Friday, March 20, 2009

Overflowing with the Spirit


Numbers 11:25-30 "GOD came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders. When the Spirit rested on them they prophesied. But they didn't continue; it was a onetime event. (26) Meanwhile two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed in the camp. They were listed as leaders but they didn't leave camp to go to the Tent. Still, the Spirit also rested on them and they prophesied in the camp. (27) A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!" (28) Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' right-hand man since his youth, said, "Moses, master! Stop them!" (29) But Moses said, "Are you jealous for me? Would that all GOD's people were prophets. Would that GOD would put his Spirit on all of them." (30) Then Moses and the leaders of Israel went back to the camp."


Moses was overwhelmed with the responsibility of leading, by some estimates, 2.5 million people. And what made this an even tougher task is that his flock was notorious for whining, complaining, bellyaching, and being inconsistent. They were happy to leave Egypt one day, and then desiring to return the next day. It depended upon what kind of a day that they were having.

God obviously didn't want Moses to burn out, so our text tells us that "God came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses..." This was a regular occurrence between Moses and God. What a close, personal relationship that they had:

Numbers 12:8 "With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

God told Moses to gather seventy men of the elders of Israel that would help him lead the Israelites. After these men were chosen and appointed, then Moses brought the seventy outside of the camp, into the tent of meeting. Then God met Moses, once again, face to face.

After this face to face encounter, God "took some of the Spirit that was on him (Moses) and put it on the seventy leaders." And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, "but they didn't CONTINUE doing it." However, Eldad and Medad, two of the elders continued prophesying and continued to do so "in the camp." From outside the camp (tent of meeting), all the way into camp, they prophesied. And some thought this to be improper, and they didn't like it.

This incident is similar to a story told in Mark 9:38-41. The disciples wanted Jesus to forbid others to drive out demons because they were not part of the disciples' group. But this type of narrow attitude was condemned by both Moses and Jesus. Beware of putting limits on God-he can work through whomever he chooses.


How does this apply to me?

I have read this story many times down through the years, but one line jumped off of the page as I read it today. "GOD came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders."

We see afterwards, that Moses continued to lead and minister under the direction and leadership of the Spirit. God was able to take some of the Spirit that was upon Moses, and "put it on the seventy leaders." Wow! Obviously Moses was overflowing with the Spirit and not just getting by. He was truly saturated with and by the Spirit. As I meditate on that truth, I have to ask myself the question, "Am I full and overflowing with the Spirit?" Can God use the overflow of the Spirit on my life to influence, one, much less seventy people?

Moses lead, walked, talked, lived with the Spirit overflowing in his life, so much that he impacted 2.5 million people during his time on earth, and even more in the thousands of years since he died.

I desperately want to live by the overflow of the Spirit. Jesus discussed this in John 7:37-38:

John 7:37-39 On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (38) Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (39) (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)

Jesus said that if I am thirsty for more of Him, all I have to do is come and drink. It truly is up to me. It has to be my daily choice to drink of the Spirit if I want to live in the overflow of the Spirit. When I drink of the Spirit, then "rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me, just as the Scripture says."

Our text today is the Old Testament version of "overflowing with the Spirit." God was able to draw from the Spirit overflowing out of Moses' life to impact, influence and equip for ministry, the seventy leaders. In other words, Rivers of living water (God's Spirit) spilled out of the depths of Moses' life.

Living in the Memphis area the past seven years I have had occasion to see the impact of the Mississippi River when it "brims over" or "overflows" out of its banks. It effects so many people in the negative. People's families, homes, jobs, leisure are all effected by the overflow. The overflow of God's Spirit effects the same areas...but in the positive and for eternity. I truly want to live by the "overflow of the Spirit."

The problem in our text, however, is that the elders, with the exception of two, didn't continue in the Spirit. I will talk more about that tomorrow.


"Lord, what a challenge from your Word today. Thank you for the "washing of water of your Word" and the S.O.A.P. that I apply to my life today. My desire is to thirsts for more of you than I ever have. I want to "come to you and drink" of the Spirit. I know as I do this daily, then your Spirit will overflow out of my life, like it did in Moses' life. I want you to be able to "take from the Spirit in my life and give to others", and this only happens when I am overflowing with the Spirit. Forgive me Lord, for the times that I have just "gotten by" living off of experiences of the past. I need a fresh touch today. I need a brand new anointing and infilling of Your Spirit. I want to walk in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, and allow Your living water to spill out of the depths of my life to influence and impact those I come in contact with today. I love you Lord, and I am so thankful for what you are daily teaching me. In Jesus' name, amen."


Pastor Rusty


Treasure Seeker said...

you always bless me!

great word - and it challenged me - as always!

i sure love you!