Numbers 11:24-25a, 26-29 - So Moses ... gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. ... Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They ... had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." And Joshua ... said, "My lord Moses, stop them." But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD's people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit on them!"
I always laugh at this story, because I sympathize with Moses. What church leader doesn't dream of the day when all God's people will be mature and loving, filled with the Holy Spirit, so he can lay down the hard work of the ministry and just go fishing? No wonder Moses said, "I wish God would put His Spirit on all the people!" If God did that, Moses would be free!
Well, maybe. Because the fact is that God has sent the Holy Spirit upon all Christians at Pentecost, and now everyone who believes in Jesus has the Spirit living and working within them. We may not show it in flashy ways like prophesying or speaking in other languages, but He's real—and He's with us. So why aren't our pastors out of a job?
Whether we like it or not, the work of the Spirit is usually slow. Oh, sure, He could strike us perfect in a moment if He wanted—but that doesn't seem to be God's style. Instead, He works in the way Paul described in Ephesians: "Building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ ... speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ" (Ephesians 4:12b-13, 15).
Because the Holy Spirit gives us faith, we believe in Jesus who died for our sakes and then rose from the dead. We know that He has set us free from the power of evil and made us forgiven children of God. And now we spend our lives growing up in Jesus, becoming more and more like Him, as the Spirit works in our hearts. This is a kind of growth we can't achieve on our own; but the Holy Spirit can do it in us, and He will. And we wait patiently for God to keep His promise and bring us to full maturity in Jesus our Savior.
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, it seems like it's taking so long for You to change me! Be with me and do Your will in me—and help me to be patient. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When you were a child, was it hard for you to wait to grow up? Why or why not?
2. How have you seen the Holy Spirit work in the life of someone you know, to make them more like Jesus?
3. How do you think the Spirit is working on you now?
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