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Posts Tagged ‘Power’

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“For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we do not belong either to the night or to darkness.” 1Thes 5:5 Amp

“But we belong to the day; therefore, let us be sober and put on the breastplate (corselet) of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 1Thes 5:8 Amp

“And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high.” Lk 24:49 Amp

“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].” Col 3:12 Amp

“For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Annointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.” Gal 3:27 Amp

As a believer in Christ you have a dual provision from the Holy Spirit!  You have the Holy Spirit residing in you – for yourself, and you can have the enduement of the Holy Spirit in power upon you for ministry to others!  Two provisions are available – but we need them both! Do you have them both?

If I am missing the residence of the Holy Spirit, I have none of Christ nor am I any of His (Rom 8:9). But if I lack the enduement of the Spirit, the clothing from on high (Lk 24:49), I lack the power to be Christ’s witness here on earth, and I am like a nuclear powered submarine docked and without fuel cells. I am going nowhere!

The enemy would have us doubt and disbelieve our reality (sons of light) and our clothing of power – both which are substantiated in the word of God, but both of which are apprehended by faith!

Today are you less certain of where you stand than you should be? You may need to check your wardrobe! You are in fact a power-dresser of the first order, but if the enemy has taken you to the cleaners, you may need to refresh your ensemble! Check out Ephesians 6:10-17 to find where you should be standing and on Whom!

If you are without power in your life, and you are fighting in your own strength – the likelihood is that your power cells need recharging or that you have never received the Promise of the Father! Check out Acts 2:39, Joel 2:32, Acts 1:4, and Jn 14:16 and 26.

If you look at the Scripture for Col 3:12 you will see the use of the word, “clothe.” That is the same word used in Lk 24:49 describing to be clothed in power from on high.  It is also the same word used in Gal 3:27 describing you as being clothed in Christ.

Now here is my point. Looking at Col 3:12 the imperative command is to “clothe yourselves.” You clothe yourselves in Christ and in His power, which is also to be enfolded in His love (Col 3:14). As you are so clothed you have the power from Christ to minister in HIs behavior, His character, and His nature.  You are thus empowered to have tenderhearted pity, mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourself, gentle ways …and you will have the power to endure whatever comes with a good temper!

I want you to understand this is dynamite! This is miraculous, wonder-working power! You may think it is less than feeding the five-thousand, or turning water into wine.  But you yourself are the vessel being transformed! And the power of God is coming forward through you to minister out of the full-ness of Christ!  Without His enduement of power and His clothing from on high, you will not be able to endure the things of this world with a good temper!  This is a miracle manifested through you in life-changing character. And as Colossians 3:10 states, this is not a static thing. You are ever being renewed and molded into fuller and more perfect knowledge after the image and likeness of Christ….

SO… if you are without this enduement … this clothing of Christ that manifests as power to minister to and for others…

Wait for it…

You are seriously lacking in your party clothes for the marriage supper of the Lamb! (Lk 15:22, Mt 22:11)  This is the very same garment that is the promise of the Father – clothed in power!

Would you refuse such a garment provided for you? Would you scorn to wear the provision of Christ?  I pray not. I pray your thinking would be renewed in truth to receive all that Christ has for you, with no rejection of anything!

Blessing from Him!

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“For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

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Are you aware this very day you have available to you righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees? You also have before you relationship with One Who dwells ever within the kingdom of heaven, and it is available without price, without penalty, already purchased for you.  But there are demands that will be made of you: to submit, to obey, to trust, and primary to all …BELIEVE in the One Whom the Father has sent and to cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His messenger (Jn 6:29).

But the demands that are asked of us are far eclipsed and exceeded by the delight of knowing the Lord here today, and of course in eternity that we get to enjoy in Him and dwell with Him.

But how can we have the righteousness required to even enter the kingdom of God? How can little old you and me meet the standard required?

Under the Old Covenant, the scribes and Pharisees possessed a righteousness that was of a legal, performance-based, external nature. They personified the cup that was cleansed on the outside, but inside is full of greed and robbery and extortion and malice and wickedness. Their own righteousness had a limitation, it could not penetrate into the heart of man because the covenant could not cleanse the inside of man.

