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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Be All that You Can Be!

That great Methodist missionary to India and all Christendom, Dr. E. Stanley Jones once said,

“If the Holy Spirit can take over the subconscious with our consent and cooperation, then we have almighty Power working at the basis of our lives. Then we can do anything we ought to do, go anywhere we ought to go, and be anything we ought to be.”

I think Dr. Jones was saying we need total surrender to the Holy Spirit at the deepest level of the human psyche in order to get the most out of life. He (the Holy Spirit) will only do this (take control) with our permission and will leave if we (horror of horrors!) decide to send him away. God has given us complete freedom to be what we want to be and no matter how much it breaks his heart when we turn away from him, He allows it.

But to get back to Jones’ quote, when we have the courage to surrender fully and completely to God’s Holy Spirit and give Him total freedom to lead, guide and direct us in every area of life, then we open ourselves to the unlimited power of God. This is very different than serving God with all our power. This is serving God with all His power! “…according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20(NIV)) Serving God in His perfect Will! Going wherever God wants us to Go! Doing whatever God wants us to do! Being whatever God wants us to be!

“But that’s impossible!” some say. “We are mere humans!” Not so fast there. Didn’t Jesus say (John 16:7(NIV)) “…It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Sometimes we think Jesus was mistaken about this. Wouldn’t it be better if he had stayed with us? No. It is better that God live in us through his Spirit. Then we become like Jesus—the perfect combination of humanity and divinity. Once we are filled with God’s Spirit we are no longer mere humans. We are the “Laos” (from whence comes the word Laity) the Divinely empower, Spirit-filled, people of God.

Notice how Dr. Jones says “Then we can…do…go…be anything we ought to be.” Full surrender to God’s Holy Spirit releases us from our own limitations and empowers us to live in the unlimited power of God.

But how do we do this? We do it when we give unlimited permission. I come from a faith tradition that teaches Christians to give total surrender to God through “sanctification”. This means a total surrender of the new creation we have become through faith in Christ, so the Holy Spirit of the Father and the Son indwells us to help us be our very best, accomplish the very most, go where He wants us to go and in all the being, doing and going, enjoy the warm, loving Presence of the eternal God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s an incredible way to do life! Many other Christian groups use different terminology, but share much the same concept.

Does that mean we will never have issues, problems, difficulties, trials, etc.? No, unfortunately, it does not mean that. But it does mean we will never need to face our life issues in our own limited power or personal resources. Whatever we encounter in life, we do so with the unlimited resources of God’s Holy Spirit working in and through us for God’s (and our) good pleasure.

If we depend on the power of the flesh we will be limited to the power of the flesh. But if we depend on the power of the Spirit, we never find a limit!

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . .and that's My View from Tanner Creek.

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