Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Claim the Victory

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Have you ever assumed a task “for the Lord” fully confident that you had all the skills, talent, and training necessary to perform the task with excellence only to have the fruits of your labor shrivel on the vine? Conversely, have you ever refused to assume a roll of responsibility in some ministry because you felt unqualified or unworthy? The problem with either scenario is self-reliance rather than “Christ-reliance.”

A good example of both of these cases is the Apostle Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:23-33). When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they were fearful thinking that He was a ghost. Once Jesus had identified Himself, impetuous Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water” (v. 28). Peter wasted no time getting out of the boat when Jesus bid him to come. He was confident in his own abilities at first, and he trusted that Jesus could make him walk on the water. And he did! – for a while. But then he took his eyes off of Jesus and noticed the winds and the waves and the overwhelming laws of physics that would deny him such a feat. That is when he sank. “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (v. 31) Peter! Did you not know that God has given you the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ?

Paul writes, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). So whether we have all the talent, skills and abilities in the world, or we feel that we have nothing to offer, the power to do whatever He asks will only come when we claim and rely on His victory, not our own abilities.

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