The Power Within
Today’s Scripture: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21
Bertha Smith, a missionary to China, once expressed some of the most discouraging words I’d ever heard. “Charles, I want to tell you that you’re as good as you’ll ever be. You’re as good as you’ve ever been, and you won’t ever be any better than you are.”
I had grown up believing a falsehood—that believers were to pour effort into turning their flesh around and doing right all the time. Thankfully, Bertha wasn’t finished. “God never intended for you to get better, because you can’t improve flesh,” she said. “But the Holy Spirit, who is living inside you, will enable and live through you.”
She was right. My flesh hasn’t changed one bit. But the Holy Spirit releases His supernatural power in my life, and I find myself going beyond what is inherent to the nature of man. And that’s why He indwells every follower of God.
Although the works of the Holy Spirit are many, four are basic to the life of faith: 1) The Spirit illumines the mind, enabling believers to understand the things of God. 2) He energizes physical bodies to serve the Lord. 3) He enables the will to follow through on doing what is right. 4) He quickens emotions to feel and express the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Bertha Smith passed on an important truth to me: Flesh is insufficient. Only the Holy Spirit living inside us has the strength and wisdom to live out the Christian life victoriously. That’s why God gave Him to us. Through the Spirit, we reap all the benefits of a righteous and Godly life.