Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, March 23, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We’re learning Who to lean on, Amigos .

Before I entered the ministry, I worked for more than a decade in various mental health facilities. In that context, I received a lot of training and experience in counseling folks with problems. When I entered the pastorate, I found myself doing what seemed like a lot of the same thing: counseling folks with problems. One morning as I was preparing to counsel someone, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Your counseling has no purpose but to keep people alive until I can help them.” I realized that I had allowed myself to trust my natural abilities, looking at people as a conglomerate of symptoms, then applying memorized techniques to address what I took to be their problem. God wanted me to change how I approached the entire subject of counseling people. He can do more in a millisecond than I can do in a lifetime. My job is to help folks get in a position to receive from Him. Everything else is wasted energy.

If we want the supernatural power of God in our churches, we must admit that we don’t know much and can’t do much without it. Christianity is designed to be lived supernaturally. It takes the Holy Ghost to convince a person that he is a hopeless sinner and that a Jewish itinerant teacher who died 2000 years ago is his only hope of salvation. It takes the Holy Spirit for you to preach and for others to understand what you say. We can’t even grasp His Word if He doesn’t help us. Sick people are healed by their faith and by the power of God, never by my wit or force of personality. Marriages are saved when God changes hearts, and not until. Financial affairs get better when motives go from greed to grace, from acquisitiveness to contentment. Happiness is found only by a personal submission to the plan and will of God for one’s life. That only comes when the individual gets serious about seeking God and hearing His voice. Christianity is either supernatural, lived in the Spirit and by the Spirit, or it is a social club, at best a self-help group. I have no other plan to suggest, no other advice to give, no alternative ideas to proffer. I am helpless to help.

Somebody Said: A church in the land without the Spirit is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand in somebody else’s way; you are a fruitless tree standing where a fruitful tree might grow. Charles Spurgeon

Scripture Reading: So the angel explained that it was the following message of the LORD to Zerubbabel: I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don’t depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6 CEV)

I am a firm believer in education. Learn all you can learn. There is no premium on being ignorant. Our temptation, however, in this secular age is to lean on what we know instead of Who we know. We will never be able to package the Message in a way to make it palatable to fallen flesh. That is not our job. Our Message is foolish. We present Jesus raised from the dead, then look to the Spirit to confirm it. Everything else is packaging. I think of the old saying describing cowboy wannabes: “All hat, no cows.” Let’s be sure we don’t become the church of all package, no power.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

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