• W. Austin Gardner

Being great in God's eyes

Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.


John the Baptist would be great in the sight of the Lord. This greatness is not in the world's opinion but in God's view. God planned to use John more than regular men. God gifts His men with different capacities. He may give some five talents and others two talents. Each are to use what God gives them for God's glory and honor. We are not to compare but Luke makes it clear that John was made for a greater than normal ministry. John's ministry was important and surprised and shocked the nation.


John was given a ministry that was greater than his time period. John was great in the sight of the Lord. God approved of John's ministry. John was supernaturally used of God to accomplish God's purpose.


Each of us that serves God can know that all work of value is done by Him. God gives us each different ministries with different abilities. My place is not to compare or complain about the ministry He gives me but to do it with all my heart for His honor and glory. We serve to please God, not ourselves and not others. We hunger that He be pleased with our service of Him.

John was a teetotaler. He abstained from the use of alcoholic beverages. He lived a life of self control, self denial, and as we will see Spirit control. In today's society drinking alcohol is socially and even spiritually acceptable, but not for John. John wanted no outside influence or control over his life.


In Proverbs 31:4 we see that God did not want political leaders to drink alcohol because it might affect their judgement.


Proverbs 31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; Nor for princes strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, And pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.


The proverb continues to say that those that are dying or extremely discouraged can drink. As believers we should not sink to these lows of misery. We can never be in poverty because we are rich in Christ. We will never perish. We have joyful hearts because of what Jesus has done for us


Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, And wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.


Those were going into the tabernacle were not to drink. They were worshipping and it needed to be clear that it was God moving and working in their lives, not alcohol. Today, believers are the very temple of the Holy Spirit of God. We live in an attitude of worship.


Leviticus 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:


Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.

I Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?


Next you see that John was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. That means that John did what we are commanded to do. We are to be filled with the Spirit not drunk with wine. Ephesians 5:18. John was continually under the control of the Holy Spirit of God. That means John was dominated, controlled by God.


We should all seek to be controlled by the Holy Spirit of God. We know what it means to be filled with anger or controlled by anger. Now we are commanded to be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit of God. That would indicate being controlled by the will of God which is the Word of God.


We should be consciously, cooperating with God in what He wants to do in our lives, our ministries, and His world. When we give up ourselves, our lives, our feelings, our desires, we can allow Him to take over.


I want to be controlled. I want the Holy Spirit of God to rule and move in my life.


Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

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