20pluscommunitydigestion

There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

how that strength is found

Sunday we discussed what must be the motivation for all our loving and living for His glory. Obviously, we can’t always sit in a dark room and wait for that strength before we actually attempt to obey according to His Word. Here’s a little excerpt from a sermon on the same text we considered Sunday. It involves how strength is found sometimes after the obedience. The full text of the sermon can be found here.

I’m speaking very personally here now. On July 14 of this year I was alone at a cabin. I sent the family home so that I could pray and seek the Lord concerning this fall’s messages. I stayed up late one night pleading with God for power in the ministry, and struggling with why it is that we see so few people converted in our ministry at Bethlehem. Why do I not have more power in soul-winning witnessing? Here is what came to me, and I read from my journal written the next day.

“The question arose in my mind: Have I resisted the offer of the Spirit’s power for witnessing so often that it is now being withheld from me? Has the voice of the Spirit in the past prompted me to write a letter or make a phone call or pay a visit or say a word, with the readiness to give me all the power I would need, only to find my heart resistant and unbelieving, so that now he will not (and probably dare not) give me the tokens of this power until I am on the brink of some special act of witnessing obedience?

I believe this is where many of us are. We have resisted the Holy Spirit so often when he was calling us to bear witness to Christ that we are unfit for the flow of his power. The channels have become so clogged with fear and self-consciousness and doubt and rationalization and worldly preoccupation that what we allow through is a barely discernible trickle of God’s love.

And I believe that once we have begun to immerse ourselves in God’s word and battle the unbelief of our hearts and pray and fast for his power, we may have to simply step out with very little power felt in advance and do what we know what we ought to do. And I believe that in this doing, little by little the old clogged channels are cleared and we begin to feel the power flow again.”

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