Monday, July 8, 2019

NTDS (64): All Power

Col 1:11-13
 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. NIV

One of the greatest gifts the Lord bestows on those who come to faith in Him, is one that we seem to understand the least. Over the years I have heard so many people, who are struggling in their lives, say something like this, “I just don’t think I can be a Christian. I can’t live up to it.” Maybe you have felt this way at one time or another.

It is actually a great realization to come to. You can’t live up to it! In your own power and your own strength, you will never be able to do what Paul is telling the Colossians to do in verse 10, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…”  This is impossible to do in our own power. The Bible tells us that in Heb 11:6 “and without faith it is impossible to please God,” Faith means trust in Christ, not in us!

Why is it that we find this concept so hard to grasp? It seems that most of us try to live the life God calls us to live, in our own strength. Maybe it’s because we are brought up in a culture that teaches us that if we just “believe in ourselves and “think positively,” we can do anything.” That may have some merit when you are talking about worldly things.

Being successful in sports or music or business can be done by hard work, perseverance and confidence. You might even be successful in “religion” that way. Before Paul was called by Christ, that was certainly his case. This is what he says in Phil 3:4-6, “If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.” He was, by worldly standards highly successful. But look what he has to say next, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Phil 3:7

When it comes to your life in the spiritual realm, the only source of power that works does not come from you. It comes from God Himself. The only way you will experience this power is by surrendering your will to His. That means you give up control of your life to Him. Since God gave you free will, you must allow Him to strengthen you with His power. If you want to live a life free of continual spiritual failure, this is the only way to do it!

God has the power and He wants to display that in you. Look at what verse 11 says about this power. It tells us that He strengthens us with His “glorious might.” Have you really considered how mighty His power is? It is the power that created the universe. It is the power that brought down plagues on Egypt. It is the power that gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, caused the lame to walk and raised the dead to life again. Certainly that power can give you and I the ability to “live a life worthy of the Lord…”

Look back at our key verse and see what happens when you do this. Paul says that you will have endurance and patience. Endurance to keep on going in the Lord and even when times are difficult, be able to “give thanks to the Father” (v 12). Patience, so that you may be able to wait on the Lord, allowing Him to do His will in every situation, rather than you trying to do it “your way.”

Jesus said to His disciples in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  These men did what Jesus said and waited in Jerusalem to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2, we read that the Holy Spirit came, exactly as Jesus had prophesied. Acts 2:4 “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”  The Holy Spirit empowered Peter to preach the good news of Jesus Christ and three thousand people came to faith in Him that day.

That same person, God the Holy Spirit, will empower you to live your life for Christ. Don’t try to manufacture your Christian life any more. You can’t do it! Just surrender the control of your life, each and every day to the Holy Spirit. Ask for the power of His glorious might, to work in your life that day. Read the Word so that you know what God wants you to do and respond to His voice. He will “strengthen you with all power.” Then joyfully, give thanks to Him, who loved you so much, that He gave His life for you!

God bless you

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