A Mighty Servant by Charles Stanley
Ephesians 3:14-16 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Everyone wants to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. To become physically fit, we need to exercise our muscles vigorously and regularly. If our goal is to be stable in soul (our thoughts, will, and emotions), then we must apply our minds to learning and train ourselves to be self-controlled. However, to become mighty in spirit requires something more than self-effort.
You see, none of us were born with a spiritual connection to God. Because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, we were all dead in our sins and separated from the Lord (Eph. 2:1). No amount of personal effort can bring an individual to life spiritually. Although we are unable to change this condition for ourselves, nothing is impossible for God (Matt. 19:26). By accepting Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross as payment for our sins, we are forgiven, reconciled to God, and made alive in our spirit (Eph. 2:5). This is the beginning step of the Christian life.
Once we are born again, the indwelling Holy Spirit teaches us how to view life as Jesus did, embrace His values and priorities, and follow His example. The more we yield to the Spirit’s control, the sooner we’ll be transformed into Christ’s image, equipped to carry out the Lord’s will, and strengthened in our inner spirit to serve Him.
God desires followers who will dedicate themselves to His plan and serve as ambassadors for Christ to a lost and hurting world. He doesn’t expect that we will train ourselves for this task—He has sent His Holy Spirit to prepare us for the work ahead. Have you answered His call to service?
Ephesians 4:17-24 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
To become God’s mighty servants, we must decide whether we will base our life on His priorities or the world’s. The two are incompatible. Before salvation, people typically live according to whatever the flesh desires, indulging themselves with food, entertainment, and material goods. Promoting self-gratification, our culture maintains that everyone is the center of his own universe and can decide what is right for himself.
Scripture teaches the opposite: to put God above all else and “regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Matt. 6:33; Phil. 2:3). So how do we give God top priority? Jesus says it means loving Him wholeheartedly, denying ourselves, and following Him (Matt. 16:24; Matt. 22:37-39). That includes generosity. Instead of encouraging us to acquire money and possessions, He teaches that giving brings far more blessings than receiving (Acts 20:35).
How can we know we are becoming spiritually stronger? First, we’ll be less attracted to the ungodly practices of our world and will yearn to be more like Jesus. Next, we will start replacing ungodly habits with activities that please the Lord. Then, we’ll begin to comprehend some of the deeper biblical truths and apply them in our life. Finally, our spiritual discernment will improve. With the Spirit’s help, we will more easily recognize unrighteous ideas and behavior.
Do you want to become mighty in spirit? If so, spend time in the Scriptures learning what is important to God. Then ask Him to transform you into the person He has designed you to be.
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