I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve felt like a failure in my Christian walk. Why? Because of sin, either it be a besetting sin that I cannot overcome or a sin I knowingly commit against the warning of the Holy Spirit, a sin usually wrought out of pride. You would think by now I would realize I cannot overcome sin in my own power. It is a lesson I understand yet never seem to learn.
The good news is I do not have to walk in my own power. There is a spiritual power, an abundant power working in us:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” (Ephesians 3:20)
Paul tells the Ephesian Church there is a spiritual power so abundant working in us that it exceeds anything we can ask for or of which we can think. How many of you truly understand that? Good, but have you learned it? Are you living it? Paul’s lessons were and are of such importance the Apostle Peter references them in his last letter:
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:14-18)
Peter warns us not to fall from our own steadfastness because it almost always lead to error. In other words, when we start following the stinking thinking of this world we usually end up committing sin. There are so many warnings against this in the Bible you would think we would learn by now. Remember this though: understanding is not learning.
If you go back to the Old Testament and see the number of times that God’s abundant spiritual power is promised, well…I think you just might be amazed.
Through the Law of Moses God promises us victory:
“You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.” (Leviticus 26:7-8)
In his farewell speech at the end of his life, Joshua reminded Israel how God had delivered them into victory as He promised:
“For the LORD has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.” (Joshua 23:9-10)
King David had experienced many a victory through God and wrote about it the very day he experienced such delivery:
“For You will light my lamp; the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (Psalm 18:28-30)
Well that’s all well and good Bro Dave, but that doesn’t explain why I keep experiencing defeat. Good point! So why does that happen?
We tend to walk back through conquered territory picking up treasured trinkets from our old life. Joshua warned against this:
“Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God. Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.” (Joshua 23:11-13)
I must stop returning to my past sins as a dog returns to his vomit, to quote the Bible. Yes, Bro Dave, I understand that, but HOW?
You must have the courage to overcome your sin and that comes through the realization that you have abundant power working in you, yes YOU! Read carefully the words of the Prophet Micah:
“But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.” (Micah 3:8)
As you read the Old Testament prophets you find something common in them; an initial fear to obey the call of God on their lives. So how did they over come this? Not by their own power, that’s for sure!
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
The abundant power working in us is the same Holy Spirit power that worked in Jesus:
“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” (Luke 14-15)
Jesus returned from the desert where He was tempted by Satan to Galilee to begin His ministry, how? He “returned in the power of the Spirit.”
A few verses before our verse of the day, Paul gives the Ephesian Church the key to all of this. Take note:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Beloved, that is my prayer for you, that you be strengthened through the Holy Spirit in your inner man.
I pray that Christ dwells in your hearts through faith.
Have you done that yet?
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
If not, you’re just reading a bunch of words from these devotionals that have no real power in your life.
You need Jesus! Won’t you say yes to Him today?
May each of you have a blessed weekend and please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers