12. Incredible Power
It is my calling, my purpose; it is why God put me on this earth: to be an extension of God. That Christ through me might seek and save what is lost. I believe in Jesus, and I can expect rivers of living water to flow out of me at all times. This is my inheritance. The river of life from the throne of God flows out of me into every hurting place in this world bringing the life and the salvation of God.
12. Incredible Power Flows Out Of Me
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive . . . John 7.37-39
God created man in his image. That means God created you and me to be filled with Himself, to conform to everything that God is so that God may be made visible through us. We are His temple, His body, His superhero suit.
God fills us. He wants us to comprehend, to come to know, to seize hold of, to experience, the depth and height and length to which God reaches in us.
Now we want to look at what that means in a practical way.
Jesus said, He that believes in Me, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water. That is the river of the life of God. We must understand what this river is meant for, what it does, what God intends to do through us.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19
First, let’s look at another statement Jesus makes in the book of Luke, The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost. We need to enlarge our understanding of that statement: to seek and to save what is lost.
Let’s divorce our minds from the idea that saved means “going to” heaven. When you see the words “to save,” becoming just like Jesus should leap to mind. Come to seek and to bring to what God purposed from the beginning, conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Here are the things that Christ in us is come to do. To preach the gospel to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted, to bring liberty to the captive, that is to bring deliverance to those afflicted by demons, who are addicted, to bring sight to those who are blind, that is both spiritual and physical blindness. To bring liberty to the oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 20
God does not have passive Christians. When someone attacks you, you are to attack back with the biggest weapon you have. That weapon is “doing good.”
Do we understand the power of this river that flows through us? We have a weapon that is more powerful than any weapon in this world: machine guns, missiles, nuclear bombs, whatever. Our weapon is called “doing good,” an overwhelmingly powerful weapon. God wants us to use it.
We are here for the power of God to move through us to do the things Jesus came into this world to do. Jesus’ ministry did not stop when He ascended into heaven. Ten days later, He sent the Holy Spirit so that His ministry would continue greater than it had been before.
We are filled with power. God wants us to know the extent, the extraordinary greatness of that power in us. We are power-filled beings.
I quote from my book, The Jesus Secret, Day 75.
Power is relative. If I drive a VW bug with a little engine next to a huge racecar, his power is greater than mine. He leaves me in the dust. But compare that racecar to an aircraft carrier’s power. The power on an aircraft carrier will blow the racecar into oblivion. The most powerful machine man has made is the rocket that breaks the hold of earth’s gravity. But that is one tiny piece only of power on the earth. Yet, if you were to take the earth and all the power in it and drop it into the sun, you would not even notice the splash. But the sun is just an average sized star in the outskirts of an average sized galaxy.
Power is relative. All the power that powers the universe, spins the galaxies, lightens billions upon billions of stars, all the physical power God brought out of His being is as nothing, utterly inconsequential, compared to the power that raised Jesus from the dead. That is real power. The power that raised Jesus from the dead makes all power in the universe as if it doesn’t exist.
Paul says that the power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside of me.
Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. The central message of Jesus, coming through both His words and His actions, found in the example of His life and ministry – is to meet people’s needs.
The parable that best expresses this truth is in Luke 19, starting with verse 9: Today salvation is come to this house . . . for the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost . . . (Read the parable of the Talents in your own Bible.) For I say to you that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Jesus is saying, “Take what I have given you, invest it into the concourses of this world, and bring back to Me a return, an increase of that which I have given you.” I am to take everything God gives me and invest it all, wisely as He teaches me, bringing back to Him a great increase of what He has invested in me.
“Take what I give you and use it to produce fruit for Me.”
Jesus has sent us to seek and to save what is lost, that means find and meet people’s needs. If someone needs healing, we heal, if someone needs salvation, we lead them to Jesus, if someone needs protection, we meet their needs, if someone needs provision, we give. Now how do we meet needs without power?
I have the power of the river of life from God flowing out of me. I have that power, and I experience the release of that power. Jesus says very clearly, “Having given you the river of life, I expect you to let it flow.” “When I return, I want to see the extent of those who are blessed and healed and made alive from the river of life that flows out of you.” “You’re standing with Me in the ages to come is measured by the fruit of that river of life that I have put in you, what it brings back to me from your life in this world.”
