A Calendar Comment
A loved one recently sent me the following from an old “choice Gleanings” calendar: “A great editor once said: ‘The true secret of editing is to know what to put in the waste basket’. This is also the secret of all true living.”
· to overthrow false ideas and ideologies or systems of thought by which men live (2 Cor. 10:3, 4);
· to face difficulties courageously (Phil . 4:13);
· to endure physical pain bravely (1 Pet. 4:12-14);
· to believe Christ is with us steadfastly when we don’t feel his presence with us at all (Heb. 13:5, 6);
· to fit in with other Christians humbly and helpfully, and support them in their hours of weakness and distress as well as in their daily routine (2 Cor. 1:4-7);
· to recognize temptations speedily and to resist them firmly (1 Cor. 10:13);
· to absorb solid teaching gratefully (Col. 2:6-9);
· to stand up for the truth uncompromisingly and with courtesy (Rom. 1:14-16; 16:25-27);
· to recognize continually that our natural resources, i.e., what we are by nature and past experience and what we have achieved by grace, are utterly inadequate to face today’s task, but that Christ’s grace is sufficient for us this very day (2 Cor. 3:16; 4:7);
· to have the ability to find some real delight in our weaknesses, for whenever we are weak, then, and then only, are we strong (2 Cor. 10:9-12).
How do we get the power of Christ’s Spirit? True spiritual power, like joy and fellowship, is not an end in itself but a by-product graciously thrown in as we seek to fulfill the Christian obligations for which the power is needed. As we lay hold of the promise God has given us, the power is turned on. “Seek the Lord and his strength,” says the Word of God. The Lord first, then his strength is found in his presence for the fulfillment of his will in our lives.
If we seek the Lord for the Lord’s sake, then spiritual strength is surely given us so that we may go on seeking him singleheartedly and go out to serve him faithfully. We may not be conscious of the power at the time, only of our own weakness. It may be only when we hear later of blessing coming to others through our words or deeds that we can be sure the power of God was truly released. The power of God is imparted in the process of witnessing and worshiping, not just for the purpose of witnessing and worshiping. I can do all things through the empowering Christ, who continually imparts power, rather than giving it as a reservoir for us to draw on at will.
If we take the time to abide in his presence — i.e., to live in constant conscious dependence on him, browsing daily in his inspired Word — we can be sure that the power of Christ’s Spirit will be released in us.