Renewing strength2

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Renewing Strength (2)

 

 

Zachariah 4: 6 & 7;

“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit’, says the LORD Almighty. ‘What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of “God bless it! God bless it!” ’.

 

In many ways we in the Church try to do God’s work with our own powers, and as a result allow the devil to cheat us and God by usurping God from what is supposed to be His business.

Power is the ability to get things done, and might is the resources available to us. Under power we have such things as political power (the power to organize people), physical fitness, intelligence or brain power, position in society and the likes. Might have to do with how much of the powers and abilities of others we have at our disposition or our artillery and allegiances; our friends in high places, military numbers (number in the church, connections) and so on. We will always need them because they are the display of life. But when we do not know the difference among the powers of darkness, the abilities of men, and the power of God, the result will be that we would get nothing done within the body of Christ, if we get things done at all, it will create more problems than it is really meant to solve.

How often we try to replace God’s strength with ours; when we pray, we try to continue praying by our own might; we pray so that we can exercise our own spiritual power; we try to understand God’s word with our own intelligence; we try to reward church activities like the world does (with awards and acknowledgments from men, even church positions); we depend on our own relative affluence to do church projects; we try to increase church membership by declaring fictitious revivals and numerous crusades; we generally busy ourselves with works thinking that we would thus attain the righteousness of God. With all these, we would expect to increase or get somewhere, but at the end we have nothing to show for all that work. Something is wrong here.

I think the reason why we often tend to fall back on the flesh for strength is either we don’t trust God or we want to do our own thing, but mostly because we don’t trust God. Trusting God entails believing Him to be what He says He is; we must believe that He loves us and that nobody can love God’s kingdom more than God Himself; we must believe that God is all wise and that His wisdom is the best and that He knows what to do to get the right results at the end of it all.

To enter into the strength of God, we must operate by His principles concerning the release of His virtue. The bible says; Luke 12: 29 – 31

“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

What this tells me is that we should not bother about those things that seem important for now; if we want to pray and God says we should go out now, let us abandon our plans to pray and go out; if we want to evangelize but God says we should be built up in the word a little more, then let us sit down at Christ’s feet and learn. The time will come to for us to minister, let God minister to us in His own time. The importance of this is that when it is God leading us into an activity, His power will be available to help us through the task. If we miss God’s time, we would miss out on His grace in power. It does not matter how weak we are, if God tells us He wants to do something, He would do it despite our weaknesses. All He wants us to do is to cooperate with Him. This is the major difference between a religion and a relationship with God; religion is all about works while relationship entails cooperation.

God never sends any one on an errand without empowering them for the task. If you have to depend on your own strength for any spiritual work (including prayer and reading and understanding the bible), something is wrong. When ever I am using too much effort to do anything that is supposed to be God’s work, I always check myself if I am in God’s will, if He says it is His will, I always ask for His strength and He always without fail, gives it to me. You will never know the joy of prayer until you pray when prayer is due; so it is with every work of God, you will enjoy work when it is God’s will, it may be tiring but it would be effortless;

Isaiah 40: 31

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

“He will be a spirit of discernment to them that sit in judgment, and a source of strength to him that take the battle to the gate.”

It is not only sad that we often turn to the flesh, it is also dangerous;

Romans 6: 16

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

Romans 8: 12 – 14

“Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the flesh, you will live, because those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.”

Galatians 3: 3

“Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”

Some time ago, I saw a vision of people locked up in a room without windows or doors. They were all emaciated as if suffering from marasmus, all of them had neatly punched holes all over their bodies which were red and sore but no blood was coming out. It was as if the holes were used to suck blood out of them. God latter told me that those were people who have been trapped in works without grace because they were working in the flesh. It can even be worse; working in the flesh may result as working against God;

“He that is not gathering with us is scattering.”

It is possible for the devil to tell us to do good things as long as we do them in rebellion to God’s wishes; the opposite of right is wrong, but according to the bible, the opposite of right is also wickedness. The bible says, “He that does wrong honours the wicked.” This means if we do that which is wrong in God’s sight, we are worshiping the wicked one, i.e. the devil. I have implied that graceless works is empty religion; this is also called Babylonian religion because revelation has associated empty religion with Babylon. In Zechariah 5: 5 – 11, the vision of the Prophet revealed that a woman called wickedness in a measuring basket was being carried to Babylon where a house was being built for her where she would be worshiped once it is completed. Empty religion is worshiping wickedness! It is idolatry; it replaces God in our lives by replacing our relationship with God with instructions thought by men. If we build our lives on graceless works, we become wicked. The bible says;

Rom. 1: 28 & 29a

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind; to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with ever kind of wickedness…”

Works are okay as long as they are not in rebellion to God, but when He wants us to do other things, let us drop whatever we are doing to follow Him;

Matthew 19: 21

“If you would be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Isaiah 55: 2, 10 – 12

“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? LISTEN, listen to me and eat what is good and your soul will delight in richest of fare.”

“As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

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