Friday, March 8, 2013

How to Run Well (Part 3)

•Support. Some may be thinking that it is difficult (if not hopeless) work to be a Christian! You need to discover that it is hopeless work in your own strength. Do not forget that the power of God is behind you. There certainly are lions in the war, but do not be intimidated by them, especially since God Himself has provided you with the greatest helps. 

You have not believed on a dead Savior, but on a living One. He may be out of sight, having left this world, but He is your great High Priest in heaven. He has entered “into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). 

There He manages your concerns. Use Him; make Him your Friend; confide in Him. Keep no secrets from Him, but let Him have the key that opens every room of your soul. 

You will meet many temptations. “He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). 

Weakness and infirmity will sometimes overcome you. He is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). 

Difficulties and dangers may wash over your soul and threaten to drown you. “He is also able to save to the uttermost (i.e., right through to the end)” (Hebrews 7:25). 

Your Christian friends may help and sympathize with you; we trust they will. But if you want absolute certainty, look to Him! 

•Power. The Holy Spirit of God, a divine Person, is on earth. If you are a believer, you have received the Holy Spirit. “But,” many young converts say, “I have not felt anything special. Is it possible to receive the Holy Spirit without some great and unique experience?” 

It is certainly possible, for two reasons. First, the outward and visible signs which once accompanied His coming, such as tongues of fire or speaking foreign languages, are no longer used. Second, His mission is emphatically not to call attention to Himself, but to glorify Christ (see John 16:13-14). 

Silently, noiselessly, He takes up residence, but soon the effects of His presence are felt. Perhaps it never occurred to you that the very glimpses you get of Christ and His preciousness, and of the love of God; the Bible becoming a new book to You, and prayer becoming delightful instead of irksome – are some evidences of His presence. 

“But in my case,” someone may say, “these results are conspicuously absent, and yet I do believe in Jesus. I doubt I have received the Spirit.” The explanation probably is not that you have never received Him, but that having received Him, you have grieved Him. 

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption,” the Apostle Paul said to the Ephesian believers (Ephesians 4:30). The practical benefits of His presence are lost when we grieve Him. He then grieves you; and since He is the Teacher in the things of God, and the power for worship, communion, and service – no wonder you are unhappy! 

Always remember that “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Avoid everything that defiles, for with the Spirit of God ungrieved you have greater power than any that can be brought against you (1 John 4:4).

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