Thursday, July 21, 2016

Have You Got the Power?

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."  Ephesians 3:17-20 NIV

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will...have a form of godliness but deny its power. Have nothing to do with such people."  II Timothy 3:1-5 NIV

These verses have been rolling around in my head for months.  It's been a cause for self-examination.  Do I have the power of Christ living within me?  Most people would say, "Absolutely!!  You have Christ living in you!!"  I agree.  It's there...but is it at work?  Ephesians 3:20 says, 'He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, ACCORDING TO HIS POWER THAT IS AT WORK WITHIN US.'"  Do I believe we can ask for big things?  Absolutely.  But I believe, according to these verses, that God answers according to how much of His power is at work within us.

So first of all, what is that power?  The Greek word is dynamis (G1411).  It means:  inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or that which a person or thing exerts and puts forth; power for performing miracles; mighty works.  It's the dynamite power of the Spirit.

How do we get it?  My understanding is that it comes first from knowing or receiving the love of Christ.  At the point of salvation, the Holy Spirit (with all of His power) comes to live inside of me.  But then, it's allowing the expression of His love to burst forth through me.  It's releasing the power of the Holy Spirit through me.  This is so important.  You may be like I was for most of my life--afraid of the Holy Spirit.  The church I attended (probably inadvertently) taught me to be afraid of the Holy Spirit.  If I focused too much on the Spirit, I might break out in tongues.  But if the Spirit is only sealed inside your spirit (at salvation) and you never acknowledge Him or release Him to work through you, there's no power.  You can love God & Jesus but be terrified of the Spirit.  I had to come to a place where I just admitted that to God.  I said, "God, I'm afraid of the Holy Spirit.  I know that sounds stupid--because He is You.  I don't want to be afraid.  Please help me!"  And He did.  Slowly, I opened my heart to hearing Him.  To receiving from Him.  To being counseled by Him.  There are so many functions of the Holy Spirit--teaching, guiding, bringing truth from the Father to us, counseling, comforting, helping, strengthening us, interceding for us.  If we're afraid of the Holy Spirit, we're missing out on all of that!  We bottle him up.

And that makes me think of Mary.  Remember how she came to Jesus and broke open the bottle of expensive perfume and anointed Jesus for his burial--before he died?  Jesus commended her for it.  She set an example of great love for us.  We need to break open our hearts and allow the Spirit of God to flow through us to the world.  What a sweet aroma to God.  We'll never break open our hearts unless we understand how much God loves us.  Do you know what God told me when I told Him I was afraid of the Holy Spirit?  He said, "Becky, I will never rape you."  WOW!  That was so profound to me.  God (the Father, Son & Holy Spirit) is a gentleman.  He will never violate our will.  He waits to be invited--to enter our heart and then to be expressed to us and through us.

And when we break our heart open to the Spirit of God--hold on!!  Because his dynamite power wants to be expressed to the world!  This same word is used in talking about the miracles Jesus and His disciples performed.  It's used in the Lord's Prayer.  It's used in talking about Jesus' return.  It's real power.  But then it's used in talking about the last days--and how there will be a form of godliness--but it lacks power.  Aren't we seeing that today?  We can have the Spirit of God (and all of His power) living inside of us--and then do everything we do "for God" in our own power.  It's like having a brand new high-performance car--and then pushing it everywhere we go.  There's power available, but we'd rather do it on our own.  The form...without power.  Don't hang with those people.

I don't know about you, but I want all of the power available to me!!  (Cue song...I've Got the Power!)

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