SPECIAL HIGHLIGHT: KINDLE THE FLAME
Faith is much like a switch. It doesn't contain power in itself. But it's what we use to activate the power of God. Faith gives action to the power.
The Apostle Paul knew how to activate God's power. As we follow his example, we can have the same results.
At the end of his life, Paul made two requests. First, he wanted to know Christ, and second, he wanted to know the power of His resurrection (Phil. 3:10). When speaking to the Corinthians, Paul said, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom" (1 Cor. 2:1).
This is an interesting verse. Most people who speak in front of others want to do a good job. They don't want to flop! Paul, however, wasn't concerned with how he sounded. His goal wasn't to impress others or move the crowd with what he said.
Paul went on to say, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (v. 4). Whenever Paul spoke, he wanted people to experience God's power.
Throughout his ministry, Paul found himself in difficult situations. He was beaten with rods, stoned, and shipwrecked, just to name a few of the things that happened to him. Yet, he was able to say, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG" (2 Cor. 12:10).
Paul was addicted to the power and strength of God. He came to know that God's strength was available to him, and he relied on it. Many times he wouldn't even make a demand on God's strength until he cameto the end of his.
Because God's strength was so amazing to experience, instead of repelling hardships, Paul welcomed them. He boasted during those times because in his weakness, God's power would show up. Rather than abhorring bad situations, Paul craved to see what God would do.
The prophet Zechariah wrote, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). We can never rely on our physical strength or mental ability.
The power of God will never be activated in our lives through our own might. In fact, the miracles that were recorded in the Bible happened when people didn't have enough might.
Think Like This
What are we to do then? Paul tells us in Philippians 2:5 (NKJV), "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."
How did Jesus think while He was on the earth?
PHILIPPIANS 2:6–8 (NKJV)
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus' ministry was so strong because He did only what the Father told Him to do. And in Jesus' sweet yielding of not trying to be something, God was something through Jesus.
Jesus lived His entire life in submission to God. His submission didn't start when they pounded nails into His hands and feet. It happened every day of His life. And in Jesus' submission to God, the Holy Spirit was able to work powerfully through Him!
Imagine what God could look like in us if we gave Him complete access and total permission in our lives. We would look just like Jesus!
God has a purpose and plan for each of us. It will take His resurrection power to fulfill that plan. We have to be raised into the places God wants us to be in. There's no way we can get there and do everything He asks in our own strength and ability.
Paul bowed his knees to the Father of our Lord. He spent time with God and was strengthened in his inner man. (See Eph. 3:14–21.) To experience that resurrection power, we must do the same. As we begin exchanging our strength for God's strength and our ability for His ability, we will see His resurrection power begin to flow through us.
[Editor's Note: Patsy Cameneti is a regular speaker at Kindle the Flame.]
"I attended my first Kindle the Flame conference in 2013. What a blessing! Not only was there a sense of connection in the services, but I felt a true heart connection with the ladies in our hotel. I have been to many conferences in my life and never experienced that feeling before. I cannot even adequately describe it to you. I'm looking forward to this year!" // Sherry C., Mattoon, IL