Satan has tricked the majority of Christians into the way of thinking of the third servant. They say to God, “Look, I still have what You gave me, I have kept it. I know You are an austere man and critical, I know You will find fault with me. If I had gone out and done this or that with what You gave me, You would look at my motives, You would look at my heart, and You would find fault.”
The difference between those who bring forth fruit from the river of life versus those who simply give back to Him what He gave them is this. Those who are the third servant are so concerned about their own standing with God, their own flesh nature, their own self-centeredness, “Oh, I am fleshy, and if I were to move in any kind of ministry to others, it would be just a fleshy work. I am not saved sufficiently yet for God to use me. I am small; I dare not let the river flow.”
God is not pleased with that way of thinking. God is a risk taker and He is looking for risk takers. I quote from The Jesus Secret, Day 73.
At the moment that every Christian is born again, God deposits the following into their accounts:
· The down payment of the Holy Spirit inside them.
· All things pertaining to life and godliness.
· All authority in heaven and earth.
· A divine commission.
· Overcoming faith.
· Victory over death.
· All the riches of heaven.
· The right to become His son.
· The same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
· The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
All of this found in a river of living water that is pressing, pressing, desiring to be released out into the concourses of this world, into every dark crevice, into every hurting heart, to heal, to set free, to give life.
Further from The Jesus Secret, Day 73.
A very large number of Christians do make some good use of the things God has given them. They live good Christian lives, they pray for their children when they are sick. They are generous to others and hospitable. But, though they draw from their accounts for the needs and situations of this life, they have no real knowledge of the above list. They have no real idea of what is actually there.
Then there are those who are bolder in the things God has given. They pursue anointing for ministry or for giving. They build orphanages; they develop prison ministries. They draw on their talents and divine gifts to lead exemplary lives and to provide wonderful help to many. These people are a blessing to all who receive of their ministry.
Conversely, there are some who get a revelation of anointing and gifts. They go out and make a big splash, with great boastings about what God can do. A few years later, you find them empty. Their faith is gone. But before you judge too critically, some of these do learn their lesson. They come back to God humbled and broken, no longer interested in the big splash, but now deeply useful to God and to His kingdom.
But there are also those few who look closely at the things God has deposited in their account. When God says that we possess victory over death, they want to know what that really means. When God says that those who believe in Jesus, out of their hearts will flow rivers of living water, they want to know the full extent to which that outpouring will go. When God says that He is determined that we would be just like Jesus, they are determined to know exactly what He means.
These are the risk takers. And in that they are just like God. God is the greatest risk taker in the universe. He risks it all, and, in the end, He wins it all. He sent the King of heaven to invade the strongholds of evil in the form of a human baby, the epitome of weakness. He challenged the king of death while wrapped in the humility and shame of the worst form of death conceived by the mind of evil. He challenged and He won.
Faith is risk. Faith declares: “I am what God says I am. I have what God says I have.” But faith wants more than “having.” Faith is determined to see the full potential, the full increase possible from what God has given.
These are the overcomers. These who take God at His word, who insist on the full experience of all God has said, who are determined to know what being filled with all the fullness of God really means. These make God’s heart sing. These are the ones for whom He lives.
And further, from The Jesus Secret, Day 81 (taken from the book of Acts).
I give what I have in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. To those who are lame I say: “Rise up and walk.” Many signs and wonders are done through my hands. Multitudes are added to the Lord. The sick pass by and are healed. Multitudes gather, both sick and those tormented by demons, and all are healed. Wherever I go, unclean spirits come out of those who are possessed. Paralysed and lame people are healed. Through me, Jesus the Christ heals you. Through me, the dead hear the voice of Jesus and arise. He grants that signs and wonders are done through my hands. God works unusual miracles through my hands. I speak to one who is injured and he rises up healed. I lay hands on the sick and they are healed.
This is the testimony, the confession of faith of one who desires to release the river of life that is inside, bursting at the seams, longing to flow out. The “I” refers to you. Speak what God speaks concerning Christ who is the only life you know. Continuing:
Reaching out and touching people, lifting up and meeting their needs, whatever those needs might be is the central drive and ministry of Jesus. My central drive and ministry is reaching out and touching people, lifting them up and meeting their needs, whatever those needs might be.
