Tag Archives: christianity

Power for Service, excerpt from Latent Power of the Soul regarding the work of the Holy Spirit

The work of the Holy Spirit is threefold: (1) to regenerate us, (2) to indwell us that we may produce the fruit of the Spirit, and (3) to come upon us that we may have the power to witness. Now whenever the Bible touches on the power of the Holy Spirit, it invariably points to work or witnessing. This refers to the Holy Spirit coming upon us, not to His working within us. It is clear that the power of the Holy Spirit is for work; the indwelling is for fruit. The power of the Holy Spirit is always spoken of in the original text of the Bible as descending or coming upon, while the fruit-bearing aspect of the Holy Spirit is spoken of as abiding in.

Why is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit spoken of as being upon? Because the enabling which the Holy Spirit gives you is outside of you. You cannot be sure of it. Therefore if in a meeting people ask you whether you are confident of today’s meeting— confident that people will be saved—you have to confess that you have no assurance whatsoever. For this power is exterior to you. The power of the Holy Spirit is beyond your control. But if this is soul force, you are assured of it. You know your message can cause people to weep and to make them repent. What is called dynamic power is merely the power of the soul.

Once I felt powerless. Although other people told me I was satisfactory, I felt rather feeble. So 1 went to see an elderly experienced sister, Margaret E. Barber. I said to her, “Your power is great, why do I not have power?” We knew each other well, and she frequently helped me in spiritual matters. She looked at me seriously and asked, “What power do you want—what you may feel or what you cannot feel?” As soon as I heard, I understood. I therefore answered, “I want what I cannot feel.” So she said, “You must remember that there is no need for people to feel the power which comes from the Holy Spirit. Man’s duty is to obey God. For the power of the Holy Spirit is not given for man to feel.” (Note that sensing in the spirit is another matter.) My duty is to ask God to bind my soul force, that is, my own power. I am to obey God absolutely, the rest I leave to Him to do.

If we work with soul force, we can feel it just as do the hypnotists, who know what results they will get by doing certain things. They know from the first step to the last step. The peril of the pulpit lies in the fact that many preachers do not know they are using their own psychic force. They think they have power; but they are only employing psychological power to win people.

Some have suggested that preachers have become experts on the use of psychology in manipulating people. But I strongly repudiate such manipulation; for even though we know how to attract people with psychic means, we should purposely avoid using any psychic force. Once I was working in Shantung. A professor there said to his colleague “that these preachers work with emotions.” It so happened that when I preached to the believers that afternoon I told them how undependable and useless was emotion. The colleague professor who was told by the first professor that preachers use emotion was also present at the meeting. After he heard my word he said it was a pity that the professor who spoke to him was absent.

Let us remember that all works done through emotion are questionable and transient. In the work done through the power of the Holy Spirit man does not need to exert his own strength nor do anything by himself. If a work is done by soul strength one has to exert lots of energy and employ numerous methods such as weeping, shouting, jumping, incessant singing of choruses, or the telling of a number of moving stories (I do not say that hymns and stories should not be used, only everything must be done within appropriate bounds). For the employment of these methods serves no other purpose than that of trying to stir up the audience.

We all know that some individuals have a magnetic attraction about them. Though they may not be fairer or more eloquent than others, they nonetheless can draw people to themselves. Often have people told me, “You have great influence over So-and-so, why do you not pull him over?” To which I answer, “That is useless.” For this will merely be natural; it is not spiritual at all. Many mistake Christianity to be a kind of psychic phenomenon as though it belongs to the domain of psychology. We really cannot blame them, because we believers make the mistake first. Unless the power of God draws your parents or your children, your natural attraction—however great it may be—is of no avail. Even if you could draw them with your dynamic force, what, if anything, is really gained?

– Watchman Nee, Latent Power of the Soul

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heaven is but a waiting room.

These past few mondays, I’ve been spending time with a group of brothers relearning the biblical gospel story through some resources from the dtnetwork.org. And with every coming week, I’m finding my mind continually getting blown. Several things I always thought to be true, indeed, weren’t as true as I thought.

When we die, we Christians will spend eternity in Heaven. False. It doesn’t end there.

