Power

In order to live the Christian life, one needs to be walking in power. This power does not come from self... to the contrary, as individuals we are so very weak. No, there is a different source for power. When one sees the Holy Spirit in the Bible, the filling of the Holy Spirit generally precedes power coming. For example, the Old Testament judges were filled with the HS and then were empowered for battle. To truly walk in love (a friend defined this as loving someone so as to love them for what is best with them and their walk with God instead of how they may benefit self) and not selfishness consistently, and not in a people-pleasing or underhanded way can come only through the power of the Spirit. To walk in this kind of filling, a half-hearted quick quiet time in the morning will not cut it. We are called to be filled and controlled by the Spirit to the extent that a drunk is controlled by alcohol (Eph. 5:24). I'm convinced this kind of anointing can only come through saturation in the Word of the Lord and His presence.

It is interesting to note that Christians are so fruit (i.e. works/externals) oriented. We want to have a good influence on our friends. We want to be loving, joyful, etc. But if we spend our lives trying to produce fruit we burn ourselves out. The good thing is that the fruit is from the Spirit (end of Gal. 5). So rather than focusing on conjuring up fruit on our own, we instead need to delve deep with our time into the Lord, His Word, intercession, His presence in agonizing prayer, etc. and like a plant that is rooted properly, the fruit will eventually come as a result of the roots being planted well. The lie of the enemy is to be fruit obsessed to the point that we burn ourselves out or become depressed in trying to do in our own strength what God only meant to be done through the empowerment of His Spirit.

The beauty of this all is the difference between the Pharisees and Jesus. The Pharisees laid all sorts of rules and regulations on people and then did nothing to help them with it all. Jesus came in love and mercy and empowered those who were in bondage. He is still waiting... Will we choose to turn our eyes upon Jesus or continue to wonder why the Christian walk doesn't work for us?