The Power of God
In the Book of Jeremiah chapter 32, God asked the question, "Is there anything too hard for Me?
27 "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
The answer to this question resides in the heart of the Believer who desires to see the purposes of God done in their life first and then see His greater purposes done throughout the earth. To see His purposes done we must know what they are because it's impossible to wrap our faith around what God has said and is desirous of doing without knowing what it is.
For centuries, the Church in western civilization has wrestled with the power of God wanting to see greater demonstrations of miracles, signs and wonders not understanding that there's a difference between experiencing God's power and having His power manifested in this manner. The reality is you will never see a demonstration of the Spirit's power without first of all experiencing it in our personal lives.
You must be convinced that the power of God is revealed in the fact that Jesus said "No man can pluck you out of either His or the Father's hand.
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are one.
Second Timothy 1:12
¦for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
We must never take our salvation for granted as it is Gods power that keeps us in our right mind; it's God's power that provides for us; it's God's power that allows us the health that we do enjoy and it's God's power which gives us the hope that He will usher us into His presence when our time in the earth is over.
When we overlook these things as God's power demonstrated to us every day we risk enjoying the greatest miracle we could ever experience "Salvation. To seek God in any other way than He reveals in the Scriptures causes frustration and disappointment because we have replaced a living relationship with the Living God with a life that doesn't understand that challenges in our lives are not a sign that God has left us or has forgotten any of his promises to us.
When we serve God for the things He can do and that He does for us, and not because of the Life He gave us, we will always live a selfish Christian life.
We have to live this life focused on the greater call that He placed on us which is to "share this Gospel with every creature and go beyond a mindset of ease that only what wants to be relieved of the distresses we face and of which we may have brought on ourselves. Therefore we cannot have a view that God's power is only demonstrated by what He "does for us or someone else.
With this said, we must know that "The ability of God is only restricted by the limitations we place on Him.
Yes there's a side of God that wants you to seek Him in the day to day affairs that surface, but we also have to learn what He wants from us and endeavor to do it without allowing our religious perception to cloud what the Spirit of God is desirous of revealing. God's plans for us are always greater than our minds will tell us they are.
If our perception of His desire to get involved in our lives and situation is that "He can do it, but I'm not sure if He will do it for me, then we have placed limitations on God that He never intended for us to place on Him. The desire of God is to do exceedingly, abundantly; above all we can ask or think according to the power that works in us.
If we spend our time thinking about the problem and never allow the Word of God to dwell in us richly, then we have not only limited God to what we envision, but we also limit His Word from increasing the faith He gave us.
In Romans 1:16 Paul says
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith. NKJV
The New Living Translation
16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes”the Jew first and also the Gentile. 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life.
Of the six words for "power in the Greek language, Paul chooses the word "dunamis to describe the effectual working of the good news of salvation. Dunamis is "Power, natural ability or natural power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature; power which a person or thing exerts or puts forth.
The gospel is the "inherent, essential, innate, inborn, omnipotent power of God operating in the salvation of a lost soul that accepts it. When Paul says the Gospel is the "power of God ˜unto' salvation, he is letting you know that there is an "end result of someone embracing the Gospel of Christ and that is salvation. But you have to believe it as He says, "¦to everyone that believes¦
The gospel is actually "a power or one of the demonstrations of the power of God and therefore it is God's proof of eternal life but not by reasoning or mentally coming up with a mathematical or scientific calculation that proves it is right. This proof of God's power is the faith that resides in the heart of those that believe.
It is the power of God by demonstration and not through logic or reason. It is a demonstration not an argument, as its power is in what it does¦ having the ability to bring you to the "end result of your faith¦ eternal life. And looking to what it can do, Paul is proud to preach it anywhere therefore he said he was not ashamed.
The Gospel is the Good News of salvation energized by the Holy Spirit. It is the loving message of mercy and grace which the Holy Spirit in sovereign grace makes alive or active in the heart of the sinner who was chosen to salvation before the foundation of the universe. It's God's power, but you have to believe it.
First Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
The Message Bible
The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hell-bent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out.
What gives the Gospel its power is the person that activates what the Bible contains by the faith that God gave them. Hebrews 12:3 says God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. When the Word of God meets your faith, it activates God's power!
For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
Therefore if the faith that God gave us is not activated by the Spirit of God, it is impossible for someone to believe that they can gain access to heaven and the eternity that God affords when this life is over¦ it is only embraced by faith. This faith must be continuously fed if you are going to remain focused and steadfast on the privileges of salvation as well as the benefits of the Kingdom of God after we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord.
Romans 10 17 says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
The Message Bible
16 But not everybody is ready for this, ready to see and hear and act. Isaiah asked what we all ask at one time or another: "Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it? 17 The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ's Word is preached, there's nothing to listen to.
What most [if not all] of us have done is listened to the Word of God; and listening with the intent of obeying we came into salvation by believing in our hearts that Jesus died, and confessing with our mouths that God raised Him from the dread. This was our entranceway or portal into eternal life and gives us confidence going forward no matter what we may have to face in the earth while we live. But, you must feed your faith if it is going to remain intact and unbroken as well as become stronger.
Contrary to the reasoning of many Believer's, unless you consistently hear the Word of God, your faith is not going to remain strong and will in fact become weaker as you rely more and more upon your ability and your own intelligence than you do the Word of God.
