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Day Two Devotional 
with Pastor Tyler Burns

Why The Dove Leaves

 

In Luke 3 an interesting event happens where the heavens were “opened” and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus “in bodily form like a dove.”  What an incredible moment to witness!  The fulfillment of Isaiah 61 when the prophet prays, “oh that You would rend the heavens and come down” where God literally tears apart the physical atmosphere and rests upon the Son Of Man. Within this scripture it's easy to miss a huge detail, that would be the fact that God chose a dove to represent His Presence.  Very few times in history does God interject his being into the physical universe but this was one of those times.  I feel like we should really take time to account why God chose a dove.  He could have done anything; fire, rain, wind, oil, bread, a wheel within a wheel… you get the idea.  But rather, He chose a frail, meek, and small dove.  This should not be taken lightly, for anything God does He does with the utmost intention. So, what can we learn from the dove? What is God trying to show us about Himself through a dove in the same way He revealed His nature through fire?  I think the biggest thing we could pull from this is not that Holy Spirit is weak or scared, but rather that He will not so willingly rest on just anyone.  A dove is flighty by nature, if they land on something they think is not secure they will very quickly fly away.  Some birds might allow you to walk around and almost forget that a bird is resting on your shoulders, not the dove.  Bill Johnson describes it in this way, “every step and every movement has to be with the dove in mind.”  Let’s be clear, when a person is saved they have the Holy Spirit living within them, every single one without exception.  However, there's a difference between God living in you and God resting ON you!  That’s what a habitation is.  Like Bethany, a place where God feels He is welcomed to rest and recline.  The Scriptures speak often about how God is “searching to and fro throughout the land for those whose hearts are fully toward Him,”  in this search God is looking for people who He can entrust with MORE of Himself.  So what does the dove have to do with this you’re probably asking.  He will not rest on us when our minds are not fully on Him, when our hearts are not fully yielded to Him.  In the Spirit I believe God experiences a double minded person or an unsubmitted heart the same way a dove experiences an unstable shoulder. In prayer for this devotion the Lord spoke several things to me that cause the dove to leave, but they are all rooted in one central sin… pride.  Pride literally means I want to go my way and no one else's, including God’s.  I have learned (often the hard way) that this is the fastest way to cause the dove to lift off your life, to lift off a service, or even a nation.  God calls Israel a “stiff necked” people continually, that is because they would not turn their gaze or affection toward Him.  As we pray for God to create a habitation this is the BIGGEST thing we need to war against.  Every aspect of our life needs to be surrendered to His leadership, every word, deed, every thought. If not, I promise you this… the dove will lift.  However, there is grace, SO MUCH GRACE! He does not expect you to be perfect and blameless and He will even give you the strength to conquer the pride in your life.  The scary part is when we resist Him time and time again He eventually has to lift off our lives.  This unfortunately is the reason many ministers and revivalists dealt with sin while still ministering, God was giving them time to repent.  When they don’t or when we don’t He will eventually lift and then all the things He was holding together will crumble and fall.  This “punishment” is not anger or abuse, but grace for us to draw back to Him once again. So allow the dove to rest on you today, unfettered by any pride. 

 

Activation: Ask God if there is any place in your heart or life that is governed by your own pride.  If He shows you something, write it down in a journal and pray for strength to submit it to Him.