Receiving is hard. Independence is our goal from an early age. It is what we are taught. It is what is expected. I guess this is why when Jesus teaches us to come to Him, abide in Him, we struggle. I know I do. I am definitely a ‘try harder’ kind of person.
Our motivation is innocent enough. We just want to do all that we can to please God. We want to share His love with a dying world. We want to serve others. We do all this for JESUS. We work hard, very hard. The only problem is that we are doing it all in our own strength and we end up exhausted.
As we have read and studied chapter three we have realized just how hard we have been working to do good things. We also realize that we are tired. The bottom line is Jesus does not want us to do things for Him. He wants us to let Him do His work in us and through us. My job is to receive from Him and let Him have His way in my heart and my life.
The second thing that stood out in this chapter is this:
Jesus moves toward needy people.
For some reason it seems very unspiritual to be needy. We buy into the lie that a good Christian has it all together. We don’t need help and we don’t need God. This is the opposite of what scripture teaches. Over and over again, Jesus went to the needy. He sought them. He healed them. He loved them. The Pharisees were the ones that had it all together and Jesus rebuked them.
We spend most of our time relying on our own resources such as our education, our finances, or our connections. Only when circumstances come into our lives that we can’t handle or fix do we turn to God. This is exactly where I find myself today. Circumstances over the last month have brought me to the place where I realize my need for Jesus. Even though it is never my intention, I have been doing it all on my own. Lovingly and graciously God has quietly watched as I struggled and strained under the weight of self-sufficiency until I came to the end of my rope. Now, I am hanging on by a thread and I am crying out to Jesus just one simple word, “Help!” His responses to my desperate cry is, “I’m here what do you need from me?” My answer…. “Everything!”
What have you asks Jesus for?
Preview of Chapter Four
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31
Over a period of time God’s Spirit will begin to fill us up, as we receive and depend on Him. He’ll keep filling us up and filling us up until all of the sudden there will be a river flowing out of us.
Well, what does that look like? It might be boldness. It might be joy. It might be the power to forgive. It might be peace in the midst of a “hellacious” storm in your life. It might be patience around someone who literally drives you crazy. It is about the Spirit of God filling you up and releasing His power through you.
In what area of your life do you need God to release His power through you? What are you doing to abide in Him so that you might receive His power?