The word pivotal is often used to describe an important event that led to a monumental turn of events. For example, on D-Day the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. That pivotal moment turned the tides of history.
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the doors of a church in Germany calling the Roman Catholic church back to God. It was a pivotal turning point. The word “Protestant” comes from it – meaning protest. But all of history, from Adam to the Old Testament Prophets, were waiting for the ultimatum pivotal moment when hell, death, sin, and the grave were all conquered.
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) foretold of the coming light of the world, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
By government, Isaiah meant that all power and authority is given to the Son, Jesus Christ – He is ruling and reigning! Sadly, there is a misconception that “Jesus doesn’t rule over me!” He does, indeed. Man simply does not submit to his lordship. Therein lies the problem.
Christ is also identified as Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful means remarkable and incomprehensible. Counselor means that He will guide those who are willing to follow. We have a remarkable advisor if we just turn to Him and completely obey. He is also Mighty God – meaning champion, warrior, undefeated…an everlasting Father – a relationship that lasts forever for those who truly know Him. Do you know Him, or do you only know about Him?
Knowing Him leads to yet another name, Prince of Peace. Peace is the opposite of chaos. Peace is greater than fear just as light is greater than darkness. As the famous song goes, “I am surrounded by the arms of a loving God – I’m no longer a slave to fear.” To quench the darkness one must turn the light of Christ on: “Repent and believe.”
The first Christmas, for example, was pivotal for the redemption of mankind. Many Christians celebrate Christmas for this very reason. It’s a redemptive time of year. God “redeems” man from a state of darkness and we “celebrate” this transformation. Rich in symbolism, the Christmas tree can point to the cross: once a dead and barren tree, supporting a lifeless Savior, it now stands evergreen as a symbol of eternal life that darkness cannot overcome (cf. 1 John 1:5).
Although it is easy to have misplaced priorities, many Christians do not worship the decorations and gifts referred to in Jeremiah 10:1-10. They worship the Creator of heaven and earth…the Light of Life has come.
Christ lived his first 30 years in obscurity; it wasn’t until He was baptized and filled mightily with the Spirit that He began His ministry: “Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’.” (Refer to Matthew 3.)
A step of obedience led to the Spirit descending upon Him. He goes from obscurity to the most powerful ministry that the world had ever known, and it continues today. It begs two important questions: Have you been baptized? Has the Spirit come upon you? The word upon comes from the Greek word epi which means overflowing and filled to capacity. Obedience and being filled with the Spirit are always related. From the book of Acts to the Reformation to awakenings and revivals, to be the light we must be filled with the light. Are you?
D.L. Moody was deeply saddened by bible teachers in his day, asking, “Why don’t they see that this is just the one thing that they themselves need? They are good teachers, they are wonderful teachers…but why will they not see that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is just the one touch that they themselves need?” I would use the word filled verses baptism because we are “baptized into the body of Christ” once but are subject to subsequent fillings of the Holy Spirit – “be ye filled.” Are you filled?
I’d rather not fully understand the terminology and be filled with the Spirit, then understand the terminology and lack the power. Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit is the most important question you can ask. It’s a pivotal moment.
In closing, the Light appeared to be once and for all extinguished on Calvary two-thousand years ago. Hell celebrated; the devil and his minions began to dance and shout – “Victory is ours.” Then suddenly, the Light of the World pierced the darkness – chains were broken, captives set free…hell, death, and sin were defeated.
Many say, “I don’t fully understand why God did this or that?” I don’t understand how electricity works but that doesn’t stop me from turning on the light switch in my home. Don’t live your life questioning God – having to know exactly how things work. Turn to Him and allow the light to penetrate the darkness. Romans 10:9 states that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Check out John 3:1-21.)