The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(thanks to Frances for the inspiration on this one - and of a lifetime)
The Apostle Paul declared a truth of God's grace and enabling we certainly attribute to our brother's life and ministry.
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Do we apply this truth to ourselves as well as Paul? He did, referencing "the power that worketh in us." The Holy Spirit indwells every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9). He is no different in one Christian than in another. Of course, our response to God plays a role in the experience and outworking of such enabling. Primarily this involves faith, as confirmed by a passage that contains some of the most tragic pathos recorded in the Bible:
"And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).
Matthew references the Lord's home town of Nazareth in this indictment. This speaks to believers because we are now the Lord's spiritual home. "Ye are the temple of God" wrote Paul to even the wayward, carnal Corinthians (I Corinthians 3:16). The Apostle strongly reproved the many fleshly failings of his brethren. He did so in the context of God's presence in them to empower a life of loving service to others, as opposed to the self-centeredness that characterized their attitudes and actions. Paul did not call his brethren to make bricks without straw. He rather reminded the Corinthians of Who dwelt within them to empower change and godliness. Thankfully, the Corinthians repented and responded, as evidenced by Paul's second epistle to his restored brothers and sisters (II Corinthians 7:11).
Greater realization of God's presence and "the power that worketh in us" goes far in our capacity to know the "exceeding, abundantly above" measure of grace He purposes to reveal in us. Indeed, if I tell a man lying on the road he needs to journey five miles from his current location, and he should get up and walk quickly there, I may be suggesting a place he needs to be. If the man does not realize he has legs, however, I have done him no service whatsoever. I must inform, encourage, and challenge him to arise in the power he possesses, through the means that enable his journey. I must instill confidence in order to encourage and challenge action. In spiritual terms, believers must help each other to see God's abundant enabling to make possible a walk with Him in faithfulness and obedience. "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).
Every believer currently alive on the planet can make his journey of five miles in this day. Repentance may be required if we have fallen, interestingly, the repentance that rightly begins by acknowledging we did not avail ourselves to walk in faithfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit. Every sin we ever commit flows on the murky current of failure to realize and affirm "the power that worketh in us" to enable faith and faithfulness. The strongest fleshly allure and most devilish temptation bow before such enabling. However, we must believe we possess the legs of the indwelling Christ to make our journey on the path of righteousness. How could it be otherwise in a life wherein "the just shall live by faith?" (Romans 1:17).
Is the Lord Jesus who Scripture declares He is? Does He indwell us through the Holy Spirit to motivate, guide, and empower our faithfulness? Is He presently working in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure?" (Philippians 2:13). Do we "have sufficiency in all things" whereby "we may abound to every good work?" (II Corinthians 9:8). Does "the power that worketh in us" meet the superabundant measure of "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think" declared by the Word of God? How we answer these questions of the heart determines how we walk with our feet - by the leading of His feet - to be where our Heavenly Father would have us to be. How indeed could it be otherwise in our personal journey of five miles with One whose promises cannot be broken, and who walks in us that we may walk by Him?
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
(II Peter 1:3-4)
Weekly Memory Verse
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(I Timothy 1:14)