This is the first Sunday in Lent – the 6 weeks before Resurrection Sunday – Easter. During this time, we will look at ourselves and how we can be stronger, spiritually stronger and loving Christians as we prepare ourselves for that wonderful day when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Today we discuss our spiritual inadequacy and how we can rise above this and become totally one with God and totally adequate in His eyes.
We can often feel completely overpowered with the feeling of inadequacy. But right here with us, right beside us is the power of God which does make us adequate. We get our strength, our power and the joy to move forward toward victory of all the goals we put before us.
Jesus presented the truth of His being. He had asked His disciples the question, “Who do men say that I am?” They gave Him many answers, and then He turned and said, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter, who was the great spokesman for the twelve disciples, came back with the words, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”
Jesus responded, “Blessed art thou Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father who is in heaven . . .” In other words, it was a spiritual revelation.
We must come to a spiritual realization if we are going to be lifted up to function at the highest level. If we are going to lift ourselves up to function at the highest possible level, we, too, must come into a spiritual realization of who we are. Now, this spiritual plane is difficult. Our senses are seeing all kinds of reasons and trials and tribulations, obstacles if you will, that seem to block the path to the good of God. But this path is achieved through and begins with, actually, that marvelous little word – prayer.
Years ago, some of you may not have even been born yet, Sid Caesar was being interviewed about his early days in television. The interviewer asked him, “What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?”
He told of a time when he had just come to television with his Show of Shows. It was one of the early extravaganzas of television that helped to build it into the great media that it is today. He reflected a moment, and then said, “I guess it was the time my little girl came home from school and said the children at school were talking about Sid Caesar and how funny the show was.
“My wife looked down at her and said, ‘I’m glad that you’re proud of your father.’
“The little girl looked up at me and said, ‘You’re Sid Caesar?'”
We agree with Peter with what he said about Jesus. Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. Yet, Jesus said things about us that we find very difficult to believe or accept. He said, “These things I do you shall do also and greater than these shall you do.”
Oh, are we feeling a bit inadequate right now.
So, when Jesus accepted for Himself Peter’s words, “You are the Christ,” He was making an identity that is valid for each of us. A favorite passage in scripture is “Christ in you, your hope of glory.”
Still feeling inadequate?
Your potential was probably looking a bit grim, but with God’s help, you can lift yourself above the reservations about your potential Allow yourself to be lifted and elevate your mind to a level to where you feel the power, that power that comes with God.
Remember in the Old Testament when out of the burning bush God told Moses to go into Egypt and bring the children of Israel out. You know what Moses’ great response was: “WHO AM I to do this?” Sometimes, that’s the way we all face life. We say, “WHO AM I to be able to handle this challenge or accomplish this goal?” God said to Moses what God says to us, “I AM always with you.”
Moses came back and asked, “By what authority can I tell the children of Israel that I have come to do this thing?” God said to Moses: “Tell them I AM hath sent me unto you.”
God wasn’t just letting Moses know that He was with him. He is letting us all know that — #1 He is the great I AM. And #2. The great I AM is with us always and that I AM is not only with you but within you. When you realize that, you have it all, everything is released and your inadequacy is no longer.
So, say now that you know I AM is within and without – omnipresent and say “Christ, I am – willing, available, and ready.”
Again – – “Christ, I am – willing, available, and ready.”
Use that as a meditation daily and you will feel the power of accomplishment wash over you. The great I AM is your power, your total adequacy. That makes you full of power yourself. Know it; live it.
To help you continue this meditative experience and to deepen it so this I AM power is totally deep within you, do a daily devotion and meditation each morning upon awakening, and think about the reality of your Creator, the great I AM, and your oneness as a child of God.. Let the spiritual knowledge integrate itself, not only into your mind, but down deep into the depths of your soul where it takes over as an unconscious belief about yourself. The knowledge about who you really are cannot be given to you by any human; it has to be, as Jesus said, not from flesh and blood, but from God in heaven. You will then see the great transformation taking place in you. You become part of the rock upon which the faith was built.
Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Hell can be right here and now, when we move away from God, and dwell in worry, human anxiety and fear. When you put God first and draw that power from prayer to your world, the gates of hell (the life filled with chaos, trial and tribulation) shall never prevail against you.
Following this statement, Jesus said, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom.” Jesus said, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” You have the key, the power, through prayer.
Remember the Sermon on the Mount when He said, , “In all things say ‘Yes, yes and no, no.'” Through the power of prayer, you can say “Yes!” to something or you can say “No” to it and release it with spiritual power backing you up.
This old farmer had a mule and an old, dried-up well in the middle of his farmyard, barely covered with some fragments of board. One day, the old mule walked across it, the boards broke, and down to the bottom of the well he went.
The well was deep. The old farmer figured the old mule probably would not survive the fall anyway, so he decided, much to his own dismay, that the best way to handle the whole situation was to bury the old mule in the well and solve the problem of getting rid of the open well at the same time.
So he hauled in a cart-load of dirt and dumped it down into the well. But instead of laying there and being buried in the dirt, the old mule got up, shook himself off, and tromped the dirt under his feet. Soon he found himself just a few inches higher than he was before.
The farmer dumped down the second cartload of dirt, and the old mule again tromped the dirt under his feet, and he was then a little bit higher. Finally, many cartloads of dirt later, the old mule stepped out on safe and solid ground.
So through prayer, you are shaking off the dirt that falls on you in this world, and positive affirmation as a YES prayer is tromping it under your feet and raising yourself up bit by bit until you have overcome the pitfalls that try to steal your oneness and your power with God, the great I AM.
Those are the keys to the kingdom of heaven-heaven being the opposite of hell; heaven being movement into the total oneness with God, wherever you are. The joy of knowing God’s Truth about yourself is so great, so complete.
A little boy, 5 years old was in Sunday School and it came time for the offering. He had his offering clutched in his little hand. The Sunday School teacher had all the children seated in a row in the classroom. She came down in front of them with the offering basket, and each child (one-by-one) put his or her offering into the basket. Then she got to him, and he refused to put his offering into the basket. The teacher said, “Please put your offering into the basket.”
He said, “No!” She asked him a second time and he said, “No!”
Finally she said, “That offering belongs to God.” He looked her in the eye and said, “I’ll give it to God myself.”
The way you give yourself to God is to claim your oneness and let the power of the word of prayer infiltrate the whole of your being. Become one with God and become your prayer.
To be able to live in a spiritual consciousness of awareness of our oneness with God is very transformational. Then take the power of that awareness into your speaking of binding and loosing; taking hold of or letting go of the things of life that are not in agreement with the
perfection of God.
I will close with a story of a new pracher in town…
There was young minister who was beginning in his first ministry. He had a church assigned to him up in the ranch country of Montana. This was to be his first Sunday in the pulpit. A blizzard hit the night before, and was still raging on Sunday morning. The young man came up to the lectern on his church. As he stood behind the lectern and got ready to begin, he looked out at his congregation and he had one old, tough rancher sitting in the crowd-a crowd of one. He said, “You, sir, seem to be the only person here. I really don’t know what to do.”
The old rancher said, “Well, if I only had one cow in the corral, I sure would feed that cow.”
So the young minister lit into his sermon and he talked 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 35 minutes, then 50 minutes. It was over an hour now, and he was still going. Finally, he brought his talk to a fiery close and feeling rather proud of himself he leaned over the pulpit and said to the old rancher, “How was that?”
The old rancher said, “Well, if I went down to my corral and saw only one cow there, I sure would feed the cow, but I’d be darned if I would give him the whole barn full of hay.”
“Christ, I am – willing, available, and ready.”
You are equipped by God. You are more than adequate. God gives you all that you need and will continually give to you all that you will need in the future. So freely say,
“”Christ, I am – willing, available, and ready.”
God bless you!