Being used by God, for His purpose is something every believer is called to. Since before the world was created God already had us in mind for this very thing!
Ephesians 1:4 says, “Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.”
Look at what Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship),recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”
What are those good works he planned for us to do? The very same good works He did when He walked this earth! He demonstrated the generous, loving and caring nature of His Heavenly Father through operating in the miracle working power of God!
Since we know Jesus stripped Himself of His Godly privileges, and became a man (Philippians 2:7), how did He manage to operate in the miracle working power of God, day in and day out? The Bible says after He was baptised in water, the Spirit of God descended on Him, and He was filled with power. Look at what Luke 4:14 says, “Then Jesus went back full of and under the power of the [Holy] Spirit into Galilee, and the fame of Him spread through the whole region round about.”
So we know His power to do the good work His Father wanted Him to do came from the Holy Spirit. Just the same, when a believer is baptised in the Holy Spirit, we have that same power activated and available to us, to do the good works He did.
The question is how did Jesus keep this power flowing in and through Him? How did He know what to do, and where to go? How did He keep that level of supernatural intensity flowing, along with that never ending supply of compassion, love, peace and pure joy?
The answer is recorded throughout the New Testament, Jesus spent hours in prayer, communing with His Heavenly Father. I found this excerpt from AA Allans’s book, The Price of God’s Miracle Working Power:
“If the Son of God must spend long hours of the night, when the rest of the world was sleeping, alone on the mountain top with His Father, in order that He might be able to cast out even those demons of whom He said, "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matt.17:21), surely His disciple also must spend hours in fasting and prayer, waiting upon God - learning to think and act in unison with God - before he can expect to cast out such demons.”
He went on to write, “Persistent, habitual prayer was one of the outstanding characteristics of the life of Christ. When Judas desired to find Jesus in order to betray Him to the priests, he knew that he would find Him in the garden of prayer.
Prayer to our Lord was more important than teaching and healing, for He refused to allow Himself to be swept off His feet by the multitudes who "came together to hear, and to be healed by Him" (Luke 5:15,16), but withdrew Himself from the crowd which demanded His attention into the wilderness, and prayed.
Prayer was more important to Him than the working of miracles, for miracles do not generate themselves. Prayer is the cause - miracles the result. Prayer to Jesus was more important than rest and sleep, for we find that "in the morning rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Mark 1:35. And again, "He went out into a mountain to pray and he continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12.”
Now here comes the crux of this truth:
“If the disciple could attain the same results which Jesus did WITHOUT PAYING THE SAME PRICE WHICH JESUS PAID, then it would have to be confessed that the disciple had become greater than his master. The "student" would have learned a better, more efficient method than that taught to him by his "teacher."”
Do you remember the point made in our previous letter from Matthew 10:24 that says, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a servant or slave above his master.” ? Well here we see it again when it comes to prayer and spending time drawing from the wisdom of God, and learning how to work as one with His Spirit. If Jesus needed to make this His priority to fulfill His purpose, how could we not be expected to do the same?
I’m going to end this letter with another quote from AA Allan’s book, to solidify this truth in our hearts, and create in us a deeper hunger to spend time alone with our Heavenly Father in prayer:
“...the student of Jesus Christ CANNOT become greater than his teacher. He cannot learn anything which Jesus did not know. He cannot find a short cut to power with God. If he should try it, he will only meet with disappointment and sorrow. His life will be shipwrecked and his ministry useless.
For the disciple (student) of Christ, "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master (teacher)." Matt. 10:25.”
This week, let’s deliberately carve out time to spend with our Heavenly Father, just as Jesus did, learning and receiving from Him in prayer. This is where we’re going to get the power, strength, wisdom, and direction to do the good works He planned for us to do, before the foundation of the world.
All my love,