I hope it is evident as I write about personal experiences, that this is not the story of what a man can do when he is in God. No, mine is the testimony of what God can do when he is in a man. God took my hand and has carried me every step of the way, and I have witnessed so many miracles in the process that now I just have to praise him.
I told you in previous posts about being born again and about the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. These are both vital experiences. You must be born again (there is a natural birth and there is a spiritual birth) because the Father’s true love can only be revealed to you by his Spirit. And you need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit because he is sent to give you the power to live right and to battle dark powers.
But there is another person in the Godhead. His name is Jesus. He is the Word, the “stone of stumbling.”
I am going to present you with the words of Jesus that were presented to me just hours after I was born again. Cross this line in the sand, and you will see love and power from God like never before.
The day I was born again I started reading the bible at Matthew’s gospel. I loved what it said. It felt so familiar, and my new heart was a clean slate, ready for God to write his laws there. Maybe that day or the next, I came to Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:39, “He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.” Those words literally leapt off the page, going straight to my inner self with perfect clarity. And this may be a foreign concept to our modern minds, but from that moment forward I fully expected to someday die for Jesus and the gospel.
Does that sound crazy? No one would expect that, would they? But that is what Jesus said, and I’ll tell you why he said it. Jesus’ words are the dividing line between those who truly love God, and those who say they love God but in reality love themselves. And if you want the power of God you must love God with everything in you, love God even more than you love yourself, and then be ready to give yourself completely if necessary to serve God and your neighbour.
And Jesus did exactly that. Two thousand years ago, after four hundred years of prophetic silence, while the people of God debated the word of God, the Father sent Jesus into the world to do “among them the works that none other man did,” (John 15:24) rebuking theoretical preaching and false teaching with a display of miraculous power and selfless compassion unequaled in human history.
You see, before time began, Jesus agreed to lay down his life to rid the world of sin and to demonstrate the love of God. And that decision brought the promise of God’s power to him.
And to this day, the revelation of Matthew 10:39 remains the most important ever given to me, because embracing death for the sake of Jesus and the gospel brought the promise of God’s power to me.
Now to believe and follow Jesus in this way is not strange. In fact it is the experience of many Christians in many parts of the world today, who are ready, before the end of time, to lay down their lives for Jesus in a final display of God’s miraculous power and undiminished love for this dying world.
How do I know? Because Jesus said, “and this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)
So, do you want God’s power?
First, if you catch yourself debating internally or with anyone else about God’s word, pray and deal with that first. And don’t try to figure out what your cross is, or understand every last detail of what dying for Jesus means. That kind of questioning is just another excuse for not stepping over the line.
Then, don’t be afraid. Let the word of God wash away all of your doubts. Oh… that is true freedom, when Jesus’ words become better to you than life itself.