December 21, 2011

Luke 3:21-22 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Even Jesus needed confirmation of who He was and His security in the Father. The point is, the Father gives the confirmation we need. Even more importantly, the Holy Spirit came on Jesus at this time. It has been impressed on me in various ways that while Jesus was on the earth, rather than exercising His power as the Son of God, He operated in the power of the Holy Spirit. He exercised His authority as the Son in forgiving people’s sins, but His miracles were done in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:14, 5:17) What is important about that is that the same Holy Spirit is available to believers today. Some people, like Heidi Baker and others, operate in that power with some regularity, but they are few and far between, at least in the awareness of most of the Church. (Actually, I’ve heard reports from China that would indicate it’s not so rare there.) God doesn’t want us running around like magicians, but He does want to manifest His power and His grace through us for His glory. It’s not a question of whether the power is available to us, but of whether we are available to God. Our goal shouldn’t be the power per se, but rather pleasing God, as Jesus did perfectly.

There have been moments when God has spoken His approval to me, and interestingly, as best I can recall, they have all been at times when I was extremely aware of my own weakness and imperfection. This lines up perfectly with Paul’s experience, recorded in 2 Corinthians 12. As long as our focus is on what we can do, we won’t manifest the power of God. It is only when our focus is on Him that He will flow through us and do through us things we can’t even dream of. Setting out to “do miracles for God” will only end in disappointment and shame. However, recognizing that He can use even such an imperfect vessel as I am, and giving Him full permission to do so, will result in people being healed, delivered, and drawn to repentance and faith for salvation.

Father, thank You yet again for Your all-sufficient grace. Thank You for my exhaustion, which I recognize is more emotional than physical. Help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You so that I may lead others to do the same. Help us all lift our eyes to You in obedient trust, so that You may do in and through us all that You desire, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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