II Corinthians 4;7, says, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
As earthen vessels, we often feel small, ineffective, and unable to do anything of value in the kingdom of God. But if we respond to God’s promptings, the Treasure is prepared to do through us far more than we could ask or think.
Normally, I play live music as we open each Gathering with a time of soaking. But this week, Igot to do something I rarly get to do. Instead of playing live music as we soaked in God’s presence together, I used recordings. I had to; a minor accident earlier in the week had sent me to the emergency room for ten stitches in my right hand, and they advise me not to play keyboard or guitar for another week or two, to give the wound time to heal. As an earthen vessel, I was chagrined at my weakness.
But the Treasure had plans.It was an opportunity to do what I wrote about in the 31 day devotional, “Learn To Hear From God.” http://www.squidoo.com/learn-to-hear-from-god-day-3
I quieted my heart as I lay back in a reclining chair, and then I prayed silently, “Lord Jesus, where are You right now?” To my surprise, I sensed Him standing in front of me, ready to teach. A flow of words came, and He was paraphrasing the beatitudes for me. I jotted down as much as I could, but it came so fast that dictation was impossible. So I have to put the thoughts in my own words.
To keep things brief, I’ll list a few of the beatitudes, and the thoughts that came to me. They may encourage you to step out in faith as you see opportunities to minister Jesus’ life and love to others.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. These are those who step out trustfully when they think they have nothing, and they shall see the flow of the Holy Spirit.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled . These are those who feel unrighteous, and can’t settle for smug Christianity. Instead,they stir themselves to seek Him.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. These are those who can’t bear to live without God’s manifest presence in their own lives or in the world around them, for the Holy Spirit will comfort them.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Not just for themselves, but for others, or even for a whole generation.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Those who have been so beaten up by life that they find it hard to hope, even these will yet arise to possess the promises of God in the earth.
Too much was coming to me too fast as we soaked, and I could jot down only a few key phrases. But with each beatitude, I noticed that it began with our feeling useless to God, and unfit for God’s higher purposes. But the presence of Immanuel, God With Us, means His presence is prepared to overflow far beyond our expectations. The recurring theme was a longing for His manifest presence, and that He would overflow.
I began to realize that Jesus was telling me what it feels like to move in the power of God. We may not feel powerful at all. At the moments when God is doing things that are beyond us, we may feeling weak and foolish. Our doubts about ourselves don’t limit God, because our confidence is in Him, not in our earthen vessels. So if God nudges you to step out in faith and you don’t feel up to it, go ahead. Trust Christ in you, the Treasure, to do the real work, while your earthen vessel feels poor in spirit.