Miraculous Signs and Wonders. Laying on of hands… *POW* blind can see, lame walk, limbs grow back, raised from the dead, cancer cured, infertile couples being blessed with a child… the list is endless. And all is possible through the power of God.
We have heard about such things and we have seen such things, but they seem so few and far between.
And we may see many small miracles every day – if we look. But we are human and we grade them. “Oh, that was miraculous…but it was a small one.” We simply look and desire the “big ones!” Be honest, don’t we?
And who doesn’t desire to be the one whom God chooses to perform the miracle through. To be there. To see and experience the miracle first hand. Wow! It just gets your heart racing… doesn’t it?
The Power of God seen, experienced and consistent – every day! Want to see that?
Many Christians look for shortcuts to the power of God. Unfortunately, trying to take shortcuts usually leaves you frustrated at best, and at worse, a false teacher or prophet.
There is tremendous power for us in God, but not without holiness.
Holiness precedes power.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Understand that John the Baptist, was filled with the Holy Spirit “while yet in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15-17) and came with the spirit and power of Elijah. Historians tell us that John led nearly one million people to repentance! They came out of the cities by the droves to hear John and to be baptised into repentance in preparation for the kingdom of God.
John was a “seer prophet” – one who had open vision into the spiritual realm. He saw “the Spirit of God descending like a dove” (John 1:32-33). He saw “the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7). He witnessed “the kingdom of God” (Matthew 3:2). He even saw past the masks and into the hearts of men like the Pharisees and Sadducees who he saw as a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 3:7). He saw and understood what was hidden from other men.
John “saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him“.
But before that, he saw something else.
When Jesus came to be baptised, John gazed into Jesus’ heart and he saw no sin, no lies, no wickedness, no lusts – a spotless pure heart. This was before he knew Jesus was the Messiah. John saw a level of holiness that took his breath away. In astonishment he cried out, “I need to be baptized by you“.
Christ’s inner purity made John immediately aware of his own need.
And so it is with us. Each time we set our eyes towards Jesus, each successive revelation of Jesus’ purity makes our need more apparent. As we see more of Christ and His unfolding purity, we can not help but echo the same cry of John the Baptist, I need to be baptized by you“.
And yet, in the beginning of our walk with Jesus, we try to do life in our own strength, trusting in our own skills and abilities to live life successfully. Sure, we turn to God but it is usually in times of trial or in times of grief. However, as we mature in Christ, we realise that what we thought to be our greatest strengths are actually some of our greatest weaknesses. Self-confidence and pride keeps us from God’s help. The busyness of life and the noise of the world floods in and drowns out the small still voice of God.
At some point we discover that true strength, effectiveness and even holiness begins with discovering our need. We may think we have spiritual gifts, may presume to be holy, and rejoice in our human successes. But until we see Jesus and abandon our reliance on self-righteousness, what we have, at best, is religion. We will eventually weaken and crumble under the mask of self-righteousness we have built over the years. We will see that Jesus himself becomes the answer to our cry for holiness and power in our walk – as indeed does every man and woman. Jesus himself is our source of holiness!
Jesus wants what we are, not what we can do. He wants to make us a holy people.
Oh, and don’t be anxious in the process of holiness. Allow Him to do the deep work of preparation… even Jesus lived thirty years of sinless purity before He demonstrated God’s Power!
So, when you say, “I want the Power!”, remember this:
Power comes as a result of holiness. Therefore, our goal is not the Power… it is holiness.