October 28, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"And he saw them toiling in rowing." Mark 6:48
Much of what we endeavor to do is characterized by much effort, fortitude, and stress. If we are conscientious, this often takes a toll on us mentally and physically. Sometimes we are smart and delegate minor responsibilities that will allow our efforts to focus on the things most important, and we emerge from the task having done it not only better, but with less frustration and stress.
We find this same element of dismay in our spiritual journey. When given a spiritual challenge, the first thing we often say is, "Can I do it?"..."Am I qualified to do it?"..."Who can I call on to help me?" Immediately, we are focusing our thoughts and attention in the wrong direction. First of all, we must eliminate the "I" from the question. Secondly, we must put Christ in the center of it all. No, "I" probably can't do it, BUT GOD CAN THROUGH ME. The challenge then will not be burdened down with frustration and overwork, but with rejoicing and the overflow of His presence and power working through me. The occasion becomes an opportunity to prove the faithfulness and power of God. When "we" get out of the way, with all of our impediments, it releases to God a clean channel through which the Holy Spirit can flow freely and fully.
Norman Grubb, that great man of faith who founded a faith ministry that supported over a thousand missionaries around the world, said..."It is not enough to be filled with the Holy Spirit...we need to have an overflowing measure of His presence and power. It is only then our lives will be a blessing, encouragement, and challenge to others. For it will not be anything we have done, but rather, the overflow of His life within that reaches out, touches lives, and penetrates others with transforming power."
Jesus said, "You shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost." Not power as a "gift" sought for from God...the power is the Holy Ghost dwelling within, not something which He imparts. When we are once identified with Him, the life that was in Jesus Christ is made ours by means of atonement. Immediately, when we receive Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell our body, and we become the "temple of the Holy Spirit."
You might say, "Well, how can I have an overflowing measure of His presence and power?" Good question, simple answer. The "overflow" of His Spirit will come when HE HAS ALL OF ME! It's not a question of being filled with the Holy Spirit, for God gives us the Holy Spirit not in portions, but fully, when we are reconciled to Him. The problem comes when we are not willing to surrender "the right to rule our life" to His lordship and authority. We thus become hindrances to the work God wants to do in and through us. The occasions of service, of walking circumspectly before others, walking worthy of the Lord unto all become a "task of overwork" through self-effort and self-dependence, rather than the "blessing of the overflow" of His life living through us. What a difference! One will amount to wood, hay, and stubble...the other, precious jewels for His glory.
The weakest saint can experience the power and presence of God working in his life when once he is willing to surrender his will over to God's will. All of our efforts detract from the image of the Son. As we let go of our self-will, self-effort, self-dependence and fully dare to trust HIM, the great and full life of God will invade every facet of our life, and others will say of us, as they said of Peter and John, that we have been with Jesus! Wow! Wouldn't that be something? Buy up every occasion to glorify the Lord to everyone you encounter by a life that is characterized with the OVERFLOW OF HIS PRESENCE WITHIN. He will, if you let Him.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-28
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