We are given new life when we are born again. It is a wondrous thing. We are brought from death to life, from darkness to light, and from ignorance to understanding. In His goodness, God also promised us a power that we might defend the truth, stand for the light, and not shrink when the ignorant attempt to shout us down.
What Jesus did for His disciples, breathing on them and telling them to receive the Holy Spirit, and what happened in the upper room where the power of the Holy Spirit was poured upon them is not the same thing, no matter how some might like to conflate the two. Read the chronology. If they’d received everything they needed in order to carry out their ministries, why command them to wait until they received the power from on high? In one instance, they were given the newness of life; in another, they were given the power to carry out the callings to which they had been called.
If you desire power, you must have new life. If you do not possess new life, no matter how much you may desire power, you will be like Simon the sorcerer who wanted power without repentance. One is contingent upon the other. Without new life, you have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right with God.
It may sound mean-spirited, exclusionary, and elitist, but only if you are so set against repentance that you’re willing to demonize someone who is pointing you to scripture. But Joel of Osteen fame said all I needed to do was raise my Bible in the air and wave it like I just don’t care! What’s this repentance stuff?
Every day, more people realize they have to choose whom they will believe, whether folks like Joel or the Bible. If, perchance, you wanted the fullness of God’s promises active in your life, if you wanted the presence, power, and authority of the Holy Spirit indwelling in you, then it really isn’t much of a choice. Do what God commanded and receive what He promised. Do as Joel suggests, and keep waving that Bible you never read around until you start a twister. I’m not going to argue with you. It’s not as though I can convince you either way. Them’s the rules we all play by, no exemptions. If someone tells you the rules are different, they’re likely playing a different game.
The promise of power via the Holy Spirit is not reserved for some denomination or men and women of a certain pedigree. It cannot be purchased with gold or silver. Nor is it a reward for sending in the biggest love offering you could. It is not reserved for the offspring of clergy or some priestly line. It is, however, reserved for those who obey Him. That is their exclusive gift.
Acts 5:32, And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
That prerequisite alone disqualifies a good chunk of the contemporary church. If ever the words ‘I feel’ spilled out of your mouth as a retort to what the Word of God says, and you have not repented of it, you are not counted among those who obey Him. If ever what you allow of yourself or conclude others can practice falls outside the guardrails of scripture, and you have not repented of it, you are not counted among those who obey Him.
To cut off at the pass, anyone who would have the temerity to ask what obedience is, obedience is doing what the Book says you should do. It doesn’t take a scholar to make sense of that one, does it? But we’re living in an age where some ask what a woman is, so asking what obedience is doesn’t seem that far-fetched. If the Bible says it, you do it!
Even if it’s uncomfortable for your flesh, even if you have to deprive yourself, even if no one else around you is doing it, do what the Bible says. The higher you press, the fewer companions you will have on your journey. It is the nature of both obedience and sanctification.
Obedience isn’t rocket science. It’s not complicated, and it’s not mysterious; it just can’t be theoretical. If you’re hungry, you don’t sit around pondering the implications of a sandwich, dewy-eyed about how many hands it took to pick the lettuce, knead the dough, raise the turkey, carve the meat, jar the pickles, transport the ingredients to your supermarket, and finally assemble the meal before you; you eat it. The same goes for obedience. You just do it.
If obedience is burdensome to you, chances are the flesh still needs a few nails driven through it. You may have pinned it to the cross, but it’s always trying to wriggle free. That’s just the nature of flesh.
When we obey, as when we fast, we should not go about moping, downcast, and despondent as though His burden wasn’t light. He said it was. Your flesh might not think so, but then again, your flesh shouldn’t have a vote, nor should it determine your countenance.
Obedience is the first virtue required to receive power from on high. Without it, we’re just fooling ourselves, thinking we have something we don’t. And as an aside, even though it’s painfully apparent, the power comes from on high. Bob, Jill, Frank or Candace can’t give it to you. They can’t teach it to you. It originates from God, comes from God, and is distributed by God. If we are not in compliance with the prerequisites, rather than tell anyone who would hear that God just doesn’t do that anymore, perhaps try obedience and see what happens.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Post a Comment