The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Power of His Might"
What God calls us to do, He equips us to do.
"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" (II Peter 1:3).
In Christ and through the indwelling Holy Spirit, born again believers have the capacity for "life" - fellowship with God - and "godliness" - thoughts, words, attitudes, actions, and relationships with people that flow from His presence and power. Indeed, our prayers for strength are answered by our Lord's administration of a present and abiding reality in our spirits, namely, "the power that worketh in us" (the same power that raised the Lord Jesus from the dead - Ephesians 1:19-20; 3:20).
I thought of this yesterday during a service. As we began to lead the hymn singing before I preached, a sense of tiredness washed over me. This does not happen often, and I felt surprised and a bit lacking in the wherewithal to conduct the service. Almost immediately, thank the Lord, a thought occurred to me. "Wait a minute! Am I here to minister by my own devices and power??? Or rather to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might?" The answer was obvious. I smiled inwardly, continued to sing, and never thought again about how I felt (Ephesians 6:10).
Of course, we will feel our weakness and inability often throughout our lifetime, in countless different ways and measures. Redirecting our focus from our human frame unto Divine faithfulness will go far in the enabling of our earthly faculties to serve as the vessels of Heavenly life and power. "My strength is made perfect in weakness" declared the Lord to the Apostle Paul (II Corinthians 12:9). His voice rings through the ages on the pages of God's Word, and by the Holy Spirit's working to remind us of the truth of the matter: "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). Regardless of whether we feel strong or weak, anything we do of eternally lasting value, impact, and effect must flow from God's presence and enabling. Thus, how we feel actually bears little significance in the work of God, so long as we remember our only hope for "life and godliness": "We… live through Him" (I John 4:9).
As long as our Lord feels up to whatever task He calls us to perform, we can rest our hearts and commit our hands to Him. Confidence and capability will result, directing all glory to Him and empowering the fulfillment of callings. So long as the earthly tomb of the Lord Jesus remains empty, His Heavenly throne occupied, and our trusting spirits inhabited by the Holy Spirit, we can arise in the Strength best known and revealed in weakness.
"He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you."
(II Corinthians 13:4).
Weekly Memory Verse
"Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (I Corinthians 1:30)
shared with a dear friend yesterday that 99.99% of the Bible involves God's revelation and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. We exist to know Him, and to find in such holy light the reality, reason, and ramifications of our existence (John 17:3). The Holy Spirit who indwells us ever works to reveal and glorify the Lord Jesus (John 15:28; 16:14). However, I also mentioned to my friend that a .01% place exists for the believer's self-knowledge and awareness. To know God means we will know ourselves in the context of Christ, as it were. "Ye are in Christ Jesus… He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 1:30; 6:17). Of all that God sees of us, we can be sure this is first and this is primary. Indeed, how can it not be so when we consider…
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
If God gave His Son to the cross to make possible and actual His giving of the Holy Spirit to our hearts, could it be that He sees us with any other essential focus? If He poured out His wrath on the Lord Jesus so that He might pour out the Spirit into our spirits, will He ever overlook this "hope of glory, which is Christ in you?" And if He left His beloved Lord Jesus to die alone in utter abandonment to make possible His presence within us, will He ever take leave of seeing us in terms less than "Ye are the temple of the living God?" (II Corinthians 6:16).
Find the most faithful believer on the planet in this moment, and you will find one viewed by God as united to the Spirit of His Son. Find the most failing believer on the planet in this moment, and you will find one viewed by God as united to the Spirit of His Son. Too much was sacrificed for the Divine gaze upon us to be other or less. Certainly, our faithful or failing response to Him matters much, and He works to enhance the former, and correct the latter. However, God's first gaze ever sees us in light of the cross, the empty tomb, and the Spirit of the crucified and risen Christ within us. We must see ourselves accordingly. "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).
This is the .o1% - how we view ourselves - based on the 99.99% - how we view God. But how important it is. To share God's view of Christ in us and ourselves in Christ will go far in motivating and empowering a corresponding life of faith and faithfulness. Moreover, our Savior suffered agonized abandonment on the cross to bestow such grace upon and within us. We will never throughout eternity, or in this lifetime, live a moment apart from the Holy Spirit's abiding and empowering presence within us. Yes, God gave Himself to dwell within our hearts when we believed. He will not leave. This is how He views us. This is how we must view ourselves.
"I am with you always… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
(Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse