Tag Archives: Power

You Want Change? Look no further….

deadlydodgeballIt was fourth grade, and I was the last kid picked for what would turn out to be the most epic dodgeball game in 1984.  I know……picked last, and that should make it clear I was probably the most not-so-valuable player.  I wasn’t that athletic, and I wasn’t incredibly confident, but somehow by ducking, hiding behind other kids, and throwing at imaginary people, so no one could have the chance to catch my ball, I had made it to the end.  It was just me and some totally athletic kid who should pummel me into dodgeball oblivion with ease.  I tried throwing low to hit his feet, but he just kept getting out of the way.  In a brief moment when I needed some confidence, I looked to the sidelines and was met only with looks of humiliation and defeat, and suddenly I wished I could trade places with anyone of them.  Oh, the pressure! Everyone thought I was sure to lose, and I did too.  But in a moment of insanity (cue the Rocky theme song) and just wanting to end it all, one way or the other, I put myself in a position to catch his throw.  The ball came right at my chest, and somehow, just somehow, I caught it – GAME OVER, BABY!  I had won the game for my team, but everyone was too shocked to cheer.  Either way, it was a life-changing moment for me even though it was short-lived.  After-all, you’re only as relevant as today’s news and the next day it was like it never happened to everyone else but me.

You, as a believer need a defining moment.  My moment was just that; a few minutes in time that can only be relived in my memory.  We each need God’s power in our lives, and we shouldn’t desire to have it in a moment which we can only look back on.  We need a power within us which is indwelling, always with us, and continues to propel us forward in our walk with the LORD.

Acts 2:1-5 relates to us what happened on the day of Pentecost to all those in the upper room waiting for the promise Jesus said they would receive if they just stayed in Jerusalem as He’d commanded them.  That moment would be the start of something new, lasting, and empowering.  They were each baptized with the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in other tongues.  Read the book of Acts and the Epistles, and you’ll witness what this gift upon the disciples and the early church did for them……a gift which was for all those who were far off too (that’s us – Acts 2:39).  Pentecost was a defining moment for each of them.

You need this same defining moment; that’s right, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  If you haven’t received it already, seek God for what He has for you.  If you can start by acknowledging you are inadequate for what God has called you to (living for Him) and you need more from God than what you already have, then you’re on the right track!

God doesn’t want to just reveal His power in moments, He wants to put power into your life, and His Word is clear – it comes from the indwelling of the Spirit.  You need what the disciples had, and you’ll see incredible change come to your life.  Keep pursuing, keep desiring, keep growing!

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The Most Powerful Prayer

prayerEveryone wants to pray well, and pray powerfully, but what if I told you the most powerful prayers have never been heard by your ears.  Maybe you don’t believe that, but it is true.

Luke 22:31 says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”

Focus on that word, ‘fail.’   Don’t you just hate that word?  I bet you can think in a moment of some of the words fails you ever had.  It’s not hard to do because failure seems haunt us.  Maybe you’ve failed, but have you failed like Peter?  I mean, its hard to beat a guy who pledges his life to Jesus, whom he said was the Messiah, and that he will die with Him, but within a matter of hours after Jesus is arrested, Peter has denied him three times, the rooster has crowed, and Jesus has looked him dead in the eyes across the courtyard.  Now……that’s failure of Biblical proportions.  I’ve often tried to empathize with Peter’s humiliation, and I can’t imagine the shame and guilt he felt at that moment.  I’m sure when he heard Jesus had died on the cross, believing he would never be able to redeem himself to this man he love, Peter probably wanted to go into hiding and never be found.

Peter could’ve let that be the end of him as a disciple but there was something which preserved him.  We never read how Peter prayed for himself to be bold and courageous, but we do know someone prayed for Peter, and it was Jesus.  Jesus had prayed for him knowing the sifting was coming.  Why is Peter even present with Jesus and the other disciples in John 21?  Is it because of Peter’s prayers?  Not at all, but it is because Jesus prayed for him.

Romans 8 speaks some important reminders for believers.  In so many words it says my present sufferings do not compare to the future glory to be revealed in me.  It mentions there is a hope in me for what I do not have but the Spirit helps me in my weaknesses.  It reminds me how God is working in all things for me because I love Him, and He’s not only called me but justified me.  I see here how there can be no one against me because God is for me, and I am more than a conqueror in Him.  All this is made possible because of what verse 34 mentions, “Christ is at God’s right hand interceding for me.”  Jesus didn’t just pray for Peter, He is praying for you and me continually.

Can you relate to how I’ve failed Him because you’ve done it too?  I’ve said words I should’ve never said because I couldn’t control my tongue.  I’ve thought the worst about others when I should’ve given them the benefit of the doubt.  I’ve been bitter against those who’ve hurt me when I was supposed to forgive.

But there is hope for me because Jesus was praying for me.

I’ve trusted in myself rather than Him and even put my faith in myself or other people rather than Him.  I’ve been puffed up with pride when humility would have been the right decision.  I’ve desired and even given payback instead of grace.

But, you know what?  Jesus was praying for me.

I know that He is still praying for me, and I’m thankful for the prayers I’ve never heard from the lips of Jesus yet have a profound impact on  my life.

Apart from repenting of my sins, I’ve never been able to change myself, and I’m sure you’ve found out this truth too!  I focus on loving Him, and He corrects my living.

If you’re wondering what you can pray to overcome your failings, you may be missing the most powerful truths about prayer that I have been comforted by most……

My ability to push through the difficulties in life, to overcome the flesh, temptation, and even the enemy is not so dependent on the power of my prayers, but on His.