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Posts Tagged ‘Denying Self’

Day Forty-Two

 

Why We Lack Power!

 

“But to those that are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.”  1Cor 1:24 Amp

 

          There is a question that moves through every fellowship of Jesus Christ at one point or another.  Inevitably the question arises, “Why do we not see the same kind of power operating in the Church today as at the time of Acts?  Why do we not see as many signs and wonders as happened back then?”  I believe there is a direct answer to that question – but it is not an answer that will make any of God’s saints feel good, myself included.  But it important not to stay fixated on this answer, but rather to move on to the solution.

          THE ANSWER:  We have not died to ourselves as required by the Word of God, thus the power of God cannot be manifested in us.

          THE EXPLANATION:  Jesus Christ Himself is the very power of God and the wisdom of God.  But just having Him as our Savior does not immediately follow that we will walk in His power as He did.  While the Word of God provides for that very thing: “As He is – so are we in the world”… etc., the fact is, you and I have to follow Christ more fully, more deliberately, and deny ourselves to be able to manifest the power of God.  We must die to ourselves.

          In the Garden of Eden, Jesus is personified as the Tree of Eternal Life.  But there was another tree there as well – one that was forbidden:  The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Very simply stated, whichever one of these trees we “eat” from – we will grow in and manifest its fruit.  Matthew 3:10 says that every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  All the fruit that is born from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – is from the power of our own works of the soul – it is therefore fruit of the flesh.  It cannot inherit the Kingdom of God according to 1Cor 15:50.  Thus, the fruit and even this tree will be thrown into the fire.  But see this clearly now – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is like our soul which Satan stirred into operation in the Garden.  When we are soul-ish, or in our old nature (which is flesh) – this is the Tree which is operating.  All of our fruit (good works) done in the flesh comes from this tree.

          However if we have the Life of Christ dwelling in us, then we have the nature of the Tree of Eternal life within our spirit.  The difficulty is that both these trees cannot operate simultaneously for they are adversarial – just as the flesh is adversarial to the spirit (Romans 8:4-9).  Our two natures: the first of flesh and the second born of the spirit – will not and cannot coexist well.  They cannot be both allowed to live and exert control.  To try and make that happen creates a person that is double-minded and unstable in all his ways (Jam 1:6-8).  So we must see the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as comparable to the flesh life, our old nature, and the Tree of Eternal Life as comparable to our New Life in Christ according to the Spirit.  We are called as believers to live and move, not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit – with our lives governed and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

          You can begin to see then – why the Church lacks power….  We have lived lives where the flesh has predominated – not the Spirit.  We have not reckoned ourselves as being dead to sin and alive to God.  (Rom 6:11)  We have not yielded our members and faculties as instruments of righteousness to God.  (Rom 6:13)  In fact, we have more often catered to the appetites and impulses of our carnal natures, and in that regard we are not pleasing or acceptable to God.  This is a picture of the end-times church, which 2Timothy warns against, which holds a form of piety, but denies and rejects the power of it!

It is for this reason – we lack power.  We lack the predominance of the life of the Spirit/the life of Christ/the Tree of Eternal Life and the subsequent need to live and move and have our being in Him.  We have continually fed our soulish life/our natural flesh life, and allowed the Life of the Son to languish and starve within us.  When we obey the Spirit and surrender to the Spirit to do His will, we are His slaves leading to righteousness.  But when we obey the flesh and surrender to the flesh to do its will, we are its slaves leading to sin and death.

THE SOLUTION:  The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil must be made inoperative and ineffective for use.  Like putting a “red-tag” on a dashboard signifying it is broken and useless – this tree must be cut down, up-rooted and laid waste in our lives.  We do this when we deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow Christ.  We do this when we make a decisive dedication of our bodies, presenting all of our members as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1), and we must do this daily!  Only as we do this will we fulfill what is said in 1Cor 15:49:  “And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so let us also bear the image of the [Man] of heaven.”  

Because of the Cross — may the Tree of Eternal Life flourish in His saints!  May we be obedient with all our hearts!  May we be be-loved, _His_, more than our own.  To His glory and Praise!

           

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