All too often zealous believers launch out into the work of God using their own strengths, ideas, and ingenuities that originate from the mind of the fallen and depraved man (the old person that was born and shaped in sin).
Many of their ideas, though they sound good, are nevertheless the works of the flesh simply because it did not come from neither was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
In doing God's work, we must understand that it is God and God only that can empower us to do what He has called us to do. Anything done outside of the empowerment of God is a fleshly work whose origin is from the ideas of fallen man -- and all fleshly work will bring forth fleshly results. Paul said in Galatians 6:7-8:
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
True enough, God has placed His call upon all that are born-again. And it is His desire that all of His dear ones be used for His glory and the building up of His kingdom.
But this does not mean that He will accept everything that we do and approve of every idea that we come up with. God's ways are so far beyond ours that he said in the book of Isaiah that, His thoughts are far above ours as the heavens are from the earth.
So then, what is a believer to do in order to fulfill the work that God has given them and how can they perform His will in their lives if just about everything that comes from them originates from their own invention?
Answer: We first must come in contact with God's glory.
You see, in order for God to empower us, we must first become powerless. We know that power is dispensed to something that contains no power of its own. Even battery-ran objects have no power of their own -- without the battery, the object or machinery is useless and good for nothing.
Likewise, we must be powerless (or weak) in the presence of God before He can issue His power (the anointing) to us so that we may be used by Him and function as His called ones.
So, how does one become powerless and how does one become weak in the presence of God?
Answer: You must come in contact with His glory.
God's glory weakens and renders useless the believer. It is God's divine presence that overwhelms us. How you know you are in the presence of God is through the disposition you take when He is in the midst.
When you acknowledge that God is there, you automatically bow down before Him -- utter humility compasses you because you know that the Almighty One is here, the Holy One is present, the Exalted One is before you.
How can anyone come before such magnificence and yet possess their own pride and high self-esteem?
When compared to God, we will always amount to nothing in every aspect about us. Therefore we bow down in reverence and humility to the Lord for even permitting us in His presence.
This humility is the weakening of the flesh -- notice how Paul was smitten by God's glory when he was on the road to Damascus. Though he had much to brag about and boast of concerning his religious accomplishments, he fell to the ground and ackowledged God.
His strength to persecute and destroy Christianity was no more. Instead, he had been rendered powerless when he encountered the presence of our Lord -- from that moment he was now in a position for God to empower him and use him for His work because he was weak.
So too, was the instance with Isaiah, when he encountered God and saw His train fill the temple. Though Isaiah was a prophet who uttered God's words, he still seen himself as nothing when he was in the midst of God -- for he said, "...woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips."
Isaiah didn't say this because he had been sinning or that he had uttered any wrong before God's eyesight. What we find is Isaiah humbling himself be fore God because he realizes that even though he is a man of God yet he has nothing to boast of when compared to God. He realizes that without God, every utterance that would come from his mouth would be vile and lifeless.
From that point God's angel anoints his lips even the more to prophesy unto a people that he has appointed.
God's empowerment came to both Paul and Isaiah after they were smitten by God's glory.
We as believers and laborers must come to terms with the fact that God cannot resurrect anything that is yet living. Resurrection is only for the dead. And how can God resurrect us into newness of life in Christ Jesus if we are still living the life of the old man?
Without this death and without God's resurrection, the children of God are nowhere to be found.
Die to yourself that Christ may live in you. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so."
Written By: Bishop Lloyd R. Ocampo
Taken from IGF's "Renewed" Newsletter click here to subscribe
Gret article! I often grieve when I see burned out ministers. They had a vision and they went after their vision in their own strength. I think God accepts their offerings, purifies them and blows the chaff away. But I tend to think that if a Christian continues his vision in his/her own strength they will faint sooner or later. Great article.-Carole