The August 21 entry on the ‘Courageous’ page-a-day calendar seems to be a follow-up to the August 11 entry I shared a couple of days ago.
“When we allow God to work in us and through us, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.”
No limit to what we can accomplish? Really?
Look at what Jesus told His disciples …
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14 (ESV)
Let’s explore a couple of things …
What impact did Jesus “going to the Father” ’have upon this greater works promise or prophecy?
When Jesus returned to the Father, then Jesus sent the Spirit … the Helper … to His followers (John 16:7-15), Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for His followers (Romans 8:34) and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words … repeat … too deep for words (Romans 8:26-27).
And His followers receive the indwelling presence of the triune God as Jesus the Son (John 15:4-5), the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17) and the heavenly Father ( John 14:23) as God makes His abode within both the individual believer and the corporate body of believers … all because Jesus returned to the Father and in conjunction with the pre-ordained work of Jesus the Father established a new covenant with His Son as the High Priest (Hebrews 8).
How often do we truly grasp what the indwelling presence of the triune God should mean to the individual believer and the church as a whole?
Note the realization that Paul arrived at regarding that indwelling presence …
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works IN you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)
(Note: So it would seem that God’s greater works are grounded in those being saved to will and work for God’s good pleasure.)
How often in the midst of working out our salvation do we experience the fear and trembling of which Paul writes? What could that imply? Could that lack of fear and trembling be keeping us from doing the greater works of which Jesus spoke?
Check out how fear and trembling are to play a role in our obedience to Christ …
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8 (ESV)
Rather than responding to God … rather than responding in obedience to Christ Jesus … with fear and trembling, my tendency (and maybe yours as well) is to respond to Him like a sibling we choose to ignore or constantly fight with. Either that or we treat him like a simple acquaintance where no relational obligations are necessary or expected.
Obviously based on 1 John 4:16-18, as love is being perfected within us, it will begin to diminish and ultimately cast out fear altogether … but that’s a whole different topic for a different day. No doubt Jesus has me on the journey to perfected love but as of this time I am still “in route” …
Much to consider and embrace by faith before doing greater works than Jesus …
Oh Lord, that I might be more malleable to Your perfecting hands and Your indwelling presence!