Friday, March 3, 2017

Power for Living and Serving

And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
(Acts 1:8)

Proper power is necessary for the accomplishment of any task.  The digging of a hole to plant a flower requires a level of physical power; but not near the level of power required to dig a canal across a continent.  Remembering your name and address requires a level of mental power although it is not near the level required to recite the Gettysburg Address.  Emotional power is required for handling the loss of your car keys; but not near the level needed to deal with the loss of a friend. 
Note that all of the mental power in the world cannot dig a canal nor can all of the physical power in the world support your emotions.  Each of these requires a specific type of strength or power.  Jesus knew that spiritual victory would only be achieved through spiritual power.  Christ promised the proper power to accomplish His work.  What are the characteristics of this power needed to gain spiritual victory?
God's limitless task requires unlimited power that comes only from an unlimited God.  It is power from on high.  The power required to grow, witness and serve is not from any human source.  Self-improvement cultivates our natural abilities and gives a limited benefit because it begins with self and ends with self.  Furthermore, seeking this power ignores our spiritual gift from God.
Jesus tells the disciples, “you will receive power. This power from outside ourselves is not attained but OBTAINED.  Power from outside ourselves destroys deadly pride and creates Godly praise.  Satan's trap is a “God helps those who help themselves” theology that separates us from Godly power.  "I'd rather do it myself" is pride at its best.  When a believer realizes the immensity of the task, they will choose to use God's power.  It is power "in the inner man".
Ephesians 3:16 ...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
The inner man makes the outer man.  Confused or weak on the inside will show eventually on the outside.  It is the difference between a steamboat and a sailboat.  A sailboat depends on environment and circumstances while a steamboat runs on its own power through the circumstances.  Circumstance driven Christians may find they will soon "drift away" or become like a "wave of the sea."
The disciples believed in physical power before Pentecost and sought to establish an earthly kingdom.  James and John wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans and Peter cut off the ear of the chief priest.  After Pentecost they believed in weapons of the, faith, and forgiveness.  With spiritual power they overcame evil with good, hate with love, and the world by a cross.
Where do we receive this spiritual power?  stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high – Wait on the Lord.  Christ often makes more of the situation we are in than the one we can run to.

Scripture to Claim
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might (Ephesians 1:18-19)

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