April 20, 2016

God’s power, not mine

Thinking of the challenges of life as a golfer thinks about his game has been a good illustration for me. Most golfers return to the links, not because they are always making perfect shots, but because they do so now and then. That is, they know they can do better, so they persist.

A Christian persists too, but for different reasons. We are given the power of God. As He told Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

As Chambers notes, we must never measure our spiritual capacity by education or by intellect or any other natural resources. As suggested in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), God gives those resources to us. Our capacity is measured by the promises of God. The servants who receive talents also must rely on God for their use. To do otherwise is a blatant declaration against the power of God.

The one servant who proved unfaithful said things like: “You expect more than You give me the power to do” and “You demand too much of me” and “You are too demanding and I cannot obey You.” These are expressions of doubt, even blasphemy. When God gives us the Holy Spirit, He expects that power to be used, not our own power which compared to His is mere and measly weakness. The only reason for not living in His power is an independent spirit, which is the definition of sin.

God said I am to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then He will add all these things. The context of that promise refers to material needs, but the rest of Scripture is clear: God will not leave me helpless when He asks of me a challenging or even a small task. Paul said, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Paul multiplied his talents because he believed in the power and promises of God and lived accordingly.

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Chambers says that lazy people express an independent attitude every time they fail to get up and move. He also says that our capacity in spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God. I conclude that if I am not living to my capacity, it is because I doubt the promises of God. My score card may disappoint me at times, but because of the One who sent me out, and because of His grace that I’ve made a few well-placed shots, I know that I can do whatever He wants me to do.

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