Summary: Why Jesus Always Kept Himself Mindful of God’s Power, Promises, and Advocacy
Illustration: - The Sufficiency of Christ’s grace - Spurgeon
The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work. I felt very wearied and sore depressed when, swiftly and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me. "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE." I reached home and looked it up in the original; and at last it came to me in this way, "My grace is sufficient for thee;" and I said, "I should think it is, Lord," and burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, "Drink away, little fish; my stream is sufficient for thee." Or it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine, and Joseph might say, "Cheer up, little mouse; my granaries are sufficient for thee."
Again, I imagined a man away up up yonder in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, "I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere;" but earth might say, "Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever; my atmosphere is sufficient for thee." Oh, brethern, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls.
1. Jesus always wanted to minister from a position of strength. The Lord Jesus said, "All power and authority have been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of nations." (Matt. 28:18-20) Ask the Lord to keep you mindful of all the power, promises and advocacy that you have in the person of the Holy Spirit that indwells every believer. The Holy Spirit will remind you of all the resources that are at your disposal.
2. Jesus knew that without God’s power, promises and advocacy, the disciples would attempt to minister in their own strength. Jesus said, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Ask the Lord to avoid ministering in your own wisdom, strength or will.
3. Jesus knew that God’s power, promise and advocacy are necessary to defeat all opposing forces. Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18) There will be wordly, fleshly and demonic forces continously opposing the ministry of Christ’s kingdom and righteousness. Without the Lord’s enabling we are helpless to overcome any oppositional force.
4. Jesus knew that it is always better to negotiate from a position of strength than weakness. When we are going in the name of Jesus, we are equipped with His power, promises and advocacy. When Jesus healed the paralytic by saying, "Take heart, son’ your sins are forgiven." The crowd saw this and were instantly filled with awe and they praised God, who had given such authority to men." (Matt. 9:2,8) You will have great confidence when the power, promises and advocacy of the Holy Spirit are working through you.
5. Jesus knew that trying to minister without the power, promises and advocacy of the Holy Spirit is dangerous. The Lord knew that the sons of Sceva would try to minister in the name of Paul in Acts 19:13-16. "Some Jews went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon possessed. They would say, ’In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.’ Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day, the evil spirit answered them, ’Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you? Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and over powered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding." Ask the Lord to help you avoid trying to perform counterfeit feats without the Lord’s leading and power.
6. Jesus knew that the power, promises and advocacy of the Lord must be used in HIS timing. Jesus said, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you." (John 12:35) Ask the Lord to help you make the most of the opportunities He gives so you do not procrastinate or run ahead of the Lord’s timing.
7. Jesus knew that the power, promises and advocacy of the Lord sometimes comes in ways we do not understand or agree with. One day Simon Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "You do not realizie now what I am doing, but later you will understand." ’No,’ said Peter, ’you shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus said, ’Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’ Peter replied, ’Not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’ (John 13:6-10) Ask the Lord to help you be teachable, humble and willing to learn whatever lesson the Lord wants you to learn so you can enjoy the fullness of His power, promises, and advocacy.