Welcome to Facets of Faith and this month’s question: How does God’s resurrection power change the way you live? If you are unfamiliar with the term resurrection or would like to gain more understanding, read yesterday’s post entitled What’s so good about Good Friday?
The greatest difficulty in answering this month’s question is to limit my (Tracy’s) response to just one. When God’s resurrection power grabs hold of our hearts, we are transformed from the inside out, top-to-bottom, as He brings every good work in us to completion. Our minds are renewed, we are changed, and because we are changed others are too.
God, in His sweetness, helped me to narrow my focus. If I tossed a net to capture all the ways God’s resurrection power has changed my life, it would break from the weight of all God’s good work. Like Peter who tossed his net over the boat a second time, God’s provision in my life has been great.
But that’s not where we started. Even though God was always providing for me, I didn’t see Him or His hand in my life.
One of the spiritual mile markers Jesus gave me started here….
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”─Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Like a child dragging her baby doll and blanket, I drug that verse with me everywhere. I didn’t know what else to do. I had no hope at the time. I couldn’t see past my circumstances. I was lost in a sea of sin─mine and others.
That verse was my lifeline. God used it to literally save my life. I was overwhelmed by my circumstances. Me. Little Ms. Independent who could figure her way out of just about anything and had always prided herself in that. Resilient almost became Rest In Peace.
And then Jesus stepped in. He spoke hope into my heart. So many sweet-nothings from my now-Savior. But back then? We were just getting to know one another.
Where do I sit today? Grateful! That’s where. Pulsating in God’s power. Resurrection power. Always connected. He is the Source. All that is good in me is because of Him. Anything good I get to do is because of Him. He touched my heart and transformed it, because He loves me. He loves you that way too. His resurrection power has the ability to take those once lost and help them to find their way back up to their feet. Jesus helps us stand when without His power, we would puddle and flop like a fish.
One of the things I love about Jesus is He speaks to us. Not in an audible voice (at least not with me), but like His Word promises when it says His sheep know His voice, I now do. I remember being thirsty to hear Him. I was curious how.
How do you hear God? And how do you know it’s God and not just a voice in your head thinking these things? Over time, He showed me. He trained my ear to recognize His “voice”.
If you are thirsty to hear His voice, He will teach you too. The best advice I can give is to ask for His help. Jesus, I want to hear You. Please teach me how to hear and recognize Your voice. I know He’ll answer a plea like that. Like any relationship, it takes time but He’ll honor that request.
This morning God spoke to me and showed me a connection I’d not caught before. He wasn’t going to let it get away. God helped me to reel it in. Slowly. Gradually. His truth and its meaning grasped me in a deeper, more profound way than it had before.
My eyes had read the Scriptures. Plenty of times. These verses answer our question: How does God’s resurrection power change the way you live?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity”─Jeremiah 29:11-14a NIV
Do you see it? Do you see how God’s resurrection power changes the way we live?
Yes, God delivered me in many ways from captivity. It could be an answer, but that’s not the answer God brought to the surface this morning.
God wants us to know HOW we access His resurrection power, not necessarily the byproduct of His resurrection power. (Although I suppose that’s fine too. We need to know what we’re working toward. Freedom from captivity is definitely worth accessing Christ’s power for.)
I think most of us would want freedom as a goal.
I think more people don’t know HOW to attain it.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
People─even those who call themselves Christian and would say they love Jesus─often find it hard to pray. But THAT is where our real power exists. We tap into God’s resurrection power through prayer.
I love that God connected prayer to my original life verse. I didn’t know it all those years ago, but I’d grow to love prayer to the point where I can’t not do it. (And I’m letting the double negative go friends because it’s exactly how I feel.) Little did I know, God had planted it in my heart all along as a spiritual gift He desired to grow. And He placed instruction for it right next to my life verse. He knew He’d grow my love to hear His voice through prayer. He knew He’d ask me to stretch myself and then stretch my life verse to become verses, no longer stopping at 11. We’d be working from an expanded version.
Why do I say that’s how we access God’s resurrection power?
I’ve felt it. I’ve felt Him. Literally, power surges from God pulsing through me when I get out of His way and let Him pray the prayers through me that He desires to be prayed. It’s awesome! A bit unexplainable. Might sound hokey, only I know it’s the Holy Spirit putting His power behind God’s inspired prayers.
The more I experience God’s resurrection power through prayer, the more I want to experience it because I’m experiencing Him. I trust it most when I don’t know the person and couldn’t possibly know what they need… but God does.
I’m reading an excellent book on prayer, The Daniel Prayer, Prayer That Moves Heaven And Changes Nations by Anne Graham Lotz.
Consider a question she asks, “When was the last time you heard someone pray to the point that you became more aware of the One to whom the person was speaking, than you were of the person doing the speaking?”₁
That’s the power I’m talking about and what I think God wanted emphasized.
Even simple things you know you have no business knowing exhilarate. In prayer you’re told, “Wear the shirt that says, ‘Write Your Story’ on it.” Mind you … no T-Shirts are allowed. But you follow the voice, the One telling you what to wear.
You share with others sitting in your circle, “I don’t know who is supposed to see this shirt. God told me to wear it today. I assume He wants someone to see it, but I have no idea who.”
Incredulous, the person sitting across from me exclaimed, “Are you kidding me! God’s been telling me I need to work on my story.”
And there you have it. One small way to give a little spiritual shove to someone who needed to get going on something God had given her to do.
God’s resurrection power will do that.
Join the conversation here or on our Facebook page.
₁Graham Lotz, Anne. The Daniel Prayer, Prayer That Moves Heaven And Changes Nations. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016.