I have the power of God upon me, not for myself, but for others. If someone is sick (that includes everyone), I reach out and touch them and they are healed. If someone is tormented by demons (that includes everyone on the planet), I cast those demons out and bring the freedom of the Spirit of Christ to that person. I get down into the trenches; I climb down into the pit; I get right alongside of people in their pain and grief and hurt; and I bring them the HELP God has entrusted to me.
It is my calling, my purpose, why God put me on this earth, to be an extension of God. That Christ through me might seek and save what is lost. I believe in Jesus, and I can expect rivers of living water to flow out of me at all times. This is my inheritance. The river of life from the throne of God flows out of me into every hurting place in this world bringing the life and salvation of God.
God has also put us into this earth to overcome evil with good. God has every intention of winning the victory over all evil right here in this earth; He does it with good. However, neither God nor His sons use the weapons of this world. Why would anyone abandon the most powerful weapon in the universe, doing good, in order to pick up the weak weapons of this world?
If a natural man saw a group of thugs coming to his house to violate his family, and he had on his table a rusty, broken pocketknife sitting next to a loaded machine gun, which one would he pick up to defend his family? He would pick up the most powerful weapon.
The same is with us. If we are assaulted by evil for violent purposes, and we have near to hand a machine gun, but at the same time we have inside of ourselves the power of God, the power of doing good, the most powerful weapon on the planet, which one would we pick up? The puny little machine gun that will most likely get us and our families killed? Or the power of God?
Here is a problem with the definition of salvation as meaning “‘go to” heaven when you die”; it doesn’t take any faith to believe it. It is a philosophical theory. Anyone can adopt the idea; “Well, hey, I’m going to heaven not hell.” Big deal! We’re not faced with it right now.
But let’s say someone with the intent to do us and our loved ones harm attacks us. Suddenly we are a practical atheist. Right? Suddenly we reach for the weapons of this world because we immediately forget about the power of God in us to do good, to overcome evil with good. Is that what we do? Theoretical Christians; practical atheists.
This river of life that is in us, flowing out of us, has the power to turn every circumstance and every situation through which we walk, to turn it into good. To save, to redeem, to heal.
If we really believed God in us, that gang of leather-coated thugs would be an opportunity to see the power of God transform hurting lives. Easy to say, yes, but when we speak what God speaks, we see as He sees.
Love your enemies is the point at God wins. It’s not the great revival campaigns or healing ministries, as wonderful as they are. The place where God triumphs, the moment that changes the earth is inside of “Love your enemies.” It is the love of God triumphing over the greatest evil intent found in this world.
We are in a great endeavor. We’re not just little believers who go to work every day and then drive home to our families. Yes, that is where God wants us to triumph right now. But we are part of an issue, of a contest, so far greater than what we understand.
Dear believer, if I could persuade you to separate yourself from the kingdoms of this world, from the causes and issues of this world. They have nothing to do with us.
My hope and prayer is that through these teachings, I can give you a vision of the reality of what it means to believe in Jesus, to be part of God’s kingdom in this world. We are part of the triumph of a kingdom that is not of this world, that is so far greater than any cause of man upon this earth.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty in God.
How do we come to understand such power, the power of good to triumph over evil? By practicing at home and at work. Stop worrying about the salvation of Jesus in which you live, stand in it and learn to move in it, to release it, and to comprehend the extent to which God can move through you. To know how effective the river of life God releases in you is, because you believe in Jesus.
Practice, practice. I know that you believe in Jesus. Release Him and see the triumph of good in this world.
One last thought: reading through these words, one could think that God expects much from us, basing our future experience on our present release of the river of life from within us.
Yes and no. Yes, God expects much from us. But everything Jesus expects from us, He Himself does. Though we believe God for the release of that river of life, our expectation never becomes a weight of “requirements” that stands against us. We trust in Jesus.
I am weak. I can’t do anything. Yet I groan and long for the full release of His life in me.
Believe in Jesus and trust Him. He is transforming us into His own image.