Beloved, I call the Servant portion of your spirit forward and invite you to immerse yourself in the gentleness of the dove that characterizes the personality of precious Holy Spirit.
Servant, surely Elohiym held special intent when He created the dove. The birds of the air were formed on the Giver’s day (Genesis 1:21-23) – the fifth space of time in Creation. Five, the number of grace that surrounds us on all sides with Holy Spirit’s gentleness of the dove.
Among the immense variety of the winged creatures was the dove, gentle and soft of tone. A bird of a different spirit if you will. A fitting character component of God’s nature that would be employed by Him in ages to come. Listen with your spirit to Scripture’s recording of times God enlisted the gentle dove.
The servant spirit of the dove is seen when Noah and his family ‘sheltered in place’ in the ark. For all his humanity, it was within the whole of humanity at that time that “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8) This favor was not due to his righteousness, but as an heir to the righteousness which is by faith:
Being divinely warned by God about the things not yet having been seen,
moved with fear, by faith Noah prepared an ark for the salvation of his house;
through which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness according to faith.
Hebrews 11:7 (Literal)
Before the dove pairs entered the ark, Noah – because of His relationship with God – was moved to act. Noah’s fear that the flood would occur just as God told him, became servant to his faith that God’s word was true and thus, trustworthy. Noah believed that if God had said it, it would happen. By faith, Noah acted in the season of the unseen. And just as God had said, the rains came. So did His plan for the dove.
It was the dove that Noah sent out of the ark as the waters receded. The gentleness of the dove was the needed complement to the news of the earth’s condition, the mission for which the dove was sent out. All the harshness and violence had been silenced. ‘The family of God’ and pairs of creatures of His creation were preserved to keep seed alive on the face of the earth. The gentleness of the dove was the comforting arbiter between the reality of God’s truth and justice – and His promised future and hope.1
Then there came the day in God’s eternals that His Son, Jesus, stood on the riverbank of the Jordan.2 The Baptizer demurred at the request of Jesus, keenly aware that this was the sinless Lamb of God come to take away the sin of the world. Known for denouncing the sins of others, John had not emerged from the desert unaware of his own. Who was he to be tasked as the sinful immersing the Son of purity?
Yet, in similar Noahic response to God, John obeyed. Unlike Noah’s long obedience over decades, Jesus, fully aware of John’s human condition, nevertheless entreated him to take part in this very hour in order that together, they would make replete (fill up) all righteousness (equity of character and act).
Jesus’ identification with us the guilty required His own immersion in the waters of death, out of which He rose into newness of life. He could not immerse himself; He had need of John on whom the favor of God rested. Jesus was the blueprint fulfilling in His flesh what Noah had experienced as the pattern.
And once again, the dove was there. Breaking out of the water, the heavens were opened to Jesus and the sevenfold Spirit of God descended as a dove, lighting upon Him. The commendation from His Father, “My Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased”, completed Jesus’ kingly anointing by the Spirit. The immersed became the Anointed, journeying on the remainder of His earthly life in the servant spirit of the dove.
Holy Spirit, God serving humanity, came to us at Pentecost. He is present and active to bring us to a knowledge of eternal life, and to fill us with that life at our request. The gentleness of the dove is God’s nature in which Holy Spirit meets us – never controlling, coercing, or demanding. Instead, we experience the kind nature of our heavenly Father, reflected by Holy Spirit’s gentle ways with our spirit as He unveils to us Christ the Anointed One who lives within.
The gentleness of the dove was never designed by God to be caged and sold for sacrifice. Gentleness does not denote weakness; rather, it is the different spirit of the dove that enables God’s servants to be used by Him as He ordains. The plans of His heart are for peace and not evil, a future and a hope.3 The dove is His testament to that.
Jesus, after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, entered the temple of God. In righteous anger, He drove out those buying and selling in the temple. He upset the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of the dove merchants. The dove-like nature of God resident in His Son, that day expressed one of the very reasons for which He was anointed: to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. I have no doubt that after He upset the sellers’ seats, He set free His prized gentle doves to coos of highest praise.
In today’s environment, gentleness is a rare and priceless attribute. Spirit, you know this well, as violence and spiritual atrophy daily threaten to permeate your atmosphere. The gentleness of the dove would be a laughable concept if it were not for Holy Spirit who shows us the true and gentle nature of God.
Spirit, I bless you as you immerse yourself in the gentle ministry of Holy Spirit, heaven’s ageless dove. May He draw you with gentle cords of love to shelter in place in God’s immovable stronghold. Though waters may increase around you on all sides, I bless you, spirit, with the strength that comes from quietness and confidence that accompanies the gentleness of the Dove, God’s nature at work in yours.
I bless you, spirit, with cleansing the atmosphere with the gentle fruit of Holy Spirit who indwells you. As you rise to meet each day, challenge or mundane, I bless you, spirit, with the poise of the gentle dove. I bless you with dove’s eyes that look only to your King for the bidding that is on His heart for you. I bless you with increased measure of God’s gentle nature. The gentleness of the dove becomes you, spirit.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Proverbs 24 for context in Noah’s time and the present
2 Matthew 3:13-17 – the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist
3 Jeremiah 29:11
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