Having Power with God
Jacob spent a night encountering God. At the end of that night his name was changed from “Jacob” which means “supplanter”, “heel catcher”, or “deceiver” to Israel meaning “having power with God”. Jacob was changed. No longer was he going to live his way. As he saw God’s purpose for His life he became a different man. – a man who had power with God. Most Christians are content to spend their lives living nominal Christian lives with little or no power. If you and I desire to be more than mundane believers and to have power with God I believe we need to have four key elements – humility, faith, perseverance, and holiness.
I. Humility - You must have a sense of your own weakness
A. There must be a sense of brokenness.
B. 2 Corinthians 12:10 …for when I am weak, then am I strong.
1. In the kingdom of God everything is exactly opposite to the way the world thinks. All spiritual things are exactly opposite to carnal reason. This really ought not surprise us. Our Lord told us plainly that the world which did not know him would not know us. The Apostle John wrote, "The world knoweth us not because it knew him not." In spiritual matters nothing, absolutely nothing, is the way men think it is, ought to be and must be.
2. In the world, the way up is up. In the kingdom of God, the way up is down.
3. In the world, the man with the greatest knowledge is the one who knows the most about the most. In the Church of Christ, the person who knows the most is the one who knows nothing.
4. In the material things, the person who has the most is the richest. In spiritual things, the person who has the least is the richest.
5. In natural things, he who has the most strength is the strongest. In spiritual things, he who is weakest is strongest. – copied
C. Charles Hodge writes that “When we are really weak in ourselves and are conscious of that weakness, we are in the state suited to the manifestation of God’s power. When we are emptied of ourselves, we are filled with God. Those who think they can change their own hearts, atone for their own sins, subdue the power of evil in their own souls or in the souls of others, who feel able to sustain themselves under affliction, God leaves to their own resources. But when they feel and acknowledge their weakness, He imparts divine strength to them.” - copied
D. 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
E. Matthew 23:12 “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
F. There is no limit to what God can do in and with and through you (Mark 10:27 ), if He is not quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19 ) – No limit! "Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit says the Lord Almighty" Zechariah 4:6. – Dr Peter Hammond
II. Faith – You must believe in God’s Power and His Promises
A. Satan wants us to doubt the power of God, because he knows that unbelief hinders God’s power.
B. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
C. James 1:6-8 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
D. Bill Saxon said that one hot summer day while cutting grass on his employer’s lake property, the sky turned suddenly dark, the wind started blowing very hard and it looked like a violent storm was approaching. He prayed, God send this storm across the lake. Just then lightening flashed and thunder rolled. He immediately turned the tractor toward his van and trailer. He drove the tractor on to the trailer and started tying it down. Then he looked up and the storm was on the other side of the lake. He took the tractor back off of the trailer and finished cutting the thirty acres of grass. On his way home, God started speaking to him and he heard His voice loud and clear. Not with the ears on the side of his head, but the ears of his heart. God said, "YOU HAVE NO FAITH!!" Tears started rolling down his cheeks because he knew he was hearing God’s voice. He was saying you have no faith. You prayed that the storm would move to the other side of the lake, and it did just that, but you didn’t have faith enough to believe that I would answer your prayer. YOU HAVE NO FAITH!!!! He repented and cried all of the way home. He promised the Lord that when he prays, he will believe Mark 11:24. "When you pray, believe, and it SHALL COME TO PASS" - Bill Saxon email@example.com
E. Steven Furtick has written, “One of the most glaring discrepancies in the Christian faith today is between the size of our God and the size of our prayers... After all, we’re praying to a God whose capability always exceeds our audacity. You don’t have to worry about ever putting God in an awkward or embarrassing position. You’re not going to back him into a corner. You won’t ever challenge him to do something beyond his aptitude. Prayer is the arena where our faith meets God’s abilities. And there is never going to be a moment when the audacity of our faith surpasses God’s capacity to respond. That’s why timid prayer are a waste of time.” – copied
F. Unbelief does not hinder God but it will hinder you from being a channel of God’s power.
G. Matthew 17:19-20 “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
H. “Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God, but faith puts God between us and our circumstances.” (F.B. Meyer).
III. Perseverance – You must resolve to tenaciously pursue God’s power
A. Genesis 32:24-26 “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
B. Hosea 12:4-5 “Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him. He found Him in Bethel, And there He spoke to us— 5 That is, the Lord God of hosts. The Lord is His memorable name”
C. James 5:16b “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
D. “We need Christians who will pray in the power of the Spirit (Jude 20). God acts in answer to prayer and if we don’t pray then we cannot expect God to act. Prayer releases the power of God. The only foundation for spiritual work is prayer. Prayer is our priority. A prayerful life is always a powerful life. A prayerless life is always a powerless life. Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer, except that which is beyond the will of God. When we pray in the Spirit (John 15:7) then we are releasing the greatest power in the universe. The Church needs Christians who will pray in the Spirit.” - Dr. Peter Hammond, Frontline Fellowship
E. Matthew 7:7-8 " Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
F. "If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying. "Here comes number seventy-one!" Richard M. Devos
G. Proverbs 24:16 "For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again."
H. Consider the postage stamp, my son. Its usefulness consists in sticking to one thing till it gets there. - Josh Billings
I. Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
IV. Holiness or Sanctification – You must have clean hands and a clean heart
A. Job 17:9 Yet the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.
B. Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
C. Psalm 24:3-5 “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation
D. 2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."
E. We often hear people say, "It’s hard to tell the church crowd from the devil’s crowd," and that is true. There is very little difference between the saved and the lost. They dress the same. They talk the same. They indulge in the same questionable activities. Were it not for lapel pins and bumper stickers most would have a difficult time distinguishing God’s people from the world, and this conformation to the world has robbed the church of the power of God! Dr. Dexter Truesdell, Pastor of Flag Chapel Baptist Church
F. God is ready to issue all the power we need the moment we turn away from our sins.
G. 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
1 Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
“The difference between average Christianity and having power with God is found in these two verses. Many once saved, are happy to dwell in the land of Lawful. That is to say, they know they have done business with Christ for the forgiveness of sin and positionally stand justified with God. This is the average Christianity of our day that has no power to give joyful victorious living and the blessing of great influence on others for the cause of Christ. This is the believer who say things like, "I am under grace, not the law," and "Don’t give me any of that legalism stuff." etc., never knowing legalism is the doctrine of obtaining salvation by works NOT godly standards for Christian living” - copied
H. Worldliness is not so much a matter of activity as it is of attitude. It is possible for a Christian to stay away from questionable places and activities and still love the world because worldliness is a matter of the heart. Worldliness is anything in a Christian’s life that causes him to lose his enjoyment of the Father’s love and his desire to do the Father’s will. - copied
I. Which Disturbs You Most?
1. A soul lost in Hell...or a scratch on your new car?
2. Your missing the worship service...or missing a day’s work?
3. A sermon 10 minutes too long...or lunch a half hour late?
4. Your Bible unopened...or your newspaper unread?
5. Missing a good Bible study...or your favorite TV program?
6. The millions who do not know Christ...or your inability to keep up with the neighbors?
7. Your tithes decreasing...or your income decreasing? - copied
J. For a Christian not to be Spirit-filled is a downright sin. If you are not filled with the Spirit then you are living in sin. God commands us: “Be filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18 and if you do not obey then you sin by neglect (James 4:17 ) –
K. Psalm 66:18-20 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!
L. (NLT “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.”)