The power for life
Many of us struggle with the ability to do the right thing. We want to do the right thing and apply biblical principles to our lives but we don't have the spiritual capability to do it. As a result, we become frustrated living the Christian life and even feel like giving up.
The Apostle Paul found himself in the same position and wrote it down for us to see.
Romans 7:15-19 NLT
"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate. I know that nothing good lives in me. I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway."
But, Paul goes on to say in vs. 25, "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord."
There is a solution to all our frustration. God does not require us, and will never ask us, to do something that He does not provide the power to do. He not only provides principles for life, but He also provides:
Power for life
The power to live out, and apply the principles He gives.
Power is: "The ability to do something or act in a particular way."
Our job is to access the provision of power and fully apply it to our lives. Then we can watch God turn around our lives because "...the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV.
What is this power and how do we access it?
The baptism of Jesus in Luke 3:21-23 NIV provides us with some answers to these questions.
"When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Now Jesus himself was about 30 years old when he began his ministry."
In His baptism, Jesus fully identifies with mankind and sets an example for us to follow.
Jesus was starting His public ministry and He needed power to do it. He comes out of the water and calls to His Father to fill Him with the Holy Spirit and to empower Him.He did not rely on His divine nature to do the things He did;it was because of the Holy Spirit who empowered Him to do the will of God.
1. Spiritual living requires spiritual power.
A lot of us become exasperated when we try to live the Christian life in our own strength. But the first thing we see in Jesus' life after the anointing of the Holy Spirit, is that He was tempted by the direct onslaught of Satan in Luke 4:1-2.
Have you ever noticed this in your own life? As soon as you decide to get serious with God, all hell seems to break loose. But Jesus goes into the wilderness "...full of the Spirit". The lesson we are to receive from this is that we first need to have a 'Spirit-empowered' walk.
2. Spiritual battles need spiritual power
When we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can be victorious over the attacks of the devil. Jesus knew Scripture well and used it, yet that alone was not enough. He also needed power and we need both to win our battles.
In Luke 4:31-35, Jesus taught in the synagogue, from the scriptures about the Kingdom of God. He also rescued people from the power of the devil. Both these activities demonstrated that He had a Spirit-empowered ministry.
3. Daily life needs spirit-filled prayers
Today, we need to have Spirit-filled prayer lives, where we can carry our needs, decisions, and issues to God. The Holy Spirit functioned in Jesus' life much in the same way He (the Holy Spirit) functions in our lives.
This anointing and empowerment of the Holy Spirit is so critical to the life of a Christian that when the Jerusalem church in Acts 8:4-17 NIV got the good news about the new believers in Samaria, they sent the apostles to them to ignite the power of the Holy Spirit in these new believers.
When the Holy Spirit empowers Christians we are better able to live the life God has called us to live. He helps us to: stand against sin; resist the enemy; be witnesses for God; understand the deep things of God's Word; and pray.
The Holy Spirit guides, teaches and empowers us for ministry with spiritual, supernatural gifts. We need this to be effective representatives of Christ on earth.
God wants us to live overcoming lives and we need power to do it. Let's ask for it.