May1SunMay 1, 2016
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges...” Phil 2:5-7
Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” and “whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it (see Mt 16:24-25).” In a world where “self” is being glorified and the love of pleasures outweigh the love for God, these words can be very cutting, unpopular and even ignored by the very ones to whom they apply. Nevertheless they stand accurate, necessary, and absolute to the true believer. The application of these words may make US unpopular in this world, but they enable US to slay giants in the kingdom of darkness.
If we preserve our lives we’ll miss the power of the Holy Ghost but if we deny ourselves He’ll grant us the power necessary to subdue kingdoms, work righteousness, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, out of weakness become strong. It’s in the denial of self that the grace and power of God operates most effectively in every child of God. Jesus increased in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and men. This came not because He was God the Son, but because He humbled Himself to fulfill the will of the Father.
When we humble ourselves to fulfill the will of the Father the power of the Holy Ghost comes to help us to do it. Everything Jesus did while on earth was a direct result of the power of the Holy Ghost upon Him. Jesus “IS” our example. He emptied Himself of His position, rights, and privileges of being God and made Himself a servant – a slave. He didn’t cling to the fact that He was, is, and always will be God. He willingly let go of that right and became the servant/slave of humanity; sold under sin (see Rom 7:14).
It is the Spirit that quickens – revives or gives life. When we lay down our lives He raises us up in power to the glory of God. Not by might (of men/flesh), nor by power (force), but by My Spirit saith the Lord of hosts (see Zech 4:6). These words are timeless and precious and are true for today. The Holy Ghost does not empower power (that’s destructive); He brings all the power necessary to get the job done. This is how Jesus was able to do those things He did on earth after having given up His deity – the Holy Ghost empowered Him.
As long as we try to flex who we are, we can forget about the power available through the Holy Ghost. We must do as Jesus said, deny ourselves, take up our cross DAILY, and follow Him (see Lk 9:23).