The desire of my heart is that each of us would find and fulfill the purpose for which we have been born. Most people give up on their dreams shortly after they have a few disappointments. The reason is that they place their faith in their own ability to accomplish a task or fulfill their desire. They have not embraced the fact that God's plan often is bigger than their own plan and in order to fulfill the reason for which they were born it will take them seemingly "failing at their own plan so they will seek God's purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The Message Bible
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out”plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
As we mature in life, we have plans but often don't consider that God has plans as well and if our hearts are desirous of really pleasing God our plan is going to be swallowed up with God's ultimate purpose. This is why Proverbs 19:21 says: You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail. New Living Translation
However, we must understand that the foundation for us accomplishing the purpose of God is only found in the "power of God revealed through the Scriptures.
The question is often posed, what is my purpose? How do I find out what I'm supposed to be doing? Ironically, it's often asked by people that really don't want to know and are simply making conversation. This is evidenced because once they know that it is going to take effort, work, time, resources and often will require great sacrifice, they become less enthusiastic about doing anything that would benefit the kingdom of God.
However, I believe that there are a group of people who have embraced the heart of God and are sincere in their quest to accomplish what God intends for them to do before they leave the earth. These are the people that understand that accomplishing any real significant purpose is first of all birthed in the Spirit and by the Spirit, not something that is conjured up in their carnal minds.
They understand that doing something good is not always necessarily doing God's will. But doing God's will is always something good. They know that unless the Lord builds their house, they are laboring in vain and will eventually become frustrated in their quest to fully please God.
Therefore the power of God is revealed in understanding the purposes of God. It's here that you become settled with how God made you and you are content with the calling that God placed on you. You no longer strive or struggle with other people about their opinion of you, or how they are doing better than you may be doing. You are not insecure about your life and neither are you over-confident about how your future is going to look, you just know it's going to look as God intends.
John said a man can only have what God gives him and we must become the men and women that God wants us to be without consistently comparing ourselves with ourselves of which Paul said is unwise.
John 3:27 NKJV: John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
John 3:27: John answered, "It's not possible for a person to succeed”I'm talking about eternal success”without heaven's help. The Message Bible
When we are settled on the purposes of God for our lives, we no longer compare and argue that our way is better. We are content with the call that God placed on us as we continue moving our lives toward the reason for our existence.
Feeding our faith with the Word of God, we become more conscious of the tactics of the enemy in trying to destroy our lives using either us or other Believer's in the Body of Christ to accomplish his deceitful plan. The fact is, "You will never fully experience God's power as He intends unless you live your life the way He intends. Ignorance has kept many of God's people living below His intended purpose.
Most don't know that petty fighting and arguing [even if it appears harmless or they view it as a harmless comment] is very damaging to the faith of the people of God especially your own.
Second Timothy 2 NKJV
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The only ways you are going to take control of your tongue is to study the Word of God and know what the Bible says¦ then do it!
The Message Bible translates Second Timothy 2
14 Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God's people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out.
15 Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.
16 Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they're not backed by a godly life, 17 they accumulate as poison in the soul.
This is vital for the people of God if we are ever going to walk in the power of God on daily basis.
This brings me to the ability of God that I know he has in store for you. God wants to increase your faith so you can accomplish what He called you to, but knows it will not happen unless you are free yourself.
Being free is not the same as being perfect or being sinless. it is a person that has come to understand the grace of God operating in their lives and have resolved to move their life forward while god continues to work on the areas they need to improve in. Doing this, they also recognize that change is often the result of a determined heart and will not just happen because say, "God change us.
Yes that's a desire and will produce a greater desire to change but the ultimate change is going to come when you make up your mind that you are not going to give satan a foothold in your life any longer. Here you take control of your flesh and give no room for the enemy to further deceive you.
You see, it's the power of God that gives you the desire and strength to overcome all the power of the enemy and until you realize for a certainty that God has defeated satan and the sin that he originated in your life and has given you the victory, you will never walk in the fullness of the freedom that God wants.
To experience the power of God you must know that the God that called you out of darkness and translated you into the son that he loves gave you power over your flesh or your sinful nature, It's this power that has been released upon you that gives you the victory that God intended for you to have from the moment he called you, separated you and gave you the purpose that you so desire to accomplish.
The fact of the matter is that many of God's people like committing acts of sin, and as Romans says they enjoy being controlled by sin with its various lusts and passions. As long as you enjoy your sin, you will never grow in God enough to have it eliminated from your life because the heart of God reveals that he is going to have sons and daughters that are going to be spotless and without blemish.
We must not view sin any longer as something bad that you do, but as an enemy of God that desires to keep you in bondage and living under the power of satan. What is your view of sin? This is also something that brings you into living a life that is free from trying to do right or wrong.
The Bible is clear that trying to live according to the law that Moses gave the children of Israel will never satisfy the claims of justice and give you life. The fact is that the law was given to show men just how sinful they really are and trying to do right according to what is written in the law only causes us to be greater law breakers with the end result being the fact that we are going to walk in sin with its end result being death.
Does this mean that you are going to hell? Not if you made Jesus Christ your Savior and Lord, however, with that calling comes the responsibility to live according to the power of God through the Spirit and not by the letter of the law.
The freedom that we have come to know and experience is supposed to give us life and it's that life that we have embraced that gives us understanding that what God is dealing with is sin that is trying to reign over your live and not an act of sin that a person may commit. This gives confidence towards God as we are determined to unseat sin as king and allow Christ to govern, rule and reign over our day to day affairs.
The simplest things in this walk are what satan is trying to make the most complicated. He knows that when you understand that it's not an act of sin that sends you to hell but allowing sin to be king, that you then will unseat sins and his authority over your life.
But pastor, I'm supposed to live holy and the Bible says that there are acts and even thoughts that I'm not supposed to do? This is correct, but trying to eliminate these things through the law, or by trying to do them in a right or wrong manner will never eliminate them as when you're done with one, another comes until you unseat the king that has set up in your life as a squatter.