Do God's work using God's power

Be aware of Satan’s schemes

We should not be ignorant of the schemes of Satan, says Paul.

2 Cor 2:11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Satan is scheming – we should be aware of that.

Most people don’t even realize that Satan exists.

Of those who realize that Satan exists, most don’t realize that Satan is scheming against them.

Satan first tries to ensure that we are not born again. If he doesn’t succeed with that then he tries to make us ineffective Christians. He does this by getting us distracted with things unrelated to the kingdom of God. If he doesn’t succeed with that, then he gets us to do God’s work using ungodly methods or using ungodly power.

God’s work by God’s power

There are three ways of doing things. We can do things by God’s power or by man’s power, or by demonic power.

Which do you think is better?

Which do you use in daily life when you do God’s work?

Now we know that doing things by demonic power is not good. But what about doing things by man’s power?

Countless Christians today do God’s work in the power of man – and accomplish nothing of eternal value.

That is not how God wants it to be!

A church must continually ensure that it is doing things by God’s power.

Jesus did His ministry with the power of the Holy Spirit

Most churches don’t teach people to seek God for power and gifts to do God’s work. Because they don’t ask, they don’t receive.

It is very interesting to note that Jesus began His public ministry only after He was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Mt 3:16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

Mt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Mk 1:10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;

Mk 1:14-15 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

Lk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased."

Lk 3:23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli,

Isn’t it interesting that there is no record of Jesus doing public ministry before He was baptized in the Holy Spirit? If Jesus waited for the power of the Holy Spirit to do public ministry, shouldn’t we do the same?

Ac 10:38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Mt 12:28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."


The apostles built the kingdom of God with God’s power

It was the same case with the apostles. Jesus knew that they needed the power of the Spirit to build His kingdom. That is why He told them to wait.

Ac 1:4-5 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Ac 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

Eph 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.

We need to build the kingdom of God with God’s power

We too need to ensure that we are baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit before we serve God in building His kingdom.

If we are not baptized in the Holy Spirit, we need to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. If we were already baptized then we need to continually seek to be filled with the Spirit.

The first step, after being born again, and being baptized in water (Ac 2:38), is to have a desire to build God’s kingdom.

1 Cor 14:12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.

The second step is to realize that you don’t have what it takes to build God’s kingdom.

Here is what Jesus thought about His capabilities.

Jn 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

Jesus is our example here – whatever we see Jesus doing, that is what we should do, and that is how we should do it.

Jn 5:30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

When we do not seek our own will, but the will of God, in our lives, then we can make just judgments.

Jn 8:28 So Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

Jn 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

He tried to teach the disciples this fact several times, using their own area of expertise.

Lk 5:4-6 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered and said, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets." When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break.

Jn 21:1 After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way.

Jn 21:5-6 So Jesus said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.

The third step is to remember that God has provided us with the Holy Spirit for this very purpose – to give us gifts to build the kingdom of God.

1 Cor 14:12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.

The fourth step is to seek God for the power to build His kingdom.

God rarely gives His power and gifts to those who do not ask. God says, "Ask, and you shall receive."

Mt 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Lk 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Mt 21:22 "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

Jn 15:16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Jn 16:23-24 "In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

1 Jn 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

We must ask with the right motives.

Jas 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

We must believe that God will give what we ask if we have asked sincerely, and with the right motives.

Lk 11:13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Jas 1:5-6 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

Then we must find out what gifts we have and experiment with those gifts.

God does not build His servants in a day. He builds them incrementally. Peter endured many tests and trials before he became the leader of the church in Jerusalem.

Then we must use these gifts with great faith.

God is glorified when we bear much fruit.

Jn 15:8 "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

God loves it when we believe and ask Him for great things – for His glory.

1 Chron 4:10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep {me} from harm that {it} may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested.

Mt 8:10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.

Mt 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once.

Finally, when we see these gifts being used to bless others, we must humbly realize that they are not of us, but of God.

1 Cor 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.

God will drive you and use you mightily to build His kingdom.

Dan 1:17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every {branch of} literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all {kinds of} visions and dreams.

Dan 2:20-23 Daniel said, "Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king's matter."

Lk 17:10 "So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.' "

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