Chapter 8

Jesus Set Aside His Power to Show Us the Way

How am I supposed to follow in Christ’s steps? He had the power, I don’t.

1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Whatever it takes to follow Christ, he must supply, otherwise what good is his example?

Phi 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!

Jesus made himself nothing, living out his life in the attitude of a bond servant, in a body of a human being, with the same weakness and desires as us. Jesus tells us that he started his life out by being nothing, but he did not stay "nothing" for long, so where did something come from? Jesus started out his earthly life from the same starting point as us, which is why Christ said in John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Just as he could do nothing outside of the Father, we also can do nothing outside of Him. He has shown us the steps to follow that we could remain in Him. However, because these steps that would have kept us in Him were not understood by our parents, we will be using different steps that graft us back in again. Since we have come from the vine and have the exact same physical make up as the vine, we can return to derive nourishment.

Jesus showed His obedience by following the Spirit out to the desert. Jesus had the Spirit to guide Him just as we have the Spirit to guide us. Jesus went to the desert to be tested and we must also be lead to a deserted place to be tested. When He passed the test he returned in power, likewise, we must also pass the test to receive power. Satan came and tried to destroy his effectiveness and he will do no less to us.

Matt 4:3 “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

The first temptation by Satan was to appeal to the stomach, or the flesh, of Jesus. With Jesus, he was unsuccessful in appealing to all three areas of the human weakness, the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life [1 John 2:16]. Most of us cave in to the stomach, never requiring Satan to go further.

Jesus would not and did not accomplish his mission by using his own powers to snatch unsuspecting weak willed peoples. Although Jesus was the Son of God, he defeated Satan by using a weapon that everyone has at their disposal: the Word of God. There is no glory for Jesus in doing it any other way. Jesus said “I am the way; the truth and the life”....“take heart for I have overcome the world.” Jesus is telling his disciples press on men, and do not be dismayed, for I have overcome the best that my flesh, the world, and Satan could do to destroy me. We must have faith that the Word of God can and will do for us what it did for Jesus. The plan was and is to use the Word of God to resist the temptations.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Jesus came not only to show us the way, but to tell us the way. If you submit yourself to God, in an attitude of grieving with actions of mourning and wailing, your relationship will develop, as it demonstrates humility. These actions will wash you and purify your hearts so that you will be singular in thought. You will see and understand things clearly, making resisting evil natural, and drawing near to God compelling and irresistible.

John 3:29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom.

Jesus is not going to ask his bride to follow him if we do not have full access to the power that he used. Jesus came to show us the way, not to discourage us by asking the impossible. The glory of Jesus is that he lay down his powers and still overcame his fleshly desires. This is why we should become so excited when he said to his disciples “Take heart for I have overcome”. He was telling them that they can also overcome if they will follow the words of His perseverance.

Rev 3:10 “Because you have kept the words of My perseverance, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.

Anyone that thinks Jesus used any power that we do not have access to, not only belittle what he accomplished, but gives the devil a large strong hold in their life, one that could very well keep them from believing.

Rev 3:21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Remember, Jesus had to overcome and so do you. But be assured He has the way and He greatly desires to help you take that way.

If Jesus set aside his power where did he then receive the power, and at what point in his ministry?

Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for 40 days he was tempted by the devil.

Luke 4:14 - 15 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside, and everyone praised him.

Jesus did not start his earthly ministry until after he was baptized, lead out by the Spirit into the desert, where he was purified and tested, and then he returned in the POWER of the Spirit.

When we realize our need for Christ’s saving work in our life, we ask the Holy Spirit to come in and fill us full of Himself. You may be under the allusion that ‘full of the Spirit’ equates to complete power of the Spirit, not so. The only thing given at this point is the prompting to surrender and obey. God still affords you a free will and if you choose not to surrender, you choose not to obey. Disobedience at this point in the journey derails God’s best for you and leads only to disillusionment. The real power we all want to experience comes only through following all of his steps, even the steps we don’t want to experience.

Jesus said in John 5:19 “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Even Jesus was serving his impartial Father and Jesus’ power came from being able to see what the Father was doing and join in.

The secret is to love God by expressing it through obedience, which continues to cultivate a deeper, more intimate love relationship, as truth is revealed, to the point where even you will be able to see where the Father is working. If Jesus did not have the ability to see where the Father was working, then he would be powerless. We too have been given access to all power through the Holy Spirit, after we have accepted Christ as our Savor and Lord. But it is only as we see and align ourselves with what the Father is doing that this power is displayed through us.

There are two keys to having the power released through your life. The first is to understand that you cannot see, and then to position yourself to receive your sight. The second will come automatically, which is to believe and to act on what you see the Father doing. You can position yourself with the exact posture that Christ had even though your purpose and your mission will be tailored made for you.

Stop using the excuse that Jesus was God for the reason that you cannot follow, or produce the quantity of fruit you were intended to yield.

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