soon he had to vent. He was not musing on My Word but on the words of the wicked to him.
David then prays for a realization of how transient his days are and for wisdom of heart. You may feel like David at this point and say you just cannot guard your mouth as you know you should.
But I have good news. I did not leave you orphans so that you have to do this on your own. You cannot control your tongue on your own. My servant James tells you that man can tame the animals but no man (flesh) can tame his tongue. And Jesus tells you that you can do nothing without Him. But who does He give you as a helper? Who will put the curb on your mouth that David prayed for? Who is the door keeper of your lips?
The Holy Spirit. Not by human might nor by human power, but by My Spirit. Zechariah 4:6. “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:2-3. The doorkeeper to entering into Jesus is the Holy Spirit. “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking in and by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except in and by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:3.
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the chief cornerstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” Zechariah 4:6-7. Jesus talked about moving mountains by speaking and believing in your heart. But what was Zerubbabel to say? He was to bring out the cornerstone and shout to the mountain “Grace, grace to it.” And that great mountain of adversity and trouble that was blocking his destiny was leveled to the ground.
How do you free yourself from a mind set on the flesh that cannot control the tongue? My apostle Paul had that same question, “Who will set me free from this body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25. And he had the answer, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:2.
Now that is the answer to how you choose to speak life instead of death and blessing instead of cursing. By the power of the Holy Spirit in you and on you. And I had promised this many years before, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Ezekiel 36:25-27. Jesus told His disciples: “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5. My promise fulfilled.
Why was this so important?
He told them why, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8. Power to witness. Power to speak the right words at the right time in all the earth.
Was this only for them? No. It is for all who believe. As the awestruck crowd witnessed the results of the pouring out from Heaven by Jesus of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, they wanted the same. And what did Peter tell them? Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:38-29. I give the gift of My Holy Spirit to all who believe. Jesus is My gift to the world, but the Holy Spirit is My gift to the Church.
And did this effect how they spoke? Oh yes! Remember how they prayed? Take a look at a group of the first church gathered together and listen in, “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy child Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:29-31.
And even when flogged, stoned, and violently assailed, no resentment or bitter root was in the early disciples that followed My apostles in the Way, “But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:51-52.
And Jesus Himself did not go out to witness, preach, teach, and heal until He was filled with the Holy Spirit at his baptism in the Jordan by John. “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around in and by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.” Luke 4:1. And how did He answer the temptations of the devil? He spoke My Words. And what did He later tell His disciples? “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits [ópheleó: to help, benefit, do good, accomplish] nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63. I have given you words of life for you to speak.
And at the Passover Supper the night before He died for you, Jesus told His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:25-26. And Jesus goes on to tell the disciples “it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7. Why? Because He will guide you to all truth, tell you what is to come, share My thoughts and words with you, and hover over you as He did over the dark and void earth in the beginning and cause My spoken Word to come into physical reality. Just as He hovered over Mary and My spoken Word became flesh when received by her.
Do you remember the Covenant promise that Isaiah prophesied as coming about when the Redeemer came out of Zion? “So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun, for He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the LORD drives. A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 59:19-20. And I continue, “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth.” Isaiah 59:21.
And what else does the Holy Spirit do to help you in this? He leads you, He witnesses with you, He testifies to you, and He prays in you and with you. And when you are called out to witness, I tell you not to worry about it, that the Holy Spirit will give you words and a wisdom no one can take exception to or contradict.
Don’t fear, you have one pulling the helm with you and He is the mighty, all powerful, omnipotent Holy Spirit who regenerates you as a new creation in Christ. And once you believe in your heart, He comes in to help you to say, “Jesus is Lord.”
You have only to receive Him (remember the apostle Paul would ask people if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed), recognize He is in you, give Him room in your life, respond to His leadings, and release Him so He can bring about refreshing, revival, and a great awakening to Me through your lips speaking the Words He gives you as He guides you to all truth.
Watch every word that comes out of your mouth. Walk and talk like Jesus. You are called to this. And best of all you have a Helper. And the Holy Spirit is My glory in you ( My goodness, presence, and power). Remember I promised, “My people shall be filled with My goodness.” And the mouth speaks whatever fills the heart.
So your job is to earnestly attach to the vine of Jesus and get filled with the Holy Spirit and go full speed ahead. “Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who hope in the LORD will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:30-31.
I love you. The importance of being earnest—focused, faithful, and fervent. And I would add one more, fearless. And that describes you in Christ Jesus with My Spirit in you and on you. For I did not give you a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7. Christ in you, your hope of glory—your hope of the Holy Spirit in you and on you now and forever. If you but knew the gift of God you would ask Jesus for a drink and He would give you LIVING WATER.