“And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
II Corinthians 3:4-6 NKJV
When I look backward through my time with the Lord, I marvel at what the Lord has done. There is knowledge I thought I would never have, there is strength in trials that I never imagined as all my trials were yet unseen. There is the boldness to stand in a Christ hating world to proclaim the Good News.
The Lord has empowered me gradually, guiding me baby step by baby step, into the the role He began defining for me from the foundation of the world. As I do the work that the Lord has set before me, I am reminded daily that all that I do I do by His power, for there is little of me left. I, in my natural state, and wholly insufficient.
It was the Spirit of God that transformed me, giving me life where there was none. The letter kept me in my sin, as I stated what because I thought I could never measure up to the religiosity and legalism I witnessed in church.
Spirit drew me, and met me where I was.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 NKJV
As He drew me, He is drawing others. I could not do what the Lord has called, if not for His Holy Spirit going before me. His force fills the world, providing a strong fragrance, that has the power to draw or repulse. Because we are His, those born again, we are infused with that that same fragrance.
“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”
II Corinthians 2:15-17 NKJV
We who are the followers of Jesus, bring a message that is not ours, but a message of God. Because it is such as glorious message, we bring it by God’s power. There are those professing to be in the body of Christ who are mere peddlers of the word, sharing it for gain, and not with passion.
Those who have been truly redeemed, have in their persons the memory of life in sin, and the memory of that first day of salvation. Because of this we bring the message of the Gospel personally, bearing testimony of who we were and who we now are.
We have been transformed from sinner to saint, and empowered. I think of Peter, crude and fisherman by trade, impulsive before the cross, standing by the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.”
Acts 2:14-17 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, we are about to enter a time when the Lord will take ordinary people, everyday Peters, and make them more than sufficient for the work. It will not be in themselves that this sufficiency will come, but it will be by the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Let us be in preparation. Though the Lord will fill those He has set for that great ministry, we today and can be about the business of preparing our hearts even now. When each of us came by the blood to salvation, we were given all that we need. The Lord has given us the Helper, and He has given us His word. By the cross of Christ, we have access to the Father in prayer.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
II Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
You might be one who might say, “ I am too busy…” I am amazed how much time I have to spare when I prioritize what I want to do. I always have plenty of time for the things I value.
One of the great joys of the faith, is that Lord feeds your desire as you point your desires at Him. More importantly, the more time we spend with God, the greater His presence is in us. As we move through the world, the fact that we are people who have know Jesus becomes overwhelmingly apparent.
Moses had the glory of God upon as long as He was in the presence of the Lord. He veiled his face so the children of Israel could not see it passing away. Those who come to God through Jesus have God within them, and the glory does not fade.
May we make the most of that presence as we are living in a world that is in dire need of the Jesus. Let us make sure that we show the glory of God in the darkness of this world, and let nothing inhibit it. Let us be faithful to pursue the things of God that we be equipped as His ambassadors, the insufficient, made sufficient.
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One thought on “Empowered”
Praying alongside you my friend. We celebrated Bob Burkhart’s wife, Maude‘s graduation to heaven yesterday. I do not know if you ever met her, but the common theme of the day was that she grew gentler and more sweet as she aged. In my opinion, that can only happen in a Christian. So thankful for all that the Lord did through Bob and Maude, and so thankful for the way Bob touched our lives, meaning yours and mine.
Will you please continue to pray for my dad and stepmom, Dave and Cindy, as I see my dad‘s heart hardening towards bitterness and greed. Will you also please continue to pray for the Lord‘s work through Lori and I, as I prepare to teach 2 Thessalonians 2 at GCR@Saylorville next Tuesday, and we plan to teach together about discipleship on August 30?