Making Holes in the Darkness

His Spirit’s presence in our lives is proof of this fact. Here’s how.

Over the years I’ve visited people in some harsh places. Impoverished villages in Mexico and Malaysia where basic amenities did not exist and circumstances were bleak. Impoverished homes in America where cockroaches were thick and a stench turned my stomach. I went only out of a sense of ministerial responsibility.

Those problems don’t compare to the cockroaches of rebellion and stench of sin God finds in my heart. And yet his Spirit chooses to live in my soul anyway. As proof of God’s unconditional compassion, grace, and love.

And his residence is permanent. Paul asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Then he lists the options: “Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35). Here’s his answer: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vs. 37-39).

No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, no matter how hard or harsh things get, be assured of God’s indescribable, passionate love for you. His Spirit in your life is proof that it is so.

Access God’s power

In these fearful days we need assurance of God’s love, and we need to access his power and help. Worries about the future abound. For the first time in American history we have a cabinet position for Homeland Defense. For the first time we’re seeing news stories about intended responses to biological or chemical warfare against our country. We need the power and help of God.

We need what these first Christians found. They discovered that when the Holy Spirit moved into their lives, he brought supernatural strength and divine abilities they did not possess before. They could speak languages they had never learned; they could preach with boldness they did not possess; they could move crowds before whom they had cowered before. They found in God’s Spirit, God’s power.

Have you made this discovery yet? Do you know that you have all the power you need to overcome temptation, to withstand the stress and strain of these days, to live in abundant joy and purpose? Do you go to your Upper Room to meet with God every day? Do you turn to him for his help through the day? Or do you live on your own, as best you can? You can access the power of Almighty God. It is as close as your knees.

Samuel Chadwick was right: “The one concern of the Devil is to keep saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil and mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”

Because he knows that prayer is our access to the power of God by his Spirit in our lives. Do you know what he knows?

Conclusion

If Christ is your Lord, you have received his Spirit. You have the power of Almighty God alive and at work in your life. The Spirit is your assurance of God’s love and your access to his power.

Now, as you fight on the front lines of the spiritual war which is before us, will you make yourself available to the Spirit? Will you ask him to control you, empower you, use you? To make you his witness to frightened and hurting friends? To use you to share his love with lonely and hurting hearts? To pray for our leaders, our military, our people as we fight this spiritual war? To bring spiritual awakening to your part of our nation?

Today is the day to yield your life to the power of God’s Spirit. Today is the day to be ready for battle, enlisted for service, prepared to be used. Today.

Leon Trotsky was one of the foremost leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russian in 1917. Two years earlier he attended Sunday school in Chicago with a friend, but the teacher didn’t show up and Trotsky never went back.

Joseph Stalin, the force behind millions of deaths, was sent to study for the priesthood in the Russian Church, but the church had become so worldly and corrupt that he rebelled and turned to communism.

Mahatma Gandhi, leader of millions of Hindus in India, studied Christianity in England but rejected it because Christians didn’t live up to the teachings of Christ.

Lee Harvey Oswald attended a Baptist Sunday school as a child in Dallas, but the teacher told him not to come back until he was better dressed. He never did.

More people are open to spirituality than in a generation, right now. Christians have greater opportunity for ministry and witness than we have seen in 50 years. We are assured of God’s love, and given access to his power, by his Spirit alive in our hearts. Are you available to him today? Would you be?

Samuel Chadwick again: “Go back! Back to that upper room; back to your knees; back to searching of heart and habit, thought and life; back to the pleading, praying, waiting, till the Spirit of the Lord floods the soul with light, and you are endued with power from on high. Then go forth in the power of Pentecost, and the Christ-life shall be lived, and the words of Christ shall be done. You shall open blind eyes, cleanse foul hearts, break men’s fetters, and save men’s souls. In the power of the indwelling Spirit, miracles become the commonplace of daily living.”

Go to your Upper Room today, and you can make holes in the darkness tomorrow. The choice is yours.