By Whose Power Are You Living?

Acts 19:5 – One day the evil spirit answered them, [the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest] “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

In the name of Jesus, the seven sons of Sceva attempted to drive out a demon from a man who was demon-possessed. But they didn’t really know the “Jesus” whose name they invoked. The demon was not terribly impressed with them. Therefore he, through the man he possessed, jumped on the seven brothers and gave them the beating of their lives (Acts 19:16).

This made me think of my own life and ministry. Do I live and minister in and through the power of the Holy Spirit or in my own power? God tells Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:6…

… “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Even though Zerubbabel didn’t have the human power and prestige of a David or a Solomon, God assured him he had something even greater – the Spirit of the Living God! Therefore, he would be able to accomplish what God set before him.

And so, I’m back to my question: Am I trusting and depending upon the only One who has the true power to overcome demons, problems, obstacles, sin, and all the rest? Or am I trusting in my own “might” and “power?”

I sometimes think that some predicament that I’m faced with might reply to me: “Jesus I know, but who are you?” And yet, if Galatians 2:20 is true, and I really do have the Lord of the universe living in me, then what kind of extraordinary fool am I for not living and ministering in his power and authority, rather than my own?

Lord forgive me. Please enable me to live by faith in you and dependence upon your Spirit. Provoke me to live for you, with you, like you, and by you. For your sake I pray. Amen.

Grace and Truth,

Beautiful Prayer by William Barclay

From Prayers for the Christian Year by William Barclay

O God, our Father, we know that the issues of life and death are in your hands, and we know that you are loving us with an everlasting love. If it is your will, grant to us to live in happiness and in peace.

     In all our undertakings,
          Grant us prosperity and good success.
     In all our friendships,
          Grant us to find our friends faithful and true.
     In all bodily things,
          Make us fit and healthy,
               Able for the work of the day.
     In all things of the mind,
          Make us calm and serene,
               Free from anxiety and worry.
     In material things,
          Save us from poverty and from want.
     In spiritual things,
          Save us from doubt and from distrust.
     Grant us
          In our work, satisfaction;
          In our study, true wisdom;
          In our pleasure, gladness;
          In our love, loyalty.

And if misfortune does come to us, grant that any trial may only bring us closer to one another and closer to you; and grant that nothing may shake our certainty that you work all things together for good, and that a Father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear. Hear this our prayer; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.