Hebrews 9:9 portrays the situation this way: “Seeing that the first [outer portion of the] tabernacle was a parable (a visible symbol or type or picture of the present age). In it gifts and sacrifices are offered, and yet are incapable of perfecting the conscience or of cleansing and renewing the inner man of the worshiper.”

This Scripture is saying that under the Old Covenant, cleansing of a person could not penetrate to the inner man or conscience. Rather, it cleansed only the outside and was to tide mankind over until the New Order of the Messiah came that would bring a better covenant (Heb 9:10-11).

But the Good News is that the Messiah has indeed come! He has enacted a better covenant, by which no area, especially the inner man, is left uncleansed. Rather, all of man is cleansed – especially the inner man, the heart, the conscience, the seat of man’s thinking and personality – all are cleansed.

This then is what makes the way for man’s righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees… to receive Jesus Christ as the Messiah, to enter into covenant with Him as Lord and Savior – and to receive His cleansing that penetrated to the very inner man! It is only “in Christ” that we can possess such righteousness – because this righteousness is of His very own nature that comes to dwell within us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In so entering into relationship with Jesus, you then also enter into His Kingdom which He Himself has advanced. You are now a new creation where the old has passed away – and the new has come!

It is important to understand a basic requirement for walking in such righteousness, for it is not automatic. The need is to not only be saved, but it is to remain responsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is only those who are led by the Spirit that are called the sons of God (Rom 8:14).

The difficulty which remains after salvation is that you have a continual choice. Sometimes even a moment by moment choice…to obey the new resurrection life of Christ now in you, rather than your old nature which has technically been made dead with Christ by being nailed to the Cross with Him (Rom 6:6).

It is in the failure to recognize this need and to exert proper self-control that people fall into a life-style of ignoring this truth – and thus become perpetual “sons of disobedience” (Col 3:6). It is here that people deify themselves and only obey their earthly nature and appetites and fail to rest in faith in the new nature of Christ that should be in headship over their lives.

These are in fact people who have received Christ as Savior, but have never worked out their salvation with fear and trembling, nor have disciplined themselves to rid themselves of things like anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from their lips!

In essence, their old nature (which has been nailed to the Cross- and which they should reckon as dead) has retained rights and place and status that it should not, and so it still makes demands. They continue to respond to these demands and thus lead a rollercoaster life … sometimes having victory, others plummeting deeply into sin and failure.

The real problem is they have not become servants of righteousness (Rom 6:18). Instead, they have continued to cater to their flesh. You must understand, this is a very dangerous place! A new choice is needed here, and every power that is needed to make that choice has been already given!

Listen to Romans 6:19 as Paul instructs: “I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and every increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification.”

If you have received Jesus as your Savior there is a need to have reflected a corresponding change in your life and the way it is lived! If you do not see such progress and change, then you should question the reality of your salvation! You should not delay but resolve the issue today!

If your current vehicle for transportation is undependable for a trip across town you would not set out on a journey across country with it. Likewise, if your current relationship with the Lord is weak and undependable in your eyes, how is it that you would trust it to usher you into eternity safely? The Lord would have you rectify the situation even today!

So today, is your righteousness more than that of the scribes and Pharisees? Is your relationship and interaction with the Lord such that you are ever seeing progress in how you live your life? Are you tender and humble before the Lord, or is a two-by-four the implement of choice to get your attention?

Warning. You are too far away from the flame of the Lord in your life. Move closer! Seek Him continuously! Pursue Him in love! Be responsive and able to be moved by Him easily! Live and move and have your being in Him – there is no counter-fitting this! Press in with all your heart. It is to your benefit – not His!

Last thing. A servant of righteousness conforms to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action. Like dentures lacking enough adhesive bonding, are there big gaps between your thinking and the Lord’s? Your actions and the Lord’s? Your purposes and His? If so …ask Him to bring you in line.  Ask Him to bring what is needed.

Today, become the slave of God with your present reward in holiness, and your end in eternal life with Him! Have His righteousness that exceeds and far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees!

