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Receiving God’s Power

LightningFaith is very often misunderstood in Christian circles. It’s sometimes described as a mental exercise. We’re simply trusting that everything’s going to turn out okay. That’s not Biblical faith.

True faith is putting your trust in a person – Jesus Christ – and what He says is truth. Look at the example of Scripture.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age – and Sarah herself was barren – was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Hebrews 11:11

To understand this verse we need to look at the NKJV, which I believe is a more accurate translation in this case.

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Hebrews 11:11 (NKJV)

This verse tells us that through faith Sara received. This is an important concept for us to lay hold of. Faith is always a choice. We choose to receive by faith.

God can hold something out to you, but unless you choose to receive it, it’s never more than a promise. It’s like that with everything God has for us as His children.

What is it that Sarah received? According to the above verse, she received strength. Above all, we need to receive God’s strength. That’s the Greek word dunamis – God’s miracle working power.

There should be a progression in our lives. We spend time with the Lord, talking and listening to Him. As we do this, we become aware of His calling upon our lives. Then, having heard His call, we choose to obey and follow His leading.

It’s at this point that many believers get into trouble. That’s because what God calls you to do cannot possibly be completed in your own strength. You need His power working through you.

Think about the example of Sarah and Abraham. They had no strength to obey what God was calling them to do. The only way this promise was completed in them was through the Lord’s intervention.

It’s the same for us. Many Christians choose to obey God. But they try to accomplish the work in their power. Maybe it’s because we don’t understand God’s power. Or sometimes it’s because we don’t like God’s method.

The above verse said that Sarah received power. That’s the exact same wording that’s found in the following verse.

“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.”
Acts 1:8

This is a part of receiving God’s power into your life. It’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes up residence within you when you’re saved. But the baptism is the immersion in the Holy Spirit.

I believe that this is one of the most important steps in the Christian walk. It opens us up to the power of God working in us. If we want all that God has for us, then we need to actively seek this baptism.

But it doesn’t end there. Once we’ve received our prayer language, we need to cultivate it through daily prayer in the Spirit. In this way we will, by faith, receive the strength we need to complete God’s work in us.

For the next few posts I’ll look at this important part of our Christian walk.

Question: How often do you pray in the Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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What is True Biblical Faith?

Many people talk about faith.  Few live it out to its full potential.  It all comes down to how you perceive it.

Is faith a single response to Scriptural teaching, or is it more than that?  The next four posts will deal with this important concept.  If you haven’t yet done so, take the time to subscribe to this blog via e-mail so that you won’t miss any of these life-changing installments.

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Hebrews 10:39

Whether we want to admit it or not, faith is an on-going process.  In our society we like to “set it and forget it.”  That’s not the case with Biblical faith.

Faith is a walk.  It’s the path God leads us on from godlessness to perfection.  We start out our lives with no knowledge of Christ or His Word.  God takes us from where we are to as far as we’re willing to travel with Him.

What we find in this walk is that along the way there are always choices. These choices come at regular intervals – usually when we least expect them.  These points are like forks in the road ahead.

It’s then up to us whether we accept or reject truth when we see it.  Each new piece of knowledge comes with a choice.  Do I trust God and His Word, or do I continue in the old direction I was headed?

It may sound like a “no-brainer” as to which path we take, but based upon my experience, it’s a little more complicated than that.  We sometimes tend to stick with what we’re comfortable with, even though it’s wrong.

Choosing to trust God in a new way is a big step.  There are those who come to a hard decision and simply stall out.  There are others who start out trusting the Lord, but then when the going gets rough, they “shrink back.”  Why do we find it so hard to totally surrender to God’s will?

This is the problem – faith is an uphill climb on an icy slope.  When we come to a new choice and decide to stop, we begin to slide backwards, whether we intended to or not.  In the above verse, the word destroyed means ruin or loss.  Just standing still causes us to lose the ground we’ve already gained.

In our Christian walk, you have to put effort into it just to stand still.  If you want the power of God’s salvation working in you, then you have to keep moving forward.

Where are you in your walk with Christ?  What choices are you wrestling with?  If you find yourself at standstill – where did you stop, and why?  Most Christians don’t deal with these questions because think that faith is a one-time event.

Make it your goal to make the tough choices and then keep moving forward in Christ Jesus.

Question: What’s the hardest decision that you’ve ever had to trust God for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Faith

 

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