Thursday, October 14, 2010

Needing God's Power

So many Christians have missed out on the real power that is available to them because they misunderstand the work that is involved in salvation; which is the restoration of our true life. Christians have trusted in Christ for forgiveness, to get their ticket punched for heaven, but then try to get by the best that they can. Since they are so weak and controlled by their flesh rather than being led by the Spirit the miss out on the truly abundant life Jesus promises to those he follow Him.

In his book Absolute Surrender Andrew Murray wrote:
The cause of the weakness of your Christian life is that you you want to work it our partly, and to let God help you. And that cannot be. You must come to be utterly helpless, to let God work, and God will work gloriously. It is this that we need if we are indeed to be workers for God (p. 113; Humility and Absolute Surrender).

For such a long time in my walk with Jesus I walked in weakness. I thought it was my job to overcome sin, to break the chains of addictions, and to work up courage. The result of this way of living was discouragement, condemnation, and isolation. I felt like I as such a poser and believed that if I truly loved God then I would naturally want to read the Bible, pray, and serve. Not only would those things come naturally but it would be easy to give up my sins, even sins that had been part of my life for years. The only explanation then that I had when that was not the reality of my life was that I must not love God. What a death sentence that is to a person’s relationship with God.

Thank God that is not what following Jesus looks like! Jesus didn’t die to make up for our shortcomings, Jesus died to give us a brand new way to live life. This new way of life begins and ends with surrendering our lives to God, for it is only through God’s power that we are able to live the life that He has for us to live.

This is what the apostle Paul wrote about God’s power:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:14-21; ESV).

If we are going to experience God’s power then we are going to have to surrender our lives through prayer. We need to bow our knees before the Father on a daily basis, surrendering our lives to Him and asking for His power to strengthen our lives.

If we are going to experience God’s power we need to invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts. For it is the Spirit working in our inner being that we experience God’s power in our lives. The power that roots us in love, the power that helps us investigate the amazing love God, and the power that allows us to experience the life that is the result of being filled with the abundant life of God.

If we are going to experience God’s power at work in our lives we need to ask God to work in our lives. God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, and so He has the power to help us overcome the addictions that we have used to cope with the pain of life, to forgive those people who have profoundly hurt us, or to live in courage rather than to be controlled by fear. We don’t experience this power in our lives because we are afraid to ask and we convince ourselves that God doesn’t work like that. Step out in faith and ask God to help you, to heal you, and to bind up your broken heart. He has the power to do more than you can even imagine.

God is interested in you having victory over sin, in living with courage, and experiencing true joy. Don’t think these things rest on your shoulders to achieve, rather trust in God’s love and power to grant these things to you. Surrender your life to Him and ask for His power to live, because Jesus died so that you could live.

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