The Christian’s Birth Certificate

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.
–Ephesians 3:16

In his book “The Me I Want to Be,” John Ortberg described an experience he had waterskiing. His wife, Nancy, was teaching the family how to ski, and John had been gaining confidence on the water. He wanted to try using only one ski. But the boat did not have enough power to lift him out of the water. Then John noticed a button labeled “power-tilt” and decided it might do the trick. He wrote, “I heard a whirring sound, which I later learned was the propeller being driven much deeper under the water.

“I got back behind the boat, balanced precariously on one ski, and yelled to Nancy, ‘Hit it!’

“The bow of the boat lifted out of the water at a 45-degree angle and moved as if it had been shot out of a cannon. Adequate power to get my body up out of the water was not a problem. Survival was. I gestured wildly for the boat to slow down. However, we had not prearranged signals, and my kids interpreted my waving as a desire to go faster, so they revved the boat full throttle. I was not just up, but was bouncing through the air between landings like a rock skipping across a smooth lake. It did not occur to me to let go of the rope. I eventually came down on my face.

“For six months I could not smile with the right side of my mouth.

“But I did find out I could ski. I just needed power.”

All of us feel that need for power sometimes, don’t we? We need power in our prayers. We need power in saying no to sin. We need power to be courageous in standing up for the gospel. We need power to give us peace when our world is collapsing around us. The good news is if you are a Christian, you already have all the power you need. That power is not a special force but a person: the Holy Spirit of God.

Last week, we began talking about how Christians can access the tremendous spiritual horsepower we possess. Far too many Christians go through life unaware of this power. You see, every Christian has been baptized with the Holy Spirit, but there is a difference between the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit. While every Christian experiences the baptism with the Holy Spirit, only a few experience the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “You’re Richer Than You Think” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

John Ortberg, “The Me I Want to Be” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 35-36.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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