His Power at Work Within Us
God has called us to a crazy life. A life where we are called to reflect the image of God to the world.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. - Romans 8:29
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” - John 17:20-23
It’s quite the calling.
It feels so much like the apostle Peter stepping out of the boat towards Jesus (Matthew 14:22-32). As soon as your feet are on nothing but water and you see the waves and feel the wind, the only thing you can shout is: “Lord, save me!” because nothing is more evident in that moment than how completely powerless you are to do the impossible task to which he has called you.
You aren’t strong enough. You aren’t disciplined enough. You aren’t driven enough. You aren’t loving enough.
You aren’t enough.
When we know God has called us to “be Holy as I am Holy” we quickly crumble under the weight of it all. I’ve seen this all too clearly in my life. I might start out strong and confident for the first few steps out of the boat, but then I quickly realize my own limitations. I can never be perfect. That’s why Jesus had to come to accomplish what we cannot. Yet, the calling remains. God has called Christians to be his image to the world.
Getting out of the boat is not optional.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. - Matthew 16:24
So, how do we do it? God simply asks us to get out of the way so that Jesus can do what we can’t.
That is the awesome truth of becoming a Christian.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
Do we, the church, realize how crazy it is that the Spirit of the Living God dwells within us?
None of us are capable of following the call of Jesus in our human strength. Yet, all of us in Christ are given the Spirit of God to accomplish what we cannot. That’s why all of us are useable by God for work in his kingdom! We are all the body of Christ. It’s time to start living that way rather than feeling inadequate, weak, small, and useless.
Here are your “limitations” in Christ:
Christ doesn’t fail. Christ doesn’t grow weary. Christ loves his enemies. Christ has patience that doesn’t run out. Christ doesn’t fear. Christ has limitless power, strength, boldness, love, compassion and grace.
When I get Katy out of the way, when I humble myself in the moment of battle and repent of any sin that is driving my actions and ask Christ to live through me, then everything changes.
Why? Because Jesus is capable doing of more than I could ask or imagine! The Church becomes an unstoppable force in the world because we are filled by the very God of the universe. Why would I ever limit what I can do to the limitations of Katy? I may do pretty good for a short time, but I realize there is a moment where my patience runs out, my mercy stops, my tiredness overwhelms.
But not God.
He hasn’t only called his church to look radically different in the way that we live in this world, He has given us everything we need to do it. If we aren’t seeing his power at work in our lives, it’s not because he has failed. It’s because we aren’t dying to all the things that truly hold our hearts.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. - 2 Corinthians 4:10-12
So, what does this look like for your motherhood, or your marriage, or your wrestle with sin?
It’s filling your heart with the truth of God’s Word. It’s walking close to God, because the nearer he draws you to himself, the more you feel like Isaiah before his throne (Isaiah 6) - understanding God’s perfect holiness, seeing your imperfection, and God doing what you cannot. It’s stopping and praying when you feel pride well up within you. It closing your mouth and praying when angry words want to spill out.
As summer comes to a close, as school jumps into full gear as a family, we don’t need more plans of action.
We need to repent.
We need to humble ourselves before God.
We need to ask him to help us abhor all sin inside of us no matter how justifiable or normal it has become to us.
We need to be willing to die to everything we hold dear, to everything we want, to everything we desire, so that Christ lives through us.
Ephesians is one of my favorite books of the Bible and the verses below are my pray for all of you today. May Jesus receive the glory throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. - Ephesians 3:14-21