As I was meditating on some thoughts penned by A.B Simpson this morning, I was again struck with the truth that we never really tread new spiritual ground, there is always someone who has been there and experienced God’s truth before us. So often I think I am onto some incredible revelation and am then humbled by a blog, or even the words of a God-follower from centuries ago that have already said what I was trying to say.
A.B Simpson seems to always be quite a few steps ahead of me in my God-journey. Recently I was in Thailand speaking with Alliance missionaries. During a men’s luncheon, my talk was on “Three Types of Men”…the power-drained, the power-full, and the power-filled.
The heart of the talk was to move men out of a powerless existence as well as a powerful existence. It seems we are either one or the other. We either abdicate our spirituality or we take control of our faith in a legalistic religious fashion. Neither one draw us nor place us in the presence of God. Both are spiritual toxins that need healing, restoration and repentance.
The movement God is calling us towards is being power-filled. To be powerful is to have the right answers, know the right stuff, and behave externally the right way. This leads to ego, ritual and religion. To be power-filled is the surrendered life, where we make room in our soul for God to dwell and the life of Christ to expand over the self life.
So, it really was no surprise when I read Simpson today and basked in his words that were penned long before mine indicating the same spiritual truth. Listen in as he calls us to enter the life of the power-filled and not the power-drained or the power-full.
A spiritual man is not so much a man possessing a strong spiritual character as a man filled with the Holy Spirit. So the apostle Paul said: Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
The glory of the new creation, then, is not only that it recreates the human spirit, but that it fits it for the abode of God Himself, and makes it dependent upon the Son, as the child upon the mother. The highest spirituality, therefore, is the most utter helplessness, the most total dependence and the most complete possession of the Holy Spirit. The beautiful act of Christ in breathing upon His disciples and imparting to them from His own lips the very Spirit that was already in Him expressed in the most vivid manner the crowning glory of the new creation. And when the Holy Spirit thus possesses us, He fills every part of our being.
First and foremost Christ teaches resurrection and life. The power of Christianity is life. It brings us not merely law, duty, example, with high and holy teaching and admonition; it brings us the power to follow the higher ideal and the life that spontaneously does the things commanded. And it is not only life, but resurrection life. It begins with a real crisis, a definite transaction, a point of time as clear as the morning dawn.
It is not an everlasting dying and an eternal struggle to live. But it is all expressed in a tense that denotes definiteness, fixedness and finality. We actually died at a certain point and as actually began to live the resurrection life. Let us reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:11).
And death is only the pathway and portal
To the life that shall die nevermore;
And the cross leadeth up to the crown everlasting,
The Jordan to Canaan’s bright shore.
Scripture: Whosoever will save his life shall lose it—Luke 9:24