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Day Sixty-Nine

“POWER! For Signs that Accompany the Saints”

“And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick; and they will get well.”  Mark 16:17-18 Amp

            To some religious scholars, Mark 16:9-20 is a highly contested part of Scripture.  Some Bibles indicate that it is not contained in the earliest manuscripts.  That in itself is a provocative discussion (but not one for here). Much of that contention is rooted in the Alexandrian versus Textus Recepticus discussion (btw Chuck Missler has an amazing teaching on Mark 16 and this debate –highly technical in math J).

I myself believe that the reason for the whole debate stems from the explicit power legacy that has been left to believers in Jesus Christ within these passages – especially those quoted above.

It is no surprise that the enemy seeks to discredit this passage through “doctrinal debate” over whether these passages are valid. He uses this same tactic to declare that Holy Spirit Baptism is not available for today.  The enemy will readily use a bogus rendering of Scripture (along doctrinal lines) and even the servants of God to discredit dangerous power passages.  Here is why….

            Mark 16:17-18 specifies seven “wills”, observances, or signs which “will accompany” those who believe [in the name of Jesus].” If you understand the basis for the Word of God, then you know that being written as they are, these Scriptures establish not only the Lord’s will for a situation, but they are themselves a source of power, an equipping, or empowerment for believers to draw from.  “Lord – you’ve said it – let it be done so in and through me….”

            So… where the word of God stipulates behaviors of the believer as in this passage – WE SHOULD EXPECT TO ACTUALLY DO SO!  To wit: followers of Jesus should believe, expect, pursue, and demonstrate:

            –  attesting signs

            – driving out demons

            – speaking in new tongues

            – picking up serpents

            – being free from the effects of poison

            – laying hands on the sick

            – the sick getting well

            Now, just for the fun of it – let’s contemplate the Mark 16:17-18 Scripture through the light of Mark 11:22-24.  The freedom released for believers to operate under these terms and the leading of the Holy Spirit is phenomenal! I really recommend that beyond just reading these two passages, you actually meditate on them, and let the Lord ignite their truth within you!

Mark 11:22-24 is as follows:

            “And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! And does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you and you will [get it].”

            By virtue of saying, “Have faith in God” – Jesus has released the power for the saints to actually do so.  As we speak to situations and conditions, and “mountains” of obstacles – and believe what we say – it will take place.  Is there a caveat here? Yes – I have to be steady state in my faith in God – and I must have faith that what I am saying is agreeable to God.  That is where doubt cannot move me! Trying to speak/pray/prophecy means as a given that I am operating in agreement with the will and the word of God – not as some loose cannon going off on my own.

            What then keeps me “in the mind of Christ” or in parity with what I can believe the Lord wants — with His will?  LOVE! Specifically, the Agape love of God! We let the love of Christ urge, control, and impel us (2Cor 5:14).  The King James uses “constrain” us. As we fill up as intercessors with the love that Jesus has for an individual, or situation, and His love is free to regulate us (by an active ongoing choice of our will holding us with Christ), then we will be fitted with perfection to do what Mark 16:17-18 specifies, according to the standards of Mark 11:22-24.

            This is the very power of God being displayed in demonstration that Paul the Apostle walked in (2Cor 2:4-5, 9, 12, 2Cor 4:19-20).  It is signs and wonders from God bringing validation to the words that are spoken in His name, with His heart, according to His authority and power.  This is the very place believers of today are being drawn, but are reluctant to go.  We stay like ships tied to the dock, never venturing out, afraid to be wrong. This pleases the enemy greatly!  He has succeeded in neutralizing us without firing a round!

            What then is the safeguard against being wrong? Against either being sidelined or misled by the enemy?  Have faith in God [constantly]!  Wait on the Lord.  Be in His Presence.  Know His voice.  Trust and obey.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.  Know that it is not by your might and power, but by the Spirit – that great things are done.  Saints – it’s time to let faith in God arise in us, and do the exploits He is calling us to – under His Influence, for His Glory! (I am obviously preaching first to myself here!)

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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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