Last night, my housemates and I watched a sermon from Louie Giglio where he started off talking about "big words." "Power" is a big word, especially in the States right now with a certain big election coming up. "Power" usually comes with "control," another big word. Everyone wants control. We may not want control of a government, or a whole country, but at the very least, we want to think we have control over ourselves.
I've been reading a book called Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit by Jim Cymbala. In a chapter called "Controlled by the Spirit" he writes: "The irony of Spirit-filled living is that we have to give up power in order to gain a greater power." We want to have power and control over ourselves. Giving up control is scary. But giving up control to the Spirit is scary-awesome. How many times have I tried and failed to do things because I was trying to do them in my own power? What if I just let the Holy Spirit's power flow through me?
"Christianity is not a self-effort religion but rather one of power - the ability and might of the Spirit."
Thank God Christianity is not based on my ability and might! I have no ability except for that which comes through the Spirit. "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Philippians 2:13).
I know this is still an area of struggle for me. I think I've written about it here before. It's one of those things I have to keep surrendering to daily. But I'm realizing that might be a good thing. It keeps the Spirit's power at the forefront of my mind. When I start slipping and failing, I just have to pray, "Spirit, take back over." In fact, after reading this chapter, I've become a lot more intentional about doing this beforehand, even in the little things. "Spirit, give me your power to write these lesson plans." "Spirit, strengthen me to cook this dinner." "Spirit, work through me as I teach this class." This may seem silly, but if it puts me in the habit of focusing on and relying on God's strength instead of my own, then I'll do it every day.
I would appreciate your prayers for me in this as well. Just whenever I come to mind, pray for some Spirit-strength for me. His strength is all I need.