Saturday, January 2, 2010

Now THAT'S Empowerment

In the fascinating world of internet self-improvement you don't have to look far to find someone offering help "empower" you with life changing insight, a daily positive outlook or a maybe even a new marketing plan.

While the idea of empowerment is good in theory, most of the people offering to package it up and sell it to you are missing the ultimate source of true power. Jesus said it plain and simple: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" (Acts 1:8a). In fact, it was so important that Jesus commanded his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit to receive this power!

As Christians we all have God's mighty power within-when you were born again you became a "new creation" in your spirit (2 Cor 5:17, Gal 2:20)- but we must choose to "walk in the spirit" (Gal 5:25) and "not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of (your) mind" (Rom 12:2).

Paul spoke of this when praying for believers:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;(so) that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
~Colossians 1:9-11

The Amplified translation points this out clearly in the prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians:
May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. ~Ephesians 3:16

In his Life for Today Study Bible, Andrew Wommack higlights a very important point that sums up why I dont believe in "self-empowerment":
"Paul's prayer is a sermon in itself on how to walk in the fullness of God. The first thing Paul mentions is the Lord strengthening us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Many well-meaning Christians fall quite short of what God wants them to be and what they want for themselves, because they are trying to live for God instead of letting God live through them (see note 1 at Ro 7:15). The key to all victory in the Christian life is learning how to depend on the Holy Spirit for our strength (see note 14 at Ga 2:20)."
—Andrew Wommack's Life For Today Study Bible Notes, Note 5 at Eph. 3:16

As we begin a new decade, I am spending some extra time meditating on these glorious truths. It is delightfully amazing to me that our beloved Father would come and live inside our spirits, that He would make this power available to us!! I know God has paths set out for me to walk in. I am "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that (I) should walk in them" (Eph 2:10). I know He is concerned with every part of my life~ from the mundane daily chores, to being excellent in how I conduct my earthly business, and all the way to how I let the rivers of living water flow from my innermost being to bring His Kingdom to the lives of those in need around me.

I want to wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year, and encourage you to join me in learning more about "the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe"!!
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." ~Ephesians 3:20-21


  1. Karla, isn't God amazing?! When you first posted the word 'empowerment' on Facebook, I wanted to respond but wasn't sure how. I have no idea if you had this written before hand or only came to it after you had posed the empowerment thought, but I asked God to enlighten you on the positive empowerment.

    I could feel the Holy Spirit speak through your words. May all who read this be fully blessed.

  2. Thanks for praying! I had it sort of flitting about in my head since before I did the update, but it was terribly disorganized and not coming out the right way til last night:)