Summary: Ask yourself what are the reasons why many content themselves in living on low power when they could be operating on the awesome power of the Holy Spirit of God and the word’s sanctifying influence.
What is the source of your power?
Theme - We can only know the power of the Spirit through being His witnesses in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the utter most parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Quote:Faith in God makes great optimists. Over in Burma, Judson was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles, his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner said, "Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?", with a sneer on his face. His instant reply was, "The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God."
The Presbyterian Advance.
Quote:Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.
Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor. Philippians 2:12-18.
Illustration; Henry J. Kaiser tells his personal story about building a levee along a river bank. Eventually a terrible flood buried all of his earth moving machinery along with his good work. When he went out to observe the damage the workers pessimistically looked at all the mud and destruction. But Mr. Kaiser asked them, "Why are you so glum?" They said, "All the machinery is covered with mud and the levee is destroyed!"
Kaiser said, "I don’t see the mud but I do the sunshine. I have never seen any mud that could stand against sunshine. Soon it will be dried up and then we will be able to move our machinery and start over again.
What is it that makes the difference between seeing the mud or the sunshine in your attitude?
Question - What are the reasons why many content themselves in living on low power?
Why are many people living on minimum power?
1. The primary power of the Holy Spirit is ignited through the ministry of the gospel. Robert Green wrote, "I know my God commands, whose power no power resists."
2. When people are living for their own selfish interests they are relying on other powers, besides that of the Spirit. Burnout is common for people who are not closely identifying with Christ or who are becoming fleshly driven rather than Spirit led.
Illustration: Oswald (1982) has identified the following sixteen symptoms of clergy burnout:
(1) Tendency to feel negative or cynical about parishioners
(2) Loss of enthusiasm for job
(3) Lowered emotional investment in work
(4) Fatigue and irritability
(5) Cynical and sarcastic humor
(6) Increased withdrawal from parishioners
(7) Increased rigidity in dealing with parishioners
(8) Feelings of isolation and lack of support
(9) Frustration in accomplishing tasks
(10) Increased feeling of sadness
(11) Physical ailments
(12) Lowered enjoyment of sex
(13) Tendency to blame others for problems
(14) Tendency to feel guilty much of the time
(15) Feeling of just hanging on until retirement
(16) Sense of emptiness and depletion
A look at this list makes it clear that burnout is surely not what God wants for us. I believe most missionaries truly want to say with Paul, "I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:24) But we must also be concerned that we do not burn out before we have completed the task God has given us.
3. The power of the Spirit is not under our control, but God’s. He sets the plans and enables us with His power to accomplish His purposes with His processes for the production of His fruit.
4. Many assume that political, economic or educational power enables one to produce change. All we can do is bring influence, but it the Spirit of God that gives the growth, fruit and blessings.
5. The Lord is the only one who can add favor that comes from a dispensing of HIs divine grace. All other favor that is sought from humans will eventually end in disappointment unless it is done in the power and in the direction of God’s word, His Spirit and His authority.
6. The Spirit works through the power of gospel to affect the greatest changes. His is a power that is given moment by moment as we live by faith.
7. The Spirit imparts His power through the gospel’s sowing, nurturing, and discipling ministries. Do not think that you can store up the power of the Spirit to be used whenever you prefer.
8. The Spirit is not like a battery that can be used whenever we feel like it. His is a supernatural power that is given as we give His love, grace, and wisdom to others.
9. If you are lacking power, try giving His power to those you come in contact. Speak His word to them through love, patience, and acts of kindness.