Our hope as Christians is not to be able to live eternally in heaven. Heaven is but a waiting room for our souls as we count on Jesus’ second coming. It is then when He will bring upon resurrection of our physical bodies, restoration of Earth from sin and death, and Satan’s final destruction. We stay faithful in the hope to spend eternity with God on a restored Earth free of sin.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:44)

The amazing thing is, when we are resurrected, we don’t just go back to our old bodies. We receive a new glorified, spiritual body! In the above verse it says that our bodies were initially sown in “corruption” and “weakness,” but they’ll be raised in “incorruption.” Our new bodies will be imperishable, immortal, and indestructible.

(A brother says the first thing he’ll do is go sky diving. Sans parachute.)

When Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection, he was there in body and spirit.

“Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39)

Even though our new bodies will be spiritual bodies, they will also still have actual flesh and bone to them, which means we will still be able to feel and touch things as we do now.

But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.” (Luke 24:41-43)

The resurrection is literal. This is the hope. Not to spend eternity in a spiritual heaven sitting on a cloud playing the harp, but to spend eternity with God on a renewed Earth.

One certain day, the Earth will be restored to its original state. I cannot imagine how breathtaking the sight will be. A world free of death, pain and suffering. A place once again teeming with all creatures on land and sea, all under the dominion of man.

If I’m still around when Jesus has restored the Earth, I call first dibs on a pet T-rex.

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Post-Vision/Epic Thoughts

Its been 2 weeks since my first conference at Vision. I can still vaguely remember liking the messages and experiences a lot. But even more so than that, I’ll always remember one thing: God didn’t forget me.  Continue reading

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Post-Vision 2012

I can honestly say that there is nothing that I can do to get closer to God. Absolutely nothing. No amount of books, sermons, intelligence, determination, will power, tim keller, ravi zacharias, deepak chopra, oprah, dr. phil… absolutely nothing, that can bring me an inch nearer.

It is only when God allows you to come closer that you do. Only when He shows you grace at the time you know you least deserve it that something clicks. And just like that, your long-learned understanding of fairness/give-and-take mentality starts to unravel.

Still many things to process having had came back from a recent conference. Will update as I find time to recollect my thoughts.

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Crunk Juice and Bieber Fever

I remember when my mom bought my brother and I our first CD players at Circuit City when we were in grade school. Why my brother got the “Oops…I did it again” album and I got some 50 essential classical tunes by Beethoven is unbeknownst to me to this day. But I was so jealous of him. All my friends listened to Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, which meant it was cool. We put that CD on repeat day and night, until junior high school came, and it became gay to listen to. So I stopped listening to it. All my life, I’ve had a bad case of constantly seeking the approval of those around me by trying to fit in with the crowd.

It was freshman year in high school when I requested my mom to buy another CD for me. Why she didn’t object to getting Lil Jon’s Crunk Juice, with the explicit rating, and scantily-dressed ladies on the album cover and all, I’ll never know. (This is the same woman that would later make me pray to Buddha for inner-peace in my heart before purchasing the m-rated Max Payne playstation 2 game) I couldn’t wait to show off the new album to my new friend in school.

See, in my junior high school, you had the option of either spending 9th grade there or moving on to 9th grade in high school. I was one of the few kids who decided to spend it in a new school, which meant all my friends won’t be around. I had to make new friends. How else to make them than to impress them and make them think you’re cool? I scored some gangster thug points with that Lil Jon CD, but it didn’t stop there. I soon switched my entire wardrobe into clothes that didn’t fit me, or never will for that matter. Less than XXXXL and I wasn’t having it. And it was a requirement to have a white tee sticking out from under every layered color tee. (One time I made such a fuss in Champs when I was shopping with my mom because she thought XXXXL was too big and offered an XXXL shirt. Like, mom, if the shirt doesn’t extend long enough to cover your elbows, or ass because your sagging oversized jeans aren’t doing the job, you’re not cool. Did you not get the memo? Jeez) There was one time I came to class in a 5XL shirt, and one of the kids asked, “Hey isn’t that shirt a little too big for you?” “Nah.” Or is it….damn. I think I screwed up. He thinks I look stupid. Have to go back to my 4XL’s. 

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