Monday, September 12, 2016

Couch potatoes in the Kingdom?

Why don’t people normally associate being a child of God with the word “power?” That’s usually the last word people think of to describe a typical Christian. Sure we’ve marveled at the power of God in a sunset, the stars, the ocean, the birth of our children… but everyone has seen those things whether they believe in God or not. I’m talking about a power that Christians are supposed to personally experience, because they belong to Him. Jesus told His disciples to wait until they received power from on high, which came ten days later, in the form of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. They had walked with Him for years, but only after they received that power were they courageously using their faith to do the impossible, just as Jesus had done. They were still imperfect, but you could most definitely describe their lives with the word “power!” The Bible is clear that the same power is meant for all of God’s people, not to make us superhuman, but to make us more like Him in character.  

The simple answer as to why this is happening to so few, is that so few focus on God, the real God. Not the religious image formed by people or groups who are uncomfortable with the God of the Bible, but the God who is right there, front and center, on every page of scripture. If we stopped every time we felt panic or fear and just used our logic, we’d step out in the courage of faith and see the power of God manifest through us so much more. But logic, courage and real faith so rarely go together these days.    

The Bible clearly states that: God loves us with a passion stronger than the love we have for our own children; the same power that formed the universe and raised Jesus from the dead is available to us now; God hates the devil and his attacks on His children; and God wants to be seen through us as we step out in faith. Based on those facts, He’s ready to rescue us from the problem we’re presently facing, and through it, to bring us closer to Him. But how do we act in faith, because Gideon and Joshua and David used swords, but that definitely doesn’t apply to us today. At least not literally. But we do have risks to take and swords to swing in dealing with our daily struggles.  

What if your problem was unfair treatment on your job? Your boss is too busy to talk, your coworkers are backstabbers, and you deserve a promotion, but it seems like you’ll be passed over one more time. The first sword to swing is the sword of prayer, tying up the demonic forces manipulating thoughts and emotions in your office or job site, and even trying to manipulate you to give in to fear and apathy. You have authority over them, and can bind them up, so begin doing that night and day, every day. Next, pray for the presence of God, for His holy presence to fill your workplace, and to fill you with God’s thoughts and desires. Get rid of any fleshliness, grudges or resentment towards the people on your job because your enemy is spiritual, and you can’t fight evil with evil. Then fill your mind with thoughts of God, meditate on His promises, fill your mind with faith instead of doubt and despair – who He is, His goodness, His power, what He did in the past for others, the fruit of the Spirit – as you do this you will notice that He will fill you with the courage to take action. Just like Queen Esther walked into the presence of the king who could have had her killed on the spot, have the faith to boldly walk into your scary situation knowing that you are clothed with God’s protection. 

God’s power manifests only after we act, but the first, crucial actions start in our inner self: cleaning our hearts, spiritual warfare, learning to trust in God, obedience and being willing to make any sacrifice that He asks of us. Too many Christians are couch potatoes when it comes to God’s power. They’d rather read about it, talk about it and even preach about it, but don’t make the effort to live it. Others want to jump straight to the miracle without taking the necessary inner steps to see God move, and when their prayers don’t get answered, they switch right back to couch-potato mode and conclude that miracles are only for the chosen few and not for them.  

This week, today, or even within the next hour, you may need to refocus on the God of the Bible and on the power that He is making available to you. Take the necessary steps to let it happen, right now.
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes, who is risen, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.   Romans 8:31-